Oberoi Zahra Nile Cruise
Best for: Slow Travel, River Cruises, Historical, First Time Visitor
The Oberoi Zahra is unquestionably one of Egypt’s most luxurious and iconic Nile cruises. You’ll cruise along the Nile, being looked after by the finest Egyptologists. Stay in fabulous cabins and relishing world-class cuisine and spa treatments.
The Oberoi Zahra has undoubtedly brought a new level of luxury to the traditional Nile cruise. By comparison, other cruises are slightly stuffy affairs. They have a packed schedule with little time to enjoy the natural scenery you are cruising through. Put simply, the Oberoi Zahra gives you time and space. We have based this suggested itinerary on their seven-night cruise. The Zahra does now offer a three or four-night cruise, so should you be short on time, we can tailor-make the itinerary to make it all work.
Begin in Cairo, Egypt’s frenetic and bustling capital city. We suggest staying at the best address in town, the Four Seasons First Residence. As we have designed this as a ‘slow’ holiday, we suggest three nights here. This means you can see the Pyramids, Memphis & Sakkara, the Egyptian Museum and also take an immersive walking tour through Islamic Cairo and the bustling bazaars.
Fly to Luxor and board the Zahra. With seven nights, you see all the sights along the Nile, but also have time to enjoy the facilities onboard. The Zahra has one of the best-equipped spas of any boat in Egypt. Prepare to be pampered like Cleopatra as you cruise gradually down the Nile. The cuisine onboard is second-to-none. Their well-stocked bar will ensure you aren’t ever thirsty after an excursion to see the delights of ancient Egypt.
The added benefit of the longer seven-night cruise is the addition to sailing to Quina, north of Luxor, to see the superb Temple of Dendera. This temple is dedicated to Hathor, Goddess of Music, Love and Joy. The other benefit is the chance to have a long, indulgent lunch before heading for an excursion at 3 pm. With shorter cruises, you tend to be herded out as soon as you have eaten the last mouthful of dessert. They also have a few free mornings, where you can relax or make use of the spa.
We have based it on a cruise from Luxor to Aswan, with the option of adding a few nights in the Old Cataract Hotel to conclude your holiday. This usually departs Luxor on a Tuesday, so that would mean arriving into Cairo the preceding Saturday. You can opt to cruise from Aswan to Luxor (departing on a Tuesday too). This means you can extend your stay on the beach in Hurghada at the Oberoi.
On arrival in Luxor, you will have lunch before seeing Karnak Temple that afternoon. The following day in an early start to see the West Bank – the Valley of the Kings, Temple of Habu and Colossus of Memnon. You then sail to Quina. After lunch, see the Temple of Dendera. Dock that evening in Quina (no other ships tend to do this). After a long breakfast, you return to Luxor to continue seeing the West Bank – The Valley of the Nobles, Deir el-Medina and the Temple of Hatshepsut. This is another example of why the Zahra adds so much in that most shorter cruises tend to rush around the West Bank in an afternoon. With the Zahra, you have this over two leisurely half-days.
That afternoon, see Luxor Temple. You then sail to Edfu, with nothing planned the next morning. See the Temple of Edfu in the afternoon. Your next day takes you to Aswan, again sailing in the morning, relaxing as the Nile drifts past. See the High Dam and Philae Temple that afternoon. You then turn back to see the Temple of Kom Ombo the next morning, before seeing the Botanical Gardens in Aswan in the afternoon. The final full day is at leisure, and guests can make the optional visit to Abu Simbel. You disembark the following morning.
- Undeniably one of Egypt’s finest Nile cruise ships
- The 7-night cruise offers a lovely ‘slow travel’ experience compared to other cruises
- Without doubt, some of the best guiding on offer
- In addition, wonderful cuisine, cabins and spa treatments on offer