The banks of the Nile are now filled with river ships. Egypt’s temples and historic sites are busy and there’s a buzz on the Nile again.
The new confidence on the Nile will see Avalon Waterways return to Egypt this year after stopping its Nile cruises because of the country’s turmoil and political unrest. Avalon will debut the 124-passenger MS Farah in Luxor, visiting the famous temples, the Avenue of Sphinxes, the huge Karnak Temple Complex, the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, the Temple of Kom Ombo and the Temple of Isis. Prices for a 10-day itinerary start from $4473 per person.
Viking Cruises was one of the few river lines to ply the Nile when it returned to Egypt with the launch of the 52-passenger Viking Ra in 2018. The ship was fully booked last year and is again fully booked for 2020.
Viking is so confident of the market, it is building the new Viking Osiris which will debut this year. The 82-passenger ship has been specifically built to navigate the Nile. It has elegant, Scandinavian interiors and will have a pool, sun deck, library, Aquavit terrace and lounge. Prices for a 12-day itinerary Pharaohs and Pyramids in April start from $7,695 per person. Osiris has also been sold out for 2020.
Scenic also has Egypt itineraries and some of them still have availability for 2020. Their itineraries include cruising the Nile on the Sanctuary Sun Boat III for three to five days, depending on the sailing. The classic itinerary which is sold out for 2020 is the 12-day Cairo roundtrip which spends five days cruising the river.
Meanwhile itineraries like the 14-day ‘Egypt in Depth’ and 20-day ‘The Essence of Egypt & Jordan’ only spend three to four days on the river, but they also bring guests to experience other sights in the region like the Red Sea and Jordan.
Luxury line Uniworld will launch its new build SS Sphinx, an 84-passenger ship which will have two dining venues, a swimming pool, massage room and all 42 suites will have French balconies.
The 12-day Splendors of Egypt and the Nile itinerary from Cairo to Cairo will visit Luxor, Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo and Aswan. Passengers will also be taken to visit the Temple of Luxor and the temples of Hathor, Horus and Egypt’s first female ruler at the Temple of Hatshepsut and the ancient, royal burial grounds.
Passengers will also be able to experience an exhilarating ride in a “felucca” a traditional Nile River sailboat.
In Cairo, guests will visit the famous Egyptian Museum and marvel at its unrivalled collection of pharaonic artefacts including treasures recovered from the tomb of King Tutankhamun. They will also be able to gaze in wonder at the mighty ancient Pyramids and the enigmatic Sphinx.
A 12-day itinerary in September starts from $9999 per person.
Uniworld also has another ship, the 82-passenger River Tosca plying the Nile river. Tosca has a sprawling sun deck, shaded cabana and swimming pool with fine Egyptian cotton linen on the beds in staterooms.
Rooftop cruising at its best AmaWaterways is also eyeing a return to Egypt possibly in early 2021 after it stopped operations in 2011 because of the revolution.
“Uncover the mysteries of the Nile River and beyond on our brand-new Egypt cruise and land adventures beginning in 2021. Journey into the heart of this ancient world, spending time in such fascinating cities such as Cairo and Luxor.
“Plus, take in the extraordinary sight of the sole survivor of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the 4000-year-old Great Pyramid of Giza and much more,” said AmaWaterways website.
Abercrombie & Kent offers a luxury 10-day itinerary to Egypt including a four-night cruise on the Nile onboard the 18-passenger Sanctuary Sun Boat IV. The cruise from Luxor will call at Edfu, Kom Ombo and Aswan. Passengers will be able to gain special entry into the tomb of Seti I, one of the best preserved tombs in the Valley of the Kings and explore the legendary pyramids. Prices start from $7595 per person.