See the highlights of the Nile on the ultimate classic cruise

If you want to see the best Egypt has to offer, book the ultimate getaway combining a Nile cruise with visits to Cairo and Luxor. A cruise down the river will give you the chance to experience the beauty of the waterway, while visiting the cities will give you an insight into Egypt’s rich culture and heritage.

Egypt-4C-041 - Salesmen go anywhere and have strong throwing arms in Egypt....
Nile cruisearcher10 (Dennis) / / CC BY-SA

One of the best ways to organise your break is to fly to Cairo and explore, before visiting Luxor and concluding your getaway with a cruise down the Nile. Keep reading for a sample itinerary.

In Cairo

As the capital of Egypt, Cairo is home to an abundance of attractions, with the old town area being particularly popular among those keen to see the city’s heritage. Coptic Cairo is a part of the old city that comprises historic landmarks like the Babylon Fortress, the Hanging Church and the Coptic Museum, among other sites of interest.

It’s also worth calling in at the Cairo Museum, which contains a wealth of ancient treasures, and the ancient Citadel of Saladin – a stunning medieval Islamic fortification – during your visit, before heading to the renowned souk Khan el-Khalili, a bazaar with a long history dating back to the 1300s. Here, you can pick up all manner of handcrafted goods and souvenirs, including scarves, jewellery and handicrafts.

From Cairo, you can also take an excursion to the Great Pyramids of Giza, and the trip can be arranged for you if you book Nile cruises with The Holiday Place or another reputable travel firm. The three pyramids are emblems of the ancient world and arguably comprise Egypt’s most recognisable landmark.

In Luxor

From Cairo, you can travel to Luxor and stay in the city for a couple of days. Often referred to as an open-air museum, Luxor is dotted with monuments and relics from the past. Within the modern city you’ll find the ruins of the temples of Luxor and Karnak, while across the Nile is the West Bank Necropolis, which includes landmarks like the Valley of the Kings. Your travel operator should be able to organise a tour of the attractions for you, so you can really get under the skin of the nation as you explore its history.

Afterwards, make your way down the Corniche to admire the temples from a distance and call in at Luxor Museum, which is located on the walkway. The museum displays items that were buried with Tutankhamen, along with statues from the New Kingdom and a number of mummies.

Along the Nile

The River Nile is one of the longest waterways in the world, and its banks are full of history and rich culture. From the comfort of your sailing hotel, you can gaze out over the water and watch fishermen casting their nets or admire the wildlife drinking at the river’s edge.

As you journey along the Nile, you can relax in the comfortable surroundings of your boat hotel, which will provide you with all the modcons you can expect from a land-based alternative. Tuck into sumptuous food and make the most of onboard facilities like swimming pools and evening entertainment.

There are various ancient monuments along the river’s banks and, when your cruiser moors up, you can head on to land to see these in more detail. Among the top attractions is the Temple of Kom Obo, which dates back to the Ptolemaic dynasty. The temple is unique in that it was built to honour two sets of gods, rather than one. The Abu Simbel temples are also popular landmarks, and you’ll find these 13th century structures located on the western bank of the Nile.

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