A relaxing way to enjoy the numerous sights and mystical temples of Egypt is to cruise along the River Nile. A typical 4 day-route starts from Luxor and ends at Aswan or vice versa.
At Luxor, I boarded the luxury Swiss Cruise liner, the Mövenpick Radamas II. The cruise liner is huge, with 4 floors of deluxe rooms and a deck with swimming pool for guests to bask in the sun.
The first stop at Luxor was to visit The Karnark Temple and Luxor Temple. Tourists arrived by the bus load and you see hordes of people thronged the temple ground. The Karnak Temple is the largest in Egypt and it’s highly recommended to go with a local guide. Looking at the monuments and majestic statues, one just can’t help feeling in awe of the rich Egyptian history.
The next day, the tour continued with a visit to the Colossi of Memnon, the two gigantic statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III seated on his throne. It’s amazing to know that these two statues have already been around for more than 3000 years.
At the west bank of Luxor, continue to visit the tombs of The Valley of the Kings. The Valley of Kings is known to house 63 royal tombs and chambers from the New Kingdom. Each entry ticket entitles one to visit only 3 tombs. Upon entry, the guard at the door will punch a hole into the ticket. Do note that photography is not allowed within The Valley of Kings and the guards are very strict on this rule. Next stop is the Queen Hatshepsut Temple, the first female pharaoh in Egyptian history. Looking from afar, Queen Hatshepsut Temple looks like a grand parliament palace with its terraces and columns. The Egyptian hieroglyphics have stood the test of time and some of the coloured inscriptions are still clearly visible.
From Luxor, the cruise liner sailed towards Edfu. Upon disembarkment, a horse carriage ride was arranged to take us to The Temple of Edfu. This is the largest temple dedicated to Falcon God Horus. Standing guard in front at the entrance is a granite statue depicting Horus in the form of a Falcon. This is one of the best preserved temples in Egypt. We went back to the cruise liner for lunch and set sail to our next destination.
The next stop was at Kom Ombo. The key attraction here is the Temple of Sobek and Horus. This temple is dedicated to the Crocodile God Sobek and Falcon God Horus.
The last destination for the cruise was at Aswan which concludes with a trip to Abu Simbel. The journey to Abu Simbel from Aswan took 3hrs and this is definitely the highlight of the trip. (For a detailed write up, refer to my previous article on Abu Simbel)
Cruising along the River Nile is a relaxing way to explore the temples in Egypt. There’s no need to change hotels at different locations and unlike travelling on coach, you get the comfort of the bed at all times. It’s also never boring in a cruise liner; there are different themes every night with performances and parties to match the themes. Guests can also mingle at the deck with a free flow of drinks during teatime. Taking a cruise ride is not only a great way to travel, you can also get to know more friends during lunch, dinner or suntan time.
In view of the recent street protest in Cairo, many countries have issued travel alert to Egypt. This is very saddening as Egypt is a nice country to visit and tourism is a major source of income for the Egyptians. I do hope that the protest ends quickly and peacefully and tourists continue to visit this beautiful land.