Cruises. We love them. We love to relax and indulge in the luxuries of them. But what’s most exciting about the Luxor-Aswan Nile Cruise compared to most other cruises is that it’s infused with a number of historical tours, exploring the many depths of Ancient Egypt.
You will not only get to lay back and relax as you enjoy the food and pool on-deck, but you’ll also go home with a cultural experience.
Here are several reasons why you should go on a Luxor and Aswan Nile Cruise for your next vacation, and some of the things you will get to see.
ASWAN HIGH DAM
Supplying more than half the water and electricity across the entire country, the two-mile long Aswan High Dam was a huge accomplishment in the 1960s. It was named after Egypt’s second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, after whom the dam was named.
There are a lot of temples that underwent reconstruction due to the flooding that happened in the area. The dam played a huge role in stabilizing Egypt’s ecosystem, as well as the final destination in river transport from the Mediterranean Sea.
As a result of the dam, a new lake was born. Lake Nasser – one of the world’s largest man-made lakes. The crocodiles in the like are a major attraction for many tourists around the world.
TEMPLE OF HORUS & EDFU TEMPLE
These two sort of come in a 2-in-1 kind of package. Temple of Horus. the Temple of Edfu was built on the ancient site that mythically witnessed the battle between the gods Horus and Seth. The ancient myth symbolizes the victory of good against evil, therefore the temple was dedicated to Horus, standing as a falcon in front of the entrance of the Temple, guarding his territory from chaos. It is considered as the most complete and best-preserved of all temples in Egypt.
TEMPLE OF KOM OMBO
The Upper Egyptian town of Kom Ombo rose to greatness under the rule of the Ptolemaic kings. The place was selected as the site for the double temple now known as the Temple of Kom Ombo. Built on the east bank of the Nile River on an outcrop once frequented by basking crocodiles, the temple is unique in that it has two identical entrances, two linked hypostyle halls, and twin sanctuaries dedicated to two different gods: Sobek and Horus the Elder. It is perfectly symmetrical along the main axis and its remaining walls and columns are the first ancient sight to greet Nile cruisers traveling north from Aswan to Luxor.
The western half of the temple is dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god of fertility. Ancient Egyptians worshiped him to ensure the fertility of both people and crops, and to protect themselves against the real-life crocodiles living in the River Nile. The eastern half of the temple is dedicated to Horus the Elder, one of the oldest gods in the Egyptian pantheon. A creator god, Horus is usually depicted with a falcon’s head. Over the centuries the temple has been damaged by river flooding, earthquakes and looters who used its stones for other building projects.
THE ELEPHANTINE ISLAND
The elphantine island is…..The island has a special importance in ancient Egypt as a capital to the first Upper Egyptian Nome, and therefore monuments were constructed on the island as early as the first dynasties. There is also a site-museum on the island as well as traditional Nubian houses. The gateway of the Temple of Khunum is one of the impressive remaining elements to have survived intact, as well as the reconstructed New Kingdom temple of the goddess Sattet.
TEMPLE OF PHILAE
To the south of the High Dam, the Temple of Philae was re-erected. The temple was originally built during the Ptolemaic era on Philae Island, which is now submerged beneath the waters of the Nasser Lake. The temple was dismantled and reconstructed by UNESCO on the island of Agilika. It was dedicated to the goddess Isis. The temple is very famous for a French inscription during the Napoleonic expedition against the Mohammed Ali Dynasty.
TEMPLES OF ABU SIMBEL
Far to the south, on the western bank of the Nile, King Ramses II constructed two magnificent rock-cut temples for himself and his wife, Queen Nefertari. The Temples of Abu Simbel. It is considered as the greatest rock-cut temple which the king constructed in Nubia, and the most impressive of all Egyptian monuments in the area. The temple was among the monuments dismantled upon the construction of the High Dam. Breathtaking boat trips can be done on the lake to admire the beauty of the temples representing the royal couple Ramses II and Nefertari. The temple was constructed to exactly illuminate the statues of the deified form of Ramses II, Amun-Re, Re-Horakhty, leaving the statue of Ptah in the darkness. This phenomenon is repeated twice a year on the 22nd of October and 20th of February in a very delightful and remarkable site.
THE UNFINISHED OBELISK
The large unfinished obelisk in the northern quarries has provided valuable insight into how these monuments were created. Upon entering the quarry, steps lead down into the pit of the obelisk, where there are ancient pictographs of dolphins and ostriches or flamingos, thought to have been painted by workers at the quarry. The Unfinished Obelisk is more than 3,500 years old and was abandoned as a project when cracks formed in the granite, according to archaeological studies. The site now functions as an open-air museum in Aswan.
VALLEY OF THE KINGS
Once called the Great Necropolis of Millions of Years of Pharaoh, or the Place of Truth, the Valley of the Kings has 63 magnificent royal tombs.
In the New Kingdom, pharaohs chose this isolated valley to situate 63 magnificent royal tombs. The Valley of the Kings was once called the Great Necropolis of Millions of Years of Pharaoh, or the Palace of Truth.
Due to years of treasure hunters, river floods and mass tourism, the Egyptian government had to take some precautions to prevent further damage to the antiques found in this valley. When you visit, you will find dehumidifiers and glass screens placed in some of the tombs. If you have a camera, be sure to leave it behind as it’s not allowed in this area due to the flash.
VALLEY OF THE QUEENS
Feminism wins, right? Although not as extravagant as the Valley of the Queens, this historical site serves a great purpose than it looks. This Valley is where all the wives of the Pharaohs were buried. Princes, princesses, and members of the nobility were also buried in this site.
The most popular attraction in the Valley of the Queens is Nefertari’s tomb. Nefertari – favorite wife of Ramses II – has “the most beautiful tomb in Egypt,” according to some. The tomb is entirely covered in painted scenes of Nefertari being led and guided by gods.
The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings near Luxor, in Egypt. The complex is a vast open site and includes the Karnak Open Air Museum. It is believed to be the second most visited historical site in Egypt; only the Giza Pyramids near Cairo receive more visits. The complex consists of four main parts, of which only the largest is currently open to the general public.
Luxor Temple is a large Ancient Egyptian temple complex located on the east bank of the Nile River in Luxor (ancient Thebes). Unlike other temples in Thebes, Luxor temple is not dedicated to a cult god or a defined version of the pharaoh in death. Instead, it is dedicated to the rejuvenation of kingship.
COLOSSI OF MEMNON
The Colossi of Memnon – El Colossat or Es-Salamat in Arabic – is one of the more lasting images you’ll have on this trip. The colossi look damaged from the waist up, but still hold an air of superiority over the place. The statues, located in the Theban Necropolis, represent Amenhotep III, who reigned Egypt in 1350 B.C.
Two shorter figures are carved alongside the front of the throne, representing his wife Tiye and his mother, Mutemwiya. On the side of the colossi are panels with inscriptions depicting Hapi, the Nile god.
Ironically enough, the Nile was the demise of Amenhotep’s temple, which can no longer be seen there today. The original purpose of the Colossi were to guard Amenhotep’s mortuary temple, which eroded to nothingness over thousands of years.
MORTUARY TEMPLE OF HATSHEPSUT
The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut – also known as the Djeser-Djeseru (holy of holies in Ancient Egyptian) – is a mortuary temple built for none other than 18th dynasty Pharaoh, Hatshepsut. The temple, located under the cliff of Deir El-Bahari, was dedicated to Amun and Hatshepsut.
This phenomenal temple is aligned to the winter solstice sunrise, which happens on 21-22 December of each year. The sunlight goes through the back wall of the chapel, and then begins moving to right, shining on one of Osiris’ statues on either side of the 2nd chamber’s doors. There is also a “light box” in the temple which shows a block of sunlight that moves slowly from the central axis of the temple, to the god Amun-Ra, to the kneeling Thutmose III, and finally landing on Hapi, the Nile God. The sunlight sometimes also reaches the innermost chamber.