The boat hired by family and friends of a young couple for engagement party was sailing north of Cairo when the mishap happened on Wednesday, reported BBC.
According to interior ministry bodies of four minors have been recovered while many passengers are still missing.
Five people were rescued from the crash scene and the captain of the cargo boat has been arrested.
It is not clear if the couple thought to be celebrating their engagement were among the dead.
Traffic had been heavy along the Nile, where many Egyptians had been celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Although boating collisions are frequent along Egypt's coast, this is the deadliest accident in the region since February 2006, when more than 1,000 people were killed after a passenger ferry sank.