Exploring the Nile River and all the wonders on its banks gives a different perspective when embarking on this cruise. The tour along the historic waters of the Nile lasts around 4 days and includes the main buildings and tourist attractions. Especially between Luxor and Aswan, the cruise will provide unforgettable scenes of the life of Egyptian peasants along the Nile, with customs and techniques still from ancient times. If you are considering taking a Nile Cruise someday then reading our experience might be helpful.
We boarded in Luxor, a city on the east bank of the Nile River, in southern Egypt. This city, in the past, was ancient Thebes, which experienced the height of the pharaohs’ power between 1600 and 1100 years before Christ. Among the main monuments are the Luxor Temple and the Karnac Temple.
Taking around two thousand years to complete (between construction and additions to the structure), Karnak was dedicated to the god Amun-Ra, consolidating itself as one of the largest places of worship, also for other gods venerated until then, such as Mut – wife of Ammon – and Quespisiquis. The temple was submerged in Egyptian sand for more than a thousand years before excavation work began in the mid-18th century, and the enormous task of restoration and conservation continues to this day.
Also dedicated to the god Amun, his wife Mut, and Quespisiquis, in antiquity, it was called Ipep-resit, translated as “Harem of the South”, in reference to the annual festivals that took place in the Temple of Luxor. For such celebrations, the statues of Ammon, Mut, and Quespisiquis were transported from Karnak to Luxor. However, other studies have developed new interpretations of Luxor and the annual festival, pointing out that the building was actually dedicated to the divine Egyptian ruler, Ka.
Valley of the Kings
The next stop is the Valley of the Kings, where from the 16th to the 11th BC, eternal resting places were built for the pharaohs, including the famous tomb of Tutankhamun, whose discovery initiated a great wave of interest in the history of ancient Egypt.
Temple of Hatshepsut
Also known as the Djeser-Djeseru (wonder of wonders), it is a mortuary temple built specifically for Queen Hatshepsut, considered “one of the most successful pharaohs” of Ancient Egypt, as there was a period of economic prosperity that prolonged during and after his government. The story of the queen’s birth and expedition to the land of Punt, a place with which Egypt had commercial relations, is told through a relief sculpture present in the temple.
Colossus of Memnon
These are two gigantic statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III of the 18th Dynasty, located in the necropolis of the ancient city of Thebes. With paper to protect the pharaoh’s funerary temple, the statues were made of quartzite, measuring around eighteen meters, and weighing 1300 tons. On both sides of the throne, there is a representation of the sema-taui, a symbol that alluded to the union between Upper and Lower Egypt, and it is possible to see the god Hapi carrying out the union of the two heraldic plants, the papyrus, and the lily. At the beginning of the Christian era, the Greeks visited the site and associated the north statue with the hero Memnon, son of Eos. According to Homeric legend, this hero, killed in the Trojan War, received immortality from Zeus, dedicating himself to calling his mother every morning.
There are so many tourist and historical locations to visit during a Nile River cruise. You just need to choose the best cruise that suits your wants and needs. Happy holidays!