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Viking has named its newest river ship, the Viking Aton, with a special celebration in Aswan, Egypt. The ship’s ceremonial godfather, Richard Riveire, designer of Viking’s award-winning river, ocean and expedition vessels, offered a blessing of good fortune and safe sailing for the ship.
The Viking Aton, an identical sister ship of the Viking Osiris, is a state-of-the-art vessel specifically built to navigate the Nile and will sail the line’s popular Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary.
“Today, we are pleased to welcome Viking Aton to our growing fleet. Together with her sister ship, the Viking Osiris, they are the newest and most elegant vessels on the Nile, by far,” said Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen.
“With extraordinarily strong interest in Egypt among our guests, we are proud to bring another state-of-the-art vessel to this region, and we look forward to introducing even more curious travellers to the country’s rich cultural treasures. I am also thankful to my friend, Richard Riveire, for his tremendous contributions to Viking, including the design of this new vessel and our other award-winning river, ocean and expedition ships.”
Richard Riveire, the designer of Viking's distinctive decor style, prepares to name the Viking Aton in Aswan. (Photo Credit: Viking)
“It is an incredible honor to be the godfather of the Viking Aton and to celebrate the growing Viking fleet,” said Richard Riveire. “For well over a decade, I have been proud to work alongside Tor, Karine and the Viking team to help design how the Viking brand comes to life on board. Together, we share the belief that the design of each Viking ship should showcase the destination, wherever you may be in the world.”
Riveire is one of the founding principals of interior architecture and design firm Rottet Studio. He is widely recognized for creating dynamic, groundbreaking interiors focused on human comfort and visual inspiration. During his 30-plus-year career, he has received numerous design excellence awards from organizations including American Institute of Architects, Interior Design Magazine and the International Interior Design Association.
Hosting 82 guests in 41 staterooms, the new Viking Aton is inspired by Viking’s award-winning river and ocean ships with the elegant Scandinavian design for which it is known.
The Viking Aton is the identical sister ship to the Viking Osiris, named in 2022 by Viking’s first ceremonial godfather, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon.
The sister ships feature several aspects familiar to Viking guests, such as a distinctive square bow and an indoor/outdoor Aquavit Terrace. The Viking Aton joins Viking’s growing fleet built specifically for the Nile.
In addition to the Viking Aton and the Viking Osiris, identical sister ships the Viking Hathor and the Viking Sobek, are under construction and will be delivered in 2024 and 2025, respectively.
Additional ships in the Egypt fleet currently include the Viking Ra and the MS Antares; by 2025, Viking will have six ships sailing the Nile River.
Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen (fourth from right), presides over the naming ceremony for Viking Aton in Aswan, Egypt. (Photo Credit: Viking)
During the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, guests begin with a three-night stay at a first-class hotel in Cairo, before boarding a Viking river ship for an eight-day roundtrip cruise on the Nile River, featuring privileged access to the tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens and the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, and excursions to the Temple of Khnum in Esna, the Dendera Temple complex in Qena, the temples at Abu Simbel and the High Dam in Aswan, and a visit to a colorful Nubian village, where guests can experience a traditional elementary school. The journey concludes with a flight back to Cairo for a final night in the ancient city.
For guests looking to extend their journey, Viking offers Pre and Post Extensions that provide privileged access to archives and exhibits.
Guests on the five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension will begin the journey in London, where they will meet their Viking Tour Director, an expert Egyptologist, and experience a private, early morning visit to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum before it opens to the general public – and then a visit to the home and personal museum of world-renowned architect, Sir John Soane, where the tour will be illuminated by candlelight, a re-enactment of how Soane entertained guests and showcased his collection of Egyptian antiquities, including a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus.
Guests will also visit London’s Petrie Museum, which houses more than 80,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt and Sudan. In Oxford, guests will visit the Ashmolean Museum, one of the oldest in the world, and home to a varied collection of Egyptian mummies and art -- and go behind the scenes at Oxford University’s Griffith Institute, where they will enjoy a visit to see Howard Carter’s archives, which detail the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.
Lastly, guests will have an exclusive visit to Highclere Castle to view the Earl’s magnificent private collection of Egyptian artifacts, as well as archives and exhibits not normally accessible to the public.
Additional offerings include a new three-night Pre-Extension in Istanbul, where guests can visit the timeless city and important religious sites including the “Blue Mosque” and the legendary Hagia Sophia. Before their voyage, guests can also choose to extend their journey in Jerusalem, exploring the ancient history and vibrant culture of Israel’s fascinating capital. After concluding the river voyage, guests can extend the journey with a 4-night Post-Extension to Jordan – Petra, Dead Sea & Amman to view Roman antiquities at Jerash, Crusader-era castles at Kerak or Shobak and experience the lost city of Petra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A journalist by training and extensive experience, Bruce spent the early part of his career writing about business, fashion and...
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