No trip to Egypt is complete without an in-depth exploration of the Nile and its priceless antiquities. There are two ways in how to visit the treasured monuments in Luxor, Aswan, Kim Combo, Edna and Defy: either by boat or on the ground in hotels.
The Nile Cruise
Taking a Nile river cruise is the most relaxing way to explore the sites, as the itinerary is structured and pre-planned to get you to the monuments. You will board in either Aswan or Luxor, sailing north or south. An extended 7 night cruise will take you to Luxor-Aswan and reverse with the addition of Denderah and Abydos. The cruise experience is also the most cost-efficient method of traveling the Nile, as all of your meals, entertainment and excursion fees are included. The downside to the cruise is that there may not be enough time allocated to attractions where you would like to linger.
Your second option is to booking a hotel stay in both Luxor and Aswan, which will give you ample time to fully explore the monuments. Five star accommodations are plentiful and reasonable priced, even for a Nile view room.
While in Luxor, you will want to visit Valley of the Kings and Queens, which may need a full day to take it all in. Nearby are some wonderfully preserved tombs in the Valley of the Nobles; the most impressive of these is that of Senefer, who served as mayor of Thebes under Amenhotep ll. Also on your list will be the Luxor Museum, which houses many of the antiquities carried out of Valley of the Kings. Nearby is the Open Air Museum, where you'll find colossal statuary from the New Kingdom era.
In Aswan, the main attractions are the Aswan Dam, The Unfinished Obelisk and the open air souk, all of which can be visited in one day. However, the main attraction will require a short flight to the Temple of Ramses at Abu Simbel. There, you may have a self-guided walk-through of one of the most impressive architectural structures known to man.
The disadvantage of a Nile river journey with hotels is that the towns of Kom Ombo, Edfu and Esna do not have decent accommodation and are accessed by a lengthy auto trip which must be done on a strict timetable with police escorts. For the first time Egypt traveler, a cruise down the Nile will meet and exceed most expectations. But, for the return traveler who wants his boots on the ground, the hotels are the way to go.