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Nile Cruises
Egypt is the gift of Nile". These were proper Herodotus words. It is the second longest river in the world and, indeed, the "life-blood" of Egypt. In ancient times, the Nile was worshipped. The pharaohs even took boats to the underworld. Many civilizations were established along its banks from Nubia up to the Mediterranean shores. Only with the advent of railroads and air travel has the river declined as a mode of transport. Yet still, a cruise on the Nile remains the best way to experience Egypt.

The Dahabiyya Returns
Recently, the dahabiyyas have been reintroduced. These are newly built sailboats yet fashioned along ancient lines as used by 19th-century Grand Tourists. With only a few luxury cabins and suites, each boat offers upper decks equipped with cushioned divans and hammocks that rock to the rhythm of the Nile River. Meals are offered fresh to heighten the sense of time traveling that a slow glide along Egypt's great river evokes.

Stops To visit
» Luxor
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» Esna
Easily visited as a day trip from Luxor, Esna (Isna), 30 miles (48 km) to the south, is a busy little agricultural center on the west bank of the Nile. Its prime attraction, and the reason that many cruise ships stop here, Remove it is the Temple of Khnum.

» Edfu
Easily the most splendid of the Nile-side monuments between Luxor and Aswan, Edfu's Temple of Horus is the most complete of its kind. Though built by the Greco-Romans long after the true era of the pharaohs, it conforms exactly to the principles of ancient Egyptian architecture.

» Kom Ombo
Just 30 miles (48 km) north of Aswan, Kom Ombo occupies the Nile-side site of the ancient city of Pa-Sebek, the Domain of Sobek, a center for worship of the crocodile god of that name. All traces of the city are long gone - and the crocodiles that used to bask on nearby sandbanks have been hunted to extinction - but the remains of a fine waterfront temple are well worth a visit.

» Aswan
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