Viking Osiris Review

PYRAMIDS & PHARAOHS & PETRA

Review for the Middle East Cruise on Viking Osiris
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cboyle
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Nov 2023

This is a journal of our November 1-16, 2023, “Pyramids & Pharaohs” land/cruise package with Jordan extension on the Viking Osiris. We booked this trip in 2021 with the thought that the COVID-19 pandemic would be over by two years later. It turned out that we were the first Viking sailing that would not require passengers to provide proof of COVID vaccination (although we had received the fall 2023 vaccine as well as the flu and RSV vaccines prior to the trip).

This package is offered with an optional pre-cruise extension to Jerusalem and post-cruise extension to Jordan. We had previously visited Israel (Galilee, Jerusalem, Bethlehem) in 2012 on an “Egypt & Holy Land” cruise aboard the Pacific Princess, so we did not chose to do the Jerusalem extension. This was a fortuitous decision because war broke out in Gaza between Hamas and Israel on October 7, causing Viking to cancel that extension indefinitely. The hostilities also led to a rash of cancellations: the Osiris has a capacity of 82 passengers and was fully-booked earlier in the year; we ultimately had 48 passengers onboard. Likewise, 36 people had booked the Jordan extension, but there were only 18 in our group.

On our previous trip to Egypt, our ship called at Port Said and Alexandria. I had arranged a private overnight tour for us and three other Cruise Critic couples that visited all the sights on Viking’s included tours in the Cairo area (and much more). Although there was some duplication, all of those sights are worth seeing more than once and it was interesting to see changes from 11 years ago. However, those two days were not sufficient to include a visit to Luxor as well as Abu Simbel and other temples that were saved from the rising waters of Lake Nasser. This trip gave us the chance to tour those sights as well as Petra and other sights in Jordan. Abu Simbel and Petra were our primary objectives for this trip.

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