A Nile cruise is one of the most famous river voyages a traveller will ever take and, we think, one of the best! Pass well-known ancient sites such as Tutankhamun’s tomb at the Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple in Luxor, and watch daily life unfold around you while relaxing on a sun deck or enjoying a cocktail.
There is such a broad range of boats available on the Nile it can be mind-boggling trying to find the right one for you. From small and simple feluccas, traditional dahabiyas to modern luxury cruise boats, we have picked a few of our favourites to help you choose. Our Middle-East Regional Specialist will guide you through the options to find the perfect cruise boat for you.
Felucca – Authentic
A felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used by the Pharaohs thousands of years ago. There are few wooden boats still sailing today, so it’s a unique experience. The design and style has barely changed over the years, and although many have a motor they tend to rely solely on the breeze allowing for a relaxing and peaceful cruise. Feluccas can accommodate approximately eight passengers. They do not have bedrooms and so everyone sleeps under the stars on the deck. There are no toilets or showers. This is a true back to basics and authentic Nile cruise option.
Nile Saray – Comfort
The Nile Saray is a comfortable, modern cruise ship offering 52 cabins and two suites. Each cabin has air conditioning and en suite facilities. The ship has a sun deck with a small pool and Jacuzzi; relax and enjoy the sunset after a day’s exploring.
M/S Mayfair and M/S Esplanade - Indulge
Offering three, four and seven night cruises, these modern motor ships have elegantly decorated cabins, each with en suite and air conditioning. There is a roof top sun deck and pool, or enjoy a cocktail from the lounge bar while watching the world go by.
Hadeel Dahabiya and Sonesta Amirat Dahabiya – Indulge
Traditionally used in the 1920s – 40s by aristocrats looking to take a luxurious and leisurely sail down the Nile, a dahabiya is larger than a felucca, but smaller than a cruise boat. It has two sails, although a motor will be used if the wind dies down. Hadeel Dahabiya offers eight cabins and Sonesta Amirat Dahabiya has five cabins and two suites, all are en suite and air conditioned. Both offer a lounge area, spacious sundeck and Jacuzzi, and run on seven night itineraries.
Luxury Felucca – Comfort
If you fancy the idea of a traditional felucca but with more home comforts, then this is the boat for you. With the privacy of your own tented room, on-board toilet and basic shower you can experience a relaxing cruise with a few added extras.
Steamship Sudan – Indulge
Given to King Fouad in 1885, S/S Sudan still retains much of its former glory with dark wood paneling and period features. The golden age of the 1920s and 30s can be relived through Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile, which she famously wrote while sailing on this historic boat. The five suites and 18 cabins are individually decorated to recreate the charm of the early 1900s, however are fully equipped with air conditioning and en suites.
Movenpick Royal Lily and Lotus – Comfort
The Royal Lily offers 56 cabins and four Royal Suites. The Royal Lotus offers 62 cabins and two suites; all are spacious and modern in design. Each cabin has en suite facilities, air conditioning, TV and large picture window to fully enjoy the passing scenery. Both boats have a large rooftop sundeck with plunge pool and observation lounge to enjoy an afternoon snack or cocktail.
Sonesta Nile Goddess – Comfort
Running on three, four and seven night itineraries, the Nile Goddess is a modern-style cruise boat with 47 cabins and six suites; all cabins have en suites and air conditioning. There is a lovely sundeck, lounge bar and dining room. The Nile Goddess also has a spa with gym room, massage, sauna & Jacuzzi.