nile cruise; egypt tour; nile river sailing

Sailboat on the Nile

Egypt’s 5,000-year-old civilization was born on the banks of the life-giving Nile. On our Private Journey, cruise in style on a sail-powered boat, with riverside picnics, village visits, and exploration of the temples and tombs of the Pharaohs.

Photo by Schmid Reinhard / Fototeca 9x12

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Egypt: the Nile by Sail Private Journey route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4595  
Length: 9 days
Arrive: Cairo, Egypt
Depart: Cairo, Egypt
Lodging: 3 nights 5-star hotels, 5 nights aboard yacht with air-conditioned cabins
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner
Activity: Walking, Archaeology, Cultural Adventures, River Cruises, Small Boat & Yacht Cruising
Trip Level: Easy to moderate walking tours and cultural exploration, Nile river travel by private vessel


  • Sail aboard the Lazuli III, a traditional Nile sailboat with six cabins and en suite facilities
  • Discover magnificent temples from Luxor to Aswan
  • Explore the Valley of the Kings and Queens
  • Grand Nile-side temples at Abu Simbel
  • Optional Petra, Alexandria, and Cairo extensions

The Nile portion of our trip on the Lazuli dahabiya was remarkable. It was so relaxing and the tour pace was a perfect mix of sightseeing and sailing. We loved the crew!Kersten F.—Moncure, NC

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

This is a traveler’s dream journey—exploring the Nile by dahabiya, a private two-masted river yacht that holds just 12 passengers. It’s an intimate and relaxed way to travel! On this Private Journey with your expert Egyptologist by your side, sail the river from Luxor to Aswan, discovering the great Pharaonic monuments that abound in this legendary river valley. Your explorations bring you to fascinating out-of-the-way sites little visited by other travelers, including Nile villages where you experience a timeless way of life. The breathtaking royal tombs of New Kingdom pharaohs, the awe-inspiring temples of Abu Simbel, the romantic ambiance of our private sailing vessel—they’re all on this ultimate odyssey amid the eternal wonder that is ancient Egypt.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-2
Luxor / Karnak Temple

Flying to Luxor, ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom capital, we visit stupendous Karnak, with its forest of enormous stone columns, and the strikingly graceful Luxor temple.

Days 3-7
Valley of the Kings / Sailing the Nile / Aswan

Explore the amazing Valley of the Kings, including the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, which merges with the sheer limestone cliffs as if nature herself had built this extraordinary monument. At Esna, with its Greco-Roman Temple of Khnum, we embark aboard our dahabiya, which can navigate not only on the main river but also in the maze of canals along its banks. This allows you to visit lesser-known sites such as El-Kaab, home of Nekbet, the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt, along with famed Nile-side temples including Kom Ombo and Edfu, where you travel to the temple in style—by horse-drawn carriage! Along the way,  enjoy a candlelit barbecue at Maniha Island, and one evening, moor at Cobania Island for a visit with local villagers. Your river journey concludes with a visit to the Aswan High Dam, an exploration of romantic Philae Temple, a pilgrimage site for thousands of years, and a walk through Aswan’s colorful outdoor market.

Days 8-9
Abu Simbel

Disembark and fly to Abu Simbel to see the colossal Nile-side temples of Ramses, carved into cliff faces in the 12th century BC. The figures, radiating power and dominating the landscape, were in modern times threatened by the waters that would rise with the completion of the High Dam at Aswan. A two-year campaign to save them was organized by UNESCO in the 1960s. Depart on Day 9 via Cairo.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:

What the Trip is Like

The trip is rated Level 1+, Easiest. It is an overland touring trip with day walks exploring the fascinating ruins and wonderful towns in this ancient and modern civilization. Please note that we have several early morning starts, especially on days with air travel.

Explanation of Trip Levels


When to go

October to April

For our Private Journey trips, you choose your own group and your preferred dates—there are no set departure dates. Private Journeys are available to groups as few as two people or as large as you like. Contact us for availability, questions, or to book your adventure!

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$4595 (10-12 members)
$4995 (8-9 members)
$5395 (6-7 members)
Single supplement: $690
High season surcharge (Apr & Dec): please contact our office for details

more on pricing

Extension Costs
Alexandria Extension
   from: $995
Jordan: Petra and Wadi Rum Extension
   from: $2695

Trip Cost Includes:

  • All accommodations
  • All meals included except 1 dinner
  • Services of Trip Leader and local guides
  • Sightseeing, all land transportation, and airport transfers as noted in the Full Trip Brochure, and baggage handling

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, visas, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, travel insurance, airfare or airport departure taxes, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors, cost of medical immunizations (if any), and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic and other beverages, laundry, etc.), camera fees at certain sites (approx. $2.50 per site).

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: $500
180 days prior to departure: 50%
90 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $250 per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Fairmont Towers Heliopolis

Fairmont Towers Heliopolis

Day 1 (1 night), Cairo, Egypt

Conveniently located just five minutes from the Cairo airport, this large 247-room hotel is set around a huge glass-enclosed atrium decorated with ...
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Sonesta St. George

Sonesta St. George

Day 2 (1 night), Luxor, Egypt

Overlooking the Nile on its East Bank in Luxor, the Sonesta St. George’s sweeping terrace is a relaxing place to watch feluccas as the sun ...
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<em>Lazuli III</em>

Lazuli III

Days 3 to 7 (5 nights), Nile River, Egypt

A traditional Nile sailboat of the style built at the end of the 19th century, the 120-foot Lazuli III is the perfect vessel for observing ...
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Mena House Oberoi

Mena House Oberoi

Day 8 (1 night), Giza, Egypt

Originally built as a royal hunting lodge for Khedive Ismail, ruler of Egypt from 1863 to 1879, the Mena House was bought and converted into a hotel ...
Click here for full description and more photos

Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions options:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extensions:



Alexandria Extension

Crossroads of the Ancient World

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
3 days  -  Level 1


Jordan: Petra and Wadi Rum Extension

Ancient Desert Fortresses, Lost Cities, Fabled Wadi Rum

Archaeology, Cultural Adventures
7 days  -  Level 2

Client Comments

The Nile portion of our trip on the Lazuli dahabiya was remarkable. It was so relaxing and the tour pace was a perfect mix of sightseeing and sailing. We loved the crew! Kersten F., Moncure, NC
Super from beginning to end. The Trip Leader was the very best I have ever had! Carol S., Louisville, KY