How to get a Nile River Cruise for half price
TOP Sights on the Cruise:
- Philae Temple Aswan
- Temple of Sobek and Haroeris Cruise
- The Locks Cruise
- Valley of the Kings Luxor
- Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut Luxor
- Luxor Temple Luxor
- Karnak Luxor
Our Emo Tours Egypt (https://www.emotoursegypt.com/en) trip from Aswan to Luxor was a four-day and three-night trip. The trip from Luxor to Aswan is a five-day four-night trip. Our Guide (Mohamed) picked us up, and we headed, not to the cruise ship as I thought, but to Philae Temple. The temple moved from its original Island location to higher ground on a different island. The Aswan Dam built in the mid-1970s flooded large swaths of land including the original location of Abu Simbel and Philae Temple. The twenty-foot detailed carvings on the forty-foot-tall walls were of Horace, the god of protection. The carved interior walls showed scenes and hieroglyphics. Carving of wings over doorways depicted protection.
We got to the cruise ship late afternoon and were shown our room before setting sail for the Temple of Sobek and Haroeris – the crocodile temple.
At dusk, we disembark with 200 of our closest friends for the temple by horse-drawn carriage. The light at the temple was fantastic. The golden hour was upon us. We listen to the history of the temple and the unusual construction for two gods. The crocodile figure is unique to this temple or at least was not in any other temple we visited.
We headed down the Nile. Farms, fields small town lined the shores. I saw children jumping off a boat dock wall into the water. A man was washing his sheep in the river and farmers pulled wagons of sugar cane down dirt roads. As I sat enjoying a beer on the sun deck, I heard “Hey!” “Hey!” I walked to the starboard side and looked down upon a small boat. Two men attached their small boat to our moving ship with rope. They opened up towels and tablecloths to show. It was just me so far. He picked up a bag and threw it three stories up right over my head. I was slightly shocked. That was a great throw. It passed over my head onto the covering. A sailor retrieved the package from the cover. I did not want this. I didn’t want to risk a return throw. A miss would be bad. I brought it down to the Purser. I watched him interact with several other guests for sales. I loved the ingenuity. He yelled at me and asked for his package back. I told him I brought it downstairs. It wasn’t my problem. I didn’t ask for it. I saw the small boat behind us on the river a few minutes later. I hoped he got a sale for the effort.
As we approached the locks, vendors open towels and tablecloths for display. At least ten vendors threw items onto the deck of the ship. I negotiated for the tablecloth and 12 napkins. “300.” “No, 100.” We agree on 200, and I send it down. He starts yelling for another 50. He doesn’t stop yelling for it as he works with other guests for additional sales. “Send back my 200, and I’ll return the tablecloth.” He ignored me. I watched the vendors make sales and work the docks as the water is released and the ship descended fifteen feet.
We arrive at Luxor to the Valley of the Kings, Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor Temple, and Karnak. We start with Valley of the Kings tombs two, eight, and eleven. These are Ramses III, Ramses IV, and Merenptah (a son of Ramses II). Each one is spectacular. Carved walls from the entrance to the tomb room show stories of the burial, offerings to the Gods, cartouche of the tomb owner. Valley of the Kings is the highlight of the trip. There are fifteen open tombs in the valley. Each $11 general entrance ticket allows access to three tombs. The photography ticket is $25 for three tombs. Taking photos inside the tombs is prevented without this ticket. I will get into more details in my Luxor blog
We drove to Deir el-Bahari. The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is the best-known temple in the complex below the sandstone cliffs. The temple had a wide ramp to the second terrace. Only a few statues remained intact in front of the columns across the second of three terraces. The sandstone cliffs tower above the temple in the valley.
We drove across the bridge to Luxor Temple. Sphinx lined the entrance and a Mosque built on the site 700 years ago is still in use today. The obelisks and columns had hieroglyphs and deep carvings. The one to three inch deep carvings were dramatic.
Not to be outdone, we headed to Karnak. Ram-headed sphinxes lined the entrance. The 60-foot entrance walls contained hieroglyphs top to bottom with Pharaohs and God carved 30 feet tall. The columns were reminiscent of Luxor Temple, beautifully carved and preserved. The paint seemed better preserved here; however, signs of flooding were apparent along the bottom of the walls and columns. The Emo Tours Egypt turned out to be an excellent choice, and I would recommend them. However, I could have done it for half the price.
Start in Aswan. Once you book a hotel or Guest House inquire as to a two-day cruise. The four days on the ship is only two cruising days with an extra day on each end for sightseeing. As of this writing, the price was $425, $100 more than I paid in 2018. The two-day cruise is half price. Our Guest House asked us about taking the shorter cruise. Seeing the sights is not expensive enough to warrant the extra cost. I did like our guide, but $200 per person is extravagant. We did the $85 Abu Simbel tour for $20. Use local contacts at your hotel to get better deals.