Cruising down the Nile had long been a fantasy of mine; I’ve read a lot to Agatha Christie novels over the years; she made it seem so glamourous. The people at Oberoi must have read them too. In 2016 they took a 50 room ship and completely redid it into a contemporary cruise ship of dreams. It now holds a maximum of 40 passengers. No minimum. They will sail if there is only one person on board. On my trip we were 9. Each day there is an ambitious program of site seeing. This is Egypt after all and the Sites are what you really come for. The Philae provides Egyptologists to lead groups of no more than 8 guests. They ensure this guide speaks your language fluently. Our group of English speakers was only 3. You can pay extra for a private guide if you prefer. The ship offers 4 or 6 nights between Luxor and Aswan or vice versa. Every meal offers several selections at least one if which is delicious Indian food (the Oberoi group is an Indian chain). Unlike many cruises you can eat when you want. There is a very high staff to guest ratio; we were wowed by how friendly, fun and extremely considerate everyone was. I was offered my favorite much-needed-for-its-restorative-properties lemonade several times a day while they made Jack a special pineapple smoothie. Everything is included in the price except alcohol.
Number of Rooms: 16 cabins; 4 suites
Sweet Suite: The Terrace Suites, these two suites overlook the stern of the boat…watching the Nile go by from the privacy of my own jacuzzi on my own outdoor terrace was a life highlight. I have never felt so privileged and fortunate. The rest of the suite is marvelous too with huge windows that open. A full sized bath tub that also looked out onto the Nile, two sinks, separate shower and separate toilet. The bathroom would have been a standout in a hotel.. to have this much space on a ship is truly memorable. And I haven’t even mentioned the bedroom and separate sitting room… both deluxe, both large, both beyond comfortable. It was hard to drag myself out of this space to explore the incredibly sites that make Egypt so special… i.e. the Valley of the Kings and King Tut’s tomb.
Favorite Thing: the bed animals… every night we came back from dinner to find a whimsical animal made from towels and things in the room. They were incredibly imaginative and so much fun… hard to believe they could be a highlight of a day that was spent exploring the ruins of ancient Egypt.
Near By: Well, the Nile obviously… Along the way you see or stop at the Nubian Museum, Philae Temple, Aswan Dam, Twin temple of Komombo, Temple of Edfu, Essna Lock, Valley of the Kings, Habu & Collossus of Memnon, Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple`
Amenities: Fitness Centre, Pool, elevator, private dock (no climbing over or through other boats ever), free WIFI, bottled water, Egyptologist in your language, cigar lounge with games and books, spa, daily fruit in your room, DVD’s, satellite TV