The world’s best river cruise line has just unveiled a stunning new vessel on the Nile River. By
The S.S. Sphinx is the latest over-the-top ship from Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, which just took the top spot in Travel + Leisure‘s 2021 World’s Best Awards. While it’s not the first high-end ship on the storied river in Egypt, Uniworld is aiming to set a new bar for luxury with its 84-passenger, 42-stateroom cruiser.
“We’re thrilled to finally debut our new super ship in Egypt, providing guests with the most luxurious way to sail along the Nile with its exquisite design and experiences they won’t find anywhere else,” Ellen Bettridge, president and CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, told T+L.
The eye-catching design of the Sphinx incorporates “locally sourced Egyptian artwork, fabrics and hand-carved furnishings,” according to Uniworld, as well as sumptuous seating, rich colours, and marble-trimmed bathrooms.
“Over the past few years, our team has poured their hearts into perfecting every detail of the S.S. Sphinx, from spending weeks at a time searching the souks and bazaars for local design elements to connecting with local artisans and family-owned furniture businesses,” Bettridge said. “Everything from the artwork to the ceilings to the ship’s bow was meticulously thought out and sourced locally, bringing the beauty and spirit of Egypt to life on board.”
The maximalist decor carries through the ship’s staterooms, all of which feature French balconies. Other this-must-be-Egypt features include carved wood ceiling and door panels, ornate furniture, and accent pieces like Arabic coffee sets. Bedrooms feature upholstered walls covered in blue Egyptian cotton and custom carpets.
The Sphinx has two onboard restaurants — including one al fresco option on the top deck — as well as a private dining room for small groups. Egyptian cuisine is a focus with “menus that reflect the destination,” Uniworld says, paired with locally made wines. The ship also has a massage room, a gym, a small pool, and other spaces for lounging.
Not that there’s a shortage of things to see off the vessel: Uniworld will operate 12-day trips along the Nile, taking in iconic sights like the Temples of Hatshepsut, Karnak, and Luxor, as well as offering excursions to sail on traditional boats called feluccas or go hot air ballooning over the desert. Trips include time in Cairo as well, with guided visits to the Pyramids of Giza and the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities.
As is the case aboard all Uniworld ships, guests on the Sphinx must be vaccinated and wear masks in public areas when social distancing isn’t possible.
The debut of the Sphinx follows other show-stopping new ships from Uniworld in recent years, including “the Bon Voyage, based in France, and the La Venezia, recently relaunched in Italy,” as T+L has reported.
Rates for 12-day itineraries on the Sphinx start at USD 4,799 (INR 3,58,865) per person and include meals, drinks, excursions, transfers, tips, and Wi-Fi.