A hundred years after the discovery of the tomb of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun, “King Tut” remains the most famous of all of ancient Egypt’s rulers – and one of the biggest attractions on a trip to Egypt.
Tutankhamun only ruled for 10 short years until dying at the age of 19 in 1325 BC. But he became a celebrity again, thousands of years after his passing, when British Egyptologist Howard Carter and his team discovered the young pharaoh’s long-lost tomb in the legendary Valley of the Kings in November, 1922.It was one of the first global media events – an early 20th century version of a story going viral!
The media frenzy – including not just artists’ sketches but actual photography! - revealing the vast treasures in the most intact ancient Egyptian tomb ever discovered made “King Tut” a sensation. Day after day, the world learned of breathtaking new wonders: golden shrines, jewelry, statues, a chariot, weapons, clothing, and even the first perfectly preserved mummy ever discovered, inside layers of coffins that included one of solid gold.
The marvels discovered in King Tut’s tomb awed people around the world in 1922 – and cemented interest in travel to Egypt to walk in the footsteps of the pharaohs, the architects of Egypt’s ancient wonders and the Egyptologists whose work revealed ancient mysteries to modern eyes.
Fast forward a century. The 100th anniversary year of the discovery comes as the world is traveling to Egypt again, to experience the pyramids and Sphinx and temples and tombs at Giza, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, Karnak and Abu Simbel, as well as the museums that house ancient treasures and tell their stories.
Recently, over 150 select objects from Tutankhamun’s tomb went on a world tour from their home in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, destined to complete their trip in time to be permanently installed in the extraordinary new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, near the pyramids.
They will never be permitted to leave Egypt again, so to see the artefacts in person, you’ll have to travel to Egypt and pay a visit to its new Grand Egyptian Museum. The museum’s Tutankhamum galleries will be the main attraction when it opens, as it will be the first-ever exhibit of the full, 5000-artefact tomb collection of King Tutankhamun.
Living History on a Nile River Cruise
Happily, river cruising has returned to Egypt’s epic waterway, the Nile.
The source of water and transportation throughout the length of Egypt for millennia, a river cruise on the Nile immerses you in the ancient history and source of life of Egypt.As the highway of ancient Egypt, a river cruise on the Nile delivers you to the very doorstep of some of the country’s most storied sites.
Ancient ruins in the Nile River Valley include the Luxor Temple, the Abu Simbel Temple Complex, the Temple of Karnak, and the Valley of the Kings. While the funeral artefacts of King Tut are preserved in the museum, you can also visit the Tomb itself from your Nile river cruise.
A Nile river cruise may be the best way for you to feel immersed in the era of the pharaohs and connect the dots between myths, history and these magnificent ancient sites.All while surrounded by the amenities of modern-day river cruising.Most river cruises include land tours as well to bring you up close to all the sites and experiences of Egypt on your wish list, with the river cruise portion of your trip on a southern Egypt segment of the Nile.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Avalon Waterways operates 10-day Taste of Egypt Nile river cruises round trip from Cairo on the M/S Farah.
- Uniworld Boutique River Cruises launched the S.S. Sphinx (pictured, above) on the Nile in 2021, for its 12-day, Splendors of Egypt and the Nile itinerary round trip from Cairo.
- AmaWaterways also launched its first ship on the Nile in 2021, and the AmaLilia is scheduled to join her in 2024, on the cruise line’s 11-night cruise and land tour Secrets of Egypt & Nile.
- Luxury hotel company Oberoi sails The Oberoi Zahra and The Oberoi Philae on 3-8 night cruises on the Nile, both ships with 24-hour butler service and fewer than 30 staterooms.
By: Lynn Elmhirst Producer and Host, World's Greatest Cruises
Top image: Getty. S.S. Sphinx courtesy of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
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