Cruise and Stay – a delicious concoction derived from mixing a land and sea (er ... river) based holiday is perhaps the best way to enjoy the ancient wonders of the longest river in the world – the blue Nile. The river Nile in its lengthy course has influenced Egyptian civilisation – one of the lengthiest in time too. Just as Blaise Pascal rightly conjectures – had Cleopatra’s nose been shorter, world history would have changed course; one can say – had the Nile been shorter, Egypt would not be what it is. No visit to Egypt would be justified if it does not include a Nile cruise and stay holiday.
A Nile river cruise is most enjoyable between the cooler months of October to mid April; after which the locks remain closed on the river Nile. Cruise operators though arrange for boats to circumvent the locks on either side, making it possible to holiday throughout the year. Based on the boat and accommodation, prices range between USD $ 55 to almost $300 per night with a 25% to 20% increase during Christmas and Easter. Typically, Nile cruises are for three, four or seven nights. A complete fortnightly tour of Egypt would necessarily be a Nile cruise and stay to encompass Cairo and perhaps Abu Simbel.
Cruising along the meandering Nile is a once-in-a-lifetime experience one would want to repeat again and again. No wonder cruise line companies offer discounts and bonus to enable one to save for the Nile cruise and stay deal. The boat takes us on a journey through the stark but lovely timeless deserts spanning the land of the pharaohs. As you move down the river, it also feels as if one is going down in history. Viewing rural Egypt, with folks living out of mud brick houses, tending farms with wooden ploughs; donkey-carts capture history alive to the delight of the tourist adrift on board.
The highpoints of the Nile cruise and stay – soaking in the valley of Kings, enjoying the sounds of the Temple of Horus or spanning the Aswan High Dam in a felucca; followed by a stay at either Luxor or Hurghada. Luxor - home to a plethora of splendid sites where even a week falls short to explore vies with Hurghada - a sea resort on the Red Sea coast famous for its diving and delicious seafood joints. Watch the Pyramids and Sphinx one day and the River of Gods next. The ever-changing yet timeless tableaus have never failed to entrance visitors for as long as the dawn of Egyptian Civilisation.