From the time of the Pharaohs, the great pyramids, King Tutankhamun, and Queen Cleopatra, the Nile River has played a central role in Egypt’s rich history. Recognising this, TUI River Cruises has created a new seven-night, all-inclusive roundtrip ‘Legends of the Nile’ itinerary from Luxor, Egypt, available between November 2024 and April 2025.
“Egypt and the areas surrounding the Nile are full of fascinating history and culture which is a perfect fit for our river cruise guests who want to explore all that destinations have to offer without the hassle of having to constantly unpack and repack their bags,” said Katy Berzins, head of TUI River Cruises. “Cruising along the Nile offers a serene and unforgettable experience with lush landscapes, traditional villages and numerous iconic landmarks. With year-round sunshine, Egypt is the perfect destination that allows guests to explore its ancient history and immerse themselves into a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The cruise line will offer Nile River sailings on its new vessel, TUI Al Horeya. The 145-passenger ship, called ‘freedom’ in Arabic, has been in drydock in Cario, Egypt, since July 2023, undergoing refurbishments to adapt it for the itinerary. New features onboard include an area for licensed Egyptologists to deliver historical talks and tours, as well as a top-deck swimming pool and two whirlpools where guests will be able take in the Egyptian views.
“Luxor serves as the gateway to the Nile, offering a perfect blend of the old and the new,” says Berzins. “It’s steeped in history with magnificent ancient temples and pharaohs’ resting places, combined with hidden spice-scented souks and bustling city life. Transfers can whisk guests from the airport to the port in as little as 25 minutes so quite simply, Luxor is a fascinating place with great transport links and in our view, the perfect get away.”
So, what exactly does the itinerary offer? The trip will begin either from London Gatwick or Manchester Airport, as guests travel on a direct, non-stop charter flight from the UK to Luxor. Guests will embark TUI Al Horeya and stay onboard as they spend the first three days of their trip exploring Luxor. They will then sail to the Temple of Horus in Edfu and the Temple of Kom Ombo in Kom Ombo for two set excursions that are included within the sailing package price, before travelling on to Aswan and then returning to Luxor on the final day of the cruise.
“We have chosen to include two shore excursions into the package that are the must-have experiences in those ports,” says Berzins. “However, we wanted to allow our guests the flexibility and choice to design the right holidays and experiences for them in Luxor and Aswan where we offer a wide range of experiences. Options include discovering the Temples of Karnak and Luxor with the Sphinx Avenue, a strikingly graceful piece of architecture on the banks of the Nile; experiencing a sound and light show at Karnak Temple, which recounts the history of Thebes and the lives of pharaohs; visiting the Nubian Village and sailing on a traditional felucca, a canvas sail boat; or touring the High Dam, Obelisk and Philae Temple, which was built in 1960.”
The TUI team considered several important factors when designing the itinerary for TUI Al Horeya.
“As an established global operator, we’ve conducted extensive research and drawn on our previous experience of operating in Egypt,” says Berzins. “We’ve also benefited from the knowledge of our colleagues in both product and destination teams to launch the TUI River Cruises ‘Legends of the Nile’ itinerary.
“The unique sites along the Nile naturally form a key part of our planning, and understanding what is available and the best times of day to visit was imperative to ensure we allocated the right amount of time in each port for guests to maximise their experiences both on and off the ship and allow them to plan their river cruise, their way.”
This article was first published in the 2024 issue of Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. Subscribe to Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning for FREE to get the next issue delivered directly to your inbox.