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Nour el Nil

Luxor - Aswan, Egypt

Sublime luxury awaits aboard these majestic sailboats, which float down the Nile in no great hurry, stopping at the sights others don’t see

It is hard to overstate the sheer magnificence of sailing down the Nile on one of these glorious dahabiyyas, but be assured it’s 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. Rooms below are small, but you’ll spend your time up on deck, and they are also sweet, with super-comfortable beds and screens to defeat mosquitoes. As for the crew, they’re as good as their boat, a highlight of your cruise. Unmissable, so don’t balk at the price.

Guest Ratings

Room:
100%
Food:
93%
Service:
100%
Value:
93%
Overall:
97%

Nour el Nil: View all reviews


signature

Reviewed by Tom Bell, photography by Dylan Chandler

Why we chose this partner

  • They have 4 boats, all equally beautiful, with 8-10 cabins each - which means good availability while retaining an intimate ambiance
  • Each cruise is hosted, which makes it a far more enriching experience
  • No other cruise takes you to such diverse, interesting places - these small dahabiyyas can moor at places large cruise ships can't
  • The crew of our boat were quite remarkable, all big hearts and wide smiles
  • Each boat has a shaded deck, where sofas, cushions and chandeliers offer kingly comforts as you glide down the Nile
  • These are true sail boats - not motorized - which adds to the sense of peace and relaxedness; though that does mean you are towed by a tug when there’s not enough wind to fill the sails, and you can only go in one direction (Luxor-Aswan, with the prevailing wind)

How the trip works

  • All cruises depart from Esna (near Luxor) on a Monday, and take 6 days, arriving in Aswan on a Saturday morning
  • You can choose your preferred boat (though they are much of a muchness) and room type
  • The best period is September to May, when it's cooler, but they operate all year round

Perfect for a fantasy vacation or a honeymoon...        

Frommer'sNour el Nil:  Read more press reviews
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.

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