With 2014 mere weeks away, all the new river cruise brochures are out, and many of them still include listings for departures throughout Egypt. But whether the 2014 season will succeed is anyone’s best guess at this point.
In 2010, roughly 58,000 passengers traversed Egypt’s famous Nile River, but that number had dwindled to 28,000 in 2012 – and figures for 2013 are still not yet tallied. Given the tremendous instability in Egypt in recent months, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to figure out that this year’s numbers will, in all likelihood, be substantially lower.
So does that mean no Egyptian river cruises next year? At this point, that might be the case.
Avalon Waterways has scrapped their Egypt itineraries until further notice. This follows the last bout of unrest that occurred earlier this year. Despite the fact that itineraries and departure dates are available in the line’s 2014 brochure, Egypt has been pulled from the line’s website.
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection still features an Egypt page on their website, but there are no 2014 itineraries available. Uniworld does note that they are “fully committed to Egypt as a destination and to our partners on the ground in Egypt.”
Viking Rivers has also removed Egypt from its website as a destination, after having to scrap much of their fall season back in August.
Other river cruise lines, like California-based AmaWaterways, have not historically offered Egyptian departures.
If Egypt is still on your bucket list – and it should be – don’t despair. Once operators feel that the country has stabilised to a degree, tour operators are going to be courting prospective travelers from Europe, North American and further afar with what will likely be some sweetheart deals to revive the country’s lagging tourism industry.
In the meantime, keep your digital eyes tuned to River Cruise Advisor; the second we hear Egypt might be re-starting, we’ll be sure to pass the information along.