Dahabiya Nile Cruise

Dahabiya Nile Cruise – Authentic Sailing Experience on the Nile

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Dahabiya Nile Cruise: the classic way to see the Nile. Sail into the past and travel the Nile like the pioneering voyagers aboard a traditional Dahabiya. A Dahabiya Nile cruise offers the romance of the past with modern comfort and convenience. It’s a leisurely way to get between Luxor and Aswan and brings together superb sightseeing, sailing, delicious traditional meals and attentive personal service.

Life on board a Dahabiya Nile cruise is peaceful and idyllic
A day on board a traditional Dahabiya has many pleasures. You can lie in a deck chair, read a book or watch children playing and women doing their washing. Every day there is a chance to walk around villages, visit local markets or explore monuments along the Nile. Meals are freshly prepared on board and served on the sundeck, in the dining room or on a beautiful spot on the banks of the Nile. There’s nothing better than an evening dining under a twinkling night sky by the light of a campfire. You are far away from the fancy-dress parties of the large cruisers. You’ll find no flashing disco’s here, but it might be possible to attend a show by local musicians under the stars.

A perfect blend of tradition and luxury in a warm and welcoming atmosphere
Accommodation on board consists of four comfortable, large cabins and one or two spacious suites. All are individually decorated with authentic oriental furniture. They have their own bathroom and can accommodate up to two people. Our Dahabiya boats are fully air-conditioned and heated with individual controls. The half-shaded sun-deck is the heart of the Dahabiya, with chairs, a divan, sun beds and dining tables. This is the perfect place to enjoy daily life on the riverbanks and watch the landscape gliding by.

Pure Wind Power – not motorized
Our traditional two-masted Dahabiya boats are based on the design of original Dahabiya boats from the late 18th and early 19th centuries and are powered by the wind only. No engines! You only hear the sound of the breeze through the sail and the water breaking over the bow.

Scheduled Dahabiya Journeys – 100% Guaranteed Weekly Departures
Our three Dahabiya boats sail up and down the Nile between Esna and Aswan. We offer a guaranteed choice between two itineraries. Upriver from Esna to Aswan, 4 nights and downriver from Aswan to Esna, 3 nights. No minimum number of passengers, with fixed dates for each trip on each Dahabiya Nile cruise.

Sightseeing & Activities

Nile Dahabiya Boats – A visual celebration of sailing past and present

We’re the proud owners of 3 beautifully crafted traditional Dahabiya boats, with 5-6 luxurious cabins & suites each. They are also available for private charter.
See also our Nile Dahabiya Boats website.

Between Esna and Aswan
Dahabiyas sail back and forth on the Nile between Esna and Aswan. Along this part of the river, you will find a high concentration of monuments. For example the well-preserved temple of Horus in Edfu and the legendary double temple of Kom Ombo. Both temples are also visited with a regular Nile cruise.

Stopping at sights others don’t see
But the relatively small, manoeuvrable Dahabiyas are also able to get to less accessible monuments, islands in the river and villages along the banks, where the huge cruise ships never moor or come. Among them is El Kab, the ancient city of Nekheb with temples and rock tombs from the Old Kingdom. Gebel el Silsila is another jewel that the huge Nile cruisers pass by.

Far away from the crowds
Our Nile Dahabiya cruises will carry you to secluded spots, picturesque and quiet, far away from the crowds. You can go for a walk, visit a local market or explore the Egyptian countryside. An English-speaking Egyptologist will guide you. The tour price includes all excursions and entrance fees.

Wind and current
Our Dahabiya boats are designed for sailing the Nile. Due to the prevailing wind, more sailing is possible upstream towards Aswan than downstream towards Luxor. Even the ancient hieroglyphs show this: a boat with a sail is sailing south – upstream, a boat with oars is heading north – downstream. Luckily each of our Dahabiya has its own small tug that can help if the natural elements fail. The same sites are visited in both directions.

El Kab

El Kab is one of the oldest settlements in Upper Egypt. Here are the temples and ruins of an ancient city, dedicated to the goddess Nekheb. An impressive wall of mud brick surrounds the town site. You can also see rock-cut tombs decorated with scenes of everyday life and the afterlife. A team of Belgian archaeologists is excavating this area since 1937.

Edfu

nile_dahabiya_cruise_egypt_edfu
The temple of Edfu, dedicated to the falcon god Horus, is one of the largest temples in Egypt. For centuries, this temple was hidden under the desert sand, so it has been preserved almost intact. The great court, hypostyle halls and shrines are completely decorated with beautiful reliefs.

Gebel el Silsila

dahabiya_nile_cruise_egypt_gebel_el_silsila
This is where the ancient quarries of Karnak and other temples are situated. Thousands of workers cut sandstone here to supply the pharaohs with their favourite material, used for building temples. The archaeological remains include a rock-temple of Horemheb and funerary chapels cut into the cliffs. Gebel el Silsila means ‘mountain of the chain’. The Nile river is at its narrowest here, therefore only Dahabiyas are able to moor at this site.

Kom-Ombo


nile_dahabiya_kom_Ombo_temple
The temple  in Kom Ombo is the only double temple in Egypt. It’s dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek and Haroeris, the falcon-headed god. The main characteristic of this temple is its symmetry, with twin entrances, sanctuaries and hypostyle halls that are divided down the middle.

Daraw Camel Market

dahabiya_nile_cruise_egypt_camel_market
Daraw was once the last stop of the historic Forty Days Road between Sudan and Egypt. The famous camel market at Daraw is the only market in South Egypt. Merchants buy their camels here and truck them to Beqash, near Cairo. From there the camels are shipped all over North Africa and the Middle East.

Upriver 4 nights

Guaranteed Weekly Departures – If you’re booked, you’re going

Every Saturday on board Dahabiya The Orient  4 cabins and 1 suite
Every Monday on board Dahabiya Zekrayaat – 4 cabins and 2 suites
Every Thursday on board Dahabiya Loulia – 4 cabins and 2 suites

Price Guide

Rates per journey per person Double occupancy Single Occupancy
Accommodation in a cabin € 700 € 1.100
Accommodation in a suite € 860 € 1.360

Included in rates
» 
Full board accommodation, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner
» Sightseeing, entrance fees and English-speaking guide services on board
» Transfers to and from any address in Luxor or Aswan to the Dahabiya, depending on the itinerary

Upriver from Esna to Aswan – 4 Nights Itinerary 

Day 1 » Boarding in Esna – El Kab – Quessia
Departure from any address in Luxor to Esna (50km south), home port of the Dahabiya. Embarkation on the Dahabiya for a 4-day cruise along the Nile between Esna and Aswan. A visit to the Esna temple and a short walk through the local markets. Sail to El Kab, the ancient town of Nekheb, to visit the remains of its temples and some of the tombs cut into the cliffs. Set sail for a small island where the boat will moor for the night. You will have dinner on board the Dahabiya or on the tranquil banks of the Nile. First night on board.

Day 2 » Edfu – Wadi el Shat
Sail for Edfu and visit the temple of Horus, the best-preserved of all the temples in Egypt. Set sail for a small island where the boat will moor for the night; later stops will take you to small villages and the desert. Second night on board.

Day 3 » Gebel el Silsila – Kom Ombo – Maniha
Sail to Gebel el Silsila and explore the ancient sandstone quarries and rock-cut chapels of Horemheb, Seti I, Ramesses II and Merenptah. The journey up the Nile continues towards the double temple of Haroeris and Sobek in Kom Ombo. Set sail for the island of Maniha, where the Dahabiya will moor for the night. Third night on board.

Day 4 » Daraw – El Koubania, Aswan
Sail to Daraw and take a walking tour to the village to visit the markets of Daraw, once the last stop on the famous 40-day desert road between Sudan and Egypt. Sailing continues to the Nubian village of El Koubania, near Aswan. Fourth and last night on board.

Day 5 » Disembarkation in Aswan
End of the Nile Dahabiya cruise journey in Aswan after breakfast on board. Transfer to any address in Aswan. Optional excursion to the temples Abu Simbel is available at an extra charge.

Downriver 3 nights

Guaranteed Weekly Departures – If you’re booked, you’re going

Every Wednesday on board Dahabiya The Orient – 4 cabins and 1 suite
Every Friday on board Dahabiya Zekrayaat – 4 cabins and 2 suites
Every Monday on board Dahabiya Loulia – 4 cabins and 2 suites

Price Guide

Rates per journey per person Double occupancy Single Occupancy
Accommodation in a cabin € 525 € 825
Accommodation in a suite € 645 € 1.020

Included in rates
» 
Full board accommodation, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner
» Sightseeing, entrance fees and English-speaking guide services on board
» Transfers to and from any address in Luxor or Aswan to the Dahabiya, depending on the itinerary

Downriver from Aswan to Esna – 3 Nights Itinerary

Day 1 » Boarding in Aswan – Kom Ombo – Gebel el Silsila
Transfer to and embarkation on the Dahabiya for a 3-day cruise along the Nile between Aswan and Esna. The first day’s sailing takes you to a small Nile island for a walk in the countryside. After lunch on board or on the island, continue sailing towards Kom Ombo to visit the double temple of Sobek and Haroeris. Then cruise towards Gebel el-Silsila. First night on board.

Day 2 » Edfu – El Fawaza
After breakfast visit the rock-cut chapels of Horemheb, Seti I, Ramses II and Merenptah and explore the sandstone quarries at Gebel el-Silsila. The sail continues to Edfu where you can visit the temple of Horus, the best-preserved of all the temples in Egypt. Travel on to a small island where the boat will moor for the night. You will have dinner on board the Dahabiya or round a campfire on the tranquil banks of the Nile. Second night on board.

Day 3 » El Kab – Esna
Cruise to El Kab, the ancient town of Nekheb, one of the oldest and most significant archaeological sites on the Nile. Visit the remains of its temples and some of the tombs cut into the cliffs. Return to the boat and set sail for Esna. Third and last night on board.

Day 4 » Disembarkation in Esna
End of the Nile Dahabiya cruise journey in Esna after breakfast on board. Transfer to any address in Luxor.