Having already visited the Pyramids and Sphinx in Cairo and the sights in Alexandria whilst on a sea cruise, we were very interested to visit Egypt again and take in the numerous wonders down the river Nile. So this year we decided to take a river cruise on the Nile onboard the M/S Farah. This river boat is one of the newer ones on the Nile (there are 350 in total) and has an instantly favourable impression when you arrive in the lobby. The boat is modern, light and spacious with a minimal design scheme. The cabins are spacious and well equipped with windows looking out onto the river.
Your private guide will be with you onboard the boat and spend time with you discussing the itinerary and maybe altering things slightly to suit your needs. The sights en route are numerous and if you are on a 4 night cruise you will be sight-seeing every day. However, if you are on a 7 night cruise the pace is much slower and you will have more time to spend relaxing on the boat. On the East Bank you will be visiting Karnack and the Luxor Temple to which you will be driven to in a private taxi. The sail to Edfu is interesting as you will be sailing through the Esna Lock and everyone will be up on deck watching the numerous boats navigate through locks only just wide enough for them. Whilst moored up in Edfu you will visit the Temple of Horus by horse and cart, which is quite an experience. The Temple of Kom Ombo is reached by an easy short walk from the boat. Once in Aswan you will visit the Dam by taxi, and also be taken to a boat in order to motor across to an island to visit the Temple of Philae. Whilst in Aswan you will also be able to take a sail in a Felucca, wind permitting. When back in Luxor you will have the West Bank to visit, including the Valley of Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut and the Colossi Memnon. Your experienced guide will be with you on every visit and you will find their historical knowledge fascinating. All the sights are truly amazing, but you really need to experience them in order to appreciate their magnitude.
The banks of the Nile are very beautiful. Fertile and green at times and desert like in places. It is very quiet and peaceful when sailing but you will also find lots of activity on the river as well. Children playing in the river, women washing their clothes at the waters edge and men fishing. There will be lots of cattle cooling off in the water and also a great number of bird life, including pied kingfishers.
Back on board the boat, your stay will be very comfortable and relaxing, the staff are very helpful and accommodating and the choice and quality of food of a very high standard. There will be entertainment on a few of the nights, including a Belly Dancer, Egyptian Tannoura and Nubian Shows. There will also be a Galabia Party where you are given the opportunity to dress in traditional Egyptian costumes, which are available to purchase in the onboard shop.
Egypt is now experiencing their best tourist season since the revolution in 2011. Even so, the sights were never too crowded and there was always plenty of space to walk around. We found the Egyptians to be very cheerful and friendly and you will have the opportunity to experience their hospitality if you chose to visit any of the factories for essential oils, alabaster and papyrus. In these factories you will be shown the processes gone through to produce their products which are available to purchase if you so wish.
This was our first river cruise and we are now truly enamoured with it. I thought this would be our last visit to Egypt but there is always the possibility of going back to take a cruise on Lake Nasser as there are a lot more sights to see there.
This trip is to be recommended for being both relaxing and also stimulating, the sights on the whole trip being truly wonderful and amazing.