On the occasion of the centenary of the king by Tutankhamun discovery in the Valley of the Kings, Viking River Cruises has launched the Viking Osiris, an ultra-modern vessel designed specifically for Nile cruising.
Egypt and the Nile offer a unique and attractive alternative to the more established and better known river cruises in Europe.
Probably the longest river in the world, Viking has been sailing the Nile since 2004, bringing decades of expertise from its European heartland to guests keen to explore other exciting parts of the world.
At the launch of Viking Osiris, Torstein Hagen, President of Viking, said: “Egypt has always attracted curious explorers for its rich history and ancient antiquities, our guests continue to be amazed by the country’s many cultural treasures.”
All aboard the Viking Osiris
Viking Osiris doubles up on the existing Viking fleet sailing to Egypt, joining Viking Ra on its 12-day Pharaohs and Pyramids itinerary.
The Osiris was designed in Sweden and specially built in Egypt for luxury Nile cruises, with 41 cabins for 82 passengers.
This square-bow vessel offers luxury comfort and intimate cruising, with large staterooms with French-door balconies. Spacious two-room suites are also available for those looking for more space.
Dining takes place on the indoor/outdoor Aquavit terrace, with savory meals surrounded by panoramic views as you slowly glide along the Nile between stops for excursions to the monuments of ancient Egypt.
At one end of the ship, guests can take advantage of the Viking Lounge with floor-to-ceiling glass doors to relax. Upstairs on the upper deck, there is a swimming pool and a terrace to enjoy it.
To meet growing demand, Viking will launch a sister ship to Osiris, the Viking Aten, in 2023. Two more ships are under construction and will join the fleet in 2024 and 2025, all following the tradition of being named after ancient Egyptian deities.
The wonders of Egypt
The tour begins with a three-night stay in Cairo, allowing time to visit the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, and the Sakkara Necropolis.
The Grand Egyptian Museum (not to be confused with the existing Egyptian Museum in Cairo) will be a must for keen Egyptologists.
Opened in Giza in November 2022, it will be the largest archaeological museum in the world by size, with more than 18,000 exhibits.
Tutankhamun’s complete collection of more than 5,000 pieces will be housed there, including the famous solid gold death mask.
Egypt has long sought to bring back ancient artifacts taken from the past, with many other items being unearthed from storage and moved from other museums.
The tour then flies to Luxor, a 75-minute flight to southern Egypt.
Luxor, formerly Thebes, was the capital of the pharaohs at the height of their power.
Near Luxor are the temples of Luxor and Karnak, the tomb of Queen Nefertiti in the Valley of the Queens, and the tombs of Tutankhamun and Ramses in the Valley of the Kings.
Departing from Luxor is the eight-day round-trip luxury cruise aboard the Viking Osiris, sailing south to Aswan.
There are stops to visit other important ancient Egyptian monuments, including visits to the temples of Esna and Qena, as well as a visit to a Nubian village and the Aswan High Dam.
Although Viking is one of many companies offering Nile cruises, it targets the luxury market with its state-of-the-art ships and all-inclusive packages. This includes special access to some of the tombs not offered on other tours.
Other great discoveries await you
During the appointment, “godfather” of the Osiris, the Earl of Carnarvon declared: “The 5e The Earl of Carnarvon was one of the great explorers and excavators of his time, and today you can join in his love of the glories of ancient Egypt, all from the exceptional comfort and style of the viking osiris.”
The Earl of Carnarvon is the great-grandson of the 5e Earl, who along with famed Egyptologist Howard Carter discovered Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922.
This association allows Viking to offer a unique experience through visits to Highclere Castle, the Carnarvon home, and the setting of Downton Abbey.
Photographs and artifacts from the Earl’s private Egyptian collection will be on display for those who navigate the Osiris.
Our fascination with ancient Egypt and its culture never wanes. From stories like Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile” to the mysteries or coincidences surrounding the legend of the curse of Tutankhamun’s tomb, we are captivated by its wonders.