My family decided to reconnect this year with a cruise on the Nile. We had done a Mediterranean Cruise in the past, opting to avoid the very large cruise lines.
After some consideration, we went with CroisiEurope River Cruises' https://www.croisieuroperivercruises.com/, 8 day Nile Luxor-to-Luxor cruise on the DaVinci. I recommend the DaVinci for the following reasons:
- A Guardian review of Nile cruises described this cruise as being slightly slower paced as it is longer, traveling in both directions on the Nile. However, it was a packed schedule. We were busy every day, sometimes very early.
- You can book directly online without having to call an agent. While I enjoyed talking to an Avalon agent, I often felt that I didn't have the opportunity to consider the extras they were offering and would likely have spent a lot more on things we didn't need. CroisiEurope still had availability 1.5 months out from the departure date.
- It was significantly cheaper than the alternatives, although didn't feel like a budget trip. The accommodation, amenities, guides, food, and staff were excellent.
- You can manage Cairo on your own with the guides recommended by other Rick Steve's posters (including Mohammed Zaki, email@example.com, a guide we had), at a significantly lower cost than Avalon and Viking.
Things to know:
CroisiEurope is a French-based company, so anticipate a boat full of Europeans.
While these cruises attract an elderly audience, our elderly parents struggled to keep up at times. Other than a couple of additional excursions, all outings are included in the price. This usually meant an outing in the morning and the afternoon, often visiting two or more places during each outing.
The archaeological sites are very large and require walking often on uneven ground. Walking/hiking sticks are helpful.
CroisiEurope was exceptional at arranging outings outside of high-crowd times.
It was an amazing experience!