Egypt – the land of Pharaohs, myth and old wonders
NILE RIVER: Very long time ago Cruise on the Nile was reserved for queens and pharaohs. Now cultural curious travellers don´t want to miss this waterway of Egypt and the fascinating land of miracle and myths.
The journey starts in the city of Aswan and from my favourite sunbed, in style and luxury on the top deck of M/S Darakum. Nile River flows through famous places, historic sites, passing world known icons before it´s on to the astonishing Luxor with famous temples, museums and tombs. After three days cruise my trip has been the most comfortable way to experience this part of the historic Nile Valley.
Aswan. Before or after a river cruise you should spend a couple of days in the city of Aswan, mostly known for the enormous Aswan Dam. View from a room at Old Cataract Hotel overlooking river Nile is the place to stay. This mythic five-star hotel is one of a kind and the spa is the place to pamper you with a massage while you gaze across the Nile.
Link to Old Cataract Hotel
The history. As a start we got to know a bit about the Nubian culture and enjoyed an exciting ride in a felucca, a traditional Nile River sailboat. We also visited the mighty High Dam of Aswan, hosted by Mr Ahmed Elshafey, an English speaking guide and local expert. For the three next days we walked the towering ruins of Philae Temple, got to know more about mythological figures before we visited two more temples, Kom Ombo and Edfu.
Much of Kom Ombo temple from the Greek and Roman time has been destroyed by the Nile and earthquakes, but restored more that hundred years ago. Don´t miss the original ceiling and also visit the Crocodile Museum.
The Edfu Temple was built between 237 and 57 BC and inscriptions on the walls provide important information on language, myth and religion.
Food. Head chef Nasser and his brigade serves international and Egyptian specialities with rice and vegetables with aromatic herbs and a few with strong spices. Fruits tasted as they came straight off the trees. A typical meal will start with soup made from vegetables. On the ship they served buffet with fish, seafood and chicken made to perfection.
Shopping. Egypt is a shopper´s paradise – from gifts, herbs and spices to gold and silver. Excursions is something you decide when on the ship and payment can be made in cash. During your cruise, your guides will be introducing you to not only haggling, but many of the local handicrafts available. A good rule is to ask your guide for any help during your cruise. On many tours children under 12 years will be offered 50% discount.
Safe in Egypt. The timeless Nile River flowing through sands like a silken ribbon. After three days on the cruise ship, MS Darakum reached the banks of Luxor. Our cruise along this waterway between Aswan and Luxor uncovers old temples and stories of gods, monuments and the warm and friendly people of Egypt greet us from palm lined riverbanks. But it also uncovers the safety of Egypt, which has suffered setbacks since the uprising in 2011.
“I felt safe from the very first day in Egypt and my advice to tourist of the world is a return to this country. It´s more likely to be blown up on the streets of London – or somewhere else in the world”, Brian King from Frimley, Surrey in England, said after one-week holiday in Egypt with his partner.
Romance. There is definitely a touch of romance under the stars drifting on the Nile along sand dunes. No modern-day adventurer should miss Egypt, and a luxurious ship on the Nile is the ultimate way to experience temples dedicated to mythological figures, the enormous Aswan High Dam and this country´s cultural heritage.
More info about Egypt
Make it Happen!
Touch Down: Book your flight to to Aswan International Airport. Egypt Air is the national carrier. A typical cruise will start at Aswan visiting great sights on the sailing north to Luxor. A stop at Kom Ombo to see the temple, visit Edfu and Esna before you visit Karnak Temples, Luxor Temple and Valley of Kings in Luxor.
Stay: Old Cataract Hotel a 5-star option. This mythic hotel is one of a kind and the spa is the place to pamper you with a massage while you gaze across the Nile.
Eat: On board M/S Darakum they serve excellent breakfast and international as well as Egyptian specialities for lunch and dinner made of fresh fish, chicken and beef. Egyptian food is delicious and healthy with influences from the Mediterranean.
Play: Dress up for the Captain´s welcome party and look forward to a belly dance show on deck four
Mini Guide: The spoken language is Arabic but English is widely spoken and understood. Egypt is a Muslim country. Expect a lot of attention from the locals. Alcohol is served in hotels, bars and pubs – and on the Nile cruiser. When on tours wear comfortable walking shoes and bring plenty of drinking water. At some historic sites, photography is forbidden. Tipping is a way of life in Egypt. Finally, make sure you stick to the time table and always be on time for tours.