Viking Expands Egypt Program for 2020 Season

Viking Osiris // Courtesy of Viking Cruises

Viking is expanding its Egypt program for the 2020 season. This project includes the launch of a new ship.

Built specifically for the Nile River and inspired by the design of the award-winning Viking Longships, Viking Osiris is currently in development and will double the company’s owned capacity in Egypt once it launches in September 2020.

Also launching in the next year are two new pre-cruise extensions to improve guests’ knowledge of Egyptology before getting to Cairo. These five-day extensions to Viking’s Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary will provide guests with Privileged Access to archives and exhibits in London and Oxford that are generally closed to the public.

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Viking Osiris

Accommodating 82 guests in 41 staterooms, Viking Osiris will join the company’s other ship on the Nile, Viking Ra, which launched in 2018. Viking says it is the first and only Western company to construct, own and operate ships on the Nile.

Guests on the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension will be introduced to their Viking tour director, an Egyptologist, in London and experience Privileged Access to two museums, including a private, early morning visit to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the public and a visit to the home and personal museum of architect, Sir John Soane, where the tour will be brightened by candlelight. It will feature a re-enactment of how Soane entertained guests and exhibit his collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus.

Guests will also visit London’s Petrie Museum, which has over 80,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, guests will see the Ashmolean Museum that carries a varied collection of Egyptian mummies and art. They will get to go behind the scenes at Oxford University’s Griffith Institute, where they will experience a Privileged Access visit to see Howard Carter’s archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.

Lastly, guests could visit Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon and witness the earl’s private collection of Egyptian artifacts. Guests traveling through April 2020 may opt for the new five-day King Tut & the UK’s Egyptian Collections extension, which also includes an opportunity to visit Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, a special exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery that is presented by Viking.

Giza Pyramids and Cairo Egypt
Giza Pyramids // Getty Images

Pharaohs & Pyramids

During the 12-day, Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, guests experience Egypt in seven destinations. The cruise tour begins with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, where guests can visit sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Sakkara and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Guests will then fly to Luxor, where they will witness the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before hopping on a Viking river ship for an eight-day roundtrip cruise on the Nile River, featuring Privileged Access to the tomb of Nefertiti in the Valley of the Queens, and trips 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. A flight back to Cairo for a final night in the ancient city ends the journey.

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