Sat. Dec 10th, 2022

Egypt’s ancient hieroglyphics are all about symbols and Viking Osiris is likely to become the symbol of how to explore the country in style.

The industry-changing ship, designed specifically for navigating the Nile River, was officially named at an onboard ceremony in Luxor, Egypt last night. It was yet another highlight in a milestone year for both the company and the country. As the award-winning Viking celebrates its 25th anniversary, Egypt is preparing for the highly anticipated opening of the new Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) and commemorating the centennial of the discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb by Egyptologist Howard Carter and his benefactor, George Herbert, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.

Viking already had close ties to the Herbert family, who are the owners of Highclere Castle, the setting for the Viking-sponsored Downton Abbey. In a full circle moment, the younger George Herbert, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon and Viking’s first ceremonial godfather, offered the traditional blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship. The great grandson of Carter’s co-explorer, he shared stories about his great grandfather and some of the explorer’s photographs that grace the walls of Viking Osiris. Additional photography taken by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon is on exhibit at Carter House in Luxor and at Highclere Castle in London, both of which guests can visit on Privileged Access Pre/Post Extensions on various Viking itineraries.

Torstein Hagen, Viking founder, calls Osiris “by far, the best ship on the Nile,” and it’s hard to disagree. Although Osiris is Viking’s third Egypt ship, it’s totally unique, holding only 82 guests in surprisingly roomy staterooms and suites. And it’s stunning. The brand’s recognizable Scandinavian style is interspersed with touches of Egyptian art, and anyone who has sailed with Viking in the past (most guests are repeat sailors) will immediately feel at home. Osiris even features Viking’s signature square bow.

Viking has three more Egypt ships in the works, which makes sense when you consider the brand’s demographic — over 55, affluent, well-educated and curious. These travelers want to immerse themselves in a country’s history and culture, and they want to do it safely and in comfort. No one beats Viking in accomplishing all of those and it’s hard to think of a more fitting pairing than Viking and Egypt.

“Egypt is tailor made for a Viking guest,” said Hagen at the Osiris naming. “We are the thinking person’s travel company and there’s no better place for thinking people than Egypt.”

Viking definitely knows their customer. Of the 10,000 passengers they anticipate bringing to Egypt in 2023, 9200 have already been booked.

Osiris will offer the brand’s popular Pharoahs & Pyramids itinerary, a 12 day exploration of Egypt with experts like Hanan Elbeih and Salah Tawfeek, whose knowledge and enthusiasm make the experience so enriching. You’ll hit all the highlights and take a deep dive into the fascinating world of Egyptology.

Perhaps the most unique aspect of Osiris, though, is the fact that it was built specifically to Viking’s specifications and is fully owned and operated by them, which is not the norm when it comes to Egypt ships. This means that Viking will have complete control of their product, already resulting in, according to Hagen, “the best docking spot in Luxor,” with no worry of multiple ships being lined up and blocking passengers’ views of the Valley of the Kings.

With Viking at the helm of its own Nile destiny, there’s no doubt that Egypt will become an even more highly coveted travel destination and you should consider booking your trip for next year now before it sells out.

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