Read Time: 9 minutes


By Wale Okediran

We were still having Lunch in her cavernous and lovely restaurant when the 150 passenger cruise ship, RADAMIS 11 set sail from the Egyptian port of Aswan that warm Friday afternoon.

As the 5 deck, 65 cabin ship nosed her way from the bank of the River Nile towards the river’s wide belly to commence the 220 Kilometers journey to the city of Luxor, we passed other ships that were still in the dock. The ships were many…ALEXANDER THE GREAT, SONESTA STAR GODDES, MOVENPICK ROYAL LILY, NILE GODDESS among others.

Like RADAMIS 11 they were all laden with tourists from all corners of the globe who had come to savor the beauty of Egypt and the allure of River Nile, arguably, the longest river in the world.
After my encounter with River Kinshasa, the world’s deepest river during my recent trip to Congo, it was a pure delight to be sailing on River Nile which at 6,650 km (4,130 miles) is the longest river in the world even though some authorities have recently suggested that the Amazon River is slightly longer.

The river whose drainage basin covers eleven countries: Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Republic of the Sudan, and Egypt.
It is the primary water source of Egypt, Sudan and South Sudan. Additionally, the Nile is an important economic river, supporting agriculture and fishing in Egypt.

It is because of her high dependence on the river that Egypt is vehemently against Ethiopia’s recent decision to erect a dam on the river fearing that the dam will negatively impact the country’s water supplies.

Earlier that day, my wife and I had arrived Aswan by air from Cairo after a 6- hour flight from my Accra, Ghana base on vacation.

After a few hours of sightseeing in Aswan, we had boarded the RADAMIS 11 where the very friendly staff had checked us into Cabin 304 located on Deck C.

The cabin which was the size of a double room Hotel had all the facilities expected of such a facility. In addition, the panoramic wall –to- wall window in the room gave a beautiful view of the River Nile as the ship glided down the river.
The Ship’s 65 cabins were distributed among decks A, B, C and D while the last deck, E was the open roof sun deck with a medium sized Swimming Pool.

Other facilities in the ship such as the Reception, Lounge Bar, Disco, Restaurant, Jewelry Shop, Gymnasium and Massage Bazaar as well as the Ice Cream Corner were evenly spread among the four decks.

The restaurant was on the same deck as my cabin thus making my three times a day trip for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner a short walk. In retrospect, this arrangement in addition to the delicious buffet meals must have added to my significant weight gain in just five days!!

As the ship finally commenced its journey, I dug into my delicious lunch of fried rice, grilled chicken and salad and took another look at the itinerary for the 5 day, 4- night Ship cruise. From Aswan, the ship would sail to the towns of Kom Ombo, Edfu, Esna to finally reach the city of Luxor on day 5.

During the trip, passengers would be allowed to disembark for a few hours at each town to visit the ancient Egyptian tombs and temples between Luxor & Aswan, discover the Karnak temples, Valley of the Kings, Abu Simbel temples and other places of tourist attraction.

In addition, a number of activities had been arranged for the passengers’ enjoyment on the ship. These activities included a ‘Tea Time’ and ‘Special Dinner’ on the sun deck as well as a colorful ‘Galabeya party’ which gave guests the opportunity to dress up in traditional Egyptian clothing and dance to Arabic music.

There was also a performance by an Egyptian belly dancer. All the activities were listed in daily bulletins that were slipped under the door of our cabin every morning. All these were in addition to the generous and delicious buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In view of the COVID19 Pandemic, all passengers were expected to be in facemasks except when in the restaurant where tables and chairs have been arranged to maintain physical distancing. In addition, provisions had been made for hand sanitizers, while the staff of the ship ensured that all railings and public surfaces were periodically cleaned with sanitizers.

Lunch over, I climbed to the sun deck where I met some passengers who like me, had also moved there to have a better view of the River Nile.

The ship had by then, picked up speed as we passed some barges and fishermen in canoes who could be seen throwing their nets into the water at the edge of the great river. Also at the edge of the river were lush farm lands laden with mangoes and bananas as well as forests and swamps with Palm and Date trees.

In the distance were estuaries of smaller rivers as they joined the River Nile. The estuaries according to one of the sailors were full of Nile crocodiles whom are known to be very ferocious.
It was now getting hot on the sun deck with the midday sun directly above our heads.

The hitherto cool riverside breeze had now changed to a hot stifling wind. Overhead, a column of white cranes flew as if piloting our ship while in the distance, an approaching speed boat at the sight of our ship made a detour towards the edge of the river. We soon passed flotillas of boats and a smaller ship from where some tourists gaily waved to us.

This beautiful spectacle was followed by a cluster of forested Islands while on our right side, a highway ran parallel to the river. It led to some villages where horse drawn carts mingled with donkeys, dogs and camels.

The highway also led to a big town with large buildings and streets where excited children waved to us while a ferry was seen offloading a number of vehicles and passengers at the town’s river bank. It was obvious that we were nearing our next destination as many more villages appeared along the serpentine river coastline.

The RADAMIS II arrived at Kom Ombo the following morning where we met many other tourist laden Ships and Boats.

Since the next official engagement for passengers on the ship was after lunch, my wife and I decided to go on sight -seeing of some settlements adjoining the river. We therefore disembarked the ship after we had been issued identification passes.

For 150 Egyptian pounds (10 USD) we hired a boat for a one-hour trip which took us to Nubia Village (Nubia people were said to have preceded Egyptians by 2000 years), Aswan Botanical Garden, the Elephantine Island as well as well as Old Cataract Hotel said to have been built by King Farouk in 1899.

We were back to the dock in time to see some other cruise ships and boats discharging lots of tourists all headed to visit the historic Kom-Ombo Temple which was constructed during the Ptolemaic period.

Led by our Tour Guide, we also joined the other tourists for the excursion after being reminded to be back on board within two hours if we did not want to be left behind.

Two hours later with every passenger back on board, the gangway was removed and the RADAMIS 11 blew its horn, cranked its big engine to life and glided back to the river to continue her voyage.

I was informed that the Ship’s speed of 20 kilometers per hour was to allow passengers on the ‘Floating Hotel’ have a relaxing trip devoid of any turmoil or sea sickness as sometimes happens on faster sea boats and ships.

I recall my experience a few years back on the LADY OF ZANZIBAR, a fast boat that regularly plied the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam and the island of Zanzibar.

On that occasion, about half of the 550 passengers on board the boat which was travelling at 56 kilometers per hour developed sick sickness with vomiting and retching due to the boat’s speed on the storm tossed Indian Ocean.

As the RADAMIS 11 continued its voyage, the days alternated between blissful hours when there was nothing to do but eat, read and sleep while other days were active with both on and off board activities. The calming river breeze, the beautiful riverside sights and scenes as well as the awesome food all contributed to an enjoyable trip.

The only challenge was the intense day time out door heat with temperatures rising as high as 93 degree Fahrenheit. I later discovered that some passengers usually delayed their off board activities till late at night in order to avoid the daytime heat.
We sailed through the night to reach the town of Edfu just before dawn.

As dawn broke, I made my way as usual, to the sun deck just on time to witness a gorgeous early morning sun as it gaily danced on the belly of the great river. So enchanting was the scenery that I made sure to capture what I considered to be one of my best pictures in years.

We disembarked before breakfast and our tour guide accompanied us on a Horse-Drawn Carriage ride to visit the Edfu Temple regarded as one of the best-preserved ancient monuments in Egypt. The walls of the temples have many beautiful reliefs depicting many stories from the ancient Egyptian mythology.

I was awakened from siesta one day by a sudden scrapping sound by the side of the ship. As always, I ran up to the sun deck to have a better view of what was happening. I was informed that we had just passed Aswan city on our way to Esna city.

However, in order to enter Esna, the ship had to pass through a Lock on the River Nile. I remembered very well from my O Level Geography lesson that a Lock is a place where boats or ships can travel up or down a river or canal after being moved to the next higher or lower level.

Locks are built in places where the level of the water in the river or canal suddenly changes. This may be because of a waterfall, the presence of a dam, or because some other thing was in the way. The lock is like a big chamber with gates at each end. They have lock gears which empty or fill the chamber with water. Locks help a river to be more easily navigable (easier for boats to travel up and down), or for canals to be built across country that is not level.
Even though I had seen text book pictures of Locks, I had never seen a Lock in operation until that day.

It was therefore a delight for me to watch as our 5 deck ship entered a concrete chamber of water on the River Nile and how the chamber was closed around our ship and the water gradually let out for our ship to slowly descend to the level of the river ahead.

The process which took about 20 minutes, invariably took the mighty RAMADIS 11 from a higher river level to a lower level in the river in order for the ship to be able to proceed on her journey.

The Esna Lock which is said to be 17 meters wide, 221 meters long and 14.6 meters- depth was to assist ships to navigate the 8 meters’ difference in the section of the river Nile.

Meanwhile, while the Lock was in operation, another interesting activity was playing out beside the ship at the same time. Some local traders were trading from their boats on the river with passengers who were on the sun deck 4 decks above them. To achieve the feat, the young traders had tied their boats to the side of the ship with some ropes. After displaying their wares, the traders would throw their goods which were clothes and scarves to the passengers on the sun deck while the passengers in return will throw money down to them in their canoes. Unfortunately, due to the height of the ship to the river, many of the goods thrown ended back in the river having not reached their destination.

We arrived at Esna as the hitherto golden sun slipped below the fluffy late afternoon clouds to cast a beautiful orange glow on the river. From minarets in some of the town’s mosques came the ringing calls for the afternoon prayers. Instead of stopping, RADAMIS 11 continued sailing as the afternoon tea was served on the sun deck.

It was late when we finally arrived in Luxor where the ship berthed for the night.

According to our itinerary, the stop in the city of Luxor would be our last night on the cruise Ship. Tomorrow, after breakfast, we would check out from the ship to embark on a tour of the ‘majestic’ city of Luxor which was once the capital of the ancient Thebes.

In Luxor we would be visiting two of the most spectacular temples in Egypt, the Luxor and Karnak temples said to be separated in antiquity by the three kilometers long Avenue of The Sphinxes.

The tour would then officially come to an end with visits to the Valley of The Kings, the Hatsheptut Temple (dedicated to the only woman to rule Egypt for an extended period of time) and the Colossi Of Memnon (two giant statues in homage to Pharaoh Amenhotep 111)

After a dinner of mashed potatoes, baked salmon and fruit salad, I went to the sun deck for a final nocturnal view of the great River. Standing there alone at that height with the rarefied air all around me, the whispers of the river evoked a myriad of creative images in my mind. Suddenly, my solitude was interrupted as another ship equally full with tourists appeared almost astern the RAMADIS 11.

On its sun deck, a party was going on as passengers could be seen dancing to a lovely music whose melody wafted in the cool evening air to cascade down the calm surface of the river.


  1. Excellent way of describing, and nice piece
    of writing to take information regarding my presentation subject, which i am going
    to present in school.

  2. Hello There. I discovered your weblog using msn. That is a very neatly written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read extra of
    your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will definitely comeback.

  3. Appreciating the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer.
    It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out
    of date rehashed information. Fantastic read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  4. It is truly a nice and helpful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared this helpful information with us.
    Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Hey there! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for the great
    info you have here on this post. I’ll be returning to your web site for more soon.

  6. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as
    with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it
    yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare
    to see a nice blog like this one today.

  7. I don’t even know how I ended up here, however I believed this
    publish was once great. I don’t understand who you are however definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already.

  8. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog
    and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost
    a pretty penny? I’m not very web savvy so I’m not 100% positive.
    Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks

  9. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  10. Very good website you have here but I was curious about if you knew of any message boards that cover the same topics talked about here?
    I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get opinions from other
    knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Many thanks!

  11. Howdy! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick
    shout out and say I really enjoy reading your posts.
    Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the
    same topics? Thanks for your time!

  12. Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you,
    However I am having troubles with your RSS.

    I don’t understand the reason why I can’t join it.
    Is there anyone else getting the same RSS issues?
    Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond?

  13. It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it is time to
    be happy. I have read this post and if I
    could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read even more things about it!

  14. I do believe all the ideas you’ve presented on your post.
    They are really convincing and will definitely work.
    Still, the posts are very short for newbies.

    Could you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?

    Thanks for the post.

  15. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work
    you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    Always follow your heart.

  16. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips
    on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while
    but I never seem to get there! Appreciate it

  17. Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get
    a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any help is very much appreciated.

  18. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but
    after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.

    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over
    again. Anyhow, just wanted to say superb blog!

  19. I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your blogs really nice, keep it up!
    I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later.
    All the best

  20. Greetings from Carolina! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to
    check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I love the
    knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, superb site!

  21. Unquestionably believe that which you stated.
    Your favorite reason seemed to be on the web the simplest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries
    that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail
    upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having
    side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more.

  22. Hi I am so delighted I found your weblog, I really
    found you by error, while I was browsing on Askjeeve for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round
    entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to read through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked
    it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up
    the great job.

  23. Howdy, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and
    i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam feedback?

    If so how do you stop it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support is very much appreciated.

  24. I blog often and I genuinely thank you for your content.

    This article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to
    take a note of your website and keep checking for new details about once per week.
    I subscribed to your Feed as well.

  25. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.”
    She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and
    it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is
    totally off topic but I had to tell someone!

  26. Great blog you have here but I was curious if
    you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about in this
    article? I’d really like to be a part of online community where
    I can get opinions from other experienced people that share the same interest.
    If you have any suggestions, please let me know. Bless you!

  27. Hello there! This blog post could not be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I will send this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  28. A person necessarily lend a hand to make severely articles I would state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far?
    I amazed with the research you made to create this particular post amazing.
    Magnificent job!

  29. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point. You clearly know what youre talking about, why throw away
    your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be giving us
    something informative to read?

  30. If you have ever had a specialist massage, you happen to be
    most likely familiar with the blissful feeling of your
    knots and tension melting away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *