Undoubtedly one of the most exciting and unique experiences a person with an adventurous spirit could have in his or her lifetime would be to cruise through the majestic waters of the Nile River in northwest Africa and encounter, at each stop, the magnificent archaeological treasures of Egypt. And if the journey is enhanced by luxury and sophistication, then the experience becomes truly unforgettable. This is precisely what the Oberoi Hotel and Resorts had in mind when they envisioned the Zahra, a luxury cruise that continues their tradition of offering the highest standards of hospitality. More travel options.
The Oberoi Zahra Cruise, praised as one of the best vessels navigating the Nile, has great exterior spaces and elegant interiors with 25 cabins and two luxury suites of more than 540 square feet each, all featuring expansive views of the river framed by large windows. The suites also have additional amenities, separate living room and a private terrace with a Jacuzzi.
The Oberoi Zahra is the only cruise on the Nile with a private spa, a gym, four massage rooms, steam room and private showers. It also has a theater, library and a smoking lounge. The menu in the excellent restaurant changes daily to bring travelers close to an ample variety of Egyptian culinary delights as well as the most exclusive international gastronomy a la carte.
Far from the hurried and crowded Egyptian tours, The Oberoi Zahra cruise begins in Luxor, the heart of the Nile Valley, and reaches Aswan in a stunning seven-day trip. Guests have the option of spending three nights in Cairo, the bustling and colorful capital of Egypt, and visit the majestic Aswan Dam as well as the temple of the goddess Isis on the island of Philae, where they are treated to an immersive spectacle of lights and sound. They can also take a trip to Abu Simbel in Nubia, south of the country, and visit the Egyptian temples dating from the time of Pharaoh Ramesses II and his wife Nefertiti.
This exclusive cruise includes a visit to the twin temples of Karnak and Kom Ombo and explores the West Bank of Luxor on a route that leads to the magnificent Valley of the Kings. It also offers a ride on the Nile on board a typical felucca to admire up close the Aswan Botanical Gardens.
The trip ends with a private tour of the Dendera Temple Complex, dedicated to the goddess Hathor, one of the best preserved ancient Egyptian sites because it remained buried under sand and mud for centuries until the French archaeologist Auguste Mariette discovered it in the mid-nineteenth century.
This unique and unforgettable adventure cruise in one of the luxury suites aboard the Oberoi Zahra costs between $1,870 and $3,000, depending on the season. And of course, the price includes all the wonderful excursions. ■