There are so many ways to enjoy the Nile.
You can take a Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan. Andreas calls this trip Egypt’s E ticket ride (I try to remind him that the number of people who actually remember E tickets is getting pretty small); we always recommend it to anyone who’s coming to Egypt for a week or more. While chugging sedately from one ancient temple to the next (I’m saving the temple pictures for another post), you can enjoy the river views from a lounge chair on the roof deck. In this rural region you see how Egypt’s fertile land is just a narrow strip on both sides of the Nile, with desert beyond extending past the horizon.
Or you could book a cruise on a dahabiya. This is for when you are channeling your inner Amelia Peabody. If I take the Luxor-Aswan trip again, it will be on one of these luxurious old-fashioned double sailed barges. The pictures are from one of the dahabiya companies, Nour el Nil. Looks nice, eh?
A couple of our colleagues have actually lived right on the Nile in Cairo, on a houseboat. The boats are permanently moored but you get the feel of the waves when the water taxis pass by. The view will make you wonder why you’d live anywhere else.
I’ve written before about how one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon in Cairo is on a felucca. There are several places along the Nile in Cairo where you can hire a man to take you and your friends out for an hour or two on one of these sailboats.
If the felucca is too tame, you can get a group together and hire a party boat. These feature lots of colored lights and loud dance music; whenever we go out on a felucca, there are always a few of these on the river too.
If your party is really big, you can rent a really big party boat. The international school system we work for held a conference in Cairo for all its teachers, and one night all several hundred of us went out for a cruise on this big ol’ tourist boat. There was a buffet banquet and some very touristy entertainment.
Or, if you want to do something really classy, you can spend an evening on the “Christina yacht.” The Christina’s Greek captain (looking the part with his cap and pipe) will take you and about 20 of your besties up the Nile and back to the soundtrack of your own playlist. Attentive servers make sure everyone’s glasses stay filled. After the sun sets, a tasty buffet dinner is served. Our friend Hannah’s family is here visiting from New Zealand, so Hannah arranged Thursday night’s dinner cruise on the Christina in their honor. Hurray for Hannah, Liz, and Kelvin; we all had such a great time!