Luxor-Aswan Nile Cruise or independent?

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Apr 17th, 2001, 10:16 AM
  #1
Pam
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Luxor-Aswan Nile Cruise or independent?

My husband and I are planning to visit Egypt in February 2002. We are trying to decide whether or not to take a 4 night nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor or stay 2 nights Aswan and then travel the 130 miles to Luxor for 3 nights stopping along the way at Kom Ombo and Esna.

Is the cruise that fantastic, I understand that there is only about an hour cruise time between each stop. Has anyone done a private ground tour? I like the idea of being able to do things at our own leisure.

Also, I know the prices of the cruise lines, does anyone know how much a private tour guide in Aswan and Luxor would cost, as well as a guide in Esna and Kom Ombo? Is it worth it to wait and arrange tours through the hotel?

Thank you in advance for your help!

Pam
 
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Apr 17th, 2001, 03:22 PM
  #2
Jackie
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Hi Pam

My husband & I have just returned from a 7 day Nile cruise on RAMESES II of Egypt (a Shalkemey cruise) from the U.K. to Luxor, cruising down to Aswan. What a holiday! We'd recommed the cruise as the only way to go - it was good to retreat from the hustle & bustle of Egyptian street life which can be overbearing (but very exciting) at times! February is the best time to go - we went end of March & there was a heatwave - temperatures in the 100's! One of the highlights of our trip was flying from Aswan to Abu Simbel - quite expensive - but to go all that way and not see this amazing structure would be a shame! If you go, try to get the first flight of the day to catch the sunrise on the temple! Everyone we spoke to who stayed in one place in a hotel regretted doing so (even those who only did the 4 day cruise wished they had done the 7 day and missed out on the 'hotel' experience). Watch out for the ice in drinks, stay clear of anything eaten/drunk outside the boat, as you are liable to regret it! Best to play safe and enjoy the holiday - one of the best we've ever been on.

P.S. Don't miss Karnak Temple - one of the best.

Enjoy!

 
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Apr 18th, 2001, 03:34 AM
  #3
Dick
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Pam, the four of us (including 2 teenage daughters) took a cruise in late June as part of escorted tour. It was great to spend time on deck watching the countryside go by. Nice way to "unwind" from the visits here and there. Cabins were comfy. And, we cruised only during hours of daylight so one could see the sights. Egypt was hot in June but time on the boat was very relaxing. It has a small (and I mean small pool--mostly for simply getting wet). A ping pong table on deck provided the younger travelers another diversion. And, the lounge had a few board games and of course television. If we were to visit Egypt again, we certainly would go on the cruise.
 
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Apr 19th, 2001, 10:07 AM
  #4
Pam R
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Pam, I've taken 2 Nile cruises. They are wonderful. If you can, get up before the sun rises and sit on the deck and wait for it to rise. You start hearing all these bird noises, then the sun starts coming up, then you see great quantites of birds flying out of the marshes. As you sail, you will enjoy seeing people farming along the shore, kids swimming to your boat, ladies washing clothes and dishes in the water, men fishing by casting nets. The scenes are really Biblical. Don't miss it! (Aswan isn't that great. Very small, and much is new. Luxor is far more interesting, and there are many sights to see there.) Have a wonderful time.
 
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Apr 19th, 2001, 12:40 PM
  #5
Sandy
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Hi Pam,

We, too, took a cruise from Luxor to Aswan, stopping at Edna, Esna, Kom Ombo and enjoyed it very much. We were on a small ship and were the only Americans (there were about 10 UK/Irish and about 100 French and German tourists).

I disagree with the other Pam about Aswan, I liked it a whole lot more than Luxor. Luxor does have the huge temple complexes and the Valley of Kings/Queens, and a wonderful museum (don't miss it) but . . . Aswan is so much more laid back, so much more like you'd expect Egypt to be. The people didn't hassle us as much so it was much more fun to just walk around and look at daily living.

The food was wonderful in the riverside restaurants (I think we ate in all of them), we went on a short felluca ride and it was magical, we shopped for exotic fruits and jeweled-colored spices in the markets, we tried to sample everything that the local people were cooking on little cookers on the sidewalks, we rode around town in the kalishes (horse-drawn carts). . . we LOVED Aswan and hated to leave. It was a little dustier but that was just part of the charm.

I'll be interested in hearing about your trip when you return!
Sandy
 
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Apr 19th, 2001, 01:37 PM
  #6
Pam
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Well, I have booked a 4 night cruise on the Oberoi Philae from Aswan to Luxor. I am also planning to stay one night in both Aswan and Luxor as well. Thank you all for your advice, I will not be leaving until Feb 2002, but I will certainly post my experiences when I get back!

Pam
 
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Apr 23rd, 2001, 07:49 AM
  #7
Patricia
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One note. Sandy said they sampled everything the people were cooking on the street. We were warned not to eat ANYTHING that was cooked on the street. Maybe we were over-protected, but you do have to be very careful. Also, on our boat they had ice cubes made of mineral water. I had them several times and had no trouble.
 
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Apr 23rd, 2001, 09:00 AM
  #8
gail
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Just returned last night from 10 day tour including 4 nights on another Oberoi boat. I would have liked another night in Aswan, but the cruise was great. Actual sailing is only 2 days - it is not that far from Aswan to Luxor, with docking for a day in Luxor and a day in Aswan. No idea about guide prices. We took packaged Globus tour - of course, you give up some freedom with a tour but we never would have seen half of what we did without a tour - logistics, transportation, etc all being taken care of for us gave us more time to see stuff.
 
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Jun 9th, 2001, 08:16 AM
  #9
robin k
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Any other feedback ? I'm considering a visit to Egypt in late October; and also in similar situation between deciding whether to opt for cruise or go for independent travel.
 
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Jun 9th, 2001, 01:51 PM
  #10
michele
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We went to Egypt independently and booked the cruise from Luxor to Aswan here in the USA. We chose the Movenpick Radamis 2 and it was top-notch. The guide on the ship was very informative as well as being entertaining. The food was excellent as was the presentation. There's a small dipping pool up top and a shady area ( it was HOT in April). We got to Luxor one day before the cruise, but the cruise included Karnak, the museum, Edfu, and Philae. We stayed in Aswan two nights; flew to Abu Simbel one day, kicked around Aswan, had dinner at the Old Cataract Hotel ( lots of old world atmosphere) and flew back to Cairo to leave. I was reluctant to go on the cruise, but it really was relaxing and the guide was great.
 
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Jun 10th, 2001, 04:21 AM
  #11
Imo
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Do try and get off the boat and sample local cooking. From what I have seen the people doing cruises don't get a real impression of Egypt, they are sold a version that is available on the cruise ships. There are many great restaurants in Luxor for example. Two I would recommend is the Japanese restaurant in the Sonesta Hotel and for local cooking the Abouzeid restaurant near Karnak Temple. Both restaurants were fantastic.

If you want an alternative to a cruise but want to explore the Nile further a felucca trip might be an option, although they are very basic, ie no toilet facilities etc. But it is a languid way to explore the surrounding area with more flexibility.
 
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Jun 10th, 2001, 09:53 AM
  #12
michele
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What you might consider doing is arriving at Luxor the day before the cruise and staying an extra day in Aswan before returning to Cairo. This gives you a chance to spend time apart from a group. Also, the people on our cruise who got off in Aswan, flew to Abu Simbel, and then flew back to Cairo that same day were exhausted. Further, sometimes flight connections from Cairo to Luxor can be unreliable. It's not a bad idea to book a buffer day; an idea I got from one of the posters here.

M.
 
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