Religious travelers wishing to experience the full length of a Nile cruise will now be able to sail the length of the Nile from Cairo to Aswan and visit Biblical-era sites previously difficult to access.
For many years, the water route from the Egyptian capital to Aswan was partially closed due to security issues and to what the Egyptian Tourism Authority says were unpredictable water levels.
Passengers used to fly in to Cairo and then fly or night train to Luxor where they would board their cruise lines. The opening of the complete waterway means that passengers would be able to board in Cairo and ply the entire 600-mile cruise in one go.
Abercrombie & Kent will be one of the first cruise lines offering a 2013 sailing on the route. Stops along the way will include Nefertiti and Akhenaten's capital of Amarna; Abydos the city associated with the cult of Osiris and the Coptic Christian monasteries of Sohaq.
Prior to the opening of this new route, these sites were difficult to get to and often included long, convoy-style bus rides accompanied by armed guards. It was on a convoy bus ride through the Sinai this summer that a Boston pastor and one of his fellow travelers was abducted by a Bedouin tribesman seeking release of a relative from a Cairo prison.
The consolidation of travel stages into one single cruise will eliminate the need for some of these long convoy rides.
In addition to A&K, other cruise lines like Uniworld are considering similar itineraries.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012