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River Tosca Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
38 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
4.0
Very Good
Chris Gray Faust
Cruise Critic Managing Editor

Editors Note: In 2020, Uniworld will replace River Tosca in Egypt with a new vessel, S.S. Sphinx.

Pros

Big cabins, plus knowledgable Egyptologists and gorgeous decor

Cons

Food, while tasty, not as good as that on line's European ships

Bottom Line

A luxurious way to see the Nile's highlights, on a singularly gorgeous ship

About

Passengers : 82
Crew : 50
Passenger to Crew : 1.64:1
Launched : 2009
Shore Excursions : 13

Sails To

Sails From

A Nile River cruise has long served as a bucket-list fantasy; even Cleopatra enjoyed her time lolling in splendor as her barge passed her kingdom's already ancient wonders. And, now that Uniworld has brought its brand of luxury cruising to the already-crowded Nile riverboat field, you too can feel like a pasha as experienced tour guides show you the best of Egypt.

Walking into River Tosca, you immediately sense that she's a step up from the other 399 ships licensed to ply the Nile. Beyond the marble floors and chandeliers, there's a rich attention to detail that's carried through all of the public rooms. Shishas (water pipes), lanterns and colonial-era prints add an exotic flair to Uniworld's usual tasteful, upscale decor.

Outside the ship, Egypt can assault your senses; unlike most river cruising destinations, the country is poor, and vendors can be aggressive, which is why the River Tosca offers a welcome respite from the chaos. The mostly Egyptian staff is eager to please, and your Egyptologist guide is always on hand to explain the intricacies of the country, both ancient and modern.

With a packed itinerary, however, you won't be spending too much time onboard. Each of Uniworld's Egypt offerings is heavy on sightseeing trips that are included in your package, and the staff get you up early to avoid the midday heat. You could stay in your room and miss a temple (or two), but you may kick yourself later.

Plus, the hot afternoons are a perfect time to unwind, either in the small pool or with a cup of mint tea under the covered portion of the top deck. Most of River Tosca's affluent clientele have put in as many miles on their body as stamps in their passports; many preferred to nap or get massages in the ship's compact spa. Outbreaks of "mummy tummy" were not uncommon; taking the time to rest, along with some pills from the front desk, restored most passengers within a day or two.

And having that type of service available while navigating Egypt is what sets River Tosca apart from the competition. As the country's revolution continues, travel in Egypt comes with a certain amount of unpredictability -- so it's nice to know that your River Tosca experience will remain smooth sailing.

Fellow Passengers

As per most Uniworld cruises, River Tosca cruisers are affluent and well-traveled, with most in the 55+ category. Going to Egypt right now requires a certain comfort with the world, and most passengers had the sophistication to handle the minor travel disruptions that take place in a country still dealing with revolution.

Uniworld is an American company, so the line's passengers are usually North American. But on a recent sailing, an equal number of Australians and New Zealanders were onboard -- a new phenomenon, according to a ship guide.

While River Tosca flies the Uniworld flag, the ship also books passengers through Insight Tours, which is owned by the same parent company. People who sign up through Uniworld take shore excursions and the land portion of the trip with their own guides, however.

Uniworld River Tosca Dress Code

Egypt is a Muslim country, and while swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are fine for the ship's top deck, women will want to cover up when touring, especially in Cairo. Bring a scarf that you can drape over your arms when entering religious sites and avoid skirts above the knee. Dinners are country-club casual, with most women wearing dresses or pants paired with nice tops. Women won't need heels. Men wore collared shirts and slacks. Everyone should bring comfortable shoes for touring.

At least once during your cruise, River Tosca hosts an Egyptian night, where those onboard are encouraged to wear galabeyas, beaded tunics or headdresses. You can buy these outfits in the ship's store or from street vendors, or bring one from home.

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More about Uniworld River Tosca

Where does Uniworld River Tosca sail from?

Uniworld River Tosca departs from Cairo

Where does Uniworld River Tosca sail to?

Uniworld River Tosca cruises to Cairo (Port Said), Luxor and Aswan

How much does it cost to go on Uniworld River Tosca?

Cruises on Uniworld River Tosca start from null per person.
Uniworld River Tosca Cruiser Reviews

Uniworld & River Tosca outstanding

Having River cruised before and not liking it for various reasons as well as reading some of the reviews on the Tosca we were cautious booking but the only way to really do Egypt is by the Nile.... Read More
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Mendhamcruise

10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Wonderful Boat, lousy tour of ancient Egypt

This was a family trip and we loved the River Tosca and its aging gentility. The crew/staff were most accommodating and friendly, with attention to one’s every need.... Read More
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BarbaraMafuta

2-5 Cruises

Age 70s

My first and last Uniworld cruise

After unexpected fire damage on the Sphinx in December, we were told that our January cruise would be on the old and worn, Tosca.... Read More
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J12345678

First Time Cruiser

Age 50s

98% Wonderful!

RIVER TOSCA SHIP I will admit to being pleasantly surprised by the ship especially after reading quite a few negative reviews of the ship.... Read More
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KarenLAdler

10+ Cruises

Age 60s

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