Egypt Nile Cruise -from Aswan or from Luxor?

Old Aug 20th, 2006, 12:50 PM
  #1  
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Egypt Nile Cruise -from Aswan or from Luxor?

Hi,

We have a group of 8 people and would have a 10 days classic Egypt trip including a 3 or 4 nights Nile Cruise in Mid November.

Our travel agent gives us the following options w/ the same price:

1. 3 nights nile cruise starting from Aswan with MS Nile Style, MS Hamis, or MS Mirage. Plus 1 night at Movenpick hotel in Aswan before joining the cruise.


2. 4 nights nile cruise staring from Luxor with MS Beau Soleil, Laub Du Nile, or Florence, or Royal Ruby, or Diamond, or Prestige Domina Emilio.

Iíve heard that cruising from Aswan will save some time on the cruise since itís going with the current. As we would rather spend more time sightseeing then on the boat, this seems to be a better option for us. But wonder how much time weíll save and if the boats listed above are as good as the ones from Luxor.

Also, about the Cairo-Aswan-Luxor connection, we are considering taking a flight since a few of our group members are light sleepers. To avoid having to get up early in the morning to catch the flight, we are considering taking the flight out the night before. Any comments with this option?

Your advices are very much appreciated!

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Old Aug 20th, 2006, 01:49 PM
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sandi
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There are so many new boats cruising the Nile, I can't comment about specifics. I would, however, try for a boat that doesn't carry more than about 100 passengers.

As to direction, it can be either, has nothing to do with the current, rather where do you stop along the way. Aswan, Kom Ombo, Esna, Edfu, Luxor are the major stops. In Aswan you usually visit before/after cruising at Elephantine Island, Aga Khan Mausoleum, High Dam, Philae Island. At Luxor you visit the town and temples of Luxor and Karnak, Valley of the Kings and Queens. Then inbetween the temples at the other stops noted above. That's what I'd confirm with your travel agent.

At each stop you'll go out with a guide for your group or for one slightly larger. They usually take guests out based on language - English, French, Italian, etc.

When at Aswan if the schedule allows (if not, I'd make sure to find the time) you should make a visit to Abu Simbel which is a short flight from here, spending about 2-3/hrs.

From Cairo you can fly to Luxor and cruise to Upper Egypt (south) ending in Aswan where you can visit Abu Simbel, then return to Cairo. In reverse, you can fly to Aswan or Abu Simbel, back to Aswan and cruise to Lower Egypt (north) Luxor from where you can return fly to Cairo.

If your TA can provide links or more detail of the boats that will help in your decision; check the itinerary of stops/sights along the way, then make your decision.
 
Old Aug 20th, 2006, 03:51 PM
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I would suggest Luxor to Aswan then book a couple of nights at the Old Cataract Hotel. Wonderful place. You'll have a memorable stay and you will find Aswan moves at a different pace than Luxor. Much more provincial with lovely walks. Hire a fellucca and go upriver to a Nubian village. But most of all, sit and have a drink or two at the Old Cataract terrace bar. There is nowhere like it.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 11:15 AM
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Sandi and Galiano,
Thanks for your info.

Sandi,
The cruise itinerary is typical of the the other Nile cruises and included all the sights you've listed.

As I've read that the 5-star rating in Egypt is not comparable to the US, especially true w/the nile cruise boats and we've seen from the website that some five star deluxe boats looks far better from the other ones, we just want to make sure we book the right boat.

Also, the TA said that we might have to do west and east bank sightseeing on the same day if we cruise from Luxor due to the sailing time; if we sail from Aswan, the 2 sightseeings will be done in two separate days. Sounds less cramped.

We are also considering flying in to the cruise port the night before so that we can avoid the early morning flight situation.

Any info/comments are welcome!

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Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 02:19 PM
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sandi
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Can't comment on Luxor/Aswan as we did the reverse and for 4/nts -5/days, so we weren't rushed at all. If I recall, we flew early from Cairo via Aswan (thought didn't land as all going) to Abu Simbel. A few hours, here then flight to Aswan and boarded our boat. Afternoon felluca and visit to mausoleum etc. (I didn't go). Instead went on my own to the Nubian Museum which was great.

Next morning visit to Philae Is., unfinished obelisk, back to boat and cruising to Kom Ombo, touring here (we almost got left behind as they have a very tight schedule when specific boats dock and others leave). Cruised overnight to Edfu for early visit to temples and calesh rides to/from. Cruise thru lunch to Esna to tour temple here... later waited our turn thru the Esna locks... which was a hoot with vendors on shore trying to sell to those on-board. Evening we docked in Luxor. We were on the Movenpick boat so they dock on Crocodile Island rather than in Luxor proper. It's a short shuttle from the Movenpick hotel here to downtown; or inexpensive taxi.

Following morning, very early up for visit to VofK and VofQ; we had tickets for Tomb of Nefretari (believe now closed, again), then lunch. In the afternoon, late, visit to Luxor and Karnak Temples, which we decided against, rather did some shopping and met up with some other passengers for drinks along the waterfront and dinner in the old souk. At night did Light and Sound at Karnak.

While others left after breakfast next morning (new group of tourists coming in for lunch) we checked-out (leaving our bags) took shuttle into Luxor and did the two temples on our own - Luxor and Karnak. Boy was it hot. In the afternoon returned to the boat where we had access to the sun deck, till early evening transfer to the airport for return flight to Cairo.

We had so much fun in Luxor on our own... could have been back in NYC; I Getting lost in the souk (of course), asking for directions, everyone telling us different things, then deciding on our own to find our way... tears are rolling as I write this. Travel is so fun!

Not rushed, but I can't vouch for a 3/night trip vs the 4/night we had. And, as I mentioned above, there are so many new boats on the Nile, I can't comment on those listed. I know the Oberoi, Sonesta and Movenpick boats get good reviews, but if you check for these, do find out when they were last refurbished. The weather here does take it's toll on the boats, so be sure it's been the last year or two. Certainly, no more than 3/yrs.

Good luck, as I know you'll enjoy Egypt tremendously.
 
Old Aug 22nd, 2006, 06:32 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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The boats go back and forth between Luxor and Aswan so it doesn't matter where you get on board. And they make the same stops. All ships are pretty much the same except you have to decide how much you want to spend. If you want a lower cost, you'll have to get a ship that carries more passengers. If you get a ship that holds fewer passengers, it will have more amenities but will cost more per person. Hope that helps.
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