Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Viking
Cruise StyleLuxury
Ship SizeSmall
Prince Range$$$
Sails To

Lux..., and Edfu

Luxor, Qena, Esna, Aswan, and Edfu
Sails From

Lux...or cruise)

Luxor (arrival in Cairo; flight transfer to Luxor for cruise)
Duration12 days

When it launched in August 2022, Viking Osiris brought cruising on the Nile to a whole new level of luxury and comfort. The 82-passenger ship was built specifically to navigate the Nile from Luxor to Aswan and back—and incorporates all the best Viking features and then some. The sleek, modern ship has Viking’s signature Scandinavian design (think: light woods, airy spaces, and cozy-chic furniture) and is notably about 20 percent wider than the line’s signature “Longships” plying European waterways. The result? It feels less like your average cruise ship and more like a spacious, stylish, elegant, and relaxing home-away-from-home base. True to Viking form, the upscale ship is full of hygge and lots of natural light thanks to a three-story atrium letting in light from above, and its floor-to-ceiling windows really let the natural surroundings shine.Read More

Geared toward the intellectually curious traveler, the cruise is destination-focused, but there are plenty of perks to look forward to onboard, including al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace, a cozy library, a restaurant highlighting regional specialties, a sun deck, and a plunge pool that overlooks the Nile. Bottom line: Like its namesake Egyptian god—Osiris, god of the afterlife—this ship will give you new life.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
Inclusive pricing (all meals; one complimentary excursion in every port of call; beer, wine, and soft drinks included with dinner and lunch onboard)
Special access to museums and temples
Lots of space, including in staterooms, verandas, bathrooms, and shared areas    
Gratuities are not included
The pool isn’t big enough to swim laps  
If you book an August cruise, it’s likely to be too hot to enjoy the sun deck or al fresco dining

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Editor Rating
Cabins
Accessibility

Of the ship’s 41 staterooms, there’s not a bad one in the bunch: there are no inside staterooms on Viking Osiris, meaning even at the lowest price bracket you won’t get stuck in a room with no windows. The most basic room category, the Deluxe Stateroom, has a window from which to enjoy the passing Nile and a higher-than-average space of 232 sq. ft. complete with a comfy seating area and spacious closet. The Veranda staterooms (239 sq. ft) are a cut above, with a spacious veranda where you can kick back with a book and gaze at the Nile. Guests can really splurge with a Veranda Suite (409 sq. ft) or the highest level, Explorer Suite (525 sq. ft) with a separate sitting room, private veranda, an unlimited beverage package, and bathroom with double vanity. Note that there’s no option for single occupancy, but you can pay a single supplement if you’re a solo traveler.

The ship has some of the most spacious river cruise ship bathrooms on the market (hello, shower door that closes) and it’s well designed to boot, complete with heated floors. Beds are comfy, and we downright wanted to take home the comfy chair in the corner. There are plenty of USB charging ports in the rooms (as well as American and British outlets, in case you forgot your power adapter).

While all guests are welcome regardless of ability, there are no specifically designated wheelchair accessible cabins. There is, however, an elevator on board, and rooms are spacious enough to be accommodating. Showers don’t require a big step to get into, but travelers may still find some challenges on the ship (and on the active itinerary).

Food & Drink

Editor Rating
Dining
Bars

All meals are included, and all beer, wine, and soft drinks are included at lunch and dinner; though premium drinks cost extra.

The food is a wonderful balance of regional specialties and the more familiar:  whether you’re in the mood for a burger and perfectly crisp French fries, a Norwegian specialty, or a taste of Egypt (falafel, meze, or stuffed figs perhaps), Viking can provide it, and do it well. There is always an excellent vegan option and the kitchen is accommodating of special requests. The itinerary may include a festive local themed dinner that highlights the itinerary. The wine pairings (included) are excellent, with even some local options. The bar itself is a wonderful social space.

Seats aren’t assigned, and you can choose where you dine: the Restaurant is lovely, with floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to gaze over the Nile at sunset; there’s a grab-and-go coffee/tea and pastry station by the front door for late risers who prefer to eat on-the-go; and there’s Viking’s signature “Aquavit Terrace & Lounge” that opens up for al fresco dining.

Located in the lounge, the sleek “Bar” is a wonderful social space in the center of the action, where you can linger with a glass of Egyptian wine or beer, (or perhaps a champagne or gin and tonic) after a lecture, or during live piano performances post dinner. All drinks ordered from the bar are an extra charge, as beer and wine are complimentary only with lunch and dinner service (when premium drinks also cost extra). Guests do have the option of purchasing a “Silver Spirits Package” for unlimited beverages for about $20 per person per day.

Entertainment

Editor Rating

It’s more about the destination than the journey on this ship, and Viking guests wouldn’t have it any other way. Viking’s entertainment includes enriching educational lectures about your itinerary or the history of Egypt, and there’s a well-stocked library to cozy up in. In the evening there’s live piano by the bar, which whips up a delightfully social atmosphere, but there’s nothing in the way of theater shows or comedy that you might expect from bigger ocean cruise ships. You can, however, always plug into the latest Viking.TV or “Downton Abbey” episode in your stateroom.

Spa & Fitness

Editor Rating

There’s no spa or gym on Viking Osiris, but with all the steps you rack up on excursions, you might not miss them. There’s ample room for yoga or running on the sun deck, and a dip in the infinity plunge pool is just the ticket for sore muscles after a day walking around temples.

Key cruising tips

Health & Safety

Viking requires all travelers to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and to provide proof with documentation. Boosters aren’t required, but the line recommends their travelers receive one if they’re eligible. As of press time, both Egypt and the U.S. lifted their Covid entry requirements, meaning travelers do not have to provide negative test results before entry into Egypt or upon re-entry into the U.S., and there is no mandatory onboard testing.

Dress Code

There’s no dress code onboard the ship, and no extravagant “gala” themed nights for which you’ll have to pack fancy outfits, but generally you can expect your fellow travelers to wear smart resort casual wear (and not your average swimsuit and flip-flops). Considering the itinerary, which includes visiting religious buildings with a dress code, and the fact that Egypt is a conservative country, travelers will feel most comfortable wearing modest clothing that covers their knees and shoulders and avoiding shorts and low-cut tops.

Junior Cruisers

No children aged 18 and under are allowed on any of Viking’s ships. That’s just as well, since these cruises are geared toward a 55+ crowd.

Service

Viking’s service is top-notch. While there are no butlers, you’re well attended to, with twice daily cabin cleaning and turn-down service. No request is too great: they’ll take your laundry to be done, bring tea to your room (though technically there’s no room service on the river ships), and make friendly conversation at dinner. They’re widely regarded as the best in the industry, with an 80 percent retention rate from year to year, and it’s easy to see why.

Tipping

Tipping isn’t included in the price of your voyage, so bring cash (U.S. dollars are fine) to tip your cabin stewards ($10-12 per person per day), plus local city guides ($2 per guest, per excursion) and bus drivers ($1 per guest, per excursion).

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
2022
Number of Cabins
41
Passenger Capacity
82
Crew Members
65
Passengers to Crew Ratio
1.26
Gross Tons
3600
Width
92 feet
Length
236 feet

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