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Best companies for Nile River cruises

Make for the ancient heart of Egypt with a cruise down the Nile.

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Feluccas on Nile River

The Nile River has always been an integral route through Egypt, be it for trade, transport or food. This is why you’ll find so many age-old temples, grand pyramids and vibrant bazaars peppered along its banks, and why a cruise along the Nile is certainly worth your time.

With so much to be explored in such a small area, a cruise to this North African gem can be squeezed into four days or stretched out as part of a two-week cruise. Here’s where you can find the best ships cruising along these ancient waterways.

Best cruises along the Nile River

Itineraries along the Nile are all similar, with round-trips from Luxor to Aswan being the norm. Here’s what sets each of these cruise lines apart.

Best for seniors: Viking River Cruises

While not exclusive to an older demographic, Viking River Cruises is notoriously popular among cruisers aged 50+. Educational lectures, language classes, and classical music are all the entertainment of choice and all-inclusive packages are offered for a seamless trip.
  • Room service included
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover Card, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for intimate luxury: Avalon

Boasting only 60 deluxe cabins and two ultra-luxe Royal Suites, there will never be more than 150 people on MS Farah. Staterooms are spacious, beds are draped with only the finest of Egyptian cotton, and when you choose a Royal suite you’ll have a separate sitting room to enjoy as well.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Paypal, Cheque
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Best for deals: Croisi Europe

As well as being one of the best value cruise lines on the Nile, offering great amenities for too-good-to-be-true prices, there’s almost always a deal to be had on CroisiEurope’s website. Deals range from last-minute rates on ships set to sail in the next two weeks, to discounts on group bookings for 12 or more.
  • No free room service
  • No free alcohol
  • Food included
  • No price matching
  • Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Carte Blanche
Price ($-$$$):
Book now

Contiki Cruises Logo

Best for solo backpackers: Contiki Cruises

Pandered towards travelers between the ages of 18-35, Contiki provides an affordable alternative to sailing down the Nile. Prices are all-inclusive of transfers, hotel stays, food, and local guides, so you can focus on meeting some like-minded travelers during your trip.

Intrepid Cruises Logo

Best for cultural experiences: Intrepid Cruises

Intrepid only employs guides and tour leaders who were born and raised in the country you’re visiting. Not only will you feel better about giving back to the community, but you’ll be shown the hidden street eats, get to grips with traditional arts and meet friendly locals every single day.

G Adventures Logo

Best for land-and-cruise tours: G Adventures

While the first half of G Adventures’ tours involve exploring the ancient relics of Egypt and sailing down the Nile on a traditional felucca boat, the second half delves into the world of Jordan and Israel. It’s here that you’ll discover even more hidden gems of the Middle East.

TravelTalk Logo

Best for young adventurers: TravelTalk

Leave the modern world behind and step onboard a traditional Egyptian felucca with TravelTalk’s nine-day package along the Nile, including a tour of Cairo, Aswan, and Luxor. While this is by no means a party boat, it’s worth knowing that it caters to a younger audience.

How we picked the best cruises

Cruising down the Nile is all about ancient history and unique attractions. So, we made sure the cruises on this shortlist stop at key ports and offer cruisers a variety of shore excursions or enough time to explore by themselves.

We evaluated facilities on board, such as entertainment, cabins and dining options, using our own experience and cross-referencing this with unbiased reviews and trusted travel websites to bring you the most up-to-date and transparent information.

When is the best time to go to the Nile?

Egypt’s climate is characterized by two seasons with cruises down the Nile running throughout the year.

  • Winter — November to April. With cooler temperatures between 60°F and 75°F, winter is by far the most comfortable season to cruise along the Nile. It also happens to be the most popular time to visit, so expect to be one of many on the water, especially during January and February when the humidity is particularly low.
  • Summer — May to October. It’s not unusual for temperatures to top 105°F during the Egyptian summer, which can make excursions to the temples and pyramids unpleasant. If you can handle the heat, there will be fewer tourists around at this time and you’ll have a better chance of getting your hands on a bargain cruise deal.

What are the must-do cruise excursions on the river Nile?

Discover the ancient wonders of Egypt, from pyramids to temples, all easily accessible from the banks of the Nile.

  • Cairo. As the largest city in Egypt, it’s worth tagging on a couple of days to the start or end of your cruise to explore the Giza Pyramids, Khan el-Khalili bazaar and Egyptian Museum.
  • Aswan. This relaxed river-side town is teeming with attractions, but if you have to pick only one, the Abu Simbel temples carved out of the mountainside are simply a must-do.
  • Luxor. Hidden behind Luxor is what may look like barren land. Look a little closer and you’ll see the Valley of the Kings where burial chambers and the tombs of the Pharaohs lie.
  • Botanical Island of Aswan. You’ll need to swap your cruise ship for a more traditional felucca boat to visit the Nile’s oasis of vibrant color.

Latest river cruise deals

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Bottom line

A cruise along the Nile will open up your eyes to the landscapes of one of the oldest waterways in the world. Check out these deals and discounts to make this unforgettable journey more affordable.

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