A Luxury Nile River Cruise with Viking, Egypt's Jewel
Arts & Culture
Driven by a shared passion for immersing ourselves in diverse cultures and historical marvels, my wife and I always earmarked Egypt on our global exploration wish-list. Egypt, with its historical tapestry and its timeless testament to a once resplendent civilization offers an unparalleled glimpse into its charm. We viewed the Nile River cruise as a unique passageway into Egypt's ancient lens, curating an immersive and intimate experience.
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Why a Viking Nile River Cruise Beckoned us
Viking River Cruises has an un-wavered reputation for offering a premium blend of luxury, comfort, and cultural immersion. Each of their ships is meticulously designed to offer a lavish space while promising an intimate feel that adds warmth to the luxurious surrounds. Their service mimics the ethos of five-star hotel standards, ensuring that every requirement is attended to promptly. The guides that lead travelers throughout their journey are seasoned professionals with an innate passion for the history and culture of Egypt, turning every historic site and excursion into a delightful narrative.
The Journey of a Nile River Cruise
The "Excerpts of Egypt" itinerary offered by Viking (now called Pharaohs & Pyramids on a new ship) brought the long-unfolded history of Egypt alive for us in scripted tours and unplanned discoveries during the 7-day river voyage from Luxor to Aswan. Each day held the promise of a new exploration into world-renowned landmarks associated with the land of Pharaohs - from ambling among the gigantic pyramids of Giza, peering into the inscrutable eyes of the Sphinx, discovering the haunting beauty of the Valley of the Kings, to being humbled in the presence of the monumental Abu Simbel.
The addition of felucca sails on the glittering Nile, visiting an indigenous Egyptian village that offered an unseen slice of the culture and finally, the exhilarating ride over the Valley of the Kings in a hot air balloon made it an unparalleled journey.
Select a Space & Start Experiencing
The catalog of cabin options with Viking doesn't offer just a range of choices; each option is an experience. The Deluxe Stateroom, our choice of shelter for the expedition, was our cocoon of luxury during the voyage. Its grandeur was complemented by a private balcony that presented an ever-evolving scene of the Nile's grandeur. From this secluded perch, our eyes traced the dramatic shift of hues during sunset, creating postcard-perfect snapshots of our journey that will forever remain etched in memory. We can only imagine what the new ship on this itinerary would be like. We might need to schedule ourselves another journey on the Nile.
Experiencing Excursions on a Nile River Cruise
Viking's excursions herald a liaison between travelers and the depth of Egypt's art and history. The guides are more than just bearers of information; they are storytellers and lively animated narrators that bring alive the tales bound within the sandstone walls of the ancient sites.
One of the most endearing of excursions offered by Viking River Cruises is the visit to the Nubian Village in Aswan. Retaining the old-world charm, life in these settlements is underscored by simplicity and community spirit. As tranquil as the Nile River that flows alongside, the Nubian village paints a panorama that contrasts Egypt's typical desert landscape. It's an up-close glimpse into the traditions and lifestyles that have endured through the ages, making the visit an enriching cultural immersion unlike any other.
An amalgamation of architectural grandeur and legendary tales, the Temples of Philae is another highlight of our Nile River Cruise. Set upon a beautiful island in the Nile, boats can only reach it, adding to its allure. With each step deeper into the complex of ancient temples, one grows more immersed in the narrative of mythology and royalty, shared and enriched by the expert guides. The main temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis, stands as a testament to ancient Egyptian architectural prowess, with colossal hieroglyphic-covered columns.
An excursion that places you right in the heart of an age-old tradition, the papyrus-making demonstration, is a testament to Egypt's role as a cradle of civilization. It is a rare treat to watch the transformation of the raw papyrus plant into the world's first paper form.
Rising majestically along the Nile's banks, the Kom Ombo Temple is a vision to behold and a powerful example of duality in ancient Egyptian belief. The temple is unique as it's dualistic— dedicated to two gods, the crocodile deity Sobek and the falcon-headed Haroeris. The symmetry of the temple layout, each half-mirroring the other, is designed to give both gods equal importance.
Need to Know
Our venture into the world of ancient Egypt, via the Nile River Cruise by Viking, was a dreamlike journey come alive. A testimony to Viking's impeccable service and years of expertise. The cruise allowed us to sync with the mystical pulse of the Nile, capturing the quintessence of Egypt's rich heritage. As modern voyagers, we found ourselves transcending time, journeying back to the past, etching memories that would endure the test of time.
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