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Saturday, November 27, 2010

M. S. Eugenie, Jewel of the Nile

While hundreds of passenger vessels ply the Nile between Aswan and Luxor, a distance of less than 200 km, only a few boats carry tourists on Lake Nassar above the High Dam.  The first was the M.S. Eugenie, built in 1993 in the style of a early 20th century Art Deco steamship.  The Eugenie feels so perfect I was initially uncertain whether it was a replica or a restored vessel.  It was named after the Empress Eugenie of France who traveled to Egypt in 1869 to celebrate the opening of the Suez Canal.

The top deck (Eugenie is parked behind a large rock island)

 Fifty cabins, about 100 guests, average age probably around 55 (lots of retired folks living life to its fullest).  Four days, three nights cost ~$650 per person including all expenses except alcohol and tips.  Each day included expertly guided expeditions to amazing ruins in the morning and late afternoon.  Food and service was impeccable.  I want to return with my parents and children--it was that special.

 Back dining deck

Dining Room

One of the many cool seating areas at dusk.... 

top deck combo plunge and lounging pool

And of course it wouldn't be a cruise without towel-folding!  Here raised to a fine art.....