It’s been named as one of the top destinations to visit this year. And as a result, river cruise companies are expanding their Egyptian offerings.
But is now the right time to put the Nile back on your “to do” list?
Egypt is one of those exotic destinations which most travellers dream off. The picture: riding into the sunset on camels with the Great Pyramids and Sphinx in the background.
By 2010, tourism in Egypt had reached 14.7 million visitors and it was said there was so much traffic, you could jump from ship to ship.
But political unrest and turmoil meant that Egypt’s tourism came to a halt. And it’s taken close to a decade for tourists – and tour operators – to feel safe enough to put itineraries back in their brochures.
By 2017, tourism was on the rise once more with cruise lines announcing as much as a 500 per cent increase in bookings and major river cruise lines started placing ships on the Nile for the first time.
While there have been Smart Traveller warning to rethink plans, many agents and lines have not been deterred from sailing in Egypt.
This year, lines like Emerald Waterways, Uniworld and Scenic have upped their offerings in the Land of the Pharaohs.
Scenic last year announced new departure dates for September through to November for its Egypt and Jordan tours.
The newly refurbished boutique Sanctuary Sun Boat III sails on an 11-day itinerary which sails the Nile between Luxor and Aswan. Guests will stay in five-star hotels during the land portion of the tour and some of the highlights include a visit to the Great Pyramids, the Sphinx, the temples of Ramses II and Neferatari as well as the Luxor Museum.
Emerald Waterways has just started its Nile River cruises and the line offers two different itineraries and seven sailings this year.
The 10-night Egypt and Nile cruise tour spends five nights on the Ms Hamees which is a charted 142-passenger ship owned by Movenpick.
Like Scenic, Emerald Waterways takes you to the major sites as well as Abu Simbel and Aswan.
Meanwhile, Uniworld this year announced it be expanding its fleet and sailing a ship on the Nile and the luxury river cruise line will offer 12-day round-trip cruises out of Cairo. Sailing on the new S.S Satet, she will have Egyptian artwork, fabrics and hand-carved furniture throughout the ship and also have three gourmet dining venues, a swimming pool and a massage room. She will be launched at the beginning of January 2020.