Glorious gastronomic experiences along the Nile - November 2019


- A Nile cruise is a journey of experience, not only for the mind but for the senses too.  -

The Nile is a river of wonder, weaved with secrets from the ancient world. A Sanctuary Retreats Nile cruise is, not merely a journey of fascination filled with ancient monuments and sensational sites but also a tantalising trip for the taste buds. Egypt is a country which assaults the senses and it cannot be properly discovered without also experiencing the traditional culinary delights. As soon as guests arrive onboard a Sanctuary Retreats boat, they are greeted with a sweet homemade juice, derived from fresh, locally grown fruits; setting the tone for the four days of fantastic food and drinks to follow.

Beetroot and tuna

Onboard Sanctuary Nile Adventurer, the dining room is an intimate, recently refurbished space, exuding the class and sophistication channelled throughout the boat. The dining room itself has many circular tables, arranged around a glorious marble buffet counter, the perfect place to socialise with both friends or family, appreciating each other as much as the food.

Sanctuary Nile Adventurer dining room

The buffet counter is exquisite, the choice vast. The hot food section contains a wide variety of freshly cooked traditional and international dishes, suiting every palette. A highlight is certainly the salad section; the colours are vibrant as bright beetroots, quinoa interjected with pink pomegranate seeds and sumptuously stuffed peppers create a feast for the eyes. The desert and cheese counters are equally impressive, offering a combination of experimental and classic sweet and savoury afters, the perfect end to every meal. Head Chef onboard, Hamdy Abu Zayed, is governed by the philosophy “the eye eats before the mouth and the smell starts the experience”, a belief evident as soon as you enter the dining room.

Chef Hamdy

Chef Hamdy continuously serves a selection of traditional delicacies. In Egypt each region possesses its own versions of traditional specialities. For example, a classic soup called Molokhia is popular dish, served with lime in Luxor but in Aswan, people frequently add the leaves of green peas. On the third night, guests will experience a traditional Egyptian meal. Chef Hamdy uses approximately 30 traditional and additional international ingredients to create his traditional feast. Many locally sourced fruit and vegetables are also used, including Arbi or Taro, a brown root vegetable which exudes a sticky sap when cut, comparable to a potato but creamier. This is a truly memorable evening, whereby guests experience a totally authentic taste of Egypt.


Guests onboard are utterly spoiled, offered four magnificent meals per day; breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. They will also experience a Gala Dinner, a traditional Egyptian evening and a cookery demonstration. The Sanctuary Nile Adventurer contains just thirty-two cabins, making it an exclusive boat. The presence of the chefs at mealtimes, combined with the boat’s size makes for a personalised dining experience and chefs quickly become atuned to the preferences of individual guests, elevating the dining experience.



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