Viking River Cruises has announced details of the newest addition to its river fleet, Viking Ra. Recently acquired, the vessel has been stripped down to the steel to undergo a complete renovation that will reflect Viking's Scandinavian design, the cruise line said. With a capacity of 48 guests, Viking Ra will sail the Nile River on a new Egypt cruisetour, Pharaohs & Pyramids, that will launch in March 2018.
In a written release, Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking Cruises, said that Egypt remains a top destination for many of the line’s guests.
During the 12-day, Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, guests will experience Egypt's cultural treasures in seven destinations. The cruisetour begins with a three-night stay at a hotel in Cairo, where guests can visit sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the new Grand Egyptian Museum and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. Guests will then fly to Luxor, where they will visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before boarding Viking Ra for an eight-day roundtrip cruise on the Nile River to Aswan, with Privileged Access to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, and a visit to a colorful Nubian village where guests can experience a traditional elementary school. Finally, the journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in the city.
Viking first previewed the Viking Ra to Travel Agent at the christening of two of its other new river ships, Viking Herja and Viking Hild, in Koblenz, Germany. The newly rebuilt, all-suite ship will have 24 staterooms that will accommodate 48 guests. Named in honor the Egyptian sun god Ra, Viking Ra's name also pays homage to the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his papyrus-reed boats Ra and Ra II, Viking said. Helmed by the same interior design team responsible for the line’s fleet of Viking Longships, Viking Ra will have a clean, elegant Scandinavian design blended with local influences like traditional geometric Arabic patterns and terrazzo floors. Other notable amenities include:
- All Suite Staterooms: The ship has three suite stateroom categories, each 291 sq. ft., including 20 Veranda Suites with a full-size veranda in the living room and a French balcony in the bedroom. All staterooms include premium amenities such as a hotel-style bed, luxury linens, sofa, private bathroom with shower, air conditioning and flat-screen TVs.
- Pool and Two Jacuzzis: In addition to two Jacuzzis, the ship has a pool at the back of the ship. A sanctuary from the sun is provided by sculptural "sail-shades" inspired by local dhow ships and intricate mashrabiya-influenced screens surrounding the Pool and Sun Deck.
- Spa: Specifically designed for Viking Ra, guests can relax in The Spa offering massage services and a variety of treatments.
- Onboard Dining, Bar and Lounge: Guests can dine in The Restaurant, which serves three full meals and a selection of regional and international fare, then head to the clinker-built bar to share a cocktail with friends. During the day, guests can enjoy The Lounge to relax, take in the views through floor-to-ceiling glass doors or hear an informative discussion on the next destination.
- Entertainment: Guests are offered Viking's Culture Curriculum, which includes a Nubian evening event on board and a local experience riding a camel. Additionally, Viking's expert Egyptologist leads all excursions, sharing the archaeological and historical significance of the sites.