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Dahabiya: Cruising the Nile in Style

Cruising the Nile has always been on our bucket list. When we accepted a house sitting assignment in El Gouna Egypt this year, the opportunity to check another item off the list presented itself.

After a short foray into our options for cruises it became very apparent there were vastly different ways to go about it.

The first option we considered was by Felucca, a simple traditional Egyptian sailing vessel that in one version or another has been working the Nile river for centuries. Being a simple vessel, with little or no amenities, it offers the camping version of exploring the Nile. Maybe this would have been fun in our 20’s, now we are a little older (and maybe a little softer) we do enjoy our comforts. Strike the Felucca off the list!

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Then there are the modern steel hulled river boats. These glass encased, diesel powered behemoths blast up and down the Nile at high speed. They boast about all the mod cons they have including swimming pools, gyms, air conditioning, dance floors and 60 to 80 cabins.

Cattle boat tourism is not really our thing either – strike the River Beast off the list.

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The vessel that did catch our attention, and the mode of travel we settled on was the Dahabiya.

Dahabiya’s have been around for centuries and are to be found adorning many of the Pharaoh’s tombs. During the 1920’s to  the 1940’s they had a bit of a comeback as they were popular with aristocrats and well heeled travelers who wanted to cruise the Nile in style.

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Modern day Dahabiyas are modeled along the same basic structure as the ancient boats (although often larger and with modern plumbing) and have 6  to 10 cabins along with a full contingent of crew and staff. If the wind is not co-operating, a companion tug is on standby to give you a lift up river.

Because you are not separated from the Nile by a pane of glass you are able to experience life on the river as those earlier explorers did.  As we sailed from temple to temple enjoying the river breezes, we watched the Nile landscape pass, getting a close look at the people who live and work near it’s banks.

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This is how we decided to cruise the Nile. We were not disappointed!

Here are a few of the images of our 5 day journey from Esna to Aswan, Egypt by Dahabiya.

 

Nile Cruise-4.jpgEsna Temple

Nile Cruise-10.jpgTown of Esna Egypt

 

Nile Cruise-112.jpgNear the Temple of Horemheb

 

Nile Cruise-141.jpgThe Crocodile God Sobek and company at Kom Ombo Temple

 

Nile Cruise-93.jpgOur Egyptology Guide Memu.

 

Nile Cruise-16.jpgHelping dad with the fishing

Nile Cruise-30.jpgHarvesting sugar cane with a camels assistance

Nile Cruise-41.jpgTraditional bread making

 

Nile Cruise-74.jpgA friendly face

Nile Cruise-72.jpgTime for a friendly game

Nile Cruise-127.jpgGetting chased down by a river beast

 

Nile Cruise-84.jpgA trek in the desert

 

See the entire Nile Cruise gallery below

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About the author: Michael was born under a wanderin’ star. He is an Engineer who became an explorer, a photography enthusiast, and hack traveller writer with the propensity to be snarky. Retired at the age of 44, he and his wife Yvonne travel and house sit around the globe on a full time basis grazing on awesome food along the way. Michael’s mission is to inform, inspire and empower people who are interested in travelling extensively in their retirement.

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