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5 of the best luxury Nile river cruises

Destination Reviews

The centrepiece and highlight of any Egyptian holiday, a Nile cruise is the perfect way to visit the many sites and sights of upper Egypt. Here are 5 of the best luxury Nile river cruises to book now.

The magical Nile flows northwards in northeastern Africa, into the Mediterranean Sea. Flowing through the Sudanese desert to Egypt, at Cairo the extensive delta begins, reaching the sea at Alexandria. Egyptian civilisation has depended on the river since ancient times, with fertile farm lands on its banks owing to silt deposits during annual flooding, and crops included wheat, flax and papyrus. In Upper Egypt, the stretch of river between Luxor and Aswan is home to numerous river boats, bringing tourists to the heart of the cultural and historical sites of Ancient Egypt.

The river had great spiritual significance, considered to be a causeway from life to death and the afterlife. The east was thought of as a place of birth and growth, and the west the place of death, so all tombs were located west of the Nile.

Hot air balloons over Luxor, Egypt

Nile cruise companies carry expert Egyptologists who travel with you on all your excursions to ensure you get the very most out of every visit. Expect early starts to avoid the intense heat followed by a leisurely afternoon siesta. When planning your cruise, consider avoiding the extreme heat of the summer months.

Some of our favourite river cruise companies offer the perfect Nile river cruise, and these are five of the best...

5 of the best luxury Nile river cruises

1. AmaWaterways

Let AmaWaterways' new 72-passenger AmaDahlia be your home as you explore the beguiling Temple of Luxor, and the Valley of the Kings and Queens on voyages between September and June. Look out for Ama's exclusive experiences, including a private tour of the Tomb of Queen Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and a private lunch at the Abdeen Presidential Palace.

2. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

Uniworld's captivating itineraries between September and May begin and end in Cairo, where you'll visit the famous Egyptian Museum, the mighty ancient Pyramids and the timeworn, enigmatic Sphinx. Then board Uniworld Super Ship S.S. Sphinx, carrying 82 guests in well-appointed suites, or the River Tosca, a delightful vessel from which to explore the treasures of the Nile. You will also enjoy an exhilarating ride in a felucca, a traditional Nile River sailboat.

 luxury Nile river cruises

3. Tauck River Cruises

Tauck's inclusive programmes combine busy-ness and luxury - their 10-day journey includes four nights aboard a luxury riverboat, and shore excursions in Aswan, Luxor, Old Cairo and Abu Simbel. With only 22 luxury suites (44 people) your Oberoi riverboat offers spacious accommodations, large windows, and panoramic views.

best luxury Nile river cruises

4. Viking River Cruises

Viking's extensive river fleet extends to Egypt, where you join expert Egyptologists on a 12-day cruise-tour through Egypt on board modern Nile ships, owned and operated by Viking. Choose from the newly built Viking Aton and Viking Osiris, with 82 guests, or the recently refurbished Viking Ra, carrying 52.

 luxury Nile river cruises

5. Sanctuary Retreats

The elegant Nile vessels of Sanctuary Retreats are boutique ships offering a luxurious environment and just 36 guests (on Sanctuary Sun Boat III), voted among the top 100 most beautiful boats in the world by Condé Nast readers.

Sanctuary Retreats - Sanctuary Sun Boat III

Speak to us about finding the perfect Nile river cruise for you.

Meet the author

Edwina Lonsdale is Managing Director and together with husband Matthew, owner of Mundy Cruising. Most recently she's cruised on Windstar and has also sailed with Silversea, Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas, Crystal, SeaDream, Ponant, AmaWaterways and Aqua Expeditions. Her favourite destination is the Galapagos however she's also enjoyed cruises in the Mediterranean, Danube, Middle East, East Africa & Indian Ocean, Brahmaputra, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the Mekong, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, the Caribbean and the Arctic. When she’s not travelling she loves reading, food and wine.

More about Edwina

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