Nile River Cruises are a perfect way to experience Egypt as a cruise will bring guests up close to some of the most ancient ruins of history.
Most Nile cruises are on smaller ships which can navigate into the smaller ports and guests will easily integrate with fellow travellers.
A Nile River Cruise adventure will take passengers to a world where landscapes have hardly changed since pharaohs ruled the land and where the locals still live along the shore in traditional mud brick houses just as they have done for the last five thousand years.
Cruisers will see that there's not much in the way of commercial boating, except for occasional self-propelled barges and the traditional feluccas, sailing vessels, used today to ferry tourists around on the Nile.
However, there are lots of river ships as more than 280 vessels currently cruise the waters between Luxor and Aswan, the site of the nation's best-preserved monuments, so it can get crowded during the high season (between early September and late May).
A Nile Cruise is the easiest way for tourists to experience the famous temples and tombs of Luxor, Karnak, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Dendera and the Valley of the Queens and Valley of the Kings.
The country of Egypt is most famous for the Nile and eighty million people live on four percent of the land, a green belt, up to nine miles wide, that follows the longest river in the world.
The Nile runs 4,184 miles in length and winds through nine nations, from Lake Victoria in Uganda to the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria, Egypt.
The Nile flows south to north, unlike most other rivers and so Upper Egypt, the site of Nile river cruises, is in the southern part of the country and Lower Egypt is in the north.
Nile river cruises are generally between three to seven nights and are often packaged with a land based stay such as in Cairo which is a popular city for a pre or post cruise holiday.
Cairo is most famous for the pyramids and the Sphinx at Giza. Knowledgeable tour guides can explain the building process and history of the pyramids and local Bedouins sell their wares and offer camel rides in this area.
Nile River cruise vessels generally carry fewer than 140 passengers and feature more or less the same layout of four decks, plus a sun deck with a pool. There are restaurants and lounges, and cabins are air-conditioned with TV's, mini-bars and floor-to-ceiling windows that open.
It is recommended to book through a cruise specialist as the quality of vessel and service does vary greatly from ship to ship.
Different cruise durations are available and the major port stops include Luxor, Aswan, Esna, Edfu, and Kom Ombo and longer cruises may also call at Dendera and Qena. Onboard Nile cruise ships it is a completely different experience to more traditional cruise destinations with no glitz, casinos or Broadway-style shows and entertainment is based around two venues, the dining room and the top deck.
Dining is typically a buffet affair for breakfast and lunch, with a sampling of entrees served at dinner and the top deck is the place to sunbathe, read, take a dip, enjoy a beverage and take in the view.
The ships also have lounges, where port talks, lectures and crew shows are staged and the organised shore excursions are always first-rate with travel in modern buses and experienced guides.