Nour el Nil

Luxor - Aswan, Egypt

Lodging

SLEEPING

Nour el Nil has 4 boats: Assouan and Malouka (both sleeping 16), El Nil and Meroe (both sleeping 20). All are similarly stylish, so you just book a room type and get allocated to a boat, unless you choose to book a whole boat exclusively for a big group. You have a choice of rooms - panoramic, luxury and standard - though not all boats have all types of rooms. None of the rooms are big, but the standard rooms are most certainly small and we advise you chose a luxury or panoramic instead. However, if all you’re going to do is sleep in it…

Standard and luxury rooms run along both sides of the boat. Each overlooks the river and those on the left (or ‘port’ for readers of a naval inclination) get the morning light. They all come in the same style (though luxury are slightly bigger): panelled walls painted white, windows giving watery views, comfy beds dressed in crisp white linen, shiny wooden floors. Colour comes from scatter cushions, while ensuite showers do the trick (the pressure isn’t great and you’ll end up using the hand-held alternative, which is more than good enough). There's odd small thing - a cupboard door that doesn’t close properly, a loose-fitting socket - but overall it's impeccable.

The big question you need to answer is this: do you want the bed to be made up as a double or two singles? Double beds stretch from one side of the cabin to the other and you will have to jump on at the base, but twins come with a neat little walkway in between. All the rooms have good storage with drawers below the beds and separate cupboards, too. Windows are also rather clever and slide out of the wall in various forms that can be used in any combination: French shutters; mosquito shutters, old-fashioned glass.

The two rooms at the back – the panoramic suites – are bigger (not huge) and have space for a table and chairs as well as a bookcase. They come in the same style, but have a chandelier thrown in as well. Their main attraction is the vast window that fills the rear wall, framing views of the Nile. The windows themselves open in such as way to allow you to sit over the stern of the boat.

EATING

Breakfast is served informally at the front of the boat. You loll about on sofas while kind staff bring plate after plate. You can have omelettes or boiled eggs (occasionally a hard-boiled egg!), there are countless plates of pancakes, then honey to pour upon them. If you want, you can have a plate of delicious tomatoes, or a basket of bread or toast. There’s mango juice, tea and coffee, then more pancakes…

Lunch and dinner are served at the table in the middle of the shaded deck. You eat on Limoges china. The food is relatively straightforward: the freshest salads, chicken or fish, aromatic rice, a plate of fruit to finish. Dinner is a little more substantial, perhaps asparagus soup to start, more fantastic salads, meatballs or moussaka followed by mango sorbet or coconut cake. It’s fresh and healthy and, although sticklers might say it's a little repetitive, you’ll be more than happy with it. You can wash it all down with a bottle of beer or a glass of Egyptian wine (available on board, but not included in rates). If the weather is cold (and at night in winter it often is), you drop down below and eat in a country-house sitting room.


signature

Reviewed by Tom Bell, photography by Dylan Chandler

Features include:

  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • All meals included
  • Bar
Save to favouritesPrintMailNour el NilIt is hard to overstate the sheer magnificence of sailing down the Nile on one of these glorious dahabiyyas, but be assured itís the trip of a lifetime and a seriously stylish one at that. Seven chandeliers illuminate the deck, while beautifully embroidered cushions and sofas line each side. The idea is that you plonk yourself down, then lose yourself in the raft of images that pass before you. It is highly unlikely that any of the Pharaohs travelled in such style. It takes 6 days to meander from Luxor to Aswan. You breakfast in the sun at the front of the ship, then decant to see something wonderful, perhaps a visit to a Pharaonic quarry or an enormous temple that spent centuries buried under sand. You can walk in the desert, swim in the river, visit a farm, sunbathe on the poop deck, and if the wind is blowing, great sails will be unfurled and you will glide across the water in serene silence. [i!/places_to_stay_lodging.php?hotel_key=1476!Rooms] below are small, but youíll spend your time up on deck, and they are also sweet, with super-comfortable beds and screens to defeat mosquitoes. As for the crew, theyíre as good as their boat, a highlight of your cruise. Unmissable, so donít balk at the price.

Plan your trip

Do you need help?

Many questions are already answered in our FAQs, otherwise, email us at: help@i-escape.com