CAIRO: Egypt’s Nile cruise tours, running from Cairo to Aswan and vice versa, have resumed Friday after a one-year hiatus, Youm7 reported.
A total of 70 German tourists have embarked on a Nile cruise that sailed downstream from Aswan to Cairo Friday. The 14-night cruise program includes several sightseeing to the country’s archaeological sites located on the two banks of the River Nile.
A Tourist guide told Youm7 that the resumption of the Nile cruise package tours would last until August.
Aswan-Cairo Nile cruise packages, better known as the Super Long Nile Cruise, were halted for security reasons following the Luxor massacre when 62 people, mostly tourists, were shot dead by Islamist militants at the temple of Queen Hatshepsut in the west bank in Luxor in November 1997, Mohammed Ayoub, chairman of the Chamber of Floating Hotels had previously told The Cairo Post.
However, in Feb 2015, the tour has partially resumed before it has been suspended again a few month later probably due to the sharp decrease in number of tourists visiting Egypt or security concerns. Summer is known to be a low season for Egypt’s cultural tourism due to the hot weather.
“The package was halted also due to the variable depth of the River Nile throughout the year which has repeatedly caused damage to the submerged parts of the cruise ship’s hull and the bottom structure leading ships to aground accordingly,” according to Ayoub.
Egypt’s tourism sector, which represents 11 percent of the country’s GDP, has been suffering from ongoing shocks ever since the 2011 uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. Tourism sector saw gravely negatively was affected after the crash of Russian passenger plane in Central Sinai on Oct. 31, 2015, particularly after speculation supported by western intelligence indicating a bomb was behind the crash
Tourism revenues dropped during December 2015 by 52 percent compared to that of January 2015, Youm7 quoted Adla Ragab, the economic advisor for Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou Feb. 18.