There are so many beautiful places to visit in Africa and Egypt is definitely no exception. Taking an Egyptian River Cruise will give you such a different experience than the typical cruises Americans take each year. Make it your New Year’s resolution to try something new this year for vacation.
Combining classic hospitality with some of the most stunning scenery on the planet, such cruises hark back to a golden age when Egypt’s ancient treasures were first being uncovered. Here are the highlights of a Nile river cruise, which can all be visited on a two week trip.
Cairo Minarets and domes decorate the skyline of Cairo, coffee houses and bazaars spilling over with spices and silver. Haggle for luxury carpets and silverware in the bazaar, retreat to the polished courtyard of the Mohammed Ali mosque, and view the 120,000 objects housed in the Egyptian Museum. Tutankhamun’s iconic death mask is found here, the polished blue and solid gold dazzling in the museum lights. The collection of ancient treasures and curiosities set you up for exploration of the ancient sites.
The Pyramids – One of the original Seven Wonders of the World, the Giza Pyramids lie a short ride from Cairo and an excursion there is included in many of the best River Cruises. Built as far back as 2500BC, the pyramids are magnificent, as are the stories of their construction and the mystery which surrounds them. Visits in the evening include a magnificent light and sound show, when the voice of the sphinx tells tales of history and ancient nobility.
Temple of Karnak – The avenue of the sphinxes is found here, rows of these noble creatures leading the way to courtyards surrounded by grand columns. This is also a wonderful introduction to some of the Egyptian Gods. Statues and carvings decorate the stonework, where ancient stories are told in detailed hieroglyphs.
Colossi of Memnon – Sat like two crumbling giants on the west bank of the Nile, the colossi look like something from an ancient fable- kings turned to stone, or the guardians of a magical gateway. On the opposite bank to Luxor, the two are sure to be visited on a Nile river cruise and reveal something of the scale and ambition of the ancient empire.
Valley of the Kings – Burial place for ancient kings and their wealth of possessions, the Valley of the Kings is a series of underground tombs and chambers decorated with beautifully preserved murals and hieroglyphs. With new discoveries still being made, there is still an air of mystery about this area, and the power of the pharaohs is demonstrated by the time and effort spent decorating their tombs and sarcophagi.
Abu Simbel – One of the most magnificent temples in all of Egypt, colossal statues of Ramesees II are carved into the rock around the entrance. The site is spectacular when viewed from the deck of the cruise ship, most notably at sunset. The smaller temple is one of the only examples in the country dedicated to a Queen, and was built to honor Ramesees’ chief consort Nefertari. Info on Uganda is found here.