Ever since I was a child my Mother Adele spoke about travelling to Egypt, to see the ancients, to cruise the Nile the life blood of multiple countries, to see one of the seven wonders of the world.. My mother was a teacher when I was young but she always wanted to be an Archeologist, full Indian Jones style, to be submerged within a different culture, language and history and to discover the way humans from the past existed was her dream. She never made it to Archeology but the longing for travel and living in different lands lead her to work as an English Editor and English language specialist in the UAE which she did for the last 12 years.. During the global pandemic when everyone was slowly heading back to work her contract in 2021 wasn't renewed and she had to make some shifts.. She decided to go back to Australia to find more work and be close to the rest of the family and the 2 new baby grandsons.. BUT her journey in this part of the world would not be complete without a visit to Egypt.. Mum had been on a few Uniworld tours though Europe but the Nile experience would be another one to add to her list.. She had told me about it and the day to day schedule looked quite amazing.. I had just started work again in the American music industry in June 2021 and had a hectic touring calendar so the thought to join her didn't even cross my mind, but as fate would have it and the ever changing pandemic world we live in a break opened up for me in late September early October and there was still a single suite available on the cruise.. Now Im not a cruise person, I'd rather find AirBnBs, local cars and motorbikes, go rouge, find locals, you know what I mean.. The only real reason to join this cruise for me was to have a once in a life time experience with my Mum in an ancient land and to document our time together on this crazy adventure.
I knew the demographic of the humans I would be travelling with and had my own ideas of what I was walking into but let me say, all my expectations were blown, from the staff to the food, to the brand new beautiful ship SS Sphinx, to the insane wealth of knowledge our Egyptologists brought to the table, everything was incredible. The temples, the valley of the kings, the Nile, the ancient structures, our cabins on board, the facilities, my mind was exploding every single day.
The schedule was amazing and is so well planned, it is a lot, and there is something to see every day, but as Hazem our most epic Egyptologist explained, to see 5000 years of ancient culture it needs to be that way. This is another great part, they cater to everybody's needs, you don't have to go on every daily excursion, if you need to sleep in or you want to skip one part of a tour on a certain day they will arrange for you to meet the group later. If you want to stay on the boat, sit on the roof and watch as you cruise down the Nile and book in for a spa treatment, you can do that. If you felt a bit rushed in a temple and needed more time they will find a way to give you an extra 15mins to capture those shots and angels you need. Sometimes I would think I was a bit "templed out" and it crossed my mind to skip a morning, but fomo would kick in, I never skipped a tour and guess what I never regretted it. Every single part of the itinerary is worth it!! I could go on and write about the experience all day but all I can say is book it, you wont regret it. Every day waking up, opening the door in your cabin to a view of a Nile was something Im never going to forget!! Thank you UNIWORLD!!!
We were lucky enough to be the very first guests on the new ship SS Sphinx and my goodness what a ship!
Travelling solo the suite was more than accomodating, huge bath and shower, upholstered walls, water pressure was wild, great air-conditioning, wood carved details on everything, to wake up in that room with 2 huge windows that face the water everyday was so beautiful. I would turn my air off and leave the windows open and just sit on my bed sometimes and stare out a the passing views. The staff are so attentive to every detail, rooms are cleaned and refreshed everyday with a small Egyptian trinket left on your bed and the days itinerary.