Viking has announced that its latest ship for the Nile – the 82-guest Viking Aton – has touched water for the first time during a float out ceremony at the Massara shipyard in Cairo.
Set to debut in August 2023, the ship will sail the line’s 12-day Pharaohs and Pyramids itinerary.
It will join Viking Ra, which launched in 2018, and Viking Osiris, which entered service in 2022.
The operator will have six ships sailing the Nile by 2025 with the addition of two new sister ships, Viking Hathor and Viking Sobek, which are under construction and will be delivered in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Viking said it had “seen very strong demand in Egypt”, with the 2023 season now sold out and many 2024 sailing dates also “already sold out”.
The line has therefore opened 2025 sailing dates sooner than originally expected.
Viking ‘proud’ of Nile ships
The line’s chairman Torstein Hagen said: “We are pleased with the continued strong interest for our Nile river voyages.
“Our guests are curious explorers and Egypt remains a destination of great interest for its many cultural treasures.
“We are proud to be the only western company to build, own and operate ships on the Nile, and with the float out of Aton, we look forward to welcoming more guests to experience this fantastic region.”
The Pharaohs and Pyramids itinerary starts with a three-night stay at a hotel in Cairo, with visits to sites such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, the necropolis of Sakkara, the Mosque of Muhammad Ali, or the Grand Egyptian Museum.
Guests then fly to Luxor, where they will visit the Temples of Luxor and Karnak, before an eight-day cruise on the Nile.