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Is taking a Nile river cruise in Egypt worth it? I filmed my five-star voyage from Luxor to Aswan, from the top-deck pool to waterborne hawkers who attach their boats to the ship


It’s perceived as being one of the most glamorous and romantic ways of seeing one of the world’s most mysterious and spellbinding countries.

But is a Nile river cruise in Egypt really worth it? 

Travel vlogger Sam Mayfair set about discovering the pros and cons, with a seven-day round trip aboard the five-star cruise ship the Steigenberger Royale on one of the most popular routes – Luxor to Aswan, 240km (150 miles) away.

Cruise ships on this route offer tourists the chance to see some of Egypt’s most fascinating cultural sights and stunning landscapes.

Thirty-nine-year-old Sam, from Surrey, posted footage of his journey to his TikTok account – @Sam.Mayfair – and told MailOnline that it’s a ‘hassle-free’ way to see Egypt.

Travel vlogger Sam Mayfair (above) shared his experience sailing from Luxor to Aswan on a Nile river cruise to his TikTok account

Travel vlogger Sam Mayfair (above) shared his experience sailing from Luxor to Aswan on a Nile river cruise to his TikTok account 

Thirty-nine-year-old Sam travelled aboard five-star ship the Steigenberger Royale

Thirty-nine-year-old Sam travelled aboard five-star ship the Steigenberger Royale

Sam begins the video by showing his spacious suite, a room upgrade that includes a generously proportioned bathroom. He claims: ‘There are smaller rooms, but they’re not much different in price.’

He then moves onto the rest of the ship, revealing that the upper deck has a sun lounging area. He says: ‘There was also a pool… which I actually really enjoyed. There’s nothing like jumping in a cold pool when it’s 44 degrees [Centigrade].’

Sam continues to film, revealing an outside bar and a small gym and massage area, before showing a large indoor lounge complete with red carpets and wooden furniture. This space, he says, was used in the evenings, as it was ‘difficult to stay outside with the mosquitos’. 

Sam says the ship was split into two levels, with the upper deck used as a sun lounge area

The ship's pool. Sam says: 'There’s nothing like jumping in a cold pool when it's 44 degrees [Centigrade]'

Sam says the ship was split into two levels, with the upper deck used as a sun lounge area. Pictured right – the ship’s pool. Sam says: ‘There’s nothing like jumping in a cold pool when it’s 44 degrees (Centigrade)’

In the video viewers go through the keyhole of Sam's spacious suite

Sam says that there isn't much difference in price between rooms

In the video viewers go through the keyhole of Sam’s spacious suite. While he says there were smaller rooms, he claims ‘they’re not much different in price’

On the food-and-drink front, Sam says meals were included in the package, but drinks had to be purchased additionally. 

He adds: ‘The food on the cruise was actually really good. It was a buffet every day with a different theme’.

Sam says these cruises may include tours, depending on which package you book. He adds: ‘However, if like me, you haven’t booked it as part of the package, then you will need to pay extra for all your little tours.’

One thing passengers should be aware of are the small boats selling souvenirs, Sam notes. In the video, Sam says they will ‘attach themselves to the ship and hang on for life trying to sell you a towel’.

The outdoor dining area and bar

A meal served on board. Sam says the food is 'really good', though the drinks cost extra

LEFT: The outdoor dining area and bar. RIGHT: A meal served on board. Sam says the food is ‘really good’, though the drinks cost extra 

One thing passengers should be aware of are the small boats selling souvenirs, Sam notes

In the video, Sam says the hawkers will 'attach themselves to the ship and hang on for life trying to sell you a towel'

One thing passengers should be aware of are the small boats selling souvenirs, Sam notes. In the video, Sam says they will ‘attach themselves to the ship and hang on for life trying to sell you a towel’ 

While Sam says there is ‘nothing wrong with buying from them’, he adds: ‘Just make sure you negotiate the price.’

Sam paid £1,500 ($1,886) for two tickets aboard the cruise. ‘We started in Luxor and finished in Luxor, but most passengers finish at Aswan after four days,’ he explained.

Was the voyage worthwhile? He told MailOnline Travel: ‘One hundred per cent.

‘It’s a very interesting way to travel and explore, and you can’t help but imagine that you are taking the same journey that people have taken for thousands of years.’

Sam says cruising along the River Nile is a 'very interesting way to travel and explore'. He's shown above at Karnak Temple in Luxor

Sam says cruising along the River Nile is a ‘very interesting way to travel and explore’. He’s shown above at Karnak Temple in Luxor

Sam is pictured above exploring Edfu Temple, one of the attractions en route

 Sam is pictured above exploring Edfu Temple, one of the attractions en route

He said those on board can expect to see a new location every day, ‘including the Valley of the Kings, Luxor Temple, Karnak, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Philea, and the Unfinished Obelisk’.

Is there any room for improvement? Sam said: ‘You are a bit limited for time at each location. I would have liked to spend a bit longer exploring.’

But he added: ‘If you want to explore and travel hassle-free, it’s very good… and I would recommend it as an experience.’

For more from Sam visit him on YouTube at www.youtube.com/@SamMayfair and TikTok www.tiktok.com/@sam.mayfair.



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