Viking Aton is currently under construction and scheduled to debut in September 2022.
The 82-passenger vessel will sail Viking’s ‘Pharaohs & Pyramids’ itinerary, joining identical sister Viking Osiris (set to debut this year instead of 2020, as first planned) and the line’s first owned and operated Nile ship, 2018’s Viking Ra.
‘Egypt remains a top destination for many of our guests who are inspired to discover the rich history and beauty of the region,’ Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen said. ‘We will always maintain our commitment to creating meaningful experiences that are focused on the destination. The addition of Viking Aton is a reflection of our continued investment in Egypt; we look forward to introducing the country’s cultural treasures to even more Viking guests in the future.’
Viking Aton will sport the the clean, elegant Scandinavian design for which Viking is known. It features 41 all-outside staterooms and spacious suites with two full-size rooms and verandas; a pool and sun deck with 360-degree views; Viking Lounge with floor-to-ceiling glass doors; and Aquavit Terrace for alfresco dining and indoor/outdoor river viewing.
Viking claims to be the first and only Western company to build, own and operate vessels on the Nile.
‘Pharaohs & Pyramids’ cruise-tour
The 12-day ‘Pharaohs & Pyramids’ cruise-tour begins with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, where travelers can visit such sites as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Sakkara and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali. They then fly to Luxor and visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak before boarding their vessel for an eight-day round-trip cruise, featuring Viking’s ‘Privileged Access’ to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings.
Excursions visit the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simbel and the High Dam in Aswan, and a Nubian village, where travelers can visit a traditional elementary school. The journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night there.
Viking also offers pre- and post-cruise extensions with its ‘Privileged Access’ to archives and exhibits. Building on the success of its ‘Oxford & Highclere Castle’ program – one of Viking’s highest-rated extensions that visits the filming location of ‘Downton Abbey’ – the company has curated new pre-cruise trips that let participants retrace the steps of the world’s most famous Egyptologist, Howard Carter, and his benefactor, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.
‘British Collections of Ancient Egypt’
The five-day ‘British Collections of Ancient Egypt’ extension begins in London, where participants will get ‘Privileged Access’ to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the general public and then visit the home and personal museum of world-renowned architect Sir John Soane, where the tour will be illuminated by candlelight, a re-enactment of how Soane showcased his collection of Egyptian antiquities.
Travelers will also visit London’s Petrie Museum, which houses more than 80,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, they’ll tour the Ashmolean Museum and go behind the scenes at Oxford University’s Griffith Institute to see Carter’s archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. The trip wraps at Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, to view the earl’s private collection of Egyptian artifacts, as well as archives and exhibits not normally accessible to the public.
Jerusalem and Jordan extensions
Additional offerings include a pre-cruise extension in Jerusalem and a post-cruise extension to Jordan.
Through Jan. 31, US residents can take advantage of special savings on cruise fares and up to free international airfare on select 2021 – 2023 itineraries.