Slowly gliding by the palm trees, watching the fishermen taking in the nets, flocks of migrating birds passing and seeing the warm sun going down behind the mountains. Yes, that is actually how it is by the Egyptian Nile!
The most common tourist activity in Egypt outside Cairo is a cruise down the Nile. My mom has always dreamed of it, but I get seasick, so even though I also fantasized of a Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile” trip (without the murder, but with the elegance), we didn’t go. And I am glad, because I would have insisted on the most expensive boat and my mom the cheapest.
But there are many ways to sail the Nile. The old Egyptian sailboat the Felucca, ornamented motorboats, steamers, two or three storeys cruise ships and the luxurious Dahabiya!
A FELUCCA TRIP
We took a sunset trip in a Felucca owned by a very charming Egyptian called Ali. A Felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used particular in the Nile but also in the Red Sea.
You can go for just an hour seeing the sunset or go even longer from Luxor to Aswan. We definitely paid overprice at 80 LE (for two) for an hour, but that was okay, since we was his only customers that day… If you go down to the Corniche in Luxor, you’ll be trampled down by felucca owners trying to get you out, Be sure to check out the boat beforehand, and find a price that makes everyone happy.
Ali said he was a former Egyptian model who had been in Vogue, knew a French Minister and stayed clear of English single women trying to catch him.
I get sea sick so didn’t want to sail that much, but this was ok ay. Enjoy the ride with me in this video:
BOATS ON THE NILE
The cheapest way to get on a cruise is to go straight to Luxor or Aswan and find a good deal. The boats we saw were only half full due to the lack of tourists the last few years.
The most luxurious cruise is with a Dahabiya. They only carry few passengers and can glide by sail. See for instance Nile Dahabiya Boats.
The typical cruise ship is a motordriven two to four storey boat with a small pool, a restaurant, a sundeck and a pool. If you want to check out the more luxurious ships, see for instance award winning Abercromie & Kent or Viking River Cruises, but these will cost you bigly! They also come in very Arabic versions with marble and gold and no bikinis or the European package-deal-tourist with alcohol included. Note that the engine makes a lot of noise…
Have you been cruising the Nile?
Interested in Egypt? Read Why Luxor, Egypt was not as I expected! and The best temples & tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs in ancient Thebes!