Journey Through The Nile With Oberoi’s Luxury Nile Cruisers

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I woke to the glimmer of sunlight touching the flowing waters of a legendary river and the sound of song. Not of birds but of kids on paddle boards serenading couples on Felucca boats, as they tried to sell flowers to glowing honeymooners. Up on deck, wild birds perching on a railing watched me eat breakfast, while I, in turn, observed fishermen in small, patched-up boats beating the water with oars to get fish into their nets. When we cast off, there was a creaking of ropes as we sailed very slowly upstream, past palms, mango trees, and tall bulrushes, from Aswan to Luxor.

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Felucca by the Temple of Philae on the Agilikia island, the Nile, Aswan, Egypt.

Two legendary destinations, home to the cradle of civilisation, along with the fascinating sites in between, offer a vivid glimpse into Egypt’s rich history. In Aswan, we explored the Temple of Philae, dedicated to the goddess Isis and dating back to the 3rd century BCE. Our Egyptologist guide brought the temple’s intricate stories to life, weaving tales within tales of ancient mythology.

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Journeying towards Luxor, we encountered other remarkable landmarks like the temples of Kom Ombo and Edfu, each adding layers to our understanding. In Luxor, the grandeur of the Karnak and Luxor temples further highlighted the power and artistry of ancient Egypt, making our exploration a profound journey through time.

The Oberoi Zahra: A Floating Palace

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Embarking on The Oberoi Luxury Nile Cruisers felt like stepping into a floating palace. This vessel, with its grand decor and impeccable service, offers an oasis of tranquility amid the vibrant Nile. The Zahra’s design balances modern elegance with traditional charm, ensuring that every moment spent onboard is one of comfort and sophistication.

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The 25 luxury cabins on The Oberoi Zahra are exquisitely appointed, featuring timber floors, elegant interiors, and large windows offering panoramic views of the Nile. My cabin, with its king-size bed and tastefully minimalist furnishings, felt like a serene retreat. The marble and mosaic bathroom, with its glass-enclosed shower stall, provided a spa-like experience, enhanced by the breathtaking views of the river.

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For those seeking the pinnacle of luxury, the two spacious Luxury Suites on Zahra redefine opulence. With separate living rooms, private terraces, and Jacuzzis, these suites offer a private haven to unwind and soak in the Nile’s beauty. The suite’s amenities, including high-definition LCD Smart televisions, high-speed internet, and a well-stocked minibar, ensured that every need was catered to.

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Dining onboard was an experience in itself. The restaurant served a daily-changing menu of international and Egyptian cuisine, meticulously crafted by the chef de cuisine and his team. Each meal was a culinary journey, complemented by the stunning backdrop of the Nile. After a day of sightseeing, I relished the chance to enjoy a cocktail at the bar or relax by the infinity pool, savoring the tranquility of the queen of all rivers.

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The Oberoi Zahra’s spa, the only one on a Nile cruiser with four therapy rooms, provided the ultimate relaxation. Each spa room featured a private shower and steam room, and the treatments, using the finest natural products, left me rejuvenated and refreshed.

The Oberoi Philae: A New Standard of Luxury

The Oberoi Philae

Following my voyage on The Oberoi Zahra, I was eager to experience The Oberoi Philae, the sister cruiser. The Philae, with its contemporary design and luxurious amenities, set a new standard for Nile voyages.

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The 22 cabins and suites on Philae were equally impressive, with French windows that opened out to the river, allowing for uninterrupted views. The Luxury Suite, with its private terrace and heated whirlpool, was the epitome of indulgence. The suite’s spacious layout, elegant decor, and modern amenities created a sanctuary of comfort.


Dining here was a delight, with the main restaurant offering a diverse menu of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Continental dishes. The Upper Deck’s poolside restaurant provided a more casual setting for lunch and light snacks, perfect for a sunny afternoon. Evenings were best spent in the bar and cigar lounge, where I enjoyed a fine cigar and a movie in the onboard theatre.

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The Philae’s amenities, including a 24-hour gym, Wi-Fi, and The Oberoi Spa, ensured that every aspect of my stay was met.

A Journey Through Time

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Both The Oberoi Zahra and The Oberoi Philae offered meticulously planned itineraries between Luxor and Aswan. Each excursion was led by knowledgeable Egyptologists who brought the history and significance of each site to life. From the grand temples we know of to the lesser-known but equally fascinating sites like Nekhab, every stop was a step back in time.

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What truly set The Oberoi Luxury Nile Cruisers apart was their ability to combine decadence with an immersive historical experience. Whether it was enjoying a Balinese massage while cruising past ancient ruins or savoring a gourmet meal with the Nile as a backdrop, every moment was a testament to the blend of comfort, elegance, and storytelling that defined this journey.

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My time onboard was more than just a cruise; it was an unforgettable odyssey through Egypt’s rich heritage, experienced in the utmost luxury. The meticulous attention to detail, the opulent accommodations, impeccable service, and the seamless blend of history and modernity made this journey the epitome of river cruises in the world.

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