Best Nile Cruises

Explore the cradle of Egyptian civilization along the 6,700 km sacred Nile. Sail on picturesque boats or luxurious ships for a captivating adventure amidst ancient wonders and daily life scenes. Immerse yourself in the authentic world of the river king through these 5 best Nile cruises.

1. In slow travel mode: Nour El Nil

Best Nile Cruises Nour El Nil

The tour: this cruise on the Nile by sailboat leading from Esna, near Luxor in Aswan meanders at its own pace between the meanders of the African river. The long navigation time – six days, from Monday to Saturday – allows, in addition to the essential stopovers, Edfou, Kom Ombo… to explore sites off the beaten track, inaccessible to motorized vessels.

The boat: Enrique and Eléonore, the owners, own several dahabieh, traditional two-masted sailboats, and lateen sails, revamped and modernized. On board the Nour El Nil, elegance is essential. The ten or so cabins are decorated in a refined style: white paneled walls, large windows overlooking the water, comfortable bedding, and parquet floors. On the upper deck, you can lounge on embroidered sofas while enjoying meals cooked every day with fresh ingredients from farmers and fishermen along the river.

You will love: the chill atmosphere of this renovated sailboat, good for daydreaming on the waves 

2. A floating palace: The Oberoi Zahra

Best Nile Cruises Oberoi Zahra

The tour: From Aswan to Luxor, two circuits of four or eight days are possible. The carefully planned itinerary includes transfers by private minivan to reach the main temples and the visits are accompanied by expert guides. 

The boat: This Nile cruise by Oberoi stands out with prestigious amenities: spacious suites, rare panoramic windows, and a pool on the upper deck. Enjoy excursions to exceptional temples and unwind in the spa or library. Experience luxury with a majority American crowd.

You will love: The 5-star standards of onboard hospitality and the all-inclusive package that allows you to enjoy this Nile cruise without worrying about logistical details.

3. For Agatha Christie fans: the Steam Ship Sudan

Best Nile Cruises Steam Ship Sudan

The tour: Several journeys of 4 to 6 days including the emblematic sites of pharaonic Egypt: Karnak, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, Kom Ombo, Edfu… which can be extended south to Abu Simbel, with an exploration of the temples of Ramses II and Nefertari.

The boat: Nearly a century has passed through the waters of the king’s river. Built in 1885, this steamboat is a legend. It was in one of the 23 cabins and suites that Agatha Christie and her husband, archaeologist Max Mallowan, traveled in 1933. The famous novelist would have got the idea for the plot of “Death on the Nile”. The decor has not changed. From the woven palm armchairs on the deck to the cozy lounges, the Art Nouveau library, and the rooms with lacquered woodwork, time seems to have stopped in the 1930s. 

You will love: Sailing at nine kilometers per hour, the SS Sudan offers a magical and timeless experience. On the deck of this cruise on the Nile, scenes of river life pass like fishermen releasing their nets, majestic birds, and inhabitants going about their activities.

4. The most versatile: MS Le Fayan 

Best Nile Cruises Ms Le Fayan

The tour: Operating the crossing between Luxor and Aswan in both directions, this high-end Nile cruise covers all the main points of attraction: the temple of Hatshepsut and the colossi of Memnon, the necropolis of Thebes, the temple of Philae, Aswan, Karnak…

The boat: this modern boat offers around sixty cabins on four levels with elegant wooden interiors, including a junior suite, a royal suite, and a presidential suite, with bay windows, including in the bathrooms. On the first floor, there is a spa with a sauna and massage room and on the terrace deck, you can enjoy a cocktail by the pool or in the jacuzzi while admiring the sunset over the Nile.

You will love: The flexibility of the services with the possibility of adding optional activities: a hot air balloon ride at sunrise, an excursion to Abu Simbel…

5. The most intimate: Sandal on the Nile

Best Nile Cruises Sandal

The tour: the 4-day circuit goes from Luxor to Aswan, passing through the quarries of Gebel Silsileh, the tomb of Horemheb, the village of Farès, the market to the camels of Daraw, the island of Arbia. An eight-day stay also includes the island of Ballouly, the temple of Philae, the temple of Medinet Habu…

The boat: an ancient felucca resurrected into an elegant boat, the Sandal was once used to transport stones and goods. Adorned with two sails, it can dock on the banks of the Nile thanks to its shallow draft. Carefully renovated, the graceful sailboat offers an intimate experience: only five cabins, comfortable and well-equipped, a dining room, and a pontoon terrace to enjoy a 360° view of the river. The boat gently slides between the palm groves and Nubian villages, to the sound of the lapping water…

You will love: The soothing and intimate atmosphere of the Nile cruise which can be privatized.