At Aswan, you can visit the famous Aswan High Dam, which helps control flooding along the Nile and make crop irrigation possible all year long. Stone quarried near Aswan was used to create many of the colossal statues, obelisks and other shrines sprinkled throughout Egypt. The largest ancient obelisk of all – about 137 feet long – lies unfinished in an Aswan quarry, offering an unusual look at ancient Egyptian stoneworking techniques. You can also visit the Nubian Museum, dedicated to the ancient Nubian civilization of the central Nile valley.
At Luxor, on the site of the ancient city of Thebes, you’ll find the Karnak Temple Complex, an ancient religious site with massive pillars and architraves and intricately carved friezes. The Luxor Temple Complex was dedicated to kingship and may be where the kings of Egypt were crowned. Across the river from the temple complexes lies the West Bank Necropolis, where Egypt’s pharaohs were entombed in the Valley of the Kings and their wives in the Valley of the Queens.
Some itineraries include a night in Cairo before or after the Nile cruise. It’s an absolutely fascinating city with beautiful architecture, one of the world’s largest bazaars, and the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. Cairo is also a starting point for excursions to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.
The best time to cruise the Nile is November through March: away from the intense heat of summer, though it will still be very warm. Bring a hat and lightweight clothing that will shield you from the midday sun, plus a sweater for the evening cooldown. Note that in Egypt’s a conservative Muslim culture, it’s respectful for visitors – both women and men – to wear clothing that covers the upper arms and legs.
For more information about a cruise down the Nile contact Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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