How to Score a Cheap Egypt Nile Cruise

How to Score a Cheap Egypt Nile Cruise

Taking an Egypt Nile Cruise is one of the quintessential things to do in this country, but if you’re anything you like me, you probably have reservations about how expensive this notoriously tourist experience might be.

But fear not, I managed to score a bargain-priced Nile cruise when I was in Egypt and now, to help you do the same, here’s the full lowdown on how… 


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Egypt, Nile Cruise, Sunset Pool
So, What Is an Egypt Nile Cruise All About?

Basically an Egypt Nile Cruise is a great way to travel between the southern cities of Luxor and Aswan (or visa versa) in Egypt.

Both of these destinations are must-see cities on your Egypt itinerary and while it is possible to travel by road or train between Luxor and Aswan, taking a cruise up (or down) the Nile between them is a much nicer way to travel.

Yup, normally lasting between 3-5 nights, drifting slowly up the world’s most famous river as you laze by a pool and take in the amazing views really is a spectacular experience.

Don’t you agree?

And that’s not to mention the temples you get to see along the way, which are otherwise difficult to get to.

This makes an Egypt Nile cruise a classic traveller experience in this country and after the fabulous time I had, I highly recommend getting it on your list.

 

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Egypt, Aswan, Me at Philae

Aswan to Luxor Vs Luxor to Aswan

So after deciding you want to make a Egypt Nile Cruise, the next thing to plan is in which direction to take it.

Generally speaking, Luxor to Aswan cruises follow a longer itinerary than Aswan to Luxor routes.

If you’re on a budget therefore, it’s likely making the latter journey is going to work out more cost effective for you, simply because it’s shorter.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that each leg of the cruise normally includes a tour in the respective city of your final destination.

i.e. If you’re travelling from Aswan to Luxor, a day exploring Luxor’s attraction like the Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple will be included in your itinerary.

Likewise, if you’re travelling from Luxor to Aswan, a day exploring Aswan and /or Abu Simbel will be included in the cruise programme.

If you’re planning to stay in either Luxor or Aswan for a few days either side of your cruise therefore, another great way to keep the price of your Egypt Nile cruise down is cut the programme short, check into a Luxor or Aswan hostel and see the attractions in this city independently.

Looking for the best budget accommodation in Aswan?
Look no further than the amazing Eka Dolli Guest House, perhaps my favourite spot in the whole of Egypt!

Egypt, Aswan, Nile

Normal Costs of an Egypt Nile Cruise

Egypt Nile cruises can however be expensive.

Just have a look online at the prices offered by companies and you’ll probably take a large and sharp inhale!

Yes these cruise packages offered online or by travel agencies in Egypt start from around $200 per day and that’s just for a basic ship – roughly equivalent to a 3*star hotel.

Generally these prices include 3 meals a day, plus use of all ship facilities and some temple tours, but nevertheless it’s pretty steep.

And that’s because booking online or through an agency in Egypt means you’re covering a huge level of commission.

In order to get the best prices therefore, you need to cut out the middle man for your Egypt Nile cruise and head straight to the source (pun intended!)

Egypt, Luxor, Ramses II at Night

 

5 Things You Shouldn’t Travel to Egypt Without

#1 Egypt Lonely Planet – An excellent resource when it comes to finding out the history of what you’re seeing in Egypt without the need for a guide, the Egypt Lonely Planet is a must.

#2 Head Lamp – Great for taking into tombs to get an even better look at the amazing artwork and inscriptions. I love my Black Diamond Storm, which has served me super well throughout Africa.

#3 Sun Hat – Temple viewing means many hours in the hot sun of Egypt. Do yourself a favour and bring a wide-brimmed hat to protect you. I love this Hello Sunshine design.

#4 Egyptian Arabic Phrasebook – Egypt has its own slant on Arabic so, even if you know some of this language, an Egyptian Arabic Phrasebook will help you out a lot here.

#5 Travel Insurance – A good idea whenever you travel in Africa, I love travel insurance from World Nomads and have used it throughout my time in Egypt and beyond.

 

Egypt, Nile Cruise, Pool

How to Score a Cheap Nile Cruise

So how do you cut out the middleman?

Well first of all, you need to be in Egypt to make sure you are booking direct.

This does mean leaving your cruise slightly to the last minute, which may prove difficult if you have a jam-packed, tight or well-planned itinerary.

However if you are even slightly flexible, it’s generally possible to find a cheap Nile cruise just a few days ahead of time.

With this in mind, it’s also worth considering the season in which you’re travelling to Egypt.

It goes without saying that travelling in shoulder or low season is going to make it a lot easier for you to score a cheap Nile cruise.

So, if you’re yet to book your trip to Egypt at all, I’d definitely recommend avoiding the peak season of Nov-Feb and heading there during the shoulder season of Sept-Nov and Feb-April instead.

I visited Egypt in March and it was perfect, with delightful weather and much fewer crowds than I’m told are there in the high tourist season.

The second thing you need to bear in mind when trying to score a cheap Nile cruise is that the ships only run on certain days.

What I mean by this, is that there aren’t cruises ferrying up to Aswan or down to Luxor every day of the week.

Normally there are departures 2/3 times a week, but again it’s worth being a bit flexible with your dates when trying to score a cheap deal.

Egypt, Edfu Temple, Pylon

How to Avoid the Travel Agencies

So the best thing to do for your cheap Nile cruise is, as I’ve said, to cut out the middleman and go direct.

I’d read many blogs when I got to Egypt about heading straight onto the ship to score a cheap cruise, but I actually find this information wasn’t useful.

In Luxor, it was time consuming and ultimately unproductive walking between the many different ships trying to find when they were leaving, where to and whether they had space.

Also, new ships come and go daily, so keeping track of which ones you have and haven’t approached is time-heavy and often, success poor.

That’s not to mention the fact that a ship which might be leaving on your intended day of departure, with space for a couple of cheap last-minute bookings, may only dock the day before you want to leave.

Having the time to find this boat, head to this boat, talk to the staff, score a place on it and be ready to leave all within the space of an evening may be unrealistic.

At least it was in my case.

As such, I highly recommend seeking out some of the cruise scouts. These are basically guys that work on behalf of lots of different ships, filling the vacant places they have with last minute bookings.

As I was sailing from Aswan to Luxor, I managed to find a great guy in Aswan, down by the ships, who  hooked me up with a stellar deal – just $40 USD per day for a 3 day cruise to Luxor!

Egypt, Nile Cruise, Ship Sunset

My Egypt Nile Cruise

So yes, my 3 night cruise on the Nile cost me just $120!

This included 3 meals a day, a lovely cabin and a guided tour of Luxor, plus the possibility to see both Kom Ombo and Efnu Temples.

The itinerary ran also follows:

Day 1: Board ship in Aswan, sail to Kom Ombo, visit the temple, sail to Efnu.

Day 2: Visit Efnu Temple, sail to Luxor.

Day 3: Visit Luxor with a guided tour, final night aboard ship.

Day 4: Disembark in Luxor.

The level of service and provision I got was exactly the same as everybody else on the ship, except they had paid possibly 5 times more than me!

And in between all the temple viewing, I thoroughly enjoyed lazing by the pool, sunning myself and watching the Nile sail by!

Egypt, Kom Ombo Temple, Hieroglyphs

My Contacts for a Cheap Cruise

And so here they are people, my direct contacts for scoring a cheap Egypt Nile Cruise.

(I’d like to point out that, in no way, have I been sponsored, nor am I affiliated with either of these individuals. I just like helping fellow budget travellers out and can’t be held responsible for any trips you book with the below contacts.)

  • First up, the manager of the ship – Quest Cruise – I sailed with.

His name is Nasser and can be contacted for direct bookings on +20 112 666 000 41 or emailed on [email protected]

  • Secondly, the cruise scout who I actually booked my trip through:

Montasser Mohamed. He can be contact by phone on +20 122 33 59 105 or + 20 111 638 5004, on Whatsapp on +20 102 511 1063 or on email at [email protected].

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So there you have it folks, the full lowdown on how I scored my cheap Egypt Nile Cruise.

Hope you manage to get a bargain too!

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About the Author

About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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