Exploring Luxor & The Valley of the Kings With Silversea
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Aaron Saunders, Live Voyage Reports
This afternoon, I sat sipping tea on the outdoor terrace at the Sheraton Luxor, gazing out on the beautiful Nile River that exists as one of the most famous (and indeed, only) waterways in Egypt. And truth be told, I felt a little angry. Not at the tour, or at Egypt – but at our so-called “news” that we have in North America.
This tranquil paradise was the so-called “deadly” Middle East. This picturesque landscape, where nothing more than the wind and the buzzing of the bumblebees on the flowers next to me could be heard. Yet, in the distance, I could see dozens, maybe hundreds, of laid-up riverboats; riverboats that used to ply the Nile and which now sit waiting for the tourists to return.
Silversea’s Silver Wind came alongside in the dusty port of Safaga, Egypt just before 07:00 this morning as we ended our long stretch of days at sea and began our first explorations in Egypt. As a port of call, Safaga isn’t much. An industrial port littered with dusty trucks and half-completed buildings and machinery, most of the passengers that come here will do so by one of the few small ferries that dock not far from our own berth. So why do cruise ships stop in Safaga if there’s nothing to do? One word: Luxor.
Situated 200 kilometres to the west, the ancient city of Luxor is one of Egypt’s “must-see” destinations. Located along the Nile, Florence Nightingale one described Luxor as “the deathbead of the world” – though her dreary statement is actually a complement. Not only does Luxor boast the amazing Luxor Temple that was built by Amenhotep III (1390-1352 BC) and Ramses II (1279-1213 BC), it also serves as a great jumping-off point to another Egyptian treasure: The Valley of the Kings.