The big trip

Celebrate a ‘landmark’ year for Egypt with a River Nile cruise

2022 marks the centenary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb

A “landmark” year for Egypt, 2022 marks the centenary of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb and the 200th anniversary of the deciphering of the Rosetta Stone; it will also see the opening of the “spectacularly impressive” Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza. The best way to celebrate it is a cruise on the Nile, said Jonathan Thompson in The Sunday Times.

Start by watching Kenneth Branagh’s new film of Death on the Nile – due to be released this month – then fly to Aswan, and stay at the Old Cataract Hotel, where Agatha Christie wrote the novel on which it is based, and where the story opens. The hotel is one of Egypt’s grandest and most “decadent”, and has changed little since Christie’s “prolonged sojourn” there in 1937.

From Aswan, a four-day cruise will take you as far as Luxor, allowing for stops at many of the country’s grandest tombs and temples, all of which lie close to the river. Passenger numbers are currently low owing to the pandemic, and on a vessel such as the “well-appointed” Sanctuary Sun Boat IV, each group of four or five is assigned a dedicated Egyptologist as a guide. Merely being on the river is “a treat” – listening to its “strange subtle harmonies” as fishing boats and feluccas sail by, and you float past “crumbling” ruins and minarets that gleam in the afternoon sunlight.

Among the highlights are the incredible Temple of Isis at Philae, and the magnificent Temple of Kom Ombo, dedicated to the crocodile-god Sobek. In the Valley of the Kings, you can visit the tomb of Tutankhamun, but more spectacular still is that of Amenhotep II, where the artwork is “so vivid and ridiculously well preserved that it feels as though you’ve stepped into the 1400s BC”. Beyond lies the vast temple complex of Karnak, and the Avenue of Sphinxes, recently opened to the public after decades of restoration work. 

Abercrombie & Kent has an 11-night trip from £4,885pp, including flights; abercrombiekent.co.uk

Recommended

Wildlife spotting in the wetlands of Brazil 
Water lilies in the river in Sierra Amolar in the Pantanal National Park, Brazil 
The big trip

Wildlife spotting in the wetlands of Brazil 

Recipe: chicken, pineapple and ’nduja bake 
Chicken, pineapple and ’nduja bake recipe by Ixta Belfrage
On the menu

Recipe: chicken, pineapple and ’nduja bake 

How Salman Rushdie exposed fault lines between the West and Islam
Salman Rushdie at the Cheltenham Literature Festival in October 2019
Expert’s view

How Salman Rushdie exposed fault lines between the West and Islam

Will Liz Truss keep her promises?
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss
Talking point

Will Liz Truss keep her promises?

Popular articles

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses
Getting to grips with . . .

Why The Satanic Verses is still controversial

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 August 2022
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 15 August 2022

The Week Footer Banner