After being closed for 20 years or so, depending on who you ask, Egypt is opening up the portion of the Nile River between Cairo and Luxor. This 465 mile portion of the river was closed to overnight passenger ships due to security concerns and unpredictable water levels. However now after lengthy irrigation projects and a consenus that it is safe, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism has decided to reopen the route.
While not everybody is jumping on board to start offering river cruises through the area Abercrombie & Kent do plan to offer a package that will include the entire 600 mile river cruise starting in 2013. New ports of call will include Beni Hasan, where tombs were carved into the limestone cliffs on the east bank of the Nile during the Middle Kingdom, Amarna the ancient capital built by King Akhenaten around 1350 B.C., Sohag’s Red and White Coptic Monasteries and Abydoss the holy city center dedicated to the god Osiris.
While this all sounds very exciting is it too soon? The country does not exactly have the confidence of travelers yet as being safe. I think people are still unsure of the new government and protests are still popping up. Opening up a portion of the Nile River that has been deemed unsafe for 20 years in the mists of an uncertain goverment is risky. I am not sure how comfortable travlers will be venturing into this area. I think they should have focused on making travlers feel comfortable and safe in general first while stablizing the country before making such a move. At least, tour companies need to have some sort of security measures in place just in case.