Nile River Cruise

Katrina Smith on 24 February 2020
In February 2020 I took the trip I had been dreaming of doing since I was about 10 years old (so quite a long time ago). I took a 10 day tour to Egypt, the first 3 nights were spent in Cairo and the next 7 nights were on a cruise down the Nile. After arriving late in the evening and going straight to our room in Giza, we woke up the next morning excited for our morning ahead – a trip to the pyramids. We were so delighted when we walked out of our hotel door (we had arrived the night before to darkness) and there across the road was a view of the pyramids – so close to our hotel! Our morning was spent visiting the pyramids of Giza, which did not disappoint. There are 3 pyramids – the Great Pyramid of Khufu (which you can enter) the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure – followed by the Sphinx and then taken a little way out across the desert plateau so that we could take in the amazing view of the 3 pyramids. We chose to spend the afternoon at out hotel, sitting by the pool and enjoying a fabulous lunch. The next day was to the Cairo Museum and what a day! The museum did not disappoint, with the wonderful famous gold death mask of Tutankhamun top of our wish list of things to see. We then flew from Cairo to Luxor to join our ship, the MS Tulip, a fabulous ship with 48 cabins which are fully air conditioned, have en suite bathrooms and all amenities. There is a lovely sundeck which is a fabulous relaxing area to enjoy the amazing views of the Nile. This is where you will also find the Deck bar. Meals on board are buffet style with plenty of choice – soups, salads, main courses (including meat and pasta) and a brilliant dessert menu. To start our tour we visited the incredible Karnak Temple – a complex of several temples, chapels and other buildings. The complex was dedicated to the gods Amun, Mut and Khonsu. It is also worth visiting here in the evening when there is a sound and light show. Luxor Temple was next on our stop it is situated in the centre of Luxor. Of course number one on my list of places to visit on our Nile cruise was the Valley of The Kings, made famous by Howard Carter with his discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The entry to the valley is included with the cost of the cruise, and includes 3 burial chambers. If you wish to visit King Tut’s tomb you do need to pay extra. After the Valley of the Kings it was on to the Temple of Hatshepsut the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut. Sailing down the Nile we stopped at Edfu temple. To get to the temple you take a horse and carriage and then you are presented with this fabulous temple dedicated to the god Horus – a falcon headed god – there are lots of statues to honour him here. The temple was built in 57BC. Another temple visited was Kom Ombo which is right next to where the boat docks. It was built to honour the crocodile god Sobek and Horus the falcon headed god. Here you will find a museum of mummified crocodiles. The ancient Egyptians believed if they dedicated a temple to the crocodile they wouldn’t be attacked by them – at that time there were loads of crocodiles in the Nile (not many at all nowadays – if at all). Our cruise then headed to Aswan for a visit to the Temple of Philae which is accessed by small boat on Agilika Island and then onto the Aswan High Dam, finishing with a visit to the Unfinished Obelisk. One trip not to be missed (and you do have to pay extra for this) is the coach trip to Abu Simbel. It is a long 3 hour coach trip (usually leaving very early in the morning) but it is 100% worth it. There are two temples carved into the mountain side – the Great Temple built by Ramses II and the Queens Temple dedicated to Nefertari. The four colossal statues of Ramses in front of the Great Temple are spectacular. Due to rising waters caused by the erection of the Aswan High Dam, these temples were moved 200 metres above their original site. The top of the cliff was dig away and both temples completely disassembled and reconstructed. Absolutely amazing! This trip was one I have now recommended to many of my clients. If you love ancient Egypt, if you love history then this must surely be on your Bucket List. There is a Nile cruise ship for everyone, it is just knowing which one to choose, and hopefully I can help with this.