How do you know when you have actually booked a Luxury Nile Cruise?
Every ship owner on the Nile seems to describe their ship, no matter what the true standard, as a Luxury Nile Cruise ship. Perhaps it’s simply a matter of pride or perhaps to the ordinary Egyptian on the street any Nile Cruise ship is seen as luxurious. You must remember that most ordinary Egyptians will never have the disposable income to take a one week Nile Cruise. So your trip down the Nile is the heigth of luxury as far as they are concerned.
However to European and other world travellers the description of “luxury” means something well above the ordinary. I would suggest that as so many of us have now travelled quite extensively throughout the world if we were booked on a “luxury Nile Cruise ship” we would have visions of beautifully appointed cabins with luxurious bathrooms, spotlessly clean. We would imagine large, luxuriously appointed public and dining rooms with sumptuous furnishings and decorations. We would expect a wonderful sundeck area with pool, excellent sunbed and relaxing areas and facilities plus sundeck bar with waiter service. All topped off with the highest standards of service and a wide choice of well-prepared food.
So how can you ensure that the Nile Cruise ship that you are thinking of booking is truly a luxury Nile Cruise Ship?
Well, the first thing to realise is that the word “luxury” as we know it can really only be truly applied to a certain, small number of ships. There are usually 80+ ships sailing the Nile at any one time but of that 80+ perhaps only 10 – 15 might be really described as “luxury” vessels.
There is not really enough time in this short article to mention them all but you are really looking at ships such as the mega-luxury (and expensive) Oberoi Zahra, the Oberoi Philae, the Sonesta St.
George, the Alexander The Great, the Sonesta Goddess, the Movenpick Royal Lily, several of the Jaz brand of Nile Cruise ships and the Royal Viking. That list is not exhaustive and I apologise to the owners of the vessels I have ommited.
So if you are offered a Nile Cruise on any of those vessels then you can safely assume that you are undertaking a “Luxury Nile Cruise”in the truest sense.
The second thing to understand when deciding if the Nile Cruise ship offered to you is truly a luxury vessel is to look at the price. Normally, unless you are lucky enough to find a really “special” offer you will be paying more to cruise on the ships mentioned. Luxury, service and excellent dining can not be supplied cheaply. The Oberoi Zahra, possibly the most luxurious ship cruising the Nile is often priced at £3000+ per person. The Alexander The Great is normally between £1800 to £2000 per person and the Sonesta St. George and similar ships can be £1400+ per person. So you can see that “luxury” doesnt’ often come cheap.
The third thing you should understand is the opening paragraph of this article. You will probably be told by the person selling you the cruise that the ship he or she is telling you about is a luxury Nile Cruise ship. At that point you need to really start asking how he or she knows that the standard of the ship they are describing is “luxurious”. Have they sailed on or visited the ship? Have they actually enjoyed a Nile Cruise themselves? How do they judge “luxury”.
If possible you should try and book your Nile Cruise with a Nile Cruise specialist. A company or individual that really knows the market. Who has travelled extensively on the Nile and within Egypt and if possible someone who has actually sailed on or visited the ship they are selling to you.
I would like to point at here that there are lots of truly excellent 5 Star Nile Cruise ships that offer exceptional standards of accommodation, facilities, service and dining. Those ships will provide travellers with an wonderful Nile Cruise experience at much more affordable prices. Again a real “Nile Cruise Specialist” will be able to tell you about the best of the true 5 Star vessels and you can be sure that you will have a truly memorable cruise.
However we are describing the top of the range “Luxury Nile Cruise Ships” here and if you are looking for that “special” ship for that “special occasion” or if you are in the lucky position that budget doesnt’ really affect the purchasing decision then the three points I mention above will help you to be sure that you are booking exactly what you are looking for.
Finally, as in a lot of things in life, “luxury is in the eye of the beholder”. In other words we all have different ideas and opinions of what the word “luxury” means. But if you are being sold a “luxury Nile Cruise” and the price seems too good to be true then it probably is. If you really want to be sure that you will be sailing on a luxury Nile Cruise ship and if you will be really disappointed if you find you are not, then apply the three points I’ve suggested above and you should find that you will be sure that you enjoy a true “Luxury Nile Cruise”.