Nile cruises may vary considerably, but typical Nile cruises are either three, four or seven nights. The shorter tours usually operate between Luxor and Aswan, while the longer cruises travel further north to Dendera, often offering day tours overland to more remote locations.
The usual cruise is aboard a Nile cruiser, often referred to as a floating hotel. Indeed, the better boats have most of the accommodations of a land based hotel, including small swimming pools, hot tubs, exercise rooms, nightclubs, good restaurants, stores and even small libraries. Many of the boats have dance areas with disco or even live entertainment, and most offer a variety of nightly shows. These might include cocktail parties, Nubian shows, belly dancers and whirling dervish, plays and even dress up parties where guests don traditional apparel.
A much more adventurous style of Nile cruise, very different from the floating hotels can be arranged aboard feluccas, Egypt’s traditional Nile sailboat. Most felucca trips are short trips of several hours, but multi-day felucca cruises can be arranged aboard larger vessels traveling between Aswan and Luxor. The accommodations on a felucca are primitive. Tourist sleep in the open on deck and the sailors double as cooks.
Around the middle of April, locks on the Nile river are closed due to water levels, ultimate time for a Nile cruise is between October and mid April, when the weather is fairly cool, but the locks are all open. However, most cruise boats operate all year. If the locks are closed, cruise operators will arrange boats on either side of the locks, and a transfer must be made between boats.
Pricing, as with land hotels will also have a large range, based on both the boat and the accommodations.