Book a trip on the Sudan


by / Thursday, 04 July 2013 / Published in Egypt


The Steam Ship Sudan, built at the end of the 19th century, is an authentic “Belle Époque” paddle steamer. Its broad teak decks, brassware and wood panelling are the stuff of romantic stories. Taking a trip down the Nile from Aswan to Luxor at the slow pace of its paddle wheels is a unique way to experience the river.

On board the Steam Ship Sudan you can take in the many faces of Egypt as they roll gently by. From emblematic sites to wild shores where soft green reeds and minarets spring up, a donkey cart trots quietly by and white ibis
take to their wings.

The gangways exude a sweet aroma of beeswax, the woven palm furniture on the deck is the perfect place to daydream. A hushed atmosphere welcomes you in the lounge bar. Time seems to have stood still since the period when Agatha Christie and her characters travelled on board. The restaurant offers sophisticated cuisine and the staff, with legendary Egyptian hospitality, provides an impeccable service.

The 18 cabins and 5 suites combine a refined oriental style with classic 19th-century furnishings. A touch of bright colour here and there adds a modern note, and recent renovations have reduced the ship’s environmental footprint.

Check in: 10.30 am – Check out: 10.00 am
A sophisticated Belle Époque atmosphere reigns behind each door, combined with service worthy of a grand hotel.

The 5 suites and 18 cabins are laid out on the two decks. They are accessed by broad passageways with room for passengers to sit and read in the evening and sip a delicious hibiscus punch. Each cabin is linked by its name to Egypt’s history. On the upper deck, the Agatha Christie and Lady Duff Gordon suites at the prow of the vessel enjoy spectacular views of the river. The Aida and Queen Victoria suites sit comfortably in the generous curves of the stern. Wood panelling in warm tones, gilded or brass beds, classical furniture and beautiful pale parquet floors exude a period charm. A charm reflected in every detail down to the bathroom fittings. The subtle décor is enhanced with fabrics in bright shades of fuchsia, orange and absinthe.

The cabins
The wood panelling in every cabin gives a sense of warmth. Each is fitted with a double or twin beds. The furnishings, including oriental carpets and armchairs, vary from one cabin to the next, giving each one its own

The suites 

The boat has 4 suites, situated in the prow and the stern of the upper deck. A little larger than the classic cabins, they have lighter woodwork and their big picture windows offer panoramic views of the Nile and provide plenty of light. The fifth suite, the Oum Kalsoum suite, with furniture in walls in brown wood, is at the prow on the main deck.


N° 20 – Suite Oum Kalsoum 

On the lower level, on the main deck, the entire prow is occupied by a suite with a hushed atmosphere, a hymn to the velvet voice of Egypt: Oum Kalsoum, still considered the greatest singer of
the Arab world more than thirty years after her death.

  • 1 double bed 140×200
  • Seating area with sofa and low table
  • 1 bathroom with corner bathtub and toilet

N° 21 – Cabine Naguib Mahfouz

Nobel laureate for literature, Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz is unequalled in his depiction of the great fresco of Egypt’s history and in sharing Cairo’s neighbourhood life with his readers. Plenty of moments of reading
pleasure in this twin cabin at the front port side of the main deck.

  • 2 beds 120×200 (which can be joined together to form a double)
  • Seating area with 2 armchairs and low table
  • 1 bathroom with bathtub and toilet

N° 22 – Cabine Geoffroy Saint Hilaire

This French naturalist accompanied Napoleon on his Egypt campaign in 1798. He contributed to founding the Cairo institute for science and the arts and took back to France scientific riches discovered in Egypt. The double cabin named after him is at the front of the main deck on the port side.

  • 1 double bed 160×200
  • Seating area with 2 armchairs and low table
  • 1 bathroom with bathtub and toilet

N° 23 – Cabine J. F Champollion

With a passion for Egypt from a very early age, Champollion put forward a theory on Egyptian script in 1809. A few years later he succeeded in penetrating the mystery of the hieroglyphs. This twin cabin is on the starboard side, at the front of the main deck.

  • 2 beds 120×200 (which can be joined together to form a double)
  • 1 seating area with 2 armchairs and low table
  • 1 bathroom with shower and toilet

N° 24 – Cabine Samuel Shephard
Englishman Samuel Shepheard was a pioneer in Egyptian tourism. We owe him in particular the famous Cairo hotel that bears his name, built in 1841. This double cabin is on the starboard side, at the front of the main deck.

  • 1 double bed 140×200
  • Seating area with 2 armchairs and low table
  • 1 bathroom with shower and toilet

All the cabins have retained their period character while offering services worthy of a proper hotel room. The cabins are approximately 17m2 in area. Each cabin has two windows and gives access to the promenade deck. The Suites are approximately 25 m2 in area.

In each cabin you will find:

  • Internal telephone
  • Individual safe deposit box
  • Air conditioning: all cabins have an individual thermostat to adjust the temperature of the air conditioning
  • Hairdryer
  • Complimentary products
  • Welcome Pack on arrival: water and pastries
  • European standard 220 V sockets

The cabins are no-smoking areas.


Communal areas

The layout of the boat includes many communal areas which allows everyone to enjoy life on board at their own pace. On the decks, the walkways are furnished with rattan furniture and potted plants while the upper deck has been converted into a large terrace with a bar set out with deckchairs and armchairs. A particularly agreeable spot in which to lounge around and soak up the scenery of the banks of the Nile when the boat is moving. Dress code: no dress code is imposed on board. We do however request that guests avoid wearing shorts in the restaurant in the evening.

Restaurant, Bar
In the elegant “30s” restaurant, which still has its original furniture and wood panelling, you will enjoy a generous and sophisticated gastronomic cuisine, with different western and oriental flavours offered each day, served
by attentive staff who still wear the costumes of the royal service.

Table service and, sometimes, buffet service, at set hours (according to the tour programme). Depending on the weather, certain meals may be served on the sun-deck. The water on board is not drinking water. A bottle of water that can be replaced as often as you like is available in each cabin as well as during meals. Special menus are available (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.), please let us know your requirements when booking.

We host our passengers full-board from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the final day. Drinks and extras are paid for directly on the boat at the end of the trip. Payments on board are made in Egyptian pounds. American express, MasterCard and Visa cards are accepted.

Our restaurant has a capacity of 46 covers The panoramic lounge-bar welcomes guests into its hushed atmosphere in the daytime as well as in the evening. An intimate setting which inspired writer Agatha Christie to write one of her most famous scenes in the novel “Death on the Nile”.

The restaurant and bar are no-smoking areas.

Board games (Scrabble, decks of cards, tarot cards, chess, checkers, Backgammon, UNO, Monopoly) and a selection of books are available in the lounge.

Internet connection 

Free WiFi is available.

The quality of the connection is not the same throughout the boat. It is better at reception or in the bar. There may be times when the boat is in motion that the connection is not available. If required, one of our computers at reception may be made available free of charge.

We no longer have a laundry service available on board, as the Egyptian government has prohibited the use of laundries by all boats cruising on the Nile. We have our own laundry at Luxor, and will always be able to provide a service for you in the case of need. The staff is at your disposal.

For safety reasons, we do not accept children under the age of 7 on board the Steam Ship Sudan.

Practical information
The “Steam Ship Sudan” plies the Nile between Luxor and Aswan (4 nights, leaving on Tuesdays), and between Aswan and Luxor (3 nights, leaving on Saturdays).

Languages spoken on board: French, English and Arabic.

We pay particular attention to recruiting experienced guides to accompany passengers throughout the cruise.

Depending on the number of passengers, one or two French-speaking guides will be on board permanently. We offer our foreign guests English-speaking, German-speaking, Italian-speaking, Spanish-speaking or Japanese-speaking guides for shore visits, please ask when booking. Where possible these additional guides will be housed on board, otherwise they will join the passengers for shore visits when they disembark.

At the port of call, the guide accompanies the passengers to the sites, on foot when these are close to the wharf or by bus for those further away. Admission tickets are included in the price of the cruise. Places of disembarkation are strictly controlled in Egypt, so card for access to the boat will be given to you at each port. The schedule of tours may be subject to change, especially in relation to the time taken to negotiate the Esna lock system, which can vary greatly. Passing through the lock can give rise to significant delays due to the large number of boats on the Nile. For safety reasons, passengers may not disembark when the boat is waiting. The crew is trained in evacuation procedures and in the use of the extinguishers on board the vessel. Lifejackets are located under the beds. There is a firstaid kit on board. In case of need, several doctors can be contacted along the voyage.

Navigation ceases for one month each year, usually in June, for reasons of maintenance.

In 2007, our cruise ship was fully renovated to improve passenger comfort but also to reduce the environmental impact of a cruise. This refitting of the boat has generated a 40% reduction in the co2 emissions of a cruise. Our
effects have since continued along the same lines: solar panels were installed in June 2009. In summer 2011 the single propeller was exchanged for a dual propeller and the paddle wheels fully overhauled, improving output and reducing fuel consumption by 20%. Furthermore each trip made by our clients on the Steam Ship Sudan is offset at a rate of 1/2 tonne of co2 generated per person per trip. This consumption is fully offset by us.

All our cabins have air conditioning and an individual lighting system. The temperature can be controlled independently in each cabin.

In summer and spring, the staff set the air conditioning to minimum until the client arrives and turns it off when cleaning and ventilating the cabins. In the lounge and dining room, the air conditioning is set to minimum, around 20 degrees C. The private and working areas, and the kitchen, are fitted with low-energy light bulbs which reduce energy consumption by up to 60% compared with normal light bulbs.

The staff are trained to systematically turn off lights when they leave a room.

For safety reasons, the bulbs used throughout the boat, except in the bedrooms, have dimmer switches and are set to a low light level to avoid overheating. Only the bedrooms have 60 watt bulbs. 25 watt and 9
watt bulbs are installed in the small ceiling lights along the windows of the lounge and dining room.

The water used for showers in the Steam Ship Sudan comes from the Nile. It is subjected to very rigorous filtering, which is checked every month. An initial filter removes sand, the second treats the water with carbon, and finally the water is treated with ultra-violet light for bacteriological filtration.

Although the results of analysis show that this water is drinkable without any risk to human health, the water used for cooking, washing fruit and vegetables, soups and drinks served in the restaurant, at the bar and in the bedrooms is Egyptian mineral water. The staff are trained in water saving and management when cleaning the bathrooms.

The sheets are not changed daily (except where necessary). Only towels left on the floor are changed. The others are hung up or folded in the bathroom. Clients are informed of these measures when they embark.

The Steam Ship Sudan has its own laundry at Luxor, equipped with modern industrial washing machines (which use less water and energy). We only operate our machines when they are at maximum load.

Eco-friendly biodegradable products made in Egypt are used for the ship’s laundry.

Waste management
Egypt has not yet introduced a sorting system for household waste. Although collection is organised recycling is not. Hence the need to be vigilant about the volume of waste and for our clients to take home with them any toxic waste products such as batteries, medicines, etc..

The Steam Ship Sudan uses only recycled paper.


The cosmetics provided in the bathrooms are natural Egyptian products based on olive oil. In order to avoid wasteful use of packaging, we have chosen to present our products in bottles which are refilled by our staff. Organic produce and fair trade Where possible we buy fresh local produce. Our cheeses, meat, jam, honey, fruit and vegetables are mostly Egyptian.

Eco-friendly cleaning products are used as far as possible by the boat staff. Antibacterial bleach-based products are used only in the bathrooms.

The furniture of the boat is entirely Egyptian and made by local cabinetmakers.