More Nile cruise options as Egypt heats up

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Aggressor Adventures launched its first river boat, the Nile Queen, a 155-ft. dahabiya that holds 16 passengers last September.
Aggressor Adventures launched its first river boat, the Nile Queen, a 155-ft. dahabiya that holds 16 passengers last September.
Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

Luxury dive boat operator Aggressor Adventures is looking to expand its new river cruise brand, joining the growing list of companies eyeing opportunities in Egypt.

Aggressor last September launched its first river boat, the Nile Queen, a 155-ft. dahabiya that holds 16 passengers. CEO Wayne Brown said in a recent interview that he hopes to have a second vessel in operation there by next year.

The company is just the latest looking to tap into booming demand for the Nile and Egypt in general, which has become one of the world's hottest tourist destinations.

Viking recently announced it is expanding its Egypt options next year with the addition of a second ship on the Nile and two new land packages offering special access to British exhibits on Egyptian history. 

Uniworld is also launching a brand new ship on the Nile next year to replace an older vessel.

But with the high demand and lack of charters, more and more operators have been turning to the dahabiyas,
traditional Nile sail boats, to create small, luxury passenger vessels.

Brown says he recently looked at several boats in Egypt, but is also considering a new build. While the current Nile Queen holds just 16 passengers and 12 crew, he says he'd like future boats to hold about 22 passengers so they could be split into two groups for guided excursions.

A cabin aboard the Nile Queen.
A cabin aboard the Nile Queen.

The Nile Queen sails between Luxor and Aswan. Brown says he would like to launch his next boat between Cairo and Luxor, "so you can see the pyramids without have to fly to Giza. I'd like to have at least two there and then we will also be expanding into Asia  Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia."

To celebrate its first season in river cruising, Aggressor is offering special pricing on its Nile cruise, with prices for a five-day, four-night Nile cruises starting at $1,325 per person. Aggressor is also offering special Nile Queen add-ons to its Red Sea diving packages.

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