Updated: Nov 1, 2021
If you’ve always been fascinated by the ancient civilizations of the world, then there is no doubt that Egypt is on your list. River cruise lines offer a spectacular tour and cruise combination that is hard to beat in terms of value and range of sites, combined with a unique onboard experience on a custom-designed river cruise ship.
Nile adventures suitably begin (and end) in Cairo, giving you time to see the iconic sites of this city. On a typical itinerary, your first full day will include a visit to the exquisite Egyptian Museum, with its 120,000 artifacts on display. Home to some of the greatest masterpieces ever crafted, its unique collection of Pharaonic art includes mummies and the priceless treasures of Tutankhamen, the Boy King. Venture to the bustling and colorful 14th-century Khan el-Khalili market, tour El-Moez Street, one of Cairo's most remarkable historic places, and visit the Mosque of Muhammad – also known as the Alabaster Mosque – which majestically sits on the summit of the Citadel of Saladin's courtyard. From the arcaded courtyard, enjoy the breathtaking view across the city to the Pyramids of Giza. Inside the Mosque, marvel at an ornate interior and a splendid array of lamps suspended from the intricately decorated ceiling.
Another day in Cairo will feature the monuments at the UNESCO-designated ancient capital of Memphis. You’ll visit the huge statue of Ramses II, the Alabaster Sphinx, and the necropolis of Sakkara – the site of the famous step pyramid of King Zoser, the oldest pyramid on earth. You’ll then go to the Great Sphinx and the iconic Giza complex, which consists of three large pyramids built between 2589 BC and 2504 BC.
At the end of your cruise, you’ll arrive back in Cairo for a final day that includes a visit to the Abdeen Presidential Palace, considered one of the most luxurious palaces in the world and consists of multiple museums. You’ll also explore the old part of the city, which includes Coptic Cairo, where the Hanging Church and Ben Ezra Synagogue are located.
The cruise portion of this adventure starts after a few nights in Cairo, when you'll fly south to Luxor—formerly known as Thebes, the capital city of the New Kingdom of Upper Egypt. Luxor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to two astonishing temples—Karnak and Luxor. Luxor is also your gateway to many of Egypt’s vast treasures that you’ll discover throughout your Nile River Valley cruise. Your Nile itinerary is packed with visits to the antiquities of the region including the Valley of Kings, Valley of Queens, the ancient temple of Edfu, Aswan, and the Philae Temple complex, excursions to the Nubian village of Nessa, the sights of Abu Simbel, and the temples of Qena. See a full itinerary and more info here.