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Cruise The Nile Like Cleopatra - Travel In Luxury
By Justine Richards

There is endless fascination with ancient Egyptian artifacts and architecture and the desert ruins of these compelling structures attract tens of thousands of visitors every year. The itinerary of world traveler is incomplete without a trip to these impressive ancient sites in person at least once. For those who wish to view these magnificent structures while traveling in luxury, consider cruising the Nile River like Cleopatra and the pharaohs.

Average tourists visit Egypt by land and spend their days aboard hot buses traversing dusty desert terrain. Meanwhile the ever-present Nile River quietly flows through lush local countryside, green from its proximity to the river. Cruising the Nile is a unique and unusual way to see the sights of Egypt, away from the crowds of the major tourist centers. At the same time, cruise operators provide ample opportunities for passengers to debark from the cruise ship and avail themselves of private tours to the major historic wonders of Egypt.

Renowned sightseeing stops for Nile cruise excursions include the treasures of Luxor, including the tomb of Nefertiti and the Temple of Karnak. Many of the cruises allow time to visit ancient the Egyptian towns of Aswan,

Esna, Kom Ombo and Edfu. The cruise line arranges for knowledgeable local guides who are available to explain the finer points of each site. Visiting these sites under the auspices of a reputable cruise line eliminates any concern of dealing with unscrupulous local tour operators.

If the term cruise boat evokes a picture of an ocean-going vessel that houses over 2,000 passengers, think again. Picture instead the intimacy of a five-star ship that features about 60 cabins and a few luxury suites. While the size of an individual vessel varies, river cruise ships accommodate from just 100 to at most 500 passengers.

A luxury Nile cruise is an ideal way for a new visitor to Egypt to experience this unique culture since all services are included. Cruise passengers need not worry about food quality or palatability while eating at restaurants in an unfamiliar culture, for example. Also the cruise company arranges all the tours to the major ancient attractions and provides reputable guides who know Egyptian customs.

Even though the ships are smaller, expect fine accommodations, fine dining and other amenities like a swimming pool on a luxury Nile River cruise. Luxury Nile cruises offer a limited number of suites or even penthouses for additional comfort. A resident chef will prepare a variety of ethnic and international dishes that appeal to the palate of any gourmet traveler. The main point to consider in selecting a Nile cruise is to be certain of selecting a quality cruise company that indeed offers luxury travel. Using the services of a travel consultant experienced with luxury travel is the best way to select a five-star Nile cruise from a reputable cruise company.

Nile cruises are typically just 3, 4 or 7 nights because of the short distances between major attractions. The best time of year for a luxury cruise is during the Egyptian winter, from December to February.

Egypt is an ancient land with fascinating monuments and temples that are adorned with mysterious hieroglyphics. What better way to immerse yourself into this unique culture than to experience luxury travel while cruising the Nile like the royal pharaohs.

Justine has been a journalist for 20 years and is a contributor to Just The Planet, the online luxury travel magazine for independent travellers.

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