Viking Premier

Nile Cruises 5 star
7.5 / 10
Average rating (36 reviews)
Viking Premier

Traveller reviews

10 / 10
Fanstastic opportunity

"We have just come back from a 8 day cruise on the RA11 nile cruiser. After all the troubles in Egypt we were the first lot of tourists to arrive in Luxor. From our point of few we couldn't of had a better welcome and just a wonderful opportunity to have the place to ourselves. Of course this isn't what the Egyptians want as they are desparate for the tourists to come back, but from our point of view it was very special. Some days we wouldn't pass another cruiser and when it was 'busy' probably we saw 2 boats, the plus for us was we had it all to ourselves and undoubtably there is a special atmosphere cruising down the Nile.The service was excellant and the RA11 has its own mooring, so no mooring up alongside other boats which is the normal practice and request a starboard cabin so you always look out on the river. Our boat was only half full and when we arrived at the Valley of the Kings we were one of four buses where usually there would be nearly a hundred turning up.

At no point on our journey did we feel unsafe, every one smiled at us and said hello, even the army guards! We had a wonderful guide called Osama, hope some of you will be lucky enough to have him as your guide.

Undoubtably there will be some unsettling times ahead for Egypt as various groups jostle for position, so at this moment in time there appears to be a lull. I would strongly recommend people go now as an opportunity like this may well never happen again - go and Enjoy!

  • Holiday details: Mar 2011, All Inclusive, booked with Thomas Cook

7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
7 Days of bliss.

"My wife and I, both retired, spent the week before Easter on the Viking Princess booking through Discover Egypt. We travelled from Luxor to Aswan and back. The boat was excellent in every way. the luxurious accomodation, the excellent food, all buffet style, the Oh so friendly staff, and the tours made our holiday the best we have ever had. No photography in the Valley of the Queens and Kings, but OK everywhere else. Take a small torch to appreciate the finer detail in the tombs. Wear sensible footware. the surfaces can be rough. A big hat is essential - not a baseball cap - and high factor suntan lotion . Dont miss a hot air balloon ride to witness the sunrise, and any temple sound and light show. We would certainly gladly do it all over again. You can't take it all in on one visit."

  • Holiday details: Mar 2010, Full board, Booked Independently
  • Advice: The southern Nile has so much to offer, but don't go in the summer. It would be too hot.

14 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

4 / 10
Viking tour/Nile Cruise - Feb 5-14, 2010

"My wife and I booked a Cairo Tour and Nile River Cruise from Viking. The land tour @ Cairo was very good and Viking booked us into the InterContinal 5-Star Hotel. The hotel was great and we enjoyed our 3 days in Cairo.

Since Viking does not have boats on the Nile, we were booked on the Lotus River Boat - leaving from Aswan. We were booked into a 'suite' (one of two on the boat). The service was terrible and over 50% of the passengers got sick on the river boat. The operators of the Lotus did not have any medicines to either provide or sell to the passengers. Passengers were running fevers, throwing up with stomach cramps. The only common denominator was the food that we ate. I would never recommend anyone to book a cruise onthe Lotus. The majority of us were ever so glad to get off the boat.

  • Holiday details: Feb 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Viking
  • Advice: Do Not Book an Egyptian cruise on Lotus or with Viking

6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

8 / 10
Great Holiday

"Have just returned from a nile cruise on the Viking Premier.We were originaly booked on the Viking 111 but were upgraded. We had a brilliant time the staff were very helpful and friendly and the passengers were a great bunch. We were a bit wary of the parties but they were great fun you must give them a try.Osama was our guide and brilliant I learnt more about ancient Egypt in a week than I did in all my years at school.The organisation from arriving at the airport to going home is absolutely fantastic no waiting around for anything. I notice some reviews have complained about the food and the boat not being 5 star. Yes the food gets a little monotonous and the ship wouldn't be 5 star in the UK but this is Egypt and we thought the holiday was quite inexpensive for what was included. (you gets what you pay for).The only downside is the ports were you can be tied up in the middle of two other boats so can't see a thing through your cabin window whilst your tied up which defeats the object of us paying extra for a higher deck so that we would have a better view from our windows The second week we spent at the Sultan Bey in El Ghouna very nice hotel but again food a bit monotonous and the drinks very expensive go next door to the club house there a lot cheaper. If you want a really layed back holiday this is the place to be but I wouldn't recommend it for a fourtnight if you get bored easily but all in all a very good holiday would cetainly use them again."

  • Holiday details: Mar 2009, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
  • Advice: wonderful experience
  • Activities: It has to be all the temples

10 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
best holiday ever

"my friend and i are ready to book our next viking cruise and it cant come soon enough.we have tried all of the viking boats and they have all been fabulous.the excursions,the food,the hospitality and the very knowledgable tour guides(ayman,hussein)are second to none.the sights are astounding,the people so helpful and friendly,theres no other holiday compares to the nile times of our lives."

  • Holiday details: May 2007, Full Board, Booked Independently
  • Advice: do it,you wont be dissapointed
  • Activities: philae island,aswan,luxor museum

2 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

5 / 10
One week Nile Cruise

"A last minute cheap holiday, but Viking Premier should not be sold as a 5 star boat. We

had a cabin on the upper deck but it was small and dingy and not the twin booked. The mattress on the bed had completely collapsed and after three uncomfortable nights it was changed for another with a blanket over the top as extra padding,this was not a lot better. Our other gripe was smoking was allowed in the one and only lounge area, splitting the smokers, of which there were many, from the non-smokers who inhabited the outside areas in the evening. On the plus side the staff were great and the holiday well organised.

  • Holiday details: Mar 2009, Full Board, booked with Times Discover Egypt
  • Advice: Choose your boat with care, don
  • Activities: All the ancient sites are amazing

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

6 / 10
What does 5 star mean?

"Overall this was a memorable holiday but the accommodation was a disappointment. The lower deck cabin we had was small and dark and showing a lot of wear and tear. People who had paid more for cabins on the upper decks did not seem too happy either. I would rate the cabins at between 2 or 3 star based on experience with hotel rooms. Nevertheless, Viking Premier is rated as 5 star by (I think) the Egyptian authorities and so it is worth taking these ratings with a pinch of salt. Price may be a better indicator of what you will actually get-there are certainly better but more expensive boats on the Nile.

Otherwise,the food was edible but fairly bland with little local flavour; this was a disappointment for some and a relief for others. Tipping is an important part of peoples income-budget for around £50 per person.

  • Holiday details: Feb 2009, Full Board, Booked Independently

5 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
What a Superb Holiday

"We had no idea what to expect when we booked a Nile Cruise with Discover Eygpt. It was superb, from the moment that we were picked up at the airport until we were dropped back off we were treated royally. The crew on the boat cannot do enough, cabins cleaned twice a day. Food was more than enough with three meals a day and there was nothing that we could not eat. Shelly our guide was so knowledgable and enthusiastic, consequently she really made the sightseeing come alive. It has made us want to learn more about Ancient Egypt. We would willingly go back but would need to go for two weeks.

Each evening there is something happening on the boat but its up to you if you join in.

We rode on a camel for 35 minutes which was an experience in itself.

  • Holiday details: Jan 2009, Full Board, Booked Independently
  • Advice: Its a must, you will not be dissapointed.
  • Activities: The Tombs

7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

7 / 10
Nile Cruise with Viking Premier

"I like finishing on highs so will get the lows out of the way first!


- Cabin was very small, dark and dingey (although we had the lower deck), it was a joke to call it 5 stars, it was more 3 stars (and some guests even said it was more like 2.5 stars), and the cleanliness wasn't brilliant, they never did the floors, I knew this because I have long hair and when brushed sometimes a bit falls off the hairbursh onto the floor.

- Food was not available for purchase mid morning or mid afternoon, say, if you got peckish for a hot/cold savoury or sweet snack, other than crisps, which was disappointing. My husband weight trains and he eats a lot and very often, he found it difficult to stick to the rigid 3 main meals a day. However, I can't forget to mention that they did have tea/coffee and sweet bread/cakes in the afternoons, but only about 3-4 times in the week. My husband had no alternative other than to pack sandwiches away from breakfast and lunch time and keep this in the fridge, which was a little inconvenient and a bit unhygienic as there wasn't any foil or cover, so food went stale within a short space of time!

- This nile cruise was one of the most expensive holidays we have ever been on, it made us wonder what the agents actually paid the staff at Egypt as it was obvious that they made their money from the best excursions which were "Extras". We also had to drink mineral water only and brush our teeth in mineral water and even wash fruits purchased in mineral water, which wasn't cheap if you considered you had to do this over a two week period. We were strongly advised to do this because of the high concentration of chlorine in water there which was known to give bad tummies to tourists! Then the killer was the tipping, you felt obliged to tip the porters, then separately tip all the staff on board the ship, then separately to the excursion guides who were the most expensive - this all added up!

Now for the highs:-

- The excursions were all excellent, it was scenic and some parts very beautiful. Cruising along the Nile is also something out of this world.

- The staff on board were friendly, the food was very nice, the hygiene (other than cabin rooms) overall was very good. If tipping wasn't so obligatory we would have happily paid an amount (although perhaps not as much as they expected).

- Although expensive, we did have very good guides who looked after us and we did feel safe on the boat and outside, there were plenty of tourist police so this was much appreciated.

Conclusion: The Viking Premier was not a luxury boat, but considering how expensive it has been in Egypt overall (as we stayed in hotels for the second part of our stay) and how expensive the other ships were and the prices other tourists paid for excursions, the ship was excellent value for money and the staff were very friendly. We would not do this again but at the very least, this was a once in a lifetime experience which is a must for everyone! It was also nice to know that a lot of people on the cruise returned several times so perhaps for those more experienced on cruises, this really was a great deal!

  • Holiday details: Nov 2008, Full Board, booked with Discover Egypt
  • Advice: A must see-once in a lifetime experience, though not somewhere I would return for a luxury stopover.
  • Activities: Camel ride to the Nubian Village; Feluccia ride; Philea Island

7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
Before writing my own review I should...

"Before writing my own review I should like to comment on those written by two others:

I can only imagine that Mrs Eaton (April 2008) made a typing error when she rated this cruise 1 out of 10 because her comments are very laudatory. Surely, she meant 10 out of 10?

My partner and I were on the same cruise as Mrs Major and whilst I agree with much of what she writes, wish to take issue with her comments on the tipping policy: the suggested tip of £1 pppd was not just for the drivers, it was also for guards, ticket collectors - in fact, just about anybody who came in contact with our group. What is £7 per week to a Western European? But what difference it makes to somebody whose monthly salary may not exceed £30! It is customary to tip on cruises, and it certainly is customary to tip people providing a service, certainly in countries like Egypt. The staff on board were excellent, as was Sherry, our guide, and I am disappointed that anybody (especially as Mrs Major praised both) begrudges parting with £5 per day (or £35 for the week) for wonderful service. And, yes, the guides probably do make some money on excursions - and why not? We were certainly not ripped off. At least, Discover Egypt gave her a free dinner the last evening, after the collapse of Zoom Airlines.

Now to the Viking Premier. The cruiser does not quite warrant its 5* rating and is showing its age but the staff, atmosphere and guides definitely gave us a 5* experience at a more than reasonable price. The onboard upgrade to 'all-inclusive' (albeit a bit of a misnomer) for just £50 per person for the week's cruise was excellent value.

I have been to Egypt quite a few times and had taken a Nile cruise before but can honestly say that this was the most enjoyable holiday I have had for a long time. The organisation was faultless, food good, the sights were as impressive as always, the Egyptians full of smiles (if you don't like being pestered by merchants, then stay at home...) and the daily decorations made from the towels by our cabin boy a great source of merriment.

I can thoroughly recommend relaxing at a Red Sea resort (El Gouna and Soma Bay are much nicer than Hurghada) for the 2nd week. Here, too, the arrangements made by Discover Egypt were impeccable - it just shows that travelling with a smaller, specialist company has its advantages. And then, of course, the operator arranged our return flight very efficiently on Monarch and further arranged for us to have a dayroom at and use the facilities of the Mercure Hotel in Luxor because our convoy arrived the last day well before flight departure.

Well done Discover Egypt and Viking Premier. It was FANTASTIC!!!

  • Holiday details: Aug 2008, All Inclusive, booked with Discover Egypt

6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

5 / 10
We have just returned from a 7 night...

"We have just returned from a 7 night cruise along the Nile. This was booked months ago as a surprise for my Husbands 50th Birthday.

Firstly the positive: The tours and the scenery were breath taking, we were both a little nervous as we had never done an organised tour but Discover Egypt and our tour gide Osama were faultless. every day was varied and interesting, with additional tours for those who wanted to go but there was definately no hard sell for those who did not. My highlight had to be the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens, not normally one for history but the feeling you get standing in those toombs that have been there 1000's of years makes you want to see and learn more.

The weather was possibly a little to warm ! understatement of the year in fact on an evening visit to the temple in Luxor at 7pm it was still 98 degrees. It was perfect when we were cruising and there was a constant breeze but when in port sandwiched between other ships it was stifling. My advice would be go in the winter months.

The boat itself I would be generous and say it was tired and needed a facelift, however it was very clean and the food although not up to five star standards elsewhere in the world was reasonable and we certainly were never hungry. My one moan about the food is that in the summer months they don't serve butter the reason being is to aid digestion?? and that tea or coffee is not included as part of the meal you pay seperately.

Unfortunately while we were on holiday our airline went bust, however Discover Egypt arranged everything for our return flight with no fuss. We were fully informed at all times, we were taken to a hotel once we had checked off the boat and provided with an evening meal and refreshment

Now very sadly the negatives : I was quite taken aback with the method of tipping which is suggested to you by the representatives. The second day of being there we were asked to give one pound per guest per day for the coach driver (we handed over £14.00 as we didnt want to appear mean) then at the end of the holiday although you are told it is not compulsory the suggested rate is £2.00 per person per day for the boat staff, so that was another £28.00 and finally the tipping of your tour advisor who most definately without question waranted a good tip, so all in all you are looking at nearly £70.00 just for tipping for a weeks holiday.

Then very sadly the most disturbing part of our holiday is that during our stay we had money stolen from our cabin, Yes we were partly to blame because on this day we did not put our cash in the safe it was left in the bottom of our rucksack in the wardrobe. I immediately alerted Ala one of the Discover Egypt representatives who came to the room to go through everywhere to make sure I had not missplaced it, he then said he would report it to reception and possibly the police would be informed which to my mind was the correct procedure but to my horror Ala returned accompanied by his college Sherry who implied I was lying and that it was my fault and "this has never happened before" at no time did I get an apology from Viking management or an assurance that this would be investigated. All Viking were concerned with that the final bill would be covered. So if you are on board be extra careful we paid a high price and had our money stolen dont let it happen to you!

  • Holiday details: Aug 2008, Full Board, booked with Discover Egypt

11 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

10 / 10
my husband and i have just returned...

"my husband and i have just returned from a wonderful honeymoon aboard the viking premier, staff excellent, food suberb.tour guide 'Ayman' made everything very interesting, weather excellent better than england, would consider another holiday with discoveregypt, and thank you to housekeeping staff for what they did with the towels it was very clever and funny."

  • Holiday details: Jun 2008, Full Board, booked with DiscoverEgypt

4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes

Write A Review

Ratings summary

Share your opinion with other travellers. Write a review.

Do you own Viking Premier?