PHOTOS: Viking River Cruises’ Viking Ra renderings. (photos courtesy of Viking Cruises)
Taking its cues from Viking River Cruises’ award-winning Viking Longships design, the line’s newest Viking Ra is coming to Egypt’s Nile River during March 2018.
Viking is completely gutting the recently acquired vessel and redesigning it in Scandinavian style as an intimate 48-guest, all-suite riverboat to sail a Pharaohs & Pyramids cruise-tour.
“Egypt is one of the most intriguing countries in the world, and it remains a top destination for many of our guests,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking Cruises, in a press release.
“For two decades, we have led the industry in river cruising with our innovative ship design and itineraries that bring our guests closer to the cultures of the world. We are committed to Egypt, and with the introduction of Viking Ra, we look forward to providing our award-winning service to our guests on the Nile – and to their experiencing this culturally rich region in the Viking way.”
The 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary will feature many points of interest, starting with a three-night first-class hotel stay in Cairo. Highlights there will include the Great Pyramids of Giza, the new Grand Egyptian Museum and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Then guests will fly to Luxor to explore the temples of Luxor and Karnak prior to boarding the Viking Ra for an 8-day roundtrip Nile River cruise.
The sailing will highlight Aswan and privileged access to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens, along with tours of the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena and a Nubian village.
The entire journey ends with a return flight to Cairo and an additional night stay.
Like the Viking Longships’ heavenly nomenclature, Viking Ra is named after the Egyptian sun god. It also references Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his Ra and Ra II papyrus-reed boats. The riverboat is being designed by the same interior team behind the Scandinavian-styled Viking Longships, but it will also incorporate regional Arabic patterns as well.
24 suites will encompass three categories, each measuring in at 291 sq. ft. There will be 20 Veranda Suites, for example, with a full-size veranda off the living room and a French balcony off the bedroom. All private accommodations will include a hotel-style bed, luxurious linens, sofa, bathroom with shower, air conditioning and flat-screen televisions.
Onboard dining will extend to The Restaurant for three full daily meals of international and regional cuisine, as well as The Lounge and bar for drinks. Entertainment will focus on the destination in lieu of a casino, while Viking’s Culture Curriculum will feature an onboard Nubian evening event and even the chance to ride a camel. An expert Egyptologist will also lead all excursions ashore.
Unique to the Viking Ra from the Viking Longships are its pool and two jacuzzis as well as a spa.
The pool will be located at the back of the ship, while the pool and sun decks will also have plenty of shade under sails reminiscent of regional dhow ships and mashrabiya-like screens. Meanwhile, The Spa will offer massage services and other treatments.