A much more comfortable, and common, way for tourists to travel down the Nile is on a large cruise boat. Cruise boats are not only motorized and much faster than a felucca, but are often quite luxurious – many of them have swimming pools and a host of extravagant facilities.
Although the trip down the Nile is an enjoyable experience whatever your mode of transport, most cruise boats are essentially floating modern hotels, with little or no character. In our opinion, the nicest cruise boat travelling the Nile is the ‘ Steam Ship Sudan’, on which we travelled in the episode. It doesn’t have a swimming pool, but is exceptionally luxurious, and oozes character and the pistons and paddle wheels, can still be seen, and the staff may allow you to visit the engine room.
An historic paddlewheel steamboat that was built in 1885 for King Fouad, this steamship has had many eminent guests over the years. Agatha Christie was inspired to write Death on the Nile after travelling on the Sudan decades later, and it’s provided the set for many of the film’s scenes. A ride on The Sudan is sure to have you imagining you’re a character in 20s mystery adventure.
To book a trip on the Ship Sudan, visit www.voyageursdumonde.fr. It travels every week between Aswan and Luxor in both directions, and the owners proudly guarantee that the boat will always sail, no matter what – other cruise boats may sometimes cancel voyages if there are too few passengers to make the trip economically worthwhile.