Getting there & away
Abela Egypt Sleeping Train (230 2124; www.sleepingtrains.com) services leave at 5pm and 6.30pm, arriving in Cairo at 5.45am and 6.45am the next morning. The first service travels on to Alexandria. Tickets cost US$53/74 per person one way in a double/single cabin. Tickets must be paid for in US dollars or euros. The price includes a basic dinner and breakfast.
Air-conditioned tourist trains to Cairo (E£43/E£81 in 1st/2nd class, 13 hours) via Luxor (E£30/E£21 in 1st/2nd class, three hours) leave at 6am, 6pm and 8pm. All three of these trains stop at Kom Ombo (E£15/12 in 1st/2nd class, 45 minutes) and Edfu (E£19/10, 1¾ hours).
Aswan is the best place to arrange overnight felucca trips because even if the winds fail, the Nile’s strong currents propel boats north. The most popular trips are to Kom Ombo (one night, two days; E£31.50 per person) or Edfu (two nights, three days; E£56.50). Boats sleep six and passengers pay an extra E£5 per person for a permit, plus the cost of food and drink supplies.
You could also try a three-night cruise on one of the superbly luxurious boats that slide along the Nile towards Esna, near Luxor. They cost E£50 per night full board and leave from the corniche; trips and can be arranged by any travel agent or hotel.