"Whoever lets himself be led by heart will never lose his way" - Egyptian Proverb
As a young child, my family subscribed to National Geographic. I loved the issues that focused on archeology and anthropology- and those I loved best described stories and photos of discoveries of the treasures of ancient Egypt. Living close to the University of Chicago, I loved exploring its famed Oriental Institute - full of treasures from Egypt and the near east. A few years later Treasures of Tutankhamun toured the US and become a pop culture happening - I was thrilled to get a ticket to see the exhibit in LA. But still I dreamed of seeing the pyramids in Egypt with my own eyes. In 2015 I had the opportunity - as tourism was just starting to return to Egypt after the Arab Spring. My husband and I spent two nights in Alexandria on board a cruise ship - visiting the Egyptian Museum and the Pyramids at Giza was the realization of a life-long dream. It was an amazing experience driving through Cairo and seeing the pyramids come into view - truly one of my most spine-tingling experiences! And now, absorbing even more of Egypt’s history and culture in grand style is becoming more widely available to travelers.
Egypt’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism, and the Egyptian government has made significant investments in security infrastructure. These efforts are paying off. Egypt has been named a top 20 destination for 2020, and Cairo is in Lonely Planet’s Top 20 Cities to visit in 2020. With renewed interest in experiencing Egypt, international travel companies have created unique ways to experience Egypt - and this week, I’m highlighting Nile River Cruises offered by two of my trusted partners.
AmaWaterways recently announced the launch of a new ship, the AmaDahlia, on the Nile River. Her inaugural sailing is scheduled January 8, 2021 with sailings through May, before returning to the Nile in September of 2021. These dates will be open for booking this coming March 3rd and are sure to fill quickly - read on to learn why!
The new ship will have 34 cabins, mostly suites. "The Secrets of Egypt and the Nile" itinerary starts with 3 nights at Cairo's Four Seasons Hotel. Visits to the Pyramids at Giza are scheduled during the Cairo stay. Passengers then fly to Luxor, and board the AmaDahlia for a 7-night round trip voyage, which will offer the opportunity to see Aswan and Kom Ombo, with an optional excursion to Abu Simbel. Passengers return to Cairo for a final night at the Four Seasons Hotel. While in Egypt, all meals are included. Should you choose to stay longer and explore more of this region, there are available add-on destinations - choices include 3 nights in Dubai, 4 nights in Jordan (2 in Amman and 2 in Petra,) or 4 nights in Jerusalem.
Don’t want to wait until 2021? Uniworld Boutique River Cruises is starting their Nile River Cruise season next week; there is space available for 2020 sailings. Their 12-day itinerary, “Splendors of Egypt and the Nile,” sails on the SS Sphinx, a new ship for 2020. This ship accommodates 84 passengers; all staterooms have balconies. The itinerary starts in Cairo at the Four Seasons Hotel, with visits to the Pyramids at Giza and the Egyptian Museum, before flying to Luxor to board the ship for a 7 night cruise. Highlights of the trip include visits to the Temples at Karnak, Luxor and Hathor and the Valley of the Kings. At its conclusion guests return to Cairo for a final night at the Four Seasons. Two extensions are available - 5 nights in Jerusalem or 6 nights in Jordan.
Sound interesting? Please let me know - I’d love to help you experience Egypt in style!