Nile Cruise Trip NotesAt Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.
Trip code: EAEN
Trip length: 10
Trip starts in: Cairo
Trip ends in: Cairo
Maximum group size: 20
Minimum group size: 6
OverviewEgypt has an enthralling history and a wealth of well-preserved monuments and treasures. This trip allows you to visit all the sites and attractions along the Nile in a comfortable fashion: from the last remaining wonder of the ancient world, the Great Pyramids at Giza, to the vibrant Nubian culture at Aswan, we incorporate all the significant places of interest. We board our cruise boat at Luxor and, travelling upstream, we watch traditional life pass by, visiting Edfu and Kom Ombo along the way. The lush green banks and the beautiful sunsets over the Nile, together with the excellent onboard facilities (which can be enjoyed during sailing and when moored) make this a great way to travel. A thoroughly enjoyable trip.
Visit to Egyptian Museum, Al Azhar mosque and lively Bazaar. We begin with a visit to the incredible Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, which contains relics dating back to 4000 BC, including the fantastic riches of Tutankhamun's tomb. Here is the unique opportunity to survey the many fabulous treasures of Egypt in one place and to set the scene for the rest of the tour. Following our visit to this amazing museum we experience modern day Cairo with a visit to Al Azhar mosque, Cairo's oldest mosque and university, and the small alleyways and streets that make up Cairo's popular bazaar. Dating back to AD970, Al Azhar mosque is a busy and popular mosque today, frequently visited by locals and thus well worth a visit. We will need to cover up (longs sleeves and trousers) as when entering all mosques. Women will also need to cover their hair with a scarf. This evening we take the overnight sleeper train to Luxor: dinner is served on the train.
Stepping into the New Kingdom with visits to the Valley of the Kings, Luxor and Karnak Temples. We arrive in Luxor in the early morning and cross the Nile to the West Bank. Here we see the Valley of the Kings, which contains the once hidden tombs of over 62 Pharaohs, including Tutankhamun, Seti I, Ramses III and IV. A discreet entrance in the hillside takes the visitor underground; a series of corridors and ante-chambers leads us down to the burial chamber and sarcophagus. The walls are covered in brightly painted images and hieroglyphs - a map of the afterlife to ensure the king's safe passage. One ticket allows us to see three tombs. The ticket usually allows entry into what are regarded as the most impressive tombs, however if you have time a visit to the tomb of Ramses VI is highly recommended. Visits to tombs are now strictly controlled to halt further deterioration of wall paintings - each tomb is periodically closed for a number of weeks. In the afternoon we cross back to the east bank of the Nile and visit Luxor Temple and the huge Karnak Temple complex. Built over 1500 years, Karnak is a confusion of pylons, courtyards, halls and sanctuaries. Its Hypostyle hall has 134 columns 23 metres high and 15 metres in diameter! Both temples are incredibly impressive. In the evening we settle in to our accommodation on the cruise boat.
On the Nile. We will spend this time on our cruise boat, which travels upstream from Luxor to Aswan. Exact sailing and excursion times cannot be guaranteed for each individual trip but we will visit the temples of Edfu, famous for its roofed inner temples and huge Pylon, and Kom Ombo. The cruise boat has good facilities: a sundeck with sun loungers, bar and small pool, restaurant, gift shop and library - these can all be taken advantage of when the cruise boat is docked or during sailing. The sunsets over the Nile are truly stunning and travelling from Luxor to Aswan, watching traditional Egyptian life pass by and the beauty of the verdant lush landscape make this journey special.
End of stay on cruise boat and start to discover Aswan. Today we end our time on the Nile and spend the evening discovering the bazaar and corniche in Aswan. Aswan is a laid-back, sleepy town that reflects the character of its largely Nubian inhabitants, and enjoying the atmosphere of this southerly town is a highlight for many on this trip
Traditional felucca and optional afternoon visit to Philae temple. This morning we have time once again on the Nile, but this time to we travel by felucca, the traditional Egyptian sailing boat. Travelling by felucca, we can truly savour the tranquillity of the Nile and the beauty of the surrounding landscape, where the vast desert almost reaches the water's edge. In the afternoon there is the option to visit the Nubian Museum, situated opposite the hotel. Opened in April 1998, the museum chronologically charts the history and culture of the Nubian people. Alternatively, we can arrange an optional visit to Philae Temple. Relocated in the 1970s by UNESCO to Aglika Island after it became evident that the original site of Philae would submerge on completion of the Aswan High Dam, Philae is a magnificent and enduring testament to both ancient and modern engineering. During this excursion we will also visit Aswan High dam and Cleopatra's unfinished obelisk.
Optional visit to Abu Simbel. Today many people will take the chance for an optional visit Abu Simbel, 300 km. to the south through the Nubian Desert. Built by Ramses II the two temples are certainly some of the most spectacular in Egypt. Originally on the banks of the Nile, the temples were raised to a new site above the lake in the late 1960s, as the waters from the new Lake Nasser rose behind the Aswan High Dam. The four great seated statues of Ramses II now continue stare east towards the rising sun. Please note that the excursion to Abu Simbel is always a very early start (3/4/5am): the exact time depends on the flight or convoy departure times from Aswan. These vary from season to season. Tonight we travel by sleeper train back to Cairo: dinner is served on the train.
Visit the Pyramids at Giza. On arrival in Cairo we head to Giza. Home to the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus and the timeless and enigmatic Sphinx, these great monuments to the afterlife defy the imagination. Only the throng of sightseers, Egyptian and foreign, milling around their huge foundations, keep the viewer in the 21st century. The afternoon is free to relax at the hotel and enjoy the pool or visit Cairo's bustling streets for one last time.
Meals & AccommodationAll breakfasts, 4 lunches and 6 dinners included.
3 nights 4/5-star hotels, 4 nights 5-star cruise boat, 2 nights sleeper train.
Single room supplementA single room supplement is available. This does not guarantee a single room for all accommodation. Please contact us to discuss this as accommodation varies from trip date to trip date. Single supplement prices from:
Trip gradesMixed Activity
Adult Group Holidays
TransportTravel by minibus, 5-star cruise boat and overnight sleeper train.
FitnessThis trip has been graded as grade A (leisurely.) Leisurely grade trips are suitable for all clients with average health and fitness. No experience of any activity involved is necessary. Egypt can get hot, especially during our summer, which can cause discomfort whilst travelling. Care should be taken to drink a lot of bottled water. The hottest months tend to be June to September when temperatures can reach as high as 38 to 40 degrees in the South of the country. The hotels and cruise boat that we use on this trip are of a high standard. The train journey used is an overnight sleeper train. The facilities used are good by Egyptian standards. These are wash facilities in the 2 berth cabins and toilets at the end of each carriage. This being said, the standard of the train is not up to those experienced on the Swiss Rail Network and you should come with this in mind! Ramadan Please note that the holy month of Ramadan will take place from 20th July - 18th August 2012 (dates can shift slightly). This is a time when followers of Islam do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. This can sometimes affect the opening hours of certain tourist sites. However we will ensure that that the itinerary is affected as little as possible if you travel during this period. Food and drink is available to tourists during the day.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at firstname.lastname@example.org