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Nile River Cruises in Cairo

When it comes to Nile cruises and adventures, what options are there? Here I tell you in detail everything you need to know.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

8 min read

Nile River Cruises in Cairo

Nile | ©Óscar Cubillo Alonso

Being the largest river in the world as well as the water source that feeds Egyptian cities, we all know how strongly connected the beautiful Nile is to the history and evolution of Egyptian culture. Egypt's Nile is considered an attraction, and one of the most fun things to see and do in Cairo; on your next visit seriously consider exploring the city from a whole new perspective and I assure you won't regret it.

If you want to know in detail the options available here I detail the most popular and fun, looking for you to choose the one that best suits your tastes.

1. Cruise on the Nile in a falucca at sunset

Falucca on the Nile River| ©Aitor Ruiz de Angulo Ruiz
Falucca on the Nile River| ©Aitor Ruiz de Angulo Ruiz

Small sailing boats plying the waters of the Nile have been used in Africa and the Middle East since the beginning of civilization. Today one of the most interesting tourist attractions is a leisurely ride on the Nile aboard these charming boats. There are several companies that offer this type of service but in my opinion one of the best times to take a traditional falucca ride is at sunset.

What these excursions usually include

Although it may vary depending on the company you hire, many of these companies offer round-trip transportation in a private vehicle to and from your hotel in Cairo. You will arrive at the embarkation point where you will board the falucca, during the ride you will be able to observe the beautiful scenery of the city; spot the caravans of camels and watch the sunset over the West Bank and the Valley of the Kings.

In addition to hotel pick-up, the company provides travelers with an expert guide who accompanies them throughout the trip. The companies in charge of this type of experience usually have guides available in several languages, be sure to get one in English or a language you are fluent in.

Useful information

  • Price: The approximate price to pay for this experience is from 30€ to 40€ on average. It may vary depending on the company you hire.
  • Duration of the excursion: Depending on the itinerary and the route contemplated, the ride can be an hour or up to 3 hours maximum.
  • Recommended yes... it is an experience that I recommend to all travelers visiting Cairo for the first time; since it is one of the most beautiful excursions to do in the city.

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2. Classic Nile cruise: with dinner and dance show

Nile Cruise| ©Elias Rovielo
Nile Cruise| ©Elias Rovielo

A classic night of fun aboard a Nile cruise is a must on any traveler's itinerary, not to mention one of the best things to do in Cairo at sunset. Since this is one of the most demanded experiences by travelers, it is easy to find numerous companies offering the service.

What these tours usually include

Almost all the companies in Cairo include in the experience the transfer in private transportation of travelers to and from their hotel in the city. The company will take you to the port of embarkation to begin the dinner and show adventure on the waters of the Nile.

In most cases a buffet style dinner is served with typical Egyptian food; the evening is enlivened by multiple shows including: musicians and live band to harmonize the evening, Arabian belly dancers and dervish dancers. All this accompanied with the beautiful city of Cairo that becomes even more enchanting when night falls.

Useful information

  • Price: This type of experience is usually available from 50€, however other similar experiences on luxury cruises can cost over 120€.
  • Duration of the excursion: Depending on the company you hire the experience can take 3 or 4 hours maximum.
  • Recommended if... You want to live the classic experience of the cruise on the Nile, it is ideal for those visiting the city of Cairo for the first time.

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3. Nile Cruise with day trip to the Pyramids of Giza

Pyramids of Giza| ©Sam valadi
Pyramids of Giza| ©Sam valadi

This experience allows travelers to combine two of the most popular and interesting activities to do on a trip to the city of Cairo: the excursion to the Pyramids of Giza anda night cruise on the Nile, fully recommended to enjoy whether you are traveling with a companion or on your own.

What these excursions usually include

Normally, the companies that offer this type of experience start the tour early in the morning by picking up travelers directly at the hotel; an** expert guide in Egyptology** able to speak your language will take the hiker in a private vehicle and equipped with air conditioning to the Giza plateau located about 30 minutes from Cairo. You will have time to explore the site, tour inside the Monuments and take pictures. The visit includes the three great pyramids Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinos, as well as the statue of the Sphinx. Depending on the company you hire, the entrance fees to the monuments may or may not be included in the price.

Return to the hotel for an afternoon rest and in the evening you will again join the guide to transfer to the port and take the Nile Cruise; this experience includes besides the ride on the waters, a buffet style dinner on board the boat, a dance show with dancers and live music throughout the evening.

Useful information

  • Price: You will need to book approximately 45€ per person for this experience.
  • Duration of the tour: The tour is divided into two phases, in the morning the excursion to the Giza Plateau will take about 3 hours on average, in the evening the Nile cruise will take another three hours.
  • Recommended if... You are looking for a way to save on your vacation to Cairo, by combining the experience you can find better deals than purchasing each of them in an individual package.

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4. Nile cruise with "Sounds and Lights" show at the Giza Plateau

Sounds and Lights| ©smir_001
Sounds and Lights| ©smir_001

The Sounds and Lights show in Giza is one of the best night shows that the modern city of Cairo offers to its many travelers. It consists of an elaborate montage with special effects that takes viewers through the shockingly rich history of the Egyptian people; the best part is undoubtedly the backdrop used for the presentations: The Pyramids of Giza and the towering giant statue of the Sphinx of Cheops.

What these tours usually include

The plan may vary a little depending on the company you hire for the excursion, usually the adventure begins in the late afternoon when an expert guide in Egyptology and trained to speak your language comes to pick up travelers directly at the hotel. Please note that for this type of experience the guide and transfer can be shared, although when they are, they are always handled in small groups to ensure exclusivity.

The guide will take them to the Giza Plateau to give travelers the opportunity to tour the site and take a few pictures before the show; which usually starts after sunset and last an average of 2 hours. After the show of lights and sounds you will be transferred to the port to board a large boat to enjoy a night sailing the waters of the Nile, accompanied by a delicious dinner and a show of dancers with musicians on board the boat.

Useful information

  • Price: You will need to set aside approximately 60€ per person for this experience.
  • Duration of the excursion: Between transfers and entertainment you will need approximately 5 hours to enjoy both shows.
  • Recommended if... You have already visited the Pyramids of Giza on a day tour or on another trip to Egypt, although the light show is really impressive, it should not be substituted by a tour to admire the interior of the Pyramids and the wonderful secrets it hides.

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5. Nile cruise in a falucca with traditional lunch

Falucas| ©Javier Enjuto
Falucas| ©Javier Enjuto

You certainly can't leave Cairo without tasting a tasty traditional Egyptian lunch; and while it is true that there is no shortage of interesting options in the city it is also true that many tour companies offer interesting packages by combining the Nile phalucca ride experience with a lunch downtown.

What these excursions usually include

Generally the adventure starts with the pick up of the traveler at the hotel, the companies that offer this type of experience usually offer guides in several languages including Spanish, French, German, English and many others. Be sure to clarify this detail before making the payment.

From the hotel you will be transferred to the boarding pier where you will take the falucca and embark on a tranquil ride along the waters of the beautiful river; besides enjoying the warmth of the sun you will be able to admire the beautiful scenery of the city's buildings that border the waters of the river. The second part of the experience involves a traditional lunch in a luxurious restaurant in the center of the city. After lunch, transportation will be waiting for you to take you back to your hotel.

Useful information

  • Price: This experience is available from 35€ per traveler.
  • Duration of the excursion: The Nile river tour can take a little more than 1 hour to complete, while lunch at the restaurant can take another 2 hours. You will need to set aside about 4 hours total including transfers.
  • Recommended yes... it is an experience that I recommend to any traveler who wants to enjoy the best experience touring the waters of the Nile and accompany it with a delicious traditional meal. In my opinion the adventure becomes much more fun and enjoyable if you are in Cairo accompanied by a friend or family member.

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6. Nile cruise by falucca with gastronomic tour

Strolling on the Nile River| ©Silviapef
Strolling on the Nile River| ©Silviapef

This type of experience combines two of the most interesting adventures to do on a Cairo tour: a gastronomic tour, which will take you to the heart and traditions of the city; with a relaxing sailboat ride on the waters of the Nile. Keep in mind that Egyptian gastronomy is one of the most amazing in the world, so you simply cannot leave the capital of the country without having at least a taste of its traditional dishes.

What these excursions usually include

This type of experience usually includes the accompaniment of an expert guide, you should make sure with the company you hire the language or languages in which the experience is offered; the guides of the gastronomic tours always speak English and other popular languages such as Spanish, German or French. Usually the guide in charge picks up the traveler at the hotel and then takes him to the oldest part of Cairo where you can taste the traditional food, the tasting may include between 3 and 5 dishes in different places, you can try the famous kosher, falafel, the typical meat with fruit, cane juice and more.

After the tour of the effervescent downtown area of Cairo, you will move on to the second part of the excursion where you will board a traditional falucca to travel along the Nile and enjoy the beautiful scenery along the Nile. Once the experience is over, the transfer back to your hotel is the final part of your trip.

Useful information

  • Price: The price to pay for this experience is approximately 50€ per traveler.
  • Duration of the tour: The gastronomic tour through the heart of Cairo will take you a minimum of 2 hours to complete, the phaluk ride on the Nile usually takes 1 hour to complete; you should reserve about 4 hours in total for the full tour.
  • Recommended if... You are a food lover and want to know the most typical Egyptian food. The option to finish the experience with a ride on the waters of the Nile is the perfect way to end a traditional and fun-filled tour.

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