Viking’s newest Nile River ship, the 82-passenger Viking Aton, has been “floated out,” marking a significant construction milestone and the first time the ship has touched water. When it debuts in August 2023, the Viking Aton will sail Viking’s popular 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary and join the company’s expanding fleet of state-of-the-art ships purpose-built for the Nile River.
Viking has experienced exceptionally high demand in Egypt, with the 2023 season being completely sold out and multiple sailing dates for 2024 already having been reserved. Viking has opened 2025 sailing dates earlier than planned due to increased demand.
“We are pleased with the continued interest in our Nile River cruises.” Our customers are curious explorers, and Egypt remains a popular destination due to its many cultural treasures,” Viking’s Chairman Torstein Hagen explained. “We are proud to be the only Western company to build, own, and operate ships on the Nile, and with the float out of the Viking Aton, we look forwards to welcoming even more guests to experience this fantastic region.”
The float-out ceremony took place on April 4, 2023 at the Massara shipyard in Cairo, and it was significant because it marked the ship’s entry into its final phase of construction.
At 1 p.m. local time, Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen and Sayed Farouk, Chairman of The Arab Contractors (Osman Ahmed Osman & Co.), pressed the switch that signalled the ship-lift to be lowered. She will be transferred to an adjacent outfitting dock for the final phases of construction and interior design.
The new, state-of-the-art Viking Aton, which can accommodate 82 passengers in 41 cabins, was inspired by Viking’s award-winning river and ocean ships and showcases the beautiful Scandinavian design for which Viking is known.
The Viking Aton is the identical sister ship of the Viking Osiris, which was named by the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, Viking’s first ceremonial godfather, in 2022. It features a unique square bow and an indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace, both of which are popular with Viking visitors.
Alongside the Viking Osiris, the Viking Aton will accompany the 2018-debuting Viking Ra. Viking will operate six ships on the Nile by 2025, due to the addition of the Viking Hathor and the Viking Sobek, which are currently under construction and will be delivered in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Viking’s Pharaohs & Pyramids Itinerary
The 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary begins with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, where guests can visit the Great Pyramids of Giza, Sakkara Necropolis, Muhammad Ali Mosque, and the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Guests then fly to Luxor and visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before embarking on an eight-day roundtrip Nile River cruise that includes Privileged Access to the tombs of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings, as well as excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simbel, and the High Dam in Aswan. The trip concludes with a flight back to Cairo for an additional night in the ancient city.
Viking offers Pre and Post Extensions, which include Privileged Access to archives and exhibits, if you wish to extend your trip.
Guests on the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension will begin their journey in London, where they will meet their expert Egyptologist Viking Tour Director and enjoy Privileged Access to two museums: first, a private, early morning visit to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the public – and then, a visit to Sir John Soane’s home and personal museum, where the tour will be illuminated.
In addition, guests will visit the Petrie Museum in London, which houses more than 80,000 artefacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, guests will experience a Privileged Access visit to the Griffith Institute at Oxford University to view Howard Carter’s archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Lastly, during an exclusive tour of Highclere Castle, visitors will receive Privileged Access to the Earl’s impressive private Collection of Egyptian artefacts, as well as documents and displays not generally available to the public.
Post Extension to Jordan – Petra, Dead Sea, & Amman, where guests will see Roman antiquities at Jerash, Crusader-era castles at Kerak or Shobak, and UNESCO World Heritage Site Petra.