Cruise the Nile on a Dahabiya.
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Cruise the Nile on a Dahabiya. All you need to know.

Cruise the Nile river

Cruise the Nile on a Dahabiya. All you need to know.

One of the top experiences we had during our trip to Egypt was to cruise the Nile river on a dahabiya, a traditional boat that royals and celebrities used to travel with. This cruise is different from the ones offered by most travel agencies. Dahabiya ships are unique, and they offer exclusiveness, romance and a calm vibe. If you are interested in an experience like this, below we provide all the necessary information to cruise the Nile on a dahabiya.


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What kind of ship is a Dahabiya?

When you find yourself in Egypt and you want to take a cruise down the Nile, the first option you will find during your search will be the big cruise ship packages. However, there is another option, more unique: to cruise the Nile on a dahabiya ship. So, what exactly is a dahabiya? The dahabiya is a traditional type of ship used in the past by kings and nobles. It has huge sails, which, however, differ in design from the typical sailing boats, and it does not have an engine. Itis medium-sized, so it can be moved by the wind. It usually hosts 10-14 people, depending on the ship size and the layout, and it has cabins.

Which is the difference between the dahabiya, the classic cruise ship and the felucca?

Cruising the Nile on a dahabiya offers a unique, exclusive, and usually more luxurious experience. The main differences with a classic cruise ship are that the dahabiya ship has sails instead of an engine and it is smaller in size. This way you enjoy the river life in a relaxed atmosphere with unparalleled style. In case there is not enough wind, dahabiya ships are accompanied by a small tug that   pulls them from a distance. The difference between the dahabiya and the felucca is that the latter has no indoor spaces, which means that it does not have any cabins or toilets. Everything takes place on deck. Usually, the felucca is offered for a day trip or for a one-night stay, in which case you sleep on the deck. Of course, you can find trips for more days if you want to live the experience. Dahabiya is ideal for many days because it has all the necessary facilities.

What schedule do you follow when you cruise the Nile on a Dahabiya?

There are several Nile cruise itineraries . You can, of course, rent a dahabiya privately with your friends or family, as it is ideal for 10-12 people. In this case, you can create your own itinerary or you can choose one of the available routes. The most popular itineraries are the following: Departure from Esna (near Luxor) to Aswan, duration 4 nights / 5 days – Departure from Aswan to Esna, duration 3 nights / 4 days. Of course, you can find other itineraries too, depending on the operator and the days. When you cruise the Nile on a dahabiya you spend time relaxing, but you also do sightseeing, as you visit temples and villages with a local guide.

How much does a Nile cruise with Dahabiya cost?

Before we analyse the costs, we would like to say that we chose to cruise the Nile on a Dahabiya with the company «Sail the Nile». We were really satisfied with the service and the staff on board, as well as with the consultation and communication we had with Johanna. The company has two ships; we made this cruise with the dahabiya “MINYA”. There are of course other companies offering this experience, but not as many that offer the massive cruise ship experience. Usually, the dahabiya cruise is more expensive because it is a more exclusive and luxurious experience. An average cost, depending on the company, the ship, and the route is 150-200 euros per person per day. The price is usually all-inclusive, from accommodation and food to tour guide and attractions.

Was it worth it?

To cruise the Nile with a Dahabiya is not the cheapest option. However, we personally believe that it is worth it, especially if you choose a good operator. In addition, compared to large cruise ships, the dahabiya offer a much more private experience with a personalized service. So, in our opinion, it is worth investing in such an experience.

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