We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

Which Luxor hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
1 post
Save Topic
Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

My parents are thinking of taking a nile cruise but my father walks with the aid of elbow crutches. Some websites mention it is not suitable for people with walking disabilities, should this put them off? does anyone have any experience they can share to shed a bit more light on this?


Bristol, United...
Destination Expert
for Puerto de la Cruz, Weston-super-Mare, Tenerife
Level Contributor
3,850 posts
166 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

Hi, we went with First Choice a couple of years ago. Our boat was the MS Orchid, and many of the boats were alike. There were cabins on two decks, including near the main gangway. However the dinning room, lounge and small shop were on the deck above, this was accessed via a staircase, so i don't think this will be a problem. However the top deck with the small pool and sun-bathing area was a narrow almost spiral staircase. All the temples are on level ground, although some of the ground was uneven. A number of tour companies offer these cruises including Saga, so take their advice. If notcome back to me. It was a great holiday, so would be worth the effort.

England, United...
Level Contributor
5,691 posts
56 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

I'm not in a positon to speak from experience, only from observation but hope that mthe following comments are fair and helpful.

Egypt has a long way to go when it comes to making life easier for people with physical difficulties.

Cruising the Nile is a wonderful thing to do but access to the boats can be difficult at times ie may involve many steps from the point that coaches park down to the river.

Ramps anywhere are rare, although there are one or two on the Cornich access in Luxor, they may not be convenient to the boat. On shore, pavements are often very uneaven and many have very high kerbstones.

Boarding boats usually involves a) walking a gangplank; and/or b)walking across from one boat and through another, sometimes 2 or 3 to get to the shoreline.

Boats do not have lifts (haveing said that I don't know about the newer larger ones but I don't think they do).

On a more postive note the Egyptian people are very friendly and I am sure that the crew would do everything they could do to assist.

Level Contributor
71 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

My experience is also from observation, but would pretty much agree with boringFS. The gangplanks are probably not much more than two feet wide, and the rail was just a wire, so not very stable. I'm pretty sure there was a lift on the boat that we were on, but it didn't go up to the sundeck.

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Luxor
Level Contributor
2,236 posts
170 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

I have rheumatoid arthritis which limits my stamina when walking. I use a stick for balance and as an attempt to remind the more able-bodied to allow me some leeway.

I think the actual boat will not be a problem provided your father can manage to get up/down the gang plank which, as already mentioned, will be at a fairly steep angle and without solid rails. At some places (eg Kom Ombo) visitors may have to pass through several boats before reaching the shore - the crews do assist & the boats are close together, but this may present difficulties.

The organised excursions may well be the biggest challenge as there is a lot of walking over uneven ground at varying pace, as well as standing around while the guide explains things: seats are rare at the temples! The heat can be very draining too.

As an example of Luxor's idea of equal access: the 'improvements' to the entrance at Karnak temple has resulted a particularly long walk from the coach/car park and visitor centre to the start of the monuments, (there is a photo in my profile). Apparently wheelchairs are available - with prior notice - to compensate for the bad planning. (very sore point with me, sorry!)

Weymouth, United...
Level Contributor
755 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

Diva darling, even as an able bodied traveller (albeit one iwth a mental disability) I concur about the long walks to some of the temples. Edfu has become an exercise in stamina with a stupidly long walk from visitors centre to temple which (in the heat of summer) can tax even the fittest!

Manchester, UK
Level Contributor
1,944 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

Can I ask a further question? I'm looking to book a cruise for my mother-in-law who has pretty severe arthritis.

Father-in-law has always wanted to go on a Nile cruise so the idea is for my mum-in-law to not do any of the excursions - basically to sit and watch the world go by - and for dad-in-law to do the trips.

So, my question is. Are there any boats that are more accessible than others? And, once on, are the bars open during the day when the majority of punters go off?

Any advise would be much appreciated!

London, United...
Level Contributor
799 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise


Hubby and I just love Egypt and have been several times, including three Nile cruises.

The last Nile cruise we went on was in May 2008 (MS Magic 1). Hubby is passionate about temples and tombs, but I'm afraid I'm not.

So, after breakfast, everyone went on the excursions and I stayed on the boat (apart from shopping in Aswan and Luxor!!).

It was fab!! I had the whole sundeck to myself. The bar opened at 10am and I would just have a coffee (or a beer or two if it was later!!) and I was quite content. Staff were extremely polite and I felt quite comfortable on my own!!

I'm afraid, though, that all the boats seem to have some areas which are less accessible than others, for example stairs/gangplanks etc.

Hope this helps

Neeta xx

Luxor, Egypt
Level Contributor
2,220 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

If it's of any help; my sister and her husband did a Nile cruise on the Semiramis 2 last year, and it had an elevator! They didn't need the use of the lift but it was all in working order, and they enjoyed the cruise very much.

Best wishes,


London, England
Level Contributor
7,982 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

As this was originally posted some time ago, I am not sure if my answer will be relevant, but here goes.

For years I had wanted to visit Egypt, especially b y taking a Nile cruise. Unfortunately, left it till late in life and I now suffer badly from arthritis and have had both a hip and a knee replacement.

After doing a lot of research and questioning various friends who had done Nile cruises I decided it was not for me. Although I am not in a wheelchair I find it difficult just standing and walking long distances.

Then last year I saw a bargain package holiday in Luxor. My partner and I went for a week last December and thoroughly enjoyed it and will definately return.

Obviously, i wanted to see the sights, but was concerned about the distances involved, which is the main reason I ruled out the cruise.

We eventually booked all our trips through Petra Travel in Luxor. We did Valley of the Kings, Felucca ride, caleshe ride, Dendara cruise and Karnak/Luxor temples. Apart from the Dendera cruise they were all private trips with guide and Ahmed from Petra Travel lent us a wheelchair which they brought along for me on each trip.

The wheelchair was a godsend and I would not have managed without it. We also had a lot of laughs, as the guide insisted of pushing me over the rubble as well as the paved areas.

The gangplank on the cruise boat was a bit hairy as it was not very wide and only a wire, no handrail. However, the crew were very helpful and held me with a firm hand so I felt safe. There was no handrail on the spiral staircase on the boat (Lotus Boat) either, but I managed OK.

I managed to get on to the felucca OK, but thought I would not be able to get off, but again, everybody was very helpful.

I found everybody more than willing to help, both Egyptians and fellow tourists.

Having said that, I am pleased we decided to base ourselves in Luxor for the week and do the trips from there. I now know that a Nile cruise would not be suitable. We hope to go back to Luxor and combine with a vist to Aswan or Cairo.

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Luxor
Level Contributor
2,236 posts
170 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Disabled traveller - Nile Cruise

Hi hermanaeriza,

I'm glad you were able to do so much and impressed that you could get in and out of the felucca.

I got stuck in a balloon until Mr DD managed to work out a way of bracing me to 'walk' up the side. By the time I was out of the basket we'd collected quite a crowd of kids!

Re Aswan: it's more a 'city' than Luxor, so pavements etc are better. The Nubia museum is well planned with ramps and lifts. The only way out to Philae is by motor boat, but there will be plenty of willing hands to help (some expecting tips, others just being kind).

PM me if you would like more details.