Guide to Enjoying a Perfect Nile Cruise in Egypt
Egyptian pyramids, sarcophagi, sphinxes, golden masks and mummies have fascinated the world for centuries.
Traveling the longest river on Earth, the Nile, adds to the charisma of an Egypt tours. The river offers a peaceful and majestic view of the cultural riches of the country. A Nile River cruises involves sailing from Luxor to Aswan and back, with panoramic views from the decks. Along the way, you can experience nature at its best, with water buffalo grazing and waterfowl pestering anglers.
From the Valley of the Kings to ancient tombs and temples, Luxor gives a perfect start to the Nile cruise with its view of the cultural heritage of the place. The temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Karnak and Luxor are central attractions. There is also a fantastic mummification museum which attracts a lot of visitors.
The hieroglyphic inscriptions of Egypt have been a valuable source of information for archaeologists. They depict ancient rituals, deities and cultural elements, which are very evident in the temple of God Horus, Edfu. The temple has been well preserved from the Nile floods and is spectacular to behold, being the second largest temple in Egypt.
There is a Nilometer inside the temple which measures the height of the Nile and predicts the harvest conditions. There are symbols of the battle between Seth and Horus, and carvings depicting the process of making perfumes.
- Kom Ombo
A short visit to the temple of Kom Ombo is essential during a cruise on the Nile. The temple is dedicated to the Egyptian gods Sobek and Horus. Although it is a single temple, there are two entrances, and many halls.
The Crocodile Museum is also worth a visit, which houses unique crocodile mummies. Human mummies are common in Egypt, but these 22 crocodile mummies are one of their species.
Located in southern Egypt, the settlements of Aswan are spectacular. Nubian Village, Botanical Gardens, Spice Market are some of the main attractions. From Aswan, you can travel to the ancient heritage of Abu Simbel and conclude your Nile cruise from Luxor.
The High Dam is also visible from Aswan, along the temple of Philae (dedicated to Horus). The beautiful artifacts of Elephantine Island can also be seen.
Just south of Aswan, at the northern end of Lake Nasser, the Philae Temple is dedicated to Isis and was used by her worshipers until the 6th century AD, when Emperor Constantine banned the practice. The oldest parts of the temple date from the XXV Dynasty of the New Kingdom around 690 BC. AD, but later rulers added sections to it for the next 400 years, until Emperor Hadrian erected his self-proclaimed arch. It is worth returning at night to see the Sound and Light show, which takes you through the temple. You will need to take a boat to get to the temple; if you have a guide he or she will negotiate your fare, but if you are on your own then you will have to negotiate your own way through the chaos of the boat harbor.