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Uniworld's new Nile ship is inspired by Egyptian barges

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises' latest Super Ship, the 42-suite S.S. Sphinx, set sail on Egypt's Nile River in late September.

Working with local artisans, Uniworld sourced Egyptian communities during the building process for everything from craftsmen to artwork and upholstery.

Inspired by ancient Egyptian barges, the sun deck of the S.S. Sphinx is covered in tented drapes for shade. The ship's ceilings were hand-carved using locally sourced blonde wood and the banquettes have been crafted and upholstered in fabric from a local company. Even the carpet patterning was inspired by the geometric shapes of Egypt's famed pyramids.

"As Egypt continues to be a top trending travel destination, we're overjoyed to set sail along the famed Nile River and provide an unmatched look at the destination aboard our striking new Super Ship, the S.S. Sphinx," Uniworld CEO Ellen Bettridge said in a statement. "We're excited for our guests to experience the ship as it fully embodies what they love most when sailing with us, exquisite design and experiences they won't find anywhere else.

"Over the past few years, our team poured their heart into sourcing the design aspects, spending weeks at a time searching the souks and bazaars to connect with local artisans and family-owned furniture businesses to collaborate and bring the true spirit of Egypt to life onboard."

The culture of Egypt extends beyond the ship's furnishings to its food and beverage offerings. Two dining venues have menu options reflecting the Egyptian itinerary: beef liver, hawawshi, sweet corn soup and more. The meals onboard are paired with Egyptian wines such as Omar Khayyam and Shahrazade, which are included in the cruise fare.

The Sphinx has a swimming pool, a massage room and an outdoor dining area. All staterooms have French balconies. The passenger-to-crew ratio is one crew member for approximately every 1.4 passengers (84 passengers and 58 crew).

During its inaugural season, the Sphinx is sailing a 12-day itinerary called "Splendors of Egypt & The Nile," which sails roundtrip from Cairo. Excursions include visits to the Temple of Karnak and the Temple of Hatshepsut, in addition to the renowned Egyptian Museum.

Rates start from $4,799 per person, and cruises are available to book now through December 2023.

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