Five days Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor with MS Monica Cruise was a memorable experience during my solo trip to Egypt. Entirely, you can’t complete your Egypt tour without visiting the Great Pyramid of Giza and cruising the River Nile. It was magical sailing the Nile for the beautiful scenery and exploring some of the best ancient temples around the river’s west and east bank. Moreover, for the festive season, many indoor programs on the board became more entertaining. Read inside to know all the top tips and the itinerary for your first Nile cruise tour in Egypt.
Either you can enjoy a luxury cruise or a standard budget-friendly cruise trip. Your tour budget depends on the type of sail and the itinerary. My solo cruise trip on the MS Monica Nile Cruise was safe and full of fun. It was great to meet many tourists on the board from different countries. Indeed, I had a good time with good food and the best Nile river view. I joined in group tours for visiting ancient Egyptian temples. Each day we had new activities during the 5 Days 4 Nights Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor.
The overall arrangements and decorations of the 5-star luxury cruise ship of MS Monica Nile Cruise were outstanding. We had Spanish/English speaking tour guides for sightseeing tours. All strictly follow the safety guidelines. Every staff on the board was too cooperative and caring about each passenger.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Get To Aswan
- 2 Best Time To Cruise The Nile River
- 3 Nile River Cruise Tips
- 4 Nile River Cruise Review – MS Monica Nile Cruise
- 5 Nile River Cruise Itinerary [5 Days]
- 6 Are You On Pinterest? Click To Save These For Later Read!
How To Get To Aswan
The distance from Cairo to Aswan is 868.5 km. It is better to travel from Cairo to Aswan either by train or air. There is an overnight train service, which is the cheapest, but you have to travel one day before your cruise tour. It is easy and convenient to catch the daily flight from Cairo to Aswan for traveling the same day. It took only one and a half hours to reach by flight.
I traveled by EgyptAir, and the journey started at 7 AM from Giza to the Cairo International Airport. Our tour guide picks us from Aswan International Airport, and then by car dropped us to the cruise boat for five days.
Best Time To Cruise The Nile River
October to April is the best time sailing the River Nile for the weather and the holiday season. You’ll enjoy all the day trips during this time neither too hot nor too cold. It is even best to spend time inside your cabin room when enjoying the view from the balcony or the leisure time on the ship’s sun deck. But when sailing from Aswan to Luxor, you can’t ignore visiting the world’s top archaeological sites and ancient temples, so selecting the best month is a must for a perfect Nile River cruise trip.
Nile River Cruise Tips
- You can book a cruise either directly from the local agent or online. It all depends on availability. During the pick/holiday season, early booking is a good idea to avoid overpricing.
- According to the Nile cruise tour package, you’ll get a pickup and drop off from the train station, airport, or hotel you stay in; it can also be from Aswan. In the same way, you’ll get an airport or hotel transfer in Luxor.
- All Nile cruises from Aswan to Luxor come with full board and sightseeing tours mentioned in the itinerary. You’ve to pay extra for additional activities.
- No drinks included with each board meal, you have to pay extra.
- For Wi-Fi on the board, you have to pay extra.
- Tipping for the tour guide not included with the tour package. It is mandatory to pay extra.
- It is recommended to follow an appropriate dress code during your entire cruise trip. No swimsuits are allowed.
- For an affordable tour, you may decide to stay in any budget hotel near the Nubian Village riverside in Aswan. It is even fun to enjoy a Nile cruise on a traditional wooden Felucca boat anywhere from Aswan.
- It is also possible to cruise from Luxor to Aswan. Both cities are best for sailing the Nile River.
Moreover, don’t forget to check the top cruise packing list items before planning your first ever cruise trip around
Nile River Cruise Review – MS Monica Nile Cruise
The luxury MS Monica Nile Cruise offers air conditioning cabins with a Nile view for every tourist. They have a total of 74 cabins, and each cabin comes with a private balcony. All cabins’ average size is 20 square meters and has attached an en-suite bathroom with bathtub and toiletries. Each cabin is well-furnished with two single or double beds, a cupboard, TV, side table, and chairs.
There is a restaurant, dining room, bar & lounge, sun deck with lounge chairs, outdoor pool, gift shop. The sunset moment is best to enjoy from the upper deck.
Many food varieties from Egyptian food to the Mediterranean, Greek, and Spanish dishes served in the dining room. All meals from breakfast to dinner included with the tour package. Any dietary possible to follow from non-veg to veg and vegan.
Afternoon tea/coffee with snacks served on the sun deck.
MS Monica Nile Cruise also offers several Nile cruise packages for three nights, four nights, and seven nights from Luxor to Aswan and vice versa.
Nile River Cruise Itinerary [5 Days]
Four nights Nile River cruise itinerary packed with all the top sightseeing attractions from Aswan to Luxor. The first two days, the cruise boat docked up at the port in Aswan and then sailed along the Nile towards Kom Ombo, Edfu, Esna, and at last Luxor.
Day 1: Aswan
Cruise on a Felucca boat, Nubian Village
On the first day, the Nile River cruise started from the southern city of Egypt, Aswan. The decorative ship was fully ready to welcome all during the festive season.
The welcoming drink on a board was Karkade, a famous Hibiscus Iced Tea in Egypt. During the five days, the cruise will sail around the east and west bank of the Nile. A complimentary Egyptian sweet cookies box provided to all inside the cabin.
After lunch, we enjoyed a cruise on a Felucca boat. Sailing Feluccas on the Nile in Aswan is a prevalent and captivating scene. You’ll get the mountainous view along the blue water of the Nile. Sailing the River Nile on a traditional wooden boat Felucca is a must-do activity during your trip to Egypt.
Later in the evening, you may visit the colorful Nubian village. A tour in the Nubian village became popular where you’ll see pet crocodiles in a house. This activity not included with the tour package; your tour guide may arrange for you with extra charge.
It is also perfect for spending the time sitting and relaxing in the lounge chair on the deck during sunset hour.
The first-day buffet dinner was notable for Christmas Eve. The food decoration was fantastic; many food items served along with the traditional roast turkey. Egyptian desserts, especially pastries, were my favorite during my three weeks trip to Egypt.
Day 2: Aswan
Philae Temple, Cruise on a Felucca boat, Christmas Party
On the second day after breakfast, we visited the beautiful Temple of Philae, located on an island in the Nubia region. A pleasant boat ride will take you to reach this UNESCO World Heritage Site built in the first century AD. This classic Egyptian temple dedicated to the Goddess Isis. Every temple in Egypt has its significant beauty; it is my favorite temple from Aswan.
After lunch, I again joined a Felucca ride on the Nile. It was more fun with more tourists and also on board entertained us with music while selling souvenirs.
Then again, the sun deck time for the afternoon tea with cake. Here you can spend your time on your own.
At night Christmas party was after the dinner to entertain all on the board.
Day 3: Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu
Temples of Abu Simbel, Temple of Kom Ombo, Crocodile Museum
The third day began very early at 2 AM for a road trip to Abu Simbel Temples. It takes more than three hours to reach Abu Simbel, UNESCO World Heritage Site. A packed breakfast provided to all to have on the way after visiting the site.
It is best to explore the popular temple sites of Abu Simple during the sunrise when the sunlight directly falls on twin massive rock temples and looks too beautiful. The entire site faces Lake Nasser.
The first temple is the Great Temple of Ramesses II, and the second one is the Small Temple of Hathor and Nefertari. Both built during the reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BC. This temple dedicated to the Goddess Hathor and built for Queen Nefertari.
After lunch, the boat started to sail towards Kom Ombo town to visit the famous Temple of Kom Ombo built in the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 180 and 47 BC. We reached the city during sunset, and the Nile river view was stunning.
There is also a museum of crocodile mummies near Kom Ombo Temple. Both temple and the museum dedicated to the crocodile God Sobek and the falcon God Horus.
After dinner, the cruise continued to sail the Nile towards the city Edfu.
Day 4: Edfu, Esna, Luxor
Edfu Temple, Relaxing in the deck or outdoor pool
On the fourth day, early morning after breakfast, we left to visit the second-largest Edfu Temple built in the Ptolemaic Kingdom between 237 and 57 BC. Edfu Temple dedicated to God Horus. A horse carriage ride towards the temple was exciting.
Next, the cruise continued to sail towards Esna city on the west bank of the River Nile. During lunch hour, we crossed through the lock and headed towards Luxor.
In the afternoon, I enjoyed the relaxing time in the cabin and the deck while landscaping Nile’s beauty.
At night the ship anchored the beautiful city Luxor on the east bank of the Nile.
Day 5: Luxor
Valley of the Kings, Alabaster stone factory, Hatshepsut Temple, The Colossi of Memnon, Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple
The fifth day after breakfast, we checked out from the cruise to visit all Luxor’s top places.
We took the bus to visit first the huge Theban Necropolis on the west bank of the Nile River and explored the Valley of the Kings and Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut.
Valley of the Kings is the ancient burial ground of many royal tombs from the Pharaonic period. And near is the Hatshepsut Temple built for Hatshepsut, the Egyptian queen who ruled as a King. This temple dedicated to the God Amun.
The Colossi of Memnon, located on the west bank of the Nile. Two giant stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III built during the 18th dynasty of Egypt.
Karnak and Luxor are two ancient Egyptian temples on the east bank of the Nile.
The last stop was Karnak Temple, the oldest one in Egypt, built by Ramesses III in the 11th century. This historical temple with a total of 134 massive decorative columns became my favorite from Luxor. The Temple of Karnak dedicated to God Amun, Mut, and Khonsu.
It is also worth visiting the local bazaar of Luxor to buy stone products. Different handmade products of the famous Alabaster stone are popular, and I took one vase from the Alabaster stone factory shop near the Temple of Hatshepsut.
After five days of luxury Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor, I hit the road to the beach town Hurghada.
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Disclaimer: The review of MS Monica Nile Cruise is based on my four-night stay here. Every opinion is entirely my own.
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