Welcome to the land of pharaohs, pyramids, and the mighty Nile River – the cradle of Ancient Egypt, one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating civilisations. The Nile is not just the longest river in the world, but also a living testament to the country’s rich history, religion, and culture.

From the bustling cities of Cairo and Luxor to the serene temples of Abu Simbel and Karnak, the Nile has been the lifeline of Egypt for thousands of years. As you cruise along the banks of the Nile, you’ll be captivated by the stunning scenery, breathtaking sunsets, and starry nights that have inspired artists and writers for centuries.

Join us on an unforgettable journey as we explore why a Nile river cruise is the best way to discover everything Egypt has to offer.

1. The Legendary Pyramids

The Pyramids of Giza are located on the outskirts of Cairo and are thought of as one of the most impressive feats of engineering ever accomplished. Built over 4,500 years ago when Egypt was one of the richest and most powerful civilisations in the world, they are the only surviving ancient wonder. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest and most famous of the three pyramids; constructed for the pharaoh Khufu, it scales a height of 147 meters and remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years.

The Sphinx is another iconic landmark, a statue of a mythical creature with a lion’s body and a human’s head. It is believed to have been built during the reign of the pharaoh Khafre, who also built the second-largest pyramid at Giza. Getting up close and personal with these incredible constructions is made possible on a Nile river cruise. Riviera Travel transports guests to see all the iconic sights, including a few that you may have yet to consider.

You will have the opportunity to explore the lesser-known Step Pyramid, which is considered to be the oldest stone structure in the world. As you make your way towards the pyramid, you will be greeted by a magnificent sight – the giant ‘step’ pyramid looming above the palms. Built using smaller blocks than the Great Pyramids at Giza, it’s a fascinating example of how the architecture of pyramid-building has evolved. Your knowledgeable guide will regale you with stories and historical facts about the ancient civilisation that built it; you’ll learn about the pharaohs who commissioned the pyramid and the skilled workers who toiled for years to build it by hand.

Riviera Wonders of the Nile recommended sailing > 

Many more dates available departing in 2023 and 2024.

2. Other Breathtaking Landmarks

Egypt is a land of incredible history and culture, with breathtaking landmarks that draw millions of visitors every year. From ancient temples to modern mosques, there is something for everyone to discover in this fascinating country.

One of the most iconic landmarks in Egypt is the Luxor Temple, located on the east bank of the Nile. This ancient temple was built over 3,000 years ago and is dedicated to the god Amun-Ra. Visitors can explore the grand halls, towering columns, and intricate carvings that make this temple one of the most impressive architectural wonders in the world.

Another must-see landmark in Egypt is the Valley of the Kings, located on the west bank of the river. This vast complex of tombs and shrines is the final resting place of many of Egypt’s most famous pharaohs, including Tutankhamun and Ramses II. Explore the elaborate tombs, adorned with hieroglyphics and intricate artwork, and learn about the fascinating history of Egypt’s ancient rulers.

A Viking river cruise showcases these intriguing landmarks, and much more. Guests can take their pick from a host of included shore excursions, which explore everywhere from the stunning Edfu Temple, which was buried under sand for over 2,000 years, to the impressive Abu Simbel monolithic temple.

Visitors can explore the beautifully preserved columns and carvings of the Kom Ombo temple, dedicated to the gods Sobek and Horus the Elder, or marvel at the intricate artwork of the Philae temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis. The ancient temple of Esna, located in the city of the same name, is another must-visit site. Discover the temple’s beautifully preserved columns, carvings, and hieroglyphics, as well as the nearby Temple of Hekaib. Viking’s experienced Egyptologists will bring each location to life through knowledge, tales and plenty of historical facts.

Viking Pharaohs & Pyramids recommended sailing >

Limited availability for 2024, many more dates available departing in 2025.

3. Egyptian Local Life/Culture

Egyptian local life and culture are not limited to iconic landmarks and monuments. From bustling cities to sleepy fishing villages, visitors can immerse themselves in how the locals truly live, and experience the diverse traditions and customs that make this fantastic part of the world so unique.

Agriculture and fishing are important aspects of Egyptian local life, and visitors can explore the lush farmland and fishing villages that dot the banks of the iconic river. Families still gather water from the river using traditional methods, and visitors can witness the hard work and skill that goes into these practices.

For those interested in an in-depth look at local life, APT offers excursions that are centred around the daily lives of those who call the banks of the Nile home. With a qualified Egyptologist on board, and locals joining the ship throughout your journey, there is no better way to experience Egyptian life and culture.

While in Abu Simbel, one of the highlights of an APT Nile cruise will undoubtedly be a Nubian folkloric show, featuring traditional music performed in Arabic using drums, clapping, fiddles, lutes, and other percussion instruments. This is a great way to experience the vibrant culture of the Nubian people, who have lived in the region for thousands of years. Sail by Kitchener’s Island on a traditional Egyptian boat named a felucca – a great way to experience the Nile and see the beautiful scenery that surrounds it. Kitchener’s Island is also home to a botanical garden, which visitors can explore and learn more about the diverse flora and fauna.

In Aswan, attend a Galabeya party, which is a popular cultural event in Egypt. You will enjoy authentic music and food while wearing traditional pharaonic attire, in what is sure to be a unique and memorable experience.

APT Treasures of Egypt and The Nile with Hidden Jordan recommended sailing >

Many more dates available departing in 2023 and 2024.

4. Egyptian Cuisine

Egyptian cuisine is a delicious and diverse blend of flavours and ingredients that have been influenced by the country’s diverse background. Dishes are famous for their use of fava beans in dishes like Ful Wa Ta’ameya (Egyptian falafel) and bul medames, a recipe that has occupied Egyptian tables for millennia. Other popular dishes include kofta and kebabs, as well as desserts like basbousa and baqlawa.

One of the best ways to experience the rich flavours of Egyptian cuisine is by exploring the local markets and trying the street food. Embarking on a river cruise with AmaWaterways enables you to do just that, by bringing you closer to the destination through its food and culinary traditions. The onboard menus are catered to the area using locally sourced ingredients, allowing visitors to experience the freshest and most authentic flavours of Egypt. From the spices and herbs to the meats and vegetables, each meal is a delicious adventure in the country’s rich and diverse culinary landscape.

Events and excursions are also featured around cuisine. Indulge in a private lunch at the Abdeen Presidential Palace during a pre-cruise stay in Cairo, and take the opportunity to visit local markets.

Back on board, AmaDahlia is designed to truly bring your surroundings to life. The restaurant on board is designed with an authentic Egyptian interior, offering a truly immersive dining experience. Discover locally-sourced cuisine, including regional specialities and Western favourites; there are two restaurants to choose from, the Main Restaurant and The Chef’s Al Fresco speciality restaurant. Both offer delicious and authentic food, prepared by skilled chefs using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Make the most of unlimited complimentary wine, local beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board, making each meal a truly indulgent experience.

AmaWaterways Secrets of Egypt & The Nile recommended sailing >

Many more dates available departing in 2023 and 2024.

5. Museums

Egypt is a country that is steeped in history and home to some of the most impressive museums in the world. These museums are filled with archaeological wonders that provide a glimpse into the country’s rich and diverse past. From the famous Egyptian Museum in Cairo to the lesser-known museums at almost every port of call, there is something for everyone to explore and discover. Whether you are interested in ancient artefacts, mummies, or the art and culture of ancient Egypt, these museums offer an unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Scenic will transport guests to some of the most spectacular museums in the region. In Cairo, explore the Grand Egyptian Museum, home to the largest collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities in the world. This museum is filled with incredible artefacts, including the treasures of Tutankhamun, and offers a fascinating glimpse into the ancient civilisation that once thrived in Egypt.

Another must-visit museum in Cairo is the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation, where visitors can discover priceless antiquities, including the crown jewel of the museum, the Royal Mummies’ Hall. In Nubia, see the Nubian Museum, which is home to more than 3,000 objects that showcase the unique culture and traditions of the Nubian people. This museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the rich and diverse history of Nubia, from ancient artefacts to contemporary art and crafts.

Overall, these shore excursions provide a unique and unforgettable experience that allows you to be immersed in the rich history and culture of Egypt, and gain a deeper understanding of the ancient civilisation that once thrived in this remarkable country.

Call our River Cruise Experts today on 01246 819 819 to find out more information and/or to enquire about a Nile river cruise.