Taking a Nile cruise is a great way to see the wonders of Egypt without packing and unpacking and enduring hot, dusty bus trips. Many companies sail between Aswan and Luxor, but arguably the best of these is Sonesta. The same people that own hotels around the world operate five luxury ships of varying size that ply the Nile.
The Sonesta Ships
The Sonesta Cruise Collection ranges in size from the 33 cabins to 63 cabins. The ships vary slightly in the amenities they offer, but all are luxurious. All ships have a private on-board water filtration system, outdoor swimming pools, an elegant dining room, a fitness room, and a game room. Cabin amenities include a mini-bar, a full-size bath tub, a TV and a movie program, and a music system.
- Nile Goddess – This five-deck ship has 63 guest cabins and two suites, all with large panoramic windows.
- Sun Goddess – The Sun Goddess has 58 cabins and 4 suites, all with panoramic windows. This ship is ideal for small business meetings and has a conference room that will accommodate 16.
- Moon Goddess – This ship has 48 cabins and two suites, all of which have a private balcony. In addition to the features mentioned above, the ship has a disco and a jogging track.
- Star Goddess – The Star Goddess boasts 33 cabins, all with private balconies.
- St. George – This newest addition to the Sonesta fleet is also its most deluxe. The ship has 47 cabins and 10 suites, all with plasma screen TVs, private balconies, Internet access, and spa bath tubs. Ship facilities include a full spa.
The Nile Cruise Itineraries
All of the Sonesta ships sail between Luxor and Aswan and vice versa on four and six-night voyages. Among the ports of call along the route area:
- Luxor – built on the site of the ancient city of Thebes, Luxor is near many Ancient Egyptian temples and palaces, including the Temple at Karnak and the temple of Hatshepsut, the only woman Pharaoh
- Edfu – About 60 miles south of Luxor, Edfu is home to one of the oldest and best preserved of the ancient temples.
- Kom Ombo – Just north of Aswan, it is home to the temples of Haroeris and Sobek, the Crocodile God.
- Aswan – Site of the “old” dam of the Nile, built by the British in 1898 as well as a traditional winter resort for centuries.
For an unusual vacation, one steeped in history and yet not lacking in luxury, a Nile cruise on one of the Sonesta ships is difficult to top.
Photo credit: OLewis