Ellen Perlman in the Tidal Basin
Ellen Perlman in the Tidal Basin

You hear the words “cruise on the Nile” and images of Cleopatra and Nefertiti swirl in your mind.

The reality? Absolutely exotic, but in a different way.

A four-day cruise on the Nile brought together the luxury of floating peacefully down river while sitting by the rooftop pool with the real-world wonders of ancient ruins at Kom Ombo, Edfu and other magnificent and mysterious Egyptian sites. Evenings brought entertainment aboard ship, such as a whirling dervish performance.

When docking, I was amazed to see the crush of horse-drawn carriages streaming toward our ship from all the little side roads in the small towns, hoping to take passengers to famous ruins.

Before boarding at the end of the day, I enjoyed examining merchants’ wares near the dock. I especially appreciated not having to pack up my things each day before reaching another town. The beauty of a floating hotel.

Ellen Perlman is a travel writer and editor of her blog Boldly Go Solo.