Cruises to Egypt and The Red Sea
Cruise into thousands of years of history to the days of the pharaohs on one of our cruises to Egypt and the Red Sea. Whether you stop at Safaga on the coast, sail to the ancient Port of Alexandria, glide through the Suez Canal or enjoy the architectural splendour and multicultural history of Port Said, cruises to Egypt and the Red Sea will take you on a journey of discovery through hieroglyphics and ancient rituals, arid landscapes in the barren desert and fertile farmlands of the Nile Valley. Home to one of the most iconic rivers in the world, a marvel of man-made engineering, ancient buildings that defy logic and even modern building methods as well as an intensely welcoming population, Egypt is an incredibly rewarding destination and one that continues to draw visitors to view its incredible spectacles.
Egypt is considered a desert nation, but the region around the Nile Valley is incredible fertile and bursting with fruits, vegetable and grains.
Beginning in Ethiopia and travelling more than 6,800 kilometres to empty into the Mediterranean basin. The Nile is at the very heart of the country’s existence and one of the best ways to explore is on a day excursion from your port to cruise the waters on a traditional felucca boat. With their pointed white sails and a wooden hull, it’s a relaxing way to explore the tranquil waters near Aswan and Luxor.
But Egypt’s second most famous waterway is the Suez Canal, which many cruises pass through on the way from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean and further afield. The Mediterranean harbour of Port Said shelters a remarkably attractive waterfront city, with Venetian architecture and a striking mosque. Like Istanbul it too straddles two continents, Africa and Asia, and its culture and cuisine is an eclectic blend of the two. Other Mediterranean ports include Alexandria, the ancient Egyptian capital named after its founder, Alexander the Great.
Whether you sail through the canal from north or south you’ll likely dock in the port of Safaga on the Red Sea. The area’s reputation for crystal clear waters and abundant marine life is justly deserved and you’ll find plenty of diving schools who will take you out on the waters – make sure you bring your PADI certificate with you. Swimming and snorkelling also offer the chance to experience the warm waters, or you could simply relax on the unspoilt beaches.
However most people visiting Safaga choose to embark on a full-day exploration of one of Egypt’s most magnificent sights. The understated port is the entry point into Upper Egypt and city of Luxor, from which you can see the temples of Karnak and Luxor, as well as the River Nile. Nearby the Valley of the Kings comprises 64 pharaohs’ tombs in an area known as the City of the Dead, including that of Tutankhamun. The site was discovered virtually intact in 1922 and is incredibly well preserved – you won’t believe your eyes.
Our cruises to Egypt and the Red Sea take in a multitude of natural and man-made wonders, from the ancient pyramids to fertile valleys and the chance to feel like you’re sailing through the heart of the desert.
Best time to travel
Temperatures in Egypt are high during the summer when you’ll see lots of sunny skies.
Throughout the winter (Oct – Feb) you’ll find cooler evenings and pleasant breezes. The Red Sea is nearly always hot and sunny.
Because of the Nile’s fertile river valley Egypt grows lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Bread is also a staple of Egyptian cuisine and accompanies most meals, it is used as a utensil to scoop up food and as a wrap for falafel. Popular dishes include ful medames, fava beans with vegetables served with sliced hard-boiled eggs. Kebabs, lentils and rice-stuffed vegetables are also popular.
The Suez Canal is one of the busiest transit routes for ships and is 120 miles long, but unlike most canals it has no locks.
The Great Kufu Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three Giza pyramids. It’s a whopping 4,575 years old and was the tallest man-made structure in Egypt for more than 3,800 years.
Things to do
- Take a traditional felucca cruise along the River Nile
- Gaze up at the iconic Pyramid of Giza and make eye contact with the regal Sphinx
- Shop for souvenirs and traditional crafts in the Khan el-Khalili bazaar in Cairo
- Walk among the vast complex of temple ruins at Karnak
- Try a diving excursion in the Red Sea to discover the marine-rich waters
- Explore pharaohs tombs and burial chambers at the Valley of the Kings
- Trace 5,000 years of Egyptian history at the Egyptian Museum
- Uncover the Coptic icons at the Hanging Church, one of the oldest churches in Egypt
- Climb the 4,000 steps of the Path of Moses on a trek to the top of Mount Sinai
- Cruise the Suez Canal and look out for the unusual shipping traffic, like aircraft carriers
- Relax on the white sand beaches of Safaga on the Red Sea
- Feel like a character from Indiana Jones as you discover the grand Luxor Temple
- Visit the Giza Solar Boat Museum to see the intact Khufu ship
- In Port Said look out for the elegant Venetian-style offices of the Suez Canal Company