Viking Nile River Cruise: Top 7 Reasons You Should Book One Right Now

Viking is all in on Egypt. 

This is one of the world’s most vibrant and exotic destinations, but it can be a little intimidating to navigate. A Nile River cruise takes care of a lot of the logistics and allows you to see all the great places that showcase the fascinating 3,000-year-era of Ancient Egypt. 

When it comes to Nile River voyages, no cruise line offers more options and a more well-rounded experience than Viking, which just launched its first purpose-built Nile River cruise ship, Viking Osiris.  

Viking Nile River Cruise 2023 / 2024 / 2025

It already had Viking Antares and Viking Ra plying the river for the company’s 12-day “Pharaohs and Pyramids” itinerary. And after Viking Osiris, the company plans to launch sister ships Viking Aton (2023), Viking Hathor (August 2024) and Viking Sobek (August 2025). 

Cruise Addicts is back from its journey on Viking Osiris and discovered plenty of reasons cruisers will want to take a cruise with Nile River cruise with Viking on any vessel in its growing fleet of river boats.

A Luxury Viking Nile River Cruise 

Viking had the nicest ships on this exotic river with the refurbished Viking Antares (62 passengers) and Viking Ra (48 passengers). However, the new Viking Osiris is next level. The 82-passenger, five-deck river ship is the best on the Nile.  

Viking passengers get everything they expect from the brand that thrives on offering a comfortable, reliable and inclusive travel experience. Viking Osiris features two restaurants, including the popular Aquavit Terrace indoor/outdoor venue. The public spaces are immense and well-lit, with glass everywhere connecting the inside spaces with the beautiful views of the flowing river, its green banks, farming communities, villages and mountainous sahara beyond. 

Amenities include The Lounge, a huge space with the bar as a centerpiece, where passengers gather each night to enjoy cocktails, piano music and conversation. The space is also fantastic for sitting to sip coffee, read a book and soak in the views through the windows. Guides give enrichment chats here, too, and The Lounge features art and photos from the collection of the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, the main benefactor to Howard Carter who discovered King Tut’s tomb a century ago.

In fact, the entire ship has photos from this collection, as well as other subtle design features that pay homage to Egypt while allowing the ship to maintain the elegant Scandinavian feel that Viking cruisers love so much.

There is no gym or spa, but the top Sun Deck has a warm feel with loungers, day beds and covered areas with sofas, tables and chairs. 

This was our favorite spot to enjoy during sunrise and sunset.

At the back of the ship, off Aquavit Terrace, is a small swimming pool, with a deck offering lounge chairs. It’s really an amazing way to spend the day enjoying the sunshine while cruising the Nile. 

The Best Guides in Egypt

Viking’s tour directors are Egyptologists, specialists in the history of Ancient Egypt, with a true passion for telling the incredible stories of the era that began more than five thousand years ago and lasted three millennia.

The guides are there from start to finish, meeting you at your pre-cruise hotel in Cairo and taking you out on your adventures every day

We had two wonderful; Egyptologists on our sailing, Salah Tawfeek and Hanan El Beih. Guides will be assigned to a group for the cruise, and we were blessed to be with Hanan, who took great care to make sure we were well informed and comfortable every step of the way. It was well over 105 degrees each day as we visited Egypt in mid-August, and Hanan always ensured that we could find shade at the sites and that we took frequent sips of water to stay hydrated.

More than that, she really displayed an incredible knowledge and passion for Egypt, and that made it a lot of fun for our group.

Delicious Food 

Chefs on Viking Osiris serves a nice mix of Egyptian cuisine, like beef kofte and lamb and seafood preparations and kebabs featuring traditional sauces and bread accompaniments. Viking includes all meals onboard, and you can get breakfast, lunch and dinner at either The Restaurant or in a more casual setting on the Aquavit Terrace on the Viking river ships in Egypt.

We also couldn’t resist the plentiful pastries and muffins put out each morning at the coffee station in the lobby. Fresh chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies are available later in the day.

Pre-Cruise Hotel and Touring 

Viking uses the 5 Star Nile Ritz-Carlton hotel for its pre-cruise accommodations in Cairo. The program for Egypt Nile River cruises features three nights in this hotel, which has a spa, pool, views of the river, top-notch restaurants and bars, including a rooftop night club. The Nile Ritz-Carlton sits right next to the Egyptian Museum, and a visit to this attraction, as well as tours to Giza to see the Great Pyramids and Sphinx complex is included in your activities during your time in the Egyptian capital.

The Included Excursions

You won’t miss anything on your bucket list for Egypt when you take a Viking Nile cruise. The “Pharaohs and Pyramids” itinerary includes two full days in Cairo to see the pyramids, including Sakkara, museums and mosques. You’ll also get a chance to ride a camel around the Great Pyramid complex.

Plus, you get free time to explore a souk or try a restaurant, coffee house or some shopping

Destinations include Luxor to see the Temples of Luxor and Karnak; this also is where you will cross the Nile to see the Valley of the Kings, including King Tut’s tomb. At Quena, you’ll visit the stunningly well-preserved Temple of Dendera. 

At Esna, you will see the ancient red sandstone Temple of Khnum or wander the village and drop in on the lively markets for shopping. Once you reach Aswan, you will marvel at the town that sits at the High Dam, an engineering feat that created Lake Nasser and controls the flow of the Nile and protects the rich valley. There is time here to visit markets and sail on a traditional wooden felucca boat.

You’re in Aswan for two days, so you also can explore Kom Ombo Temple or a Nubian Village.

In Edfu, you’ll have an exhilarating ride through the streets on a horse-drawn carriage (caleche) to get to Edfu Temple.

Extra-Special Adventures

Viking offers fantastic optional excursions (added cost) to level up your experience in Egypt.

You can go out for the Khan El-Khalili Market visit and traditional dinner when in Cairo, or get up for the magnificent early morning hot air balloon ride at sunrise to soar above the Valley of the Kings when you’re in Luxor. 

Well worth the price is a visit to the breathtaking Abu Simbel Temples when your ship is in Aswan. The temples went up in the 13th century B.C. and were unearthed in the early 19th century. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, relocated from the original location in 1968 when the Aswan Dam was built. There are two massive statues of Ramses II that dominate the facade of the Great Temple and impressive bas-relief sculptures inside the structure. 

You also might pick the night-time “Temples of Philae Sound & Light” show when you are in Aswan. 

A Hassle-Free Vacation

Viking cruises in Egypt include all meals on the ship and during some tours; airport and hotel transfers, onboard WiFi; and wine, beer and soft drinks during lunches and dinner onboard the ship. Cruisers can enjoy these perks without feeling like they are being nickel-and-dimed with added costs.

John Roberts
John Roberts
John Roberts is a freelance travel writer and operator of His writing aims to help travelers find the best ways to explore destinations in a fun, fit and adventurous way.

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