Why go to Luxor?
Most cruisers get two days in Luxor, so you'll have time to check out the ancient temples, tombs and ruins
You'll see horse-drawn carriages all over -- it might be tempting, but mistreatment of horses is common here
Luxor is a fascinating ancient city that is worth taking the time to explore
Luxor Cruise Port Facilities?
Tourist facilities at Luxor's port are few and far between. Also, it is not unusual to see heavily armed security personnel at the port. Time spent at each port is generally filled with planned excursions, and you can find the facilities you need onboard or in nearby hotels.
In Safaga, travelers will find great diving, windsurfing and a range of hotels. Safaga's town center is about 1.5 miles from the port and has a few shops for general items, as well as a bank.
Good to Know?
Caleches, known locally as hantours, are the horse-drawn carriages you will see dotted along most Luxor streets. Drivers and touts will pester you, offering you rides -- and they can be quite pushy. Some of these horses look rather uncared for, so it might be best to avoid them. (The mistreatment of horses in Luxor and other Nile cities is an ongoing problem.) Also, be aware that many of the drivers are keen to make an extra buck, so be sure to agree a price first, and clarify exactly where you want to go. If the tour is getting longer than you want, ask to be dropped off, and get a taxi back to your ship.
By Taxi: If you want to travel separately from the planned excursions (for which you'll generally catch a pre-booked coach), it's best to take a taxi to the sights. They have no meters, but drivers should offer you a fixed current rate to reach your destination.
By Ferry: You can go between the East and West banks by road, but taking a ferry is easier, quicker and cheaper; the national ferry runs all day and night, leaving from the pier opposite Luxor Temple. Make sure you get a return ticket.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE). Visit www.XE.com for current rates. U.S. dollars and other hard currencies are generally accepted, and you can change money at the visa offices in the airport arrival hall. There are ATM machines inside upmarket hotel lobbies, including the Sofitel Karnak, the Lotus and the El Luxor. Keep small change handy for minor purchases and for tipping, which is a way of life in the Middle East. Paper money gets very tattered and torn, especially the smaller notes, and may be refused by vendors.
Egyptian Arabic is the commonly spoken language, but English is also widely spoken. Those directly involved with tourists, including vendors in the market, speak many European languages -- and even some Japanese.
Where You're Docked?
Port areas along the Nile River are small and typically feature little more than stalls selling the usual souvenirs. Luxor's port is not much more than a mooring spot. Most boats dock in central Luxor, along the lower corniche (the main boulevard along the Nile) or out of town in the Boghadi Zone by the bridge. Ships will commonly will moor side by side, though some upmarket cruise lines have private docks.
Ocean cruise liners that offer excursions to Luxor tie up farther out at Safaga Port, which is situated on the coast of the Red Sea.