Viking has announced that voyages on its newest Nile River ship, Viking Hathor, are open for booking. Set to debut in 2024, Viking Hathor will join the line’s fleet of purpose-built ships on the Nile River, which sail the 12-day “Pharaohs & Pyramids” itinerary. Demand in Egypt remains strong, the line reports, with its 2023 season sold out and some sailings into 2025 already selling out.
Hosting 82 guests in 41 staterooms, the new Viking Hathor is the identical sister ship to Viking Aton, which debuts in August 2023, and Viking Osiris, which was named in 2022 by Viking’s first ceremonial godfather, the eighth Earl of Carnarvon. In addition to Viking Aton and Viking Osiris, Viking Hathor will join the other ships in the Egypt fleet, Viking Ra and MS Antares. In response to strong demand, Viking will have six ships sailing the Nile by 2025 with the addition of a new sister ship, Viking Sobek, which is also under construction and will be delivered in 2025.
During the 12-day “Pharaohs & Pyramids” itinerary, guests begin with a three-night stay at a hotel in Cairo, where they can visit iconic sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Saqqara (also known as “Sakkara”) and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Guests then fly to Luxor, where they visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before boarding a Viking river ship for an eight-day roundtrip cruise on the Nile River, inclusive of “Privileged Access” to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simbel and the High Dam in Aswan, and a visit to a Nubian village, where guests can experience a traditional elementary school. The journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in the city.
Guests looking to extend their journey can opt for pre- and post-cruise extensions that provide “Privileged Access” to archives and exhibits. Guests on the five-day “British Collections of Ancient Egypt” extension will begin the journey in London, where they will meet their Viking tour director, an expert Egyptologist, and experience “Privileged Access” to two museums: First a private, early-morning visit to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the general public; and, then, a visit to the home and personal museum of architect Sir John Soane, where the tour will be illuminated by candlelight—a re-enactment of how Soane entertained guests and showcased his collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus.
Travelers will also visit London’s Petrie Museum, which houses more than 80,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, guests will visit the Ashmolean Museum, home to a varied collection of Egyptian mummies and art—and go behind the scenes at Oxford University’s Griffith Institute, where they will enjoy a “Privileged Access” visit to see Howard Carter’s archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Lastly, guests will have further “Privileged Access” with an exclusive visit to Highclere Castle to view the Earl’s private collection of Egyptian artifacts, as well as archives and exhibits not accessible to the public.
Additional offerings include a new three-night pre-cruise extension in Istanbul, where guests can visit important religious sites including the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia. Before their voyage, guests can also choose to extend their journey in Israel’s capital Jerusalem. After concluding the river voyage, guests can also extend the journey with a four-night post-cruise extension to Jordan, visiting Amman to view Roman antiquities at Jerash, Crusader-era castles at Kerak or Shobak and experience the lost city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Dead Sea.