Viking, the world's largest river cruise line, is further expanding with the addition of the 82-passenger Viking Hathor. Set to debut in 2024, it will become the fifth Viking ship on the Nile after the launch of Viking Aton on 2023. It is the sister vessel the line's newest Egyptian ships -- Viking Osiris and Viking Aton -- and will be joined by a sixth vessel, Viking Sobek, slated to be delivered in 2025.
The ship has 41 river-facing staterooms in four categories which are spread across three decks. These begin with 12 standard cabins on the lower deck which measure 232 square feet and have fixed windows. The middle deck has 21 Veranda Staterooms, measuring 239 square feet, with a walkout balcony furnished with a table and chairs.
On the upper deck are six 409-square-feet Veranda Suites and the pair of 525-square-feet Explorer Suites. These are all true suites, with a separate bedroom and living area, and they all have private balconies with room for a lounger, table and chairs. A large number of perks come with the Explorer suites include a welcome bottle of sparkling wine, mini-bar that is replenished daily, coffee machine, robe and slippers, and complimentary laundry and shoe shine service, Silver Spirits beverage package, optional in-room breakfast service and private transfers. Robes and slippers are also provided in the Veranda Suites and are available on request in the other cabins. All staterooms can be configured as doubles or twins and they all have heated bathroom floors.
Public areas include a restaurant with floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows, lounge and bar, and a sun deck with a small swimming pool and shaded areas. There is also a library and shop. An elevator runs from the lower deck to the pool deck and the topmost sun deck is accessed by stairs.
Constructed at the Massara shipyard in Cairo, and specifically built to navigate the Nile, the ship still retains the familiar Scandinavian-style interiors first showcased on its European fleet. Unlike the ornate decor on some Nile vessels, Viking Hathor is all about the understated, elegant and light interior for which Viking is known. It has also carried over familiar features such as the Aquavit terrace, an indoor and outdoor viewing and al fresco dining area situated at the front of the ship.
The ship's maiden voyage is on August 24, 2024, when it will sail on the 11-night Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary.
Between August and May, the ship will sail on the 11-night Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary which begins with a three-night stay in Cairo, followed by a seven-night round-trip Luxor cruise. The itinerary will feature a Viking 'privileged access' visit to the tomb of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings and Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and excursions including the temples at Abu Simbel and the High Dam in Aswan, and a visit to a Nubian village and elementary school.
Pre- and post-cruise extensions include the U.K., with visits to the Egyptian collection at the British Museum and an exclusive tour at Highclere Castle to see the exhibition of Egyptian artifacts, as well collected by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who discovered Tutankhamen's tomb with British archaeologist Howard Carter. Other options include extensions in Istanbul, Jerusalem and Petra and the Dead Sea in Jordan.
The ship measures 236 feet and carries 82 passengers at full occupancy with 48 crew.
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