Nile cruise to ancient Egypt
by The Associated Press
The ancient Egyptians believed that their gods travelled up and down the Nile by boat. This would have been far easier to imagine when boats were elegant feluccas, powered by wind and graceful oar, rather than the ugly floating hotels that chug along the river today.
I say floating hotels but even a two-star wouldn't get away with a room the size of the average Nile cruiser cabin. However, you shouldn't judge a cruiser by the size of its cabins. And a good job, too, I think, as I survey my accommodation on Oberoi's new Zahra, billed as the most luxurious cruiser on the river. Suites measure a roomy 50m² but I'm not in a suite, I'm in a cabin and at 26.4m², it feels rather snug.
There's room for two single beds (or are they berths?) and bedside tables, a built-in wardrobe, a desk that doubles as a dressing table, two armchairs and small table. The chairs are arranged side by side, facing the opaque glass wall of the – very luxurious – bathroom, and at right-angles to the picture window. I rearrange the chairs so that they are both next to the window and place the table against the wall to clear more space. When I return from lunch, the chairs and table have been restored to their original positions.
I notice that I can hear my neighbour moving about in her cabin. Perhaps you shouldn't judge a cruiser by the quality of its soundproofing, either.
But it doesn't matter, because I won't be spending much time in my cabin. I'm on an introductory cruise, which means that we will only be spending two nights/three days on the Zahra and travel from Luxor as far as Qena – the real thing goes from Luxor to Aswan (or vice versa). But as on the longer cruises, we are provided with our own Egyptologist who will guide us around the sights; transport will be on a small, private coach.