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Your Trip

Your Trip

Yes, it is safe to travel to Egypt according to many Foreign Consulate Offices, including that of the United Kingdom and United States. In the words of the U.K. FCO: “The area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel does not include the tourist areas along the Nile river (e.g. Luxor, Qina, Aswan, Abu Simbel and the Valley of the Kings) or the Red Sea Resorts of Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.” The U.K. FCO also includes a map of the “green zone” (safe for tourists) that incorporates expansive areas in and around everywhere Nour El Nil travels. You can download this map here: Download Map. It’s also worth pointing out that Egypt as a country, according to the crime index has a lower crime rate than USA, France, Italy, Greece, and many other countries!

We also encourage you to read this article in The Guardian by Anthony Sattin, writer of Lonely Planet Egypt, on why now is the time to travel to Egypt: Egypt, Why To Go Now. While the article was writtten in March 2014, it still applies today, as tourists at that time had many of the same concerns as they do today.

For visitors from the U.S.A, U.K. and Europe:  For visits of up to 30 days, you can get a visa on arrival by payment in Sterling, US Dollars or Euros; the visa fee is roughly US$20 at approved bank kiosks within airport arrival halls, before reaching immigration counters. We highly recommend that you do not purchase your visa from an agent or consulate before traveling to Egypt, as the prices for doing so are often times 2x-5x or more the actual cost of simply buying it upon arrival.

For Visitors from the Middle East (Arab Countries): You are advised to contact the Consulate General before applying for the visa in order to confirm the required documentation.

For Visitors from Other Countries: Please check with the Egyptian Consulate for visa requirements for your specific country.

It is recommended that you have all routine vaccines. While many of our guests choose not to get any vaccines and remain healthy, some Health Departments recommend the Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccinations for added precaution. However, it is worth pointing out that we have never had a single case of anyone getting sick as a result of not having received these specific vaccinations.

Egypt has great weather year-round, however the Summer months can be very hot. For this reason, we recommend traveling between mid/late September to late May. While we are able to run cruises during June, July and August, we typically discourage our guests from doing so given the extremely high temperatures during this period.

We always recommend that our guests view the average temperatures for each month and make a decision on when to travel based on their desired weather: Annual Weather Averages in Luxor, Egypt.

Absolutely. If you are interested in arranging a guide for your time in Luxor, we are happy to help. Please e-mail us at with your desired dates and itinerary and we will help coordinate.

If there’s a common theme amongst our guests when packing for their trip to Egypt it’s that they overpack. For the most part, you will not need a lot of clothes and accessories in order to be comfortable in Egypt and packing lightly always makes your life easier.

In general, you should be sure to pack the following: sunglasses, hat, swimsuit, shorts/light dress, scarf/shall (for women), t-shirts/tank-tops, comfortable walking shoes, adaptor plug, camera and a good book! Beyond this, you won’t need much. It’s very easy to wash your clothes every couple of days, as they’ll dry quickly in the afternoon sun.

Luxor is a beautiful city with a wealth of historic temples, tombs and sites. How much time you spend in Luxor depends heavily on how you like to travel/tour. We always recommend taking more time and visiting the sites thoroughly and at your own pace, rather than rushing around. That being said, we recommend you spend two full days in Luxor, at a minimum. Three days is even nicer, as you can visit most of the major sites, a few smaller ones, and also have time to have leisurely meals, walks, etc. We are happy to help you arrange drivers or tours around Luxor, should you desire.

The Cruise

The Cruise

The primary difference between each of our dahabiyas is (a) how spacious the accommodations are and (b) how large the deck is. The price difference between our dahabiyas is based on these factors. Other than that, the design, style, service and experience are the same across all four of our dahabiyas.

Your Nour El Nil cruise includes all room and board, travel from Luxor to the cruise, entrance to the sites that we visit and the guide.

Not included in the cost of the trip is: alcohol, tips for the crew and guide, and transportation at the end of the cruise.

Yes. Beer, wine, champagne and spirits are available for purchase on the cruise. In regards to spirits in particular, we have managed to acquire a nice vodka and gin, but if you prefer whiskey you should buy this yourself at Duty Free in the airport.

Beer and Wine are available for purchase at the Guesthouse.

Absolutely! We have special rates for privatizations. Please e-mail us at to get more details and pricing for privatizations.

Yes, we will have a guide present with you at all major sites that we visit along the Nile. Guides are available in several major languages. If your preferred language is other than English, please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate. Of course, you are welcome to leave the guide a tip as a small “Thank You” for the time they will spend with you.

Yes, air conditioning is available aboard the cruise. However, much of the year Air Conditioning is not available. Each room has multiple windows that typically help keep the room comfortably cool. It should be noted that the air conditioning system runs off of our generator, which we turn off at night, in order to ensure that our guests have a restful sleep.

Cruise: While we discourage guests from using WiFi too frequently, it is available for those who need to check in with family, friends or for business via e-mail. We discourage guests from sending/posting photos, videos, making Skype calls, etc. given that it will drain the limited Mobile WiFi data that is there to be shared by everyone.

Beit Sabee Guesthouse: Yes, free WiFi is available at the Guesthouse.

Nour El Nil understands that sometimes plans change as a result of unforeseen circumstances. Our official cancellation policy is:

  • Reservation deposits (typically 25% of booking) are non-refundable but can be applied to future trip if your plans change.
  • The balance of reservation is due 60 days in advance of your departure date.  Cancellations made after this point are non-refundable, however your balance can be applied to a future trip.

Our standard trips last 5 nights/6 days. We are able to shorten or lengthen the trip only in the instance of a privatization (charter), in which case we can customize the trip according to your schedule and desires.

The cost for a Single Person to have their own room aboard the dahabiya is the Per Person price +35%. This rate is sometimes flexible depending on boat, accommodation type and the week you are traveling.

The reason for this pricing is that, as a single traveler, you are still taking up a room that would otherwise potentially be booked at the Double Occupancy price.

Please e-mail us if you would like to make a single-occupancy booking.

All rooms are based on double-occupancy. It is our policy that no more than two people be allowed per room, except in rare instances of young children. If you have special circumstances, please let us know and we will address your case on an individual basis.

Pricing for both the cruise and guesthouse is the same for both residents and non-residents.

Yes, we allow and welcome children aboard the cruise. We have found that children, old and young, thoroughly enjoy the cruise and excursions. That being said, please understand that the dahabiya provides an intimate atmosphere and therefore it is important that your children are well-behaved.

We are very willing and able to accommodate special dietary requirements. For example, if you are vegetarian or pescatarian, we will include plenty of vegetables and/or fish at each meal. If you have any food allergies, please be sure to alert us as soon as possible so we can ensure that we properly accommodate these concerns.

We serve only the most authentic Egyptian cuisine, made from fresh ingredients purchased from local farmers and fishermen. From freshly caught Nile Perch to the delicious felafel, you will look forward to each and every meal.

For those who have special dietary concerns, we can adapt to most any allergies or special requests. We ask you to notify us of any special dietary needs as soon as possible so that we can prepare properly.

Yes, of course! Every week our guests swim in the Nile without any problems or cause for concern. The currents ensure that you are swimming in clean, non-stagnant water. We’ve had everyone from children to the elderly take a dip in the Nile with us and no one has ever become sick as a result.

Absolutely not! Unlike the sea, the Nile is completely calm and experiences no waves or abrupt movements, therefore you can feel completely confident that being on the river will not adversely affect you. We have never had a single guest complain of being “seasick” on the Nile.

While you are welcome to tip as much or as little as you like, when asked by guests we recommend a tip of 100 Euros per guest. This tip will be split evenly among the entire crew (typically 15-17 staff) who work 12+ hours/day. As you will see, our crew will take great care of you and your tip is a small and generous way that you can thank them for their hard work and care.

Good to Know

Good to Know

The following advice applies to women when visiting Luxor and historical sites: Short skirts/shorts, revealing tank-tops or other types of potentially “provocative” clothing are not recommended. Unfortunately, this type of dress attracts unwanted attention and can be looked down upon, given the fact that Egypt is a primarily Muslim country.

In general, women should wear long sleeves and dresses in Cairo and cities/locations other than Luxor, Aswan and Hurgada, where more comfortable, less conservative clothing is more accepted because of tourism. When in these locations, it is still good to adhere to having a shawl to cover up when needed.

The above advice does not apply to Nour El Nil cruises. You are welcome to wear whatever you would like while on the cruise, including bathing suits, bikinis, tank-tops, etc. Our staff is used to serving western clients and are not offended. Our staff is completely respectful and most of all, we want you to be comfortable. After all, Egypt can be quite hot at times!

Standard voltage is 220 volts. Primary sockets require the European, 2 pronged variety. We recommend that you pack a universal travel adaptor. You will need a voltage converter, and plug adaptor in order to use U.S. appliances.

Yes, alcohol is available in Egypt, either in the hotels, higher class restaurants and cafes, pubs, and beer gardens. You will also find off licences as well. Please note though, it is illegal to drink alcohol in the streets in Egypt.

Due to the low salaries of many professionals in Egypt, many people depend on tips, or baksheesh as it is called in Egypt, as a major part of their income. Therefore, tipping is considered customary in Egypt.

There are a large number of banks and exchange offices that can change cash and travelers’ checks in Egypt. Moreover, many touristic shops, restaurants, and bars will actually accept dollars or Euros at rates that are relatively close to the official ones. Makes sure you know the current exchange rate of dollars or Euros to Egyptian pounds. You can check current exchange rates here.

We are often able to exchange smaller sums of money directly at Beit Sabee Guesthouse or on the cruise.

Nour El Nil will happily arrange a taxi for you to drive to Aswan following your trip, if desired. We can also arrange airport transfers for departure from Aswan. If you wish to return to Luxor following your time with Nour El Nil, please let us knowing during the cruise and we will arrange this transport (at additional cost).

We generally advise guests not to drink the tap water in Egypt. We provide our guests with as much bottled water as needed on both the cruise and at the guesthouse. It should be noted that we have an advanced filtration system on our dahabiyas and it is this filtered water that is used to make the ice that we provide you. However, we still encourage guests to use the bottled water for drinking purposes. Of course, it is safe to brush your teeth, rinse your mouth, shower with, etc. the water both on the dahabiya and at the guesthouse.

For individual room bookings: 25% non-refundable deposit due within 21 days of confirmation. Balance due 60 days in advance of departure date.

For privatization: 25% non-refundable deposit due within 21 days of confirmation. Balance due 60 days prior to start date.