Sailing up the Nile on a Dahabiya is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore Egypt. You enjoy the luxury and comfort a larger Nile cruise boat provides, but in a much more intimate and exclusive setting. The slower pace also gives you much more time sailing, allowing you to experience more of rural Egypt in-between the sightseeing stops. This tour combines a 7-night Dahabiya cruise from Luxor to Aswan, with time in Cairo to see the pyramids and sphinx and Egyptian Museum.
Note: 5-night cruises are also available, using an overland transfer for the final section from Komombo to Aswan. The boats also run from Aswan to Luxor, and this option can be more convenient if you would like to add a Red Sea extension after the cruise. Please contact us for details.
Your Egyptian holiday starts in Cairo staying in the famous Mena House hotel, right next to the pyramids. Spending two nights here after your arrival means that your tours of the pyramids and sphinx at Gisa and Saqqara aren't too rushed, and we have time to include a comprehensive city tour, taking in the huge Egyptian Museum, ancient churches in Coptic Cairo, great views from the Citadel and the bustling Khan-el-Khalili bazaar.
The overnight sleeper train (or optional flight upgrade) takes you south to Luxor, where your first tour is to the West Bank of the Nile, home to the many pharaonic tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and the 3-tiered temple to Queen Hatchepsut. Other stops include the Colossi of Memnon, and the Medinat Habu temple, which houses some of the best preserved wall paintings and carved hieroglyphs in Egypt. While you arein Luxor, you will also visit the huge temple complex at Karnak, and visit Luxor temple in the evening, when it is lit up to great effect.
You board your Dahabiya in Luxor, and all your meals for the next 7 days are provided by the on board chef and his team. Most Dahabiyas have between 6 and 10 comfortable en-suite, air-conditioned twin or double cabins, with upgrades to larger suites available on some boats. This tour uses a high standard Dahabiya with a classical, elegant style. More contemporary styled boats are also available on request.
The boat features a dining room, lounge and bar, and a sun-deck from where you can relax and watch rural Egyptian life pass you by as you sail up river. The boat stops overnight at Esna and Edfu en-route to Aswan, as well as two small islands where can enjoy a peaceful night away from the noise and the crowds that are hard to avoid in the main cruise boat stops.
While sailing up-river to Aswan, you stop to see the important temples at Esna, Komombo and Edfu, and also see several other sites missed by the normal cruise boats, including the El Kab tombs and Silesia temple. In Aswan, you visit the beautiful Philae temple by boat, and have the option to tour the impressive temple to Ramses II at Abu Simbel.
You also have some free time to explore the markets, before returning to Cairo on the overnight sleeper train (or optional flight upgrade).
You can fly straight home from Aswan if you wish (you would change planes in Cairo en-route). Back in Cairo you have some free time to do some shopping or further sightseeing, or perhaps add a day trip to the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, or to the spectacular desert scenery at Wadi Rayan and Wadi Hitan. This tour includes the 'Valley of the Whales' World Heritage Site where ancient whale fossils are found and displayed on the sand.