How to Score a Cheap Egypt Nile Cruise

By on Published: May 31, 2018 | Last Updated: December 30, 2020 in Africa, Budget Travel Ideas, EGYPT with 111 Comments

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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So, What Is an Egypt Nile Cruise All About?

Egypt, Nile Cruise, Sunset Pool
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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Aswan to Luxor Vs Luxor to Aswan

Egypt, Aswan, Me at Philae

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.


Egypt, Aswan, Nile



Look no further than the amazing Eka Dolli Guest House, perhaps my favourite spot in the whole of Egypt!


Normal Costs of an Egypt Nile Cruise

Egypt, Luxor, Ramses II at Night

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!)



#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.


How to Score a Cheap Nile Cruise

Egypt, Nile Cruise, Pool

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.


How to Avoid the Travel Agencies

Egypt, Edfu Temple, Pylon

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!


My Egypt Nile Cruise

Egypt, Nile Cruise, Ship Sunset

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!


My Contacts for a Cheap Cruise

Egypt, Kom Ombo Temple, Hieroglyphs

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

  • 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

  • Thirdly, if you want to book something more secure and official, then this excellently priced 4 day cruise from Aswan to Luxor care of Get Your Guide is a great option for those with less flexible travel plans or for those who want greater peace of mind. AND it’s still priced under $250 USD per person.
  • Or, if you’re travelling in the other direction, then these great-priced Nile cruises departing from Luxor could be just the answer!




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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There Are 111 Brilliant Comments

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  1. cruisebay says:

    best blog i ever read thanks for such niceest blog

  2. Michael says:

    Hi Steph!
    My partner and I just had a read of this and we’re currently in contact with Montasser! Seems like he can help us out, but I guess there is a language barrier..

    I just wanted to ask how do I best pay him (e.g does he have an office?) and whether this transaction is considered legit?

    Apologies for my wariness as this is our first time in Egypt!!

    Looking forward to your reply 🙂

    • Steph says:

      Hi Michael – thanks for your comments. I think you also emailed me about this one and I’ve just replied, so please check your inbox for this. Otherwise, I paid Montasser a small deposit up front and the remainder once I’d seen the cabin and checked in on the boat. This worked well and I’d advise you doing the same. Good Luck!

      • Gaurav Garg says:

        Hi, Robinhood! Now the queries for Egypt. We have six days starting 30 Dec.
        1. What should be the new year like in Egypt?
        2. What is the best itinerary for the time one has?
        3. I too got in touch with Montasser and he is asking 50$ per pax per night. What kind of cabin is provided? What are the inclusions?
        Is it even wortht the cruise, or one should just fly to and fro from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan.

        • Steph says:

          Hi there, thanks for the questions – will answer them as best I can.
          1) Don’t know – haven’t been there at this time of year – sorry!
          2) I’ve written an Egypt itinerary post giving all the details – please search it out on the blog using search bar, or destinations tab > Africa > Egypt
          3) I’m not sure what Montasser has in mind, so it’s best to ask him for the details. I’d pay a bit more to upgrade for a good cabin if I were you. My inclusions were 3x meals per day + guided tours of the 2 temples we visited enroute and guided day tour in Luxor

          I definitely think a cruise is worth it. Views as you glide up the Nile and the experience of it were highlights for me.

    • Samina says:

      Hi Michael

      My husband and I are travelling to Egypt In December and I have contacted Montasser. It was rather difficult to understand everything he said but he appeared to be able to book us a cruise on the date we wanted. Did you book through him and how was your experience (if you have already been)? We would be grateful for any feedback/advice/information you may be able to provide. This will be our first time as well and any help will be much appreciated.

      Thank you !!

    • Yasmin Sklenar says:

      how much he charged you?

  3. Samina says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience Steph! My husband and I are travelling to Egypt next month and your blog is very helpful. I have just contacted Montasser. There is a language barrier as Michael commented but he appeared to be confident of booking us for a cruise on the date we want. We will arrive on 15th Dec and want to spend a couple of days in Cairo and visit Alexandria and embark on the cruise around 18th. A bit worried about leaving the cruise arrangements to the last minute.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Samina – I do find that strange as Montasser’s English was amazing when I spoke with him – perhaps it’s a written language barrier? Where are you hoping to get on the cruise from – Luxor? As I said in the post, I booked mine only a few days before via Montasser and was not at all sure it was going to work out either because everything was so casual. That said, all turned out fine. I hope you manage to get on! Please let me know your experience afterwards.

      • Samina says:

        Hi Steph

        I called him this morning, so maybe there was some problem with the connection. I shall establish communication through Whatsapp which may work better. I would prefer to get on at Luxor, trying to work out the logistics of travelling back to Cairo from Aswan. We want to fly back to London on the 24th Morning and there are suitable flights from Cairo and Luxor. I’m probably sounding muddled. Do you recommend taking the night train or flight from Cairo to either place? Many thanks!

        • Steph says:

          Hi Samina – both train and plane are good options for Cairo to Aswan / Luxor, depends on your timings really. Worth noting however that the night trains in Egypt are a LOT more expensive than the day trains, so do your price comparison against flights. Also research about getting tickets, because they can be some confusion. I got the train from Luxor to Cairo – 10 hours, but first class cost silly small dollars. I got someone from the hostel to book it for me the day before so I got the local rate. Even with a tip, much cheaper than tourist prices! Views were amazing and I love train travel, but I understand some people want to save time and fly.

  4. Hello Stephanie,

    We will be travelling to Egypt in Feb 2019. I read you blog and want to thank you as we found it quite helpful. We were planing a 4 day Nile cruise, so I got in contact via Whats app with Montasser for a preliminary exchange and I did not feel any language issue in our written conversation…He also wrote that he is at our service and to contact him closer to our trip date…So far so good!!! we will post again once we embark and enjoy!!!! Thanks again

    • Steph says:

      Great Jean-Marc, that’s wonderful to hear and I really appreciate your up-to-date info on this, as well as your kind words about the blog. Keep me posted how it goes nearer to the time too and happy travel planning. Thanks Steph 🙂

  5. Dorothy says:

    Hi Steph, do u get a full itinerary if we book with Montasser? Just wondering do you get the lower or upper deck with full facilities?

    • Steph says:

      Honestly Dorothy, you’re best to ask him yourself. I’m not affiliated with Montasser in any way and really can’t speak on his before about the trip you are arranging. Thanks

  6. Gaurav Garg says:

    Sorry Steph, one last question (for now), is Hot Air Balloning over Luxor worth it?

  7. milena says:

    Hi Steph, Just contacted Montasser and can’t wait to visit egypt soon. I had to questions; did you get private tours of the temples or did you join a group? everyone i’ve contacted so far, always only offered private tours and as i’m travelling solo, i’d love to mingle a bit and join a shared tour. How was that for you, as you werer also travelling solo? Also, after booking with montasser, did you get some kind of confirmation from the cruise or from him? I’m heading to egypt late january on a bit of a tight schedule & will be arriving in Aswan, one day before boaridng the cruise. I’m worried, that i’ll arrive there and i won’t be able to board the cruise the following day..

    • Steph says:

      Hi Milena, all great questions and excited to hear you are travelling to Egypt soon. I did not get confirmation from Montasser. Honestly, I just found him at the dock and got a bit of paper saying I’d paid a deposit. It is far from official and I’m in no way affiliated with him or can vouch for what he does – just sharing my experience – I hope it works out for you. The temple tours along the Nile and in Luxor should be included in the package, so you don’t need to pay extra for that. I was travelling solo yes, and in Aswan, I booked a group tour at my hostel to see Abu Simbel and the other days used a taxi driver to take me around the local sights. Hope that helps and you get your cruise 🙂

      • milena says:

        Thank you so much for your quick response. It helped a lot 🙂 also; were the included tours along the Nile and in Luxor shared tours or solo private tours?
        Kind regards from Switzerland!

        • Steph says:

          Hi Milena, so glad to hear I’m helping out with your Egypt plans – fingers crossed they go well! They were shared tours I got, which as a solo traveller I enjoyed – but do check the specifics of what you’re getting too for your money. My experience, of course, doesn’t mean yours will be the same. Good luck, Steph 🙂

  8. Ali says:

    Hi Steph

    Thank you for the informations. I heading next month to Egypt for 2 weeks and I was planning to do the Nile Cruise. I am just wondering about the boat quality and condition is it a 5 stars.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Ali, the boat I went on was not 5 star – that’s how I got such a bargain price, but it was totally fit for purpose and quite comfortable. If luxury is important to you, I would consider being sure of the standards of the vessel you will be travelling on and pay to upgrade 🙂

  9. Hanh says:

    Hi Steph,
    Thanks a lot for your posts. I’ve contacted Nasser and he gave us a price as of 165 usd /per for the 3 night cruise, and an extra fee for the excursion package of 190 usd /per, so the total price for the cruise will be 355 usd /per. I find it quite expensive compared to other 5-star cruises. How were you able to negotiate the incrediable 120 usd for 3 nights ?
    Thanks for you advises, Hanh.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Hanh, I booked it with Nasser in person in Aswan 2 days before the tour left, but it was not a 5* cruise. I’m guessing a last minute booking in person on a cheaper boat might have been how I scored such a deal.

  10. Kevin says:

    Hi Steph, I have greatly enjoyed reading your many travel blogs! Thank-you for that!
    I am looking to get on a boat from Aswan to Luxor on Wednesday, April 17th. I will be in Aswan from the 14th until the 17th. Do you recommend that I go to the boat docks (and look up Nasser) on Tuesday, the day before? Or should I do it the morning of departure (the 17th), or would it be best to go on Monday the 15th? Thanks so much!

    • Steph says:

      Thank YOU Kevin, so happy to hear you are enjoying the blog and also that you will be heading to Egypt soon. I think it would be best to go and find Nasser as soon as you reach Aswan, because cruises don’t leave every day and some might be full – I’d say the more prep time you have to sort in when you’re in Aswan the better. Good luck 🙂

  11. Martin says:

    Hi Steph, hi everybody!
    I visited Egypt last week of December till first week of Januaryfor diving at Hurghada. As I also wanted to make a short Nile cruise I contacted Montasser and got a quote of 60 USD per night on a 3*** ship. I agreed by whats up, Montasser offered to pick me up from Assuan airport. Arriving there on time, no body was there to pick me up. After some phone calls with Montasser and some fights against taxi drivers that tried to pull me in there cars, somebody came and took me to town (Montasser charged me later more than double the normal taxi price for that). OK, such things can happen.

    In town I met Montasser who now told me, that he missunderstud our whats-up conversation. The price per night would increase to 100 USD. There was not much I could do in that situation, so I had to agree. As Steph mentioned, it is almost impossible to arrange a cheap trip on your own when you are already in Assuan or Luxor and when your counterparts feel that you are somehow under pressure.

    Montasser also offered me to arrange a daytrip to the valley of the kings in Luxor and my trip back to Hurghada in a public bus. I agreed the price of 30 USD for the daytrip and 10 USD for the bus ticket (which was in fact 4.5 USD). The cruise was OK, but the daytrip in Luxor again was a mess. I expected an almost private tour for the money, but Montasser chartered 2 very small mini-busses for 22 people and one guide. We hopped from hotel to hotel to collect all these people. When we started the tour, 2 hours were already gone. Many of the other Montasser-customers tried to call him for a complaint, but this time Montasser was not available by phone.

    The trip was short as I had to catch the public bus on time. We arrived at the bus station late, but the bus was still there. The only problem was: Montasser didn´t book my ticket and the bus was full. Now I was really fed up with Montassers arrangement. The guide in Luxor was hard trying to help me and he could get a ticket for the night bus. All in all I am sorry that I have to say: Montasser is not very different from the various taxi driver I met in Egypt. They rip you off as there was no tomorrow. Even when I told him, that I will report everything in the blog, Montasser was not willing to refund a single dollar.

    • Steph says:

      Thanks for your detailed and helpful feedback Martin, this is so useful to know for other travellers and I really appreciate you taking the time to leave the comments. As you know, I’m not affiliated with Montasser in any way, I just wanted to report my experience with him to try and help others repeat such a deal. Sadly it looks like he is not always a man of his word. I’m sorry you had this experience and sincerely hope it didn’t ruin your time in Egypt. Thanks again for reporting back.

      • Martin says:

        Dear Steph! In no ways it was my intention to blame you for anything! I only wanted to report what happened to me. By the way, Montassers mismanagement laid to wonderful experiences with some local people: The guide from Luxor took me to his home, bought me food and cared for me in a lovely manner. A coachman showed me some very interesting places in Luxor and the ride with the night-bus was smooth and comfortable. So at the end, it turned out to be one of the most valuable impression of my trip to Egypt.

  12. DKR says:

    Hi Steph

    I’m travelling to Egypt in the same time as yours(March 1st week). I’m glad that I came across your blog. You will be helping me on saving big bucks. I contacted Mohamed for the Cruise and he was very responsive. On enquiry , reg the Cruise begin days, he said except Sundays they leave on all days. I’m a quite skeptic regarding this as I have a planned itinerary so it will be difficult to shuffle my plan. Kindly clarify on this.
    And I will be taking up the 3 day Aswan-> Luxor Cruise , so how does the package work? Could you please give me more details on the entire trip from beginning to end and the number of meals covered for the 3 days package? This will help me plan accordingly as I’m quite confused reg the inclusions for 120$.

    And thank you so much for your lovely blog. Keep up the great work. Information like these are priceless for budget travelers.
    Looking forward to your reply.

    • Steph says:

      Hi there, thanks for your comments and excited to hear you’ll be travelling to Egypt soon. I honestly can’t clarify when the cruises leave or how often – I don’t know the answer to this, but recent info from Martin in these comments suggests Montasser may not be a man of his word, so I’d be careful arranging anything in advance with him when you’re on a strict timetable that doesn’t allow for flexibility.

      As I have said across this article and comments, I’m not affiliated or in contact with Montasser at all, I just used this post to write honestly about the experience I had, which included 3 meals a day, 3 nights accommodation and day trips around Luxor as well as 2 other temples up the Nile.

      I cannot, however, make any claims about YOUR arrangements with Montasser – what they will include or indeed whether it will go ahead. If you’re on a tight timeframe and want to know all the ins and outs, I recommend booking ahead of time with someone you can guarantee the package, otherwise, turn up to Aswan and discuss with Montasser in person as I did. I’m not a travel agent or a booking agent, so it would be best to consult one of these types of people if you have concerns.

      I’m so happy you like the blog and thank you for your kind words. I do hope you have a great time in Egypt 🙂

  13. DKR says:

    Hi Steph

    Thank you for the prompt reply. Much appreciated.
    And good to know from Martin that I have to be watchful with Mohamed.. In that case I would like to know what would I be charged if I contact Nasser directly from Wisdom tours as mentioned in your blog? Is it possible to get at the same price(40$)?.
    And I’m curious to know how you found Mohamed in Aswan? Where can I find similar scouts in Aswan to get similar prices? Because I feel if Mohamed can get you for 40$ there must be a few more who can do that as well..
    Thank you again!

    • Steph says:

      Hi there, I don’t know who Mohammed or Wisdom Tours are I’m afraid – I dealt only with the people mentioned in the post, who I found by enquiring at the dock in Aswan. Good luck 🙂

  14. andres says:

    I ve reading this post for a while, Im going to travel to egypt in feb/19, I contacted mohame at the 1063 number posted here. he told me that a cruise from aswan to luxor would cost 35usd per person per night, I guess he gives different numbers , but this is not too different for what steph has paid. I m not running on a tight schedule, so if he changes his mind big time about the price I will try to find another boat.

  15. George says:

    Hi Steph!
    I am posting to thank you for your very helpful post. I arranged an Aswan-Luxor Cruise with Montasser at the beginning of January, and he gave me a pricce of 50 USD a night for single cabin. I could probably have gotten 40 (he said that price was for a shared cabin). An important thing I figured too late is that the ship spends the third day docked in Luxor, so there is no traveling that day, and most likely all you will see trough your window is the ship parked next to yours. So I could have actually taken a two day cruise and spend that other night in a cheaper place in Luxor instead. The deal included a group tour of east and west bank temples, however I had to ask multiple times at the reception and they never gave me a clear answer, I think they had to call Montasser more than once to confirm that. When they called me on the third day and told me I had a tour I was quite surprised. Overall I was happy about the deal. When I booked, Montasser also offered me a trip to Abu Simbel for 15usd, I did not take that tour but on hindsight I learned it was a good deal and I should have taken it. Overall I was quite satisfied, so thanks once more for your helpful and detailed post.

    • Steph says:

      Hi George, thanks for taking the time to comment and leave your kind feedback. It’s interesting to know your experience on the third day as this is when I received a tour of Luxor included in my cruise price without hassle. It seems this didn’t happen for you? How confusing! Yes 15 USD for Abu Simbel is very good – I hope you got there anyway as it is a must see in Egypt. Wishing you continued happy travels 🙂

  16. Alan says:

    Hey Steph,
    Nice blog.

    Just came back from Egypt, and booked the cruise trip from aswan to luxor with Montasser, great experience and very cheap.

    35 usd per night per person in a 2 bed cabin.
    (Or 50 usd for a single room)

    No tours or temple tickets were included but the ship was very nice for that price (maybe 4 stars for western standards but more than 5 stars comparing with hostels)
    3 meals a day included (great all u can eat buffet.-drinks not included)

    TIP: Montasser is not friendly at all but just met him in person one or two days before deaprture, to check photos of the boat. Paid a small deposit (less than 10%)and then the balance in the ship.(he picked up at the hotel)

    He also offered a great deal to go to Abu simbel with a private car/driver at 9 am , instead of waling up at 4 am for the tour.

    Xheers !

    • Steph says:

      Alan thank you so much for this useful feedback! Really appreciate you taking the time to leave your experience of the Nile Cruise and to help others see more of this country for less. Wishing you all the best 🙂

  17. Amit Shir says:

    Hello, very nice portrait. I appreciate your article and your skills. I and my family had a plan to visit Egypt Nile cruise along with some more beautiful places in Egypt. Can you suggest me the perfect website or any tour company for my travel?

    • Steph says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words! My advice in Egypt would be to do it yourself – you don’t need a tour company and it’s so cheap to travel here that everything is much easy alone. Happy travels 🙂

  18. Lily says:

    Hi Steph, and thanks a mil for the so valuable information. I am doing myself our long 3-country journey and your tip about booking through a scout came just on time! I have already contacted Montaseer and now waiting for the offer.

    • Steph says:

      Wonderful to hear Lily and best of luck. What other countries are you visiting outside of Egypt?

      • Lily says:

        Hi Steph and than you again for the travelling tips. We visited Israel, Palestine and Jordan this year.
        I would like to tell you some things – Monty is a fantastic person and he did a wonderful job for the boat and the trip to Abu Simbel. Yet, I would not recommend to anyone to book through Monty Luxor – the guy was absolutely horrible!!! I am happy, it is behind our back; yet, it nearly gave a heart attack.
        Thanks once again 🙂

        • Steph says:

          Hi Lily, thanks for the useful feedback to help other travellers. Are you talking about 2 different guys called Monty? It’s not quite clear from your comments what you mean? Glad you had 1 good experience and sorry to hear about the other. Best, Steph 🙂

          • Lily says:

            Hi Stef,

            We booked a Luxor package from Monty in Aswan before taking the boat. I spoke with Monty how we want the thing and as we have allocated 4 full days for Luxor, Monty said my plans are OK and that in Luxor we were going to meet his agent and tell him what we had decided to do. So, this is that other guy, his agent, who nearly gave me a heart attack. He was extremely pushy, demanding all to be done his way despite our objections, shouted at me on the boat and later started a fight with a guy who wanted to defend us on the West Bank. Long unpleasant story which finished with our host calling Monty in Aswan and asking him for full refund. We got the money back but that was the most dreadful and stressful experience someone could possibly ever

          • Steph says:

            Thanks for filling in the details Lily and sorry to hear of the experience. Really appreciate you taking the time to let me and other travellers know. Best, Steph 🙂

  19. Harj says:

    Blimey! Glad I found this article on Google. I was thinking that $550 for a 5 day 4 night cruise in a single cabin was good as my first enquiry came back with a figure of $1,250! And the trip to Abu Simbel is quoted by everyone at $85 so for $15 were they sending you on camels rather than cars?

    Anyway it’s really good to know what the real prices are. I keep reading how expensive Egypt is for tourists but I could never understand why when cost of living is so low there. Now I understand that it’s just profiteering and taking silly foreigners for a ride.

    • Steph says:

      Egypt is ridiculously cheap – in fact it’s my budget travel recommendation for this year, because it is so well priced, so definitely don’t pay more than you should! No camels to Abu Simbel, my price included hotel pick up / drop off in Aswan, and although we had to pay entrance, this is less than $8 USD and includes a guide, so all in all a bargain for one of the most amazing places I’ve been! Good luck on getting a bargain cruise – I know, many like me, who have achieved it by cutting out the unnecessary travel agent fees and being flexible with their itinerary. Booking trips on the ground when you are in the country is the key if you have time! I arranged Abu Simbel through my hostel in Aswan for example.

  20. Tim says:

    Quick question. I was originally going to bypass the cruise situation a) because they’re typically so expensive by Egyptian standards and b) time constraints – I only have about 12 full days in Egypt before I fly out to India. From your post I guess I could possibly squeeze the cruise in if I try and cut my stay in Luxor from 4 days to 3 but it all depends on that schedule you mentioned – there’s two days of actual sailing, right, by the end of day two you’ve actually arrived in Luxor and simply stay overnight again on day 3? What time did you board on Day 1 in Aswan?

    Thanks for the posting – it’s certainly given me food for thought.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Tim – great question. In answer, I boarded the cruise in Aswan at lunchtime. We set sail that afternoon – arriving at Edfu to see the temple at sunset. We sailed overnight to Esna to see those temples in the morning, before continuing to Luxor. We spent night 2 moored at Luxor, day 3 was the tour of Luxor and night 3 on the boat. Does that make things clearer? I also have a Lxuor itinerary on my blog if you want to check that – honestly you don’t need long in this city and can see it in 2 full days if you do have to move on. Otherwise, 3 would be very adequate. Hope the plans go well. Best Steph 🙂

  21. Myriam says:

    Since this is the Montasser review page 😉 here my experience with him:

    No problem with booking cruise, 50 US$ pp and night on a (Egyptian) 5 star boat. We stayed 2 nights, but it felt like you could do only one night if you insist. (This is not high season.) He certainly delivered here without any issues.

    Also offered Abu Simbel for EGP 200 with unguided group tour

    We took a guided group tour from him for Luxor Westbank US$5 pp

    Only issue was when he didn’t seem to want to organise a night ferry that we needed and ceased communication instead of saying that he is not interested.

    Overall you get the best deals I heard, he delivers when the deal is sealed, but I can sense that he can have a mood.

    Thank you Steph, for bringing him to my attention.

    • Steph says:

      Myriam, thank you so much for taking the time to leave this review and help other travellers with the latest info and your experience. I certainly appreciate it and I’m sure all the others who stop by this page do too. Wishing you all the best and happy continued travels. Steph 🙂

  22. Agnes says:

    Reading this blog is so insightful. I have enquired at some tour booking and they are charging me USD699/pax for 3 night Aswan to Luxor cruise. I see that your itinerary doesn’t include any Aswan temple tours. Is that correct?
    I am travelling with my husband and teenage daughter, do you think it will be difficult to book last minute since there are 3 of us. Travelling in Dec. I will likely contact Montasser for a quote.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Agnes, yes that is correct – I toured Aswan independently before joining the cruise. I have no idea about booking last minute for 3 people to be honest, I guess it’s just a case of 2 cabins being available instead of 1. As always, you’ll have more chance outside of high season, which means it will be harder in December. Good luck 🙂

  23. Ana says:

    Hi Steph! We are traveling to Egypt in Mai. I read your Article and write Montasser to reserve a cruise from Luxor to Aswan. He gave us for 3 Nights, 4 Days and excursions 120$ per Person which I find very well. I asked him how to book the Travel and he told me to send him a Passport Copy. Is that normal? I have so many doubts. Thank you in advance.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Ana, thanks for your question. As I wrote in the article I dealt with Montasser on the ground in person – I didn’t send him anything in advance, so I honestly can’t comment on whether this is normal. My hunch would be not, as I don’t know why he would require these details? Did you ask him what we needed them for? Have you scanned back through the other comments on this post to read other travellers advice? I was in Egypt a year ago and am not affiliated with Montasser in any way, so I really can’t speak, advice or vouch for his actions. Many others who have read this post have more up-to-date info on their experience. Sorry, but I really can’t advise you here. Just be sensible – which it sounds like you are! Good luck 🙂

  24. Duncan says:


    They need a copy of your passport for a trip to Abu Simbel,they have to get a permit from tourist police,the ship will take a copy of passport when you check in,not beforehand.
    We did Nile cruise last year,you can inspect the ship before paying the cash if you insist.

  25. Nasser mansour says:

    Hi steph
    Thanks for all your help
    And welcome by your guests to Egypt
    Best regards

    • Steph says:

      The man himself! Hi Nasser!
      As you can see, I am sending lots of guests your way, so please treat anyone coming through Big World Small Pockets well by giving them the best price and service! This will make the best thank you 🙂

  26. Conner says:

    I have spoken with Montasser via whatsapp in the last few days. I just booked 4 spots on the nile cruise and the trip program as a whole this morning. Even Including pick-up from new marina at Hurghada. We will start our trip on May 25.Hope everything is going well. Thank Steph and every one for the threads in the post.

  27. nicki says:

    I booked with Monty montasser, very nice man, great 4 star cruise and price.

  28. Sama says:

    Hi Steph, thank you for this brilliant blog and this information. Will be getting in touch with the provided contacts. Just curious if the tickets to the sites were included as part of the package? Or did you have to pay extra for the entrance fees? Looking forward to hearing from you.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Sama, great to hear the post was useful. The tickets to the sites along Nile and tour within Luxor was included in my ticket price, but do understand from more recent travellers this may not be the case anymore. Best to check and see what you can haggle! Enjoy, Steph 🙂

  29. Mark says:

    Thanks for the post Steph!!! This is exactly what I was looking for. I’ll be heading to Egypt in November so I’ll message him about a week before my anticipated date I want, and see what he says. If not my plans are open and flexible so we’ll see how it goes. Thanks again!!

  30. Mark says:

    I’m also a little conufsed you said you tried to find a bargain in Luxor for Luxor to Aswan, but you said you took the cruise from Aswan to Luxor?

    • Steph says:

      Hi Mark, yes I took the cruise from Aswan to Luxor, but they operate in both directions. The details of where I met Nasser are in Aswan, but likely you can do it in reverse, although I don’t have experience of this. I would suggest contacting Nasser to see what he can arrange.

  31. Soon Min says:

    Hi Steph! First off, I wanted to say thanks for writing this. You undoubtedly saved me a huge amount. For the rest of your readers, I’m happy to report that it worked! A few more details below for those interested and to continue the goodwill you’ve started.

    I contacted Montasser (or Monty as some call him) about a month before I travelled to Egypt, asking him for a quote. While he’s prompt enough in responding, I realised eventually that he’s not very good in understanding certain words or phrases. A tip here is to use Google translate to get the Arabic phrase.

    Eventually, I wound up in Aswan and arranged to meet him prior to the cruise departure. Tip: cruises depart every day except Sunday (Aswan to luxor) there are many ships operating but I’m unsure how many he sells for. We were placed in a ship by Sunrise, which was great.

    Our quote was 35usd pp per night initially but it was for the lowest deck. We finally opted for a 40usd option on the level above. It was worth the view. One more factor to consider is that these prices are also based on the season (and supply/demand). I believe I was on the tail end of a low season so things were reasonably cheaper. (I think!)

    Other tips; the usual package for the Aswan/luxor leg includes a west+east bank tours in luxor. It might help you plan your time best. Monty also sells other tours, eg Abu Simbel, hot air balloon experience, and his prices are reasonable. One thing to note about Egypt in general is that EVERY price is fluid, so please don’t get too frustrated if you found out you overpaid by a little.

    I hope this helps! Thanks again for this great post and safe travels to all.

    • Steph says:

      Thank you so much Soon Min for adding in this helpful feedback and extra tips for readers. Glad you had a great trip in Egypt and delighted the blog came in handy! Best, Steph 🙂

      • VJ says:

        Steph – Great Blog!, thanks for doing this!, completely changed my perspective towards planning an Egypt Trip and i’ve approached the necessary contacts! i am planning a Trip in December 19 and i will be sure to write back on my experience!

        Soon Min – I had a question regarding payments, I think i am in the same boat as you planning my trip a month ahead. With regards to the cruise and packages around it, did you have to pay in advance ? how did you deal with the payment portion?

        • Steph says:

          Hi VJ, great to hear you like the blog. Good luck with planning your Egypt trip and please do let us all know how you get on.
          Best, Steph 🙂

          • VJ says:

            Thanks Steph,
            There were two questions i had.
            1) Did Abu Simbel need an extra day on top of this 4 day itenary?
            2) Did you do any local tours in Aswan and are there any recommendations?

          • Steph says:

            Hi VJ, thanks for your questions. If you take the cruise from Luxor to Aswan, normally you visit Abu Simbel on day 4. If you travel from Aswan to Luxor (as I did) you tour Luxor on day 4 instead. In this case, you’ll want to visit Abu Simbel before you begin the cruise. I have a post about Luxur on the blog, which gives my perfect 2 day itinerary for this city and includes tour recommendations. Please search that post and you’ll get all the info. Best, Steph

  32. debasis dutta says:

    Hi Steph,
    Thanks for posting a great blog. After surfing a thousand of blogs I could discover yours one which came so handy to me who likes to explore Bigworld but with small pockets. Apart from the blog itself, I got fascinated by the way you handled the queries so lucidly. Will be eagerly following your posts. Thanks again.

    • Steph says:

      Thank you so much for this lovely comment and delighted you have found the blog helpful. Great to have you along for the adventures now and I wish you happy travels too. Steph 🙂

  33. Cynthia says:

    Hi Steph, thank you for this lovely post! I really wish I had read your post before I left for Egypt( I’m going to make sure to check out your blog first before going anywhere from now on!) quick question: i was on a cruise aswan -> luxor for 3 days. Got this through some travel site before i left US, and it was $300 USD per person. I paid $100 in advance as a deposit and I’ll be paying the remaining $200 today ( today’s the last day) do you think i can haggle at all?

    • Steph says:

      Hi Cynthia, so happy you plan to follow the blog from now one… great news! In terms of haggling over the cruise, it really depends who you’re organising it through, Needless to say travel agents based outside of Egypt are likely to be less receptive to this than, say, individual traders within the country. Without knowing the details, it’s hard for me to advise, but I guess it’s always worth a go! Good luck! Steph 🙂

  34. Hiranmay Ganesh says:

    Hi Steph, Thank you very much for sharing your experiences in your blog. I have just returned from Egypt and one of the highlights of the trip was the Nile cruise, which we booked through Montessar thanks to the details you provided in your blog. Had absolutely no issues dealing with him, contacted him 4 days before our dates and got a rate of $40/person per night. Had to pay separately for tours to the west and east bank in Luxor though. The Boat was the Happy 5, probably not a 5 star cruise ship but great value and the food as well as the staff were exceptional. He also arranged a pvt taxi for us to both Philae as well as Abu Simbel.
    Thanks again.

    • Steph says:

      Dear Ganesh, thank you so much for taking the time to fill us in on your Nile cruise experience. Delighted it worked out well and that you enjoyed your trip to Egypt. Best, Steph 🙂

  35. Noel says:

    Hi Steph, Thanks for the useful info & blog.
    We just bought a Nile cruise for early Feb (refundable for now) & I wanted to know how this compares to current alternatives.
    It was on the US Black Friday sale on & is on the Nile Carnival boat.
    Cost was $140 plus taxes (14% VAT,12% service,1% city), which brings it to $180 per person.
    It is for 4 nights & ALL excursions are additional.
    So, how does $180 for 4 nights without excursions sound?
    Should we look some more?
    Cheers, Noel

    • Steph says:

      Hi Noel, thanks for the comment and the question.

      Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to go around and compare tons of prices for you here. It’s not what blogging is about. You can see from the post what I paid for my cruise, and you can search online for other options which will also give you an idea of rates during the dates you want to travel. The reality is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of tours that all offer different packages and levels of style and comfort. I don’t know if the Nile Carnival Boat is 5* or 2*, for example, so it’s impossible for me to comment on the deal. The idea of this post was to show budget travellers how cheaply I got a Nile Cruise and how they can potentially do it too. Sorry, but I can’t advise or research the best one for you personally. Hoping you have a great cruise however and enjoy Egypt – I’m sure you’ll love this amazing country. Best, Steph

  36. Nasser mansour says:

    Hi steph
    Hope you are good
    MY know mail Nasser652000@yahoo’com
    This is my know contact if you need any information about Egypt Nile cruise please contact me any time
    Happy New year 2020

  37. Filipe says:

    Hi. Thanks for the advices. We took the boat tour, and all was perfect. Totally recommend montasser. We done 4 night 5 days tour, from Luxor to Aswan. All perfect and price was the best 🙂

    • Filipe says:

      Mr Montasser is very responsible and always ready to help and advise. When I was in the bus from Aswan to Hurghada I realized that I forgot my laptop at the ferry reception. I called him and he reacted very fast and helped ( when he didn’t have to). He took the laptop at the reception, drove like in Formula 1 and brought the laptop to the bus. Btw he also helped us to figure out how to get Hurghada from Aswan.

    • Steph says:

      Thanks so much for feeding back Filipe. This is really helpful for other travellers. Appreciate you taking the time to do this. Best wishes and happy travels, Steph 🙂

  38. You are doing a great informative article! Thanks

  39. Ed says:

    Hi All! Wanted to chime in with our experience just to help others out. Big thanks to Steph for this info!
    So we did en up meeting Montasseur (Monty) in January 2021. If you have traveled Egypt you know how much of a mess it can be and we have had great experiences as well as not so good ones.

    The GOOD: Monty communicated with us on WhatsApp quickly, he met us up, showed us our convo in his phone so we verified it was indeed him, and then gave us a “menu” to pick from. He was professional enough and gave us a receipt. We ended up picking a 2 day cruise for $35 per night per person from Aswan to Luxor on a boat called Princess Sarah. We gave a 10% deposit and the rest on the boat.

    The NOT-SO-GOOD: You need to be vigilant about people trying to switch what you paid for, Monty tried to switch the boat we were taking for at the very last minute for what I imagine was a cheaper one (probably more margin for him), we had to forcefully insist on what we had picked. We also had to fight for the 2nd floor cabin on the boat which is what we had agreed to from the beginning . We bought some tours for when we arrived in Luxor ahead with Monty because they were quite cheap, however the guys that gave us the tours were HORRIBLE to deal with, bad communication, unprofessional, saved money on every step of the way and the driver they hired was the most unpleasant person ever fighting with everyone on our tour.

    FINAL TIPS: I wouldnt book anything else with Monty but the boat as that is what he seems to be in control of. Ask him what the options for the boats he has are, then check the reviews for those boats before letting him know your choice. The 2nd floor has better views from our opinion.


    • Ed says:

      Forgot to mention two other things. We recommended Monty to another friend of ours, and apparently they did not have such a pleasant experience, they also had their boats changed last minute, not as great of a deal, and they did not enjoy how everything went for them with the cruise. The other is that the cruise itself was GREAT, we totally recommend it, the boat was good, the food was good, and it was a very pleasant experience on-board. 🙂

    • Steph says:

      Thanks so much for these incredibly detailed and helpful tips Ed. It’s really great to get honest feedback about experiences on the ground and I thoroughly appreciate you taking the time to leave your advice here to help other travellers. Glad the cruise was good and brilliant that you stuck to your guns about the boat and cabin you had agreed on! Keep up the good work, Steph 🙂

  40. Lucas Trouessin says:

    What? When? How? : With Mohammed Montasser, just pick the two first, and he takes care of the third (to visit Southern Egypt). Awesome experiences, with a great value for money ratio and high flexibility on the choices.

    We went to Abu Simbel (25$/pers, maybe a bit pricey here as it was unguided), visited Aswan (guided), made a 3 days 2 nights cruise on the Nile from Aswan to Luxor for 40$ a night, had planned a hot air balloon sunrise above the Valley of the Kings for 40$/pers (but no balloon could fly on that day due to lack of wind), visited Luxor and took a night bus to Hurghada – all taken care of by Montasser.

    Just a few remarks :
    – Abu Simbel expedition is a must do
    – Be aware that the nubian village in Aswan is basically a tourist shop
    – High dam ‘visit’ in Aswan seems not worth it (we asked not to do it)
    – Going in Felucca (a typical sailboat) to the Botanic Garden island in Aswan was very nice
    – The cruise arrived in Luxor in the afternoon of the second day, so maybe there is time to visit Karnak that same day for instance (tour of Luxor proposed by Montasser with a guide on Day 3 is highly recommended though. The guide spoke a clear English, was quite thorough but let us breathe and visit some stuff on our own)
    – If you arrive one day before the departure of the cruise, choose an hotel on your own on the East bank of the Nile in Aswan (we paid 40$ for 3 people instead of paying three times that amount for a useless night on the boat, but we booked it on the West bank, whereas the boat – and all the city for that matter – are located on the East one. So it added a difficulty to take the early departure of the expedition to Abu Simbel (no public ferries at 4am!), but obviously Montasser had us covered and arranged us a private boat)

    Enjoy your time!

    • Steph says:

      Hi Lucas, thank you so much for adding your honest and valuable information to the discussion here, it’s really appreciated and I’m sure other travellers will find it really useful too. I’m so glad that you had a great time in Egypt and were well looked after. Best wishes and happy travels, Steph 🙂

  41. Vanessa says:

    This numbers are lies. I contacted the cruise guy from provided number. firstly he agreed for forty dollars, and just before cruise he wanted 65dolars. So I had to resign in the last moment.

    • Steph says:

      Thanks for letting us know about your experience Vanessa, much appreciated and sorry you didn’t get the price agreed. Best wishes, Steph

  42. Nancy says:

    Hi Steph-

    Super helpful post, thanks for the tips & contact info. I had a question as I’m planning a trip for November of this year — is there any day that cruises do NOT leave? I’ve seen a lot leaving Monday & Fridays. Ideally, with the way I have it set up now I’d like to take a cruise from Aswan to Luxor leaving on Sunday but haven’t been able to find anything.

    • Steph says:

      Hi Nancy, so glad to hear this post was helpful. In my experience there are cruises leaving every day, so the best thing is to make contact directly and go from there. Best of luck and happy travels, Steph 🙂

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