Best of LuxeThe Nile's Newest River Boat is Fit for Cleopatra

The Nile’s Newest River Boat is Fit for Cleopatra


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Courtesy of Viking

Sailing the Nile River is one of the most historic voyages on the planet, reaching back into ancient history. More recently, a few centuries ago, there were three ways to traverse the Nile: a comfortable sailing boat known as a dahabiya, a smaller sailboat called a cange, and a steamer for speedier trips. 

Today, travelers have more ships than ever to choose from, and the most luxurious vessels since Cleopatra’s barge. The most historic and authentic ships currently sailing include such vessels as the 52-stateroom MS Darakum, the 164-foot dahabiya Sanctuary Zein Nile Chateau, and the celebrated 19th-century steamer SS Sudan with cabins for just 46 passengers, including, once upon a time, “Death on the Nile” author Agatha Christie herself. 

Courtesy of Viking

With more and more luxury travelers seeking bookings for Nile voyages on modern ships, AmaWaterways, Uniworld, and, most notably, Viking have led the charge to supply the demand in recent years. In fact, the addition of Viking River Cruises’ newest ship, Viking Aton, the world’s favorite river cruise line, now hosts four ships that exclusively sail the Nile. Two additional Nile vessels are currently under construction, slated for delivery in 2024 and 2025, respectively. Not forgetting the cruise line’s earlier launches in Egypt — Viking Ra and MS Antares — Viking’s growing Nile fleet will total six by 2025. 

Courtesy of Viking

Welcoming 82 guests in 41 staterooms, the Viking Aton brings a touch of Scandinavian design to the cruise line’s Egyptian ships. Like it’s sister ship — the Viking Osiris, which launched in 2022 — the Eton was specially built to navigate the Nile. Designed by acclaimed architect and designer Richard Rieveire, the state-of-the-art vessel features blond woods, airy neutrals, a distinctive square bow and an indoor-outdoor Aquavit Terrace. Rieveire has his thumb on the pulse of luxury hospitality, having also overseen such high-profile projects as the Presidential Bungalows at The Beverly Hills Hotel, the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel & Residences at LA Live, among others.

Courtesy of Viking

The Viking Aton will sail the popular Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, an indulgent 12-day experience beginning with a first-class three-night stay in Cairo where guests can visit the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Saqqara, and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Guests then fly to Luxor to visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before boarding the Aton to settle into balcony staterooms and suites for an eight-day roundtrip cruise on the Nile. Viking guests have privileged access to the tomb of NJefertari in the Valley of the Queens, and the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings. Excursions include the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simble and the High Dam at Aswan, and a visit to a Nubian village and its elementary school. The journey ends with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in the ancient city. 

Courtesy of Viking


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