Cruising Down the Nile

One of the criticisms that visitors have to Egypt has been the way that some Nile cruise vessels dock. You think you might have a great view of the banks of the Nile. Yet in the morning you peer out and you see another Nile cruise ship moored next to you. And another. And another. Sometimes as many as 6 can be tied up to each other and your view of the majestic heritage is non-existent.

That is going to change. The tourism authorities have been aware of the problem for some time but it has taken up till now to get around to doing something about it.

There are 282 boats on the Nile but no new licenses have been issued for many years. Only replacement vessels have been authorized and even then some have been refused. The idea is that new piers will be built and should be completed by December 2011. At that point, the number of vessels moored together will be substantially reduced. It will be limited to no more than two according to Zohair Garramah, the Minister for Tourism.

The most congested area is north of Luxor, for obvious reasons, because this is where many people like to see the sun coming up over the landscape. Work starts next month after the level of the Nile drops.