If you have always dreamed of visiting the Pyramids of Giza, the Karnak Temple, and the Valley of the Kings, a Nile Cruise is the best way to experience ancient Egyptian history and 5-star luxury all in the same trip. However, we wouldn’t recommend booking a plane ticket to Egypt without doing your research first. Here are seven tips to help you plan the perfect Egyptian Nile River cruise tour.
Tip 1: Book Your Cruise in Advance
If you are considering a Nile River Cruise to tour Egypt, chances are you like having a structured itinerary when you travel. There’s nothing quite like waking up in your hotel room and not having to worry about where you are or what sites you’ll be visiting that day. On a Nile River cruise, all the thinking is done for you.
That being said, if you want that dream vacation to run smoothly, don’t wait until you arrive in Luxor or Aswan to book your cruise. Most cruises leave on either Mondays or Fridays, and you don’t want to arrive unprepared and have to wait a whole week for the next cruise tour to set out.
Tip 2: Plan Around Your Children
If you are planning on bringing children on your Cairo Nile cruise, you must research which cruise lines offer kid-friendly amenities. Many cruises have large sun decks, swimming pools, cafeterias, and lounges. However, some also have bars and even small nightclubs.
Be sure to have ample entertainment for your kids in case they get bored. If the grandeur of the Karnak Temple complex and the Great Pyramids begin to wear off, you’ll want lots of coloring books, games, and electronics to keep the kiddos busy. If you want them to remain engaged in the tours, prepare simple and interesting questions that they can ask the tour guides.
Tip 3: Book a Hotel in Luxor or Aswan
Many travelers strapped for time or money will go from the airport to the cruise ship at the beginning and then from ship to the hotel at the end. While this is understandable, it is a tragic way to rush through your trip and potentially miss out on some amazing sites and both Luxor and Aswan.
If you’re in Luxor, the most popular place to stay in the Winter Palace. This historic hotel is a little worn down but has amazing gardens and an antique charm that will help make you feel cozy and restful after your travels.
If you’re in Aswan, look no further than the Old Cataract Hotel. This is the very hotel where Agatha Christie rested after her Nile River cruise tour and wrote her famous mystery novel “Death on the Nile.”
Tip 4: Buy the Drinks Plan on the Cruise Ship
It is all too easy for travelers to forget that the official religion of Egypt is Islam. This means that consuming alcohol is not as popular of a pastime as it is in some western or Asian countries. Cocktail bars will be few and far between, and they will likely be incredibly expensive.
If you plan on relaxing with a few drinks in the evenings after a long day of touring in the hot desert sun, it’s worth checking whether your cruise ship has a drink plan or package. See if it is all-inclusive or if there is a limit per day. This could potentially save you a ton of money during your free time on the ship.
Tip 5: Pack Light
Even if you are staying on a luxurious cruise ship, it is highly recommended to pack as lightly as possible. This doesn’t mean not packing enough clothes but aiming for next-to-weightless fabrics. Ditch the denim shorts and cotton shirts, and bring as much loose linen clothes as possible. You will want clothes that breathe well under the hot sun.
You should also bring plenty of hats and sturdy walking shoes. Many temples have little to no shade and hundreds of stairs to climb. The last thing you want is squinting into the sun all day and tripping over your fashionable travel sandals. Yikes!
Tip 6: Keep to a Budget While on the Ship
Every traveler knows that extra expenses here, and there can begin to pile up if you aren’t careful. Be sure to have a strict budget planned before embarking on your cruise tour, and find out what everything on the ship will cost.
Many cruises have packages for food and drinks, and amenities like spas and saunas might cost extra. If you can, find out the cruise line’s pricing online beforehand to find out what all of their prices are. If they don’t have the prices online, use their contact number or ask a staff member as soon as you are onboard.
Tip 7: Choose the Best Time to Travel
Like many other countries in the Middle East, there are only two seasons: hot and hotter. The best time of year to visit Upper Egypt is between October and April. This is their Fall and Winter, and temperatures will sometimes drop down into the 80s Fahrenheit. December and January are the coldest when it can get into the 70s.
For international travelers, summer temperatures can be especially brutal and make outdoor tours next to impossible. June through August is considered summer there, and the temperature can climb well into the 100-110s. If you are not accustomed to hot, arid climates, it’s best to avoid the summer season altogether.
Do Your Research and Have Fun
It’s very important to thoroughly research a travel destination before you book your ticket and board the plane. As the saying goes, “fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”
However, don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from having the time of your life. Planning some wiggle room in your budget will allow you to relax and take advantage of any exciting excursions or souvenirs to find during your cruise.
As long as you follow these seven tips, you will surely have an amazing Egypt Tour and build memories you will cherish for the rest of your life.
Featured Image by DEZALB from Pixabay