Most Nile Cruises operate between Luxor and Aswan and back – taking 3 or 4 nights. The Cruise Vessel is often used as a base for sightseeing in both cities. They pass through the Esna Locks and make stops at Kom Ombo and Edfu leaving ample time to visit the wonderful Temples at both places.
We incorporate a 3-4 night cruise in several of our pre set itineraries (eg Pyramid Adventure). It is possible to do a return 7 night cruise too. It is not possible to have less than 3 nights.
This writer is not a lover of big ship cruises but this, due to the small size of the vessels is a totally different experience, in addition its a great opportunity to see Egyptian life on the river banks, often seemingly unchanged for centuries.
Recently, periodic sailings from Cairo started after a multi year hiatus, although they still operate infrequently
The Nile Cruise Vessels
In Egypt the Nile cruise ships are rated by stars (3-star, 4-star, 5-star) but there is also a class of boat above 5-star, and those are the 5-Star Deluxe boats. Drawing from experience we will normally only book this latter category so as to be sure of a reliable and good service. The two operators we prefer are Sonesta and Movenpick. They also mostly avoid having to moor attached to large numbers of other vessels too!
Both fleets vessels are similar in that they have 50-60 2 berth cabins and a handful of larger suites. So they are nice and intimate vessels. All have entertainment and are full board for the duration of the cruise – that’s Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included. (Mostly but not always a broad good buffet with lots of variety). All rooms have a view (there are no ‘inner’ cabins) and are very well appointed in the vessels we use. Some have small balconies.
To help you get the ‘feel’ of Nile River cruising, below are more details specifically about the Sonesta vessels:
DELUXE SONESTA FLEET ***** Nile Goddess, Sun Goddess & Moon Goddess
Excellent service, cuisine and nightly entertainment makes the sail between Luxor and Aswan a pleasure for every moment spent enjoying the boats’ facilities.
The Nile Goddess was built in 1989. The five-deck ship measures 72 meters in length, 11 meters in height, and 13 meters in width. The ship was awarded the Certificate of Excellence from the American Bureau of Shipping (A.B.S.) and classified as A-1 river service. 63 standard cabins and 2 presidential suites with private lounge. All cabins feature broad panoramic windows, private, direct-dial telephones, hairdryers, safety deposit boxes, mini bars, music system, individual climate control, televisions and movies program. Bathrooms are equipped with full-size bathtubs. Outdoor swimming pool with bar service, billiards and table tennis.
The Sun Goddess was built in 1993. The five-deck ship measures 77 meters in length, 11 meters in height and 14 meters in width. The ship was awarded the Certificate of Excellence from the American Bureau of Shipping (A.B.S.) and classified as A-1 river service. 58 standard cabins, 2 senator suites, 1 presidential suite and 1 royal suite with private lounge. All cabins feature panoramic windows, private direct-dial telephones, hairdryers, safety deposit boxes, mini bar, music system, individual climate control, television and movie program. Bathrooms are equipped with full-size bathtubs. Outdoor swimming pool with bar service, billiards, table tennis and massage room offering therapeutic and relaxation massage treatments.
The Moon Goddess was built in 2000. The four-deck ship measures 72 meters in length, 11.40 meters in height and 14.20 meters in width. The ship was awarded the Certificate of Excellence POLSKI and classified as A-1 river service. 48 standard cabins with sliding glass doors opening to private balconies and 2 presidential suites with private lounges. All cabins feature private, direct-dial telephone, individual climate control, hairdryer, mini-bar, safety-deposit box, television and movie program. All bathrooms are equipped with bathtubs. Outdoor swimming pool with bar service, jogging track and a spacious gym.