Nile River cruises give vacationers in Egypt (or permanent residents of the nation, for that matter) the opportunity to see quickly and conveniently many of the country’s most important tombs and temples. A Nile River cruise is also an excellent way to witness the daily happenings of Egyptian life, as almost everyone in the country lives on or very near the river. As we explained in our recent overview of Nile River Cruises, the Nile River is in many ways like a huge freeway that passes the areas and monuments of Egypt that the average tourist is inclined to see. One matter we didn’t cover in this last article, however, was how to book a Nile River cruise. Below we explain how to book a cruise on the Nile River, as well as supply some advice for booking this unique type of cruise vacation.
To begin, a general point about Nile River cruises: they are a lot different than regular cruise vacations (i.e., the cruises on the ocean that you take through a major cruise line). Cruises on the Nile tend to focus primarily on day trips and sightseeing, so you likely won’t spend as much time on the ship as you would on a more standard cruise at sea. This makes sense for a couple of different reasons. One, the cruise ships on the Nile are far smaller than the major cruise ships that sail the ocean, so there is not nearly as much to do on board. (There is sometimes a pool and a few places to lounge in the sun, but that’s about all.) Two, people tend to visit an exotic and ancient land like Egypt precisely to see the historically significant sites, and for this reason Nile River cruises are designed to enable travelers to do this. Basically, Nile River cruises are less about the on-board experience and more about seeing all that Egypt has to offer. This is helpful to keep in mind because it means that the cruise ship you travel on is less important than the itinerary it offers. When looking to book a Nile River cruise, you should perhaps be less worried about the ship you are sailing on than you might otherwise be.
There are a number of outfits that offer Nile River cruises, ranging from major companies that specialize in a broad range of different travel itineraries, like Abercrombie & Kent, to smaller ship operators that focus only on Nile River cruises, like the appropriately named Nile Cruises. Of course, a number of companies fall somewhere in between, like Red Sea Holidays, which focuses on vacations to Egypt, and Viking River Cruises, which only offers river cruises. Any one of these companies and many more can be directly contacted (either online or through a phone number) to set up a Nile River cruise. Some of these companies can also set up larger vacation packages for Egypt, where a Nile River cruise is merely one part of your trip to Egypt.
You can also use one of the major aggregator sites for vacation deals, but these are often harder to use than usual. For instance, we had trouble finding many good Nile River cruise options using Expedia and Priceline, which are in general good sites for finding cruise deals. However, Cruise.com brought up a ton of great Nile River cruise options, with a recent search supplying 16 different cruises offered by three cruise lines. So, deals can be found using the aggregator sites, but you have to be a little persistent and check out a few.
Overall, booking a Nile River cruise is fairly straightforward, but it can be slightly more challenging than lining up a regular cruise vacation. Although there are plenty of Nile River cruises offered throughout the year, they aren’t offered by the major cruise lines, so you can’t just call up your favorite cruise line and book your trip through them. It’s also a little harder to use the major deal sites that many cruise vacationers have become accustomed to using. There simply aren’t as many Nile River cruises listed on these sites as there are cruises to, say, the Caribbean or Alaska. However, with a little effort and research, you’ll definitely find plenty of options from which to choose.