Filed under: Luxury Travel & Hotels
In the play Antony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare likens Cleopatra's barge to a burnished throne burning on the water. For modern travelers with an eye for Egyptian opulence, there's no need to look farther than the Oberoi Zahra Luxury Nile Cruiser---a Luxist Awards' nominee in the Best Summer Cruises category.
The eight-day voyages depart from Luxor and terminate in Aswan, or vice versa, giving passengers a taste of 5,000 years of history along the way. English-speaking Egyptologists are always available on board, and one accompanies each group of guests in the small luxury coaches that transport them to sightseeing stops onshore.
Highlights of the trip include stops at the twin temple of Komombo, where one side is dedicated to the falcon god Haroeis, the other to the crocodile god Sobek, creator of the world; the Valley of the Kings, where pharaohs from Ramses to Tut are buried; and the West Bank of ancient Thebes.
Perhaps the best part of the trip is the ship itself. The Oberoi Zahra boasts elegant cabins with wide windows, a gourmet restaurant and the only in-boat spa on the Nile. The spa includes four therapy rooms, each with a private shower and steam room-clearly facilities that Cleopatra would have demanded on a modern-day take on her barge.
Reservations can be made online, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling its toll-free line at (800) 562-3764.
Vote for the Summer Cruise that you think is the best of breed. The winner will be announced on September 1st.