Viking River Cruise, Egypt and Egyptologist Amr Shaheen are the perfect combination for a trip of a Life Time! From the time my sister and I landed at the Cairo airport until twelve days later when we left Cairo, Viking was there " twenty-four seven." The Viking Representative met us at the baggage claim area and took our luggage to the motor-coach, escorted us the the beautiful Hotel Sofitel El Gezirah and made sure we were checked in properly. Our room's balcony overlooked the Nile River with a wonderful view of Cairo. We had dinner on the patio facing the Nile at one of the hotel's many restaurants. The next morning we met our Egyptologist and Program Director Amr Shaheen. Little did we know he was going to give us the best and most enjoyable tour of Egypt imaginable. His passion for and knowledge of Ancient Egypt was incredible. He made every site we visited come alive and his humor was priceless. Everyone simply could not stop talking about what a wonderful guide he was. The Egyptians and hotel staff were very friendly and welcomed us back after a decline in tourism for a long period of time. Egypt felt very safe, but Viking always had escorts and security for us at every site. Especially in Cairo, where our first two security guards were especially vigilant. This made for a very relaxed and enjoyable visit. American dollars are widely accepted and actually preferred. Be sure to bring plenty of one dollar bills for tipping. We brought $100.00 in ones and should have brought more. We tipped ship crews, hotel staff and bus drivers with American Dollars. Hotel and Ship Charges were put on a credit card. The ship crew must be in cash only, either American Dollars or Egyptian Pounds. Viking River Cruise is the only way to truly see Egypt.
We were on two different river boats. From Luxor we boarded the MS Mayfair to Aswan. Flew from Aswan to Abu Simbel and boarded the MS Omar El Kahyam. Both boats were beautiful, but the Omar El Kahyam was more luxurious The food was wonderful and the accommodations were first class..
It was on the way back from the Valley of the Kings and we stopped for a photo.View All 3 Colossi of Memnon Reviews
felucca boat ride on the Nile, passing by the Old Cataract Hotel, Mausoleum of Aga Kahn and Kitchner's Island. It was very relaxing.View All 4 Felucca Ride Reviews
Karnak temple. It is hard to describe seeing the giant columns first hand. The carvings and pictures that are still very visible after 4,000 years is unbelievable. Some of the colors are still vivid. The size of the statutes are over powering, which was the obvious intention. It was quite warm, but worth the discomfort.View All 6 Karnak Temple Reviews
Luxor temple was smaller, but none-the-less beautiful and grand and right across from the boatView All 5 Luxor Temple Reviews
Queen Hatshepsut's temple which was amazing. It was quite a climb to the top, but what a special place to visit. Beautifully carved out of the side of a mountain.View All 4 Queen Hatshepsut's Temple Reviews
Valley of the Kings. Cameras were not allowed. The tomb of "Tut" was an extra charge, but who goes to Egypt without seeing the famous tomb of Tut Ankh Amun. His mummy is there as well as one of his gold sarcophagus and golden death masks. Even though it was a small tomb, itis not to be missed. The Viking provided ticket allowed for entry to three other tombs Some were very large with beautiful walls and others very accesible and well decorated.. All the ones we chose to view were incredibleView All 5 Valley of the Kings Reviews
Temple of Abu Simbel, built by Ramses II. It was a OMG moment when you first saw it. It was definitely overwhelming...Next to his temple was one dedicated to his favorite wife, Nefertari. Twice a year the sunrise shines through the door on Ramses. One is October 21st. We were two days early, but four went at sunrise to see the event. Victoria and Barbara from our group. We would have gone, but there was a very steep staircase to climb. On the regular planned tour, the ever accommodating Viking provided a motor boat for those of us that found the stairs too much to deal with. It was one of the highlights of the trip.View All 3 Abu Simbel Reviews