Dahabiya: Luxury nile cruises

When we think of a cruise, the image that quickly comes to mind is that of a large, multi-story ship, capable of holding hundreds or even thousands of people. And on the Nile, this is also true, albeit with nuances: the most common vessel for traversing the waters of this river is the motorboat, a downsized version of those large ships that sail the oceans, but still enormous, after all. However, for a luxury Nile cruise, there’s an intriguing alternative: the dahabiya. In this post, we delve into what exactly a dahabiya is and the advantages it offers over motorboats

What is a Dahabiya

The dahabiya is Egypt’s traditional vessel. Pinpointing its origins can be challenging, but it’s known that in the 19th century, before steamboats became widespread, it was the predominant type used to sail the Nile waters. That is, this was the vessel first employed by European explorers when Egyptology made a significant entrance, although these types of ships had been in use long before then.

You’ll easily recognize a dahabiya by its two large sails: one at the bow and another at the stern. As for the hull, it’s of a barge type, meaning it’s flat. Regarding size, dimensions can vary, but in some cases, they might reach up to 50 meters in length.

Cruise in Dahabya
Cruise in Dahabya

Advantages of Taking a Dahabiya Nile Cruise

The dahabiya is the perfect vessel for luxury Nile cruises for various reasons, which we outline below:

  • Pace Perfect for Relaxation: The dahabiya is much slower than any motorboat. Far from being a disadvantage, this slower pace can be viewed as a significant benefit, as its cruising speed encourages relaxation, allowing travelers to unwind without haste or stress.
  • Calm-Related Activities: On a motorboat, the atmosphere tends to be lively, with pools and dance halls. Naturally, these features are absent on a dahabiya. However, it offers other activities better suited for those seeking tranquility, from stargazing to onboard yoga sessions.
  • More Exclusivity and Privacy: Due to its smaller size, a dahabiya carries fewer passengers, which is ideal for those seeking a more intimate experience. In fact, they can often be hired exclusively for groups of around 15 people since that’s their average capacity.
  • Greater Flexibility for Off-The-Beaten-Path Routes: With a dahabiya, the captain can dock at nearly any port or pier, making it perfect for visiting natural or archaeological sites where a motorboat cannot access.
  • Connection with Tradition and Local Enterprise: While motorboats are often owned by large international corporations, dahabiyas are frequently built by small Egyptian entrepreneurs who invest their life savings into them.

In conclusion, the dahabiya is perfect for luxury Nile cruises. That’s precisely why Egipto Exclusivo can offer you this kind of unforgettable experience. Get in touch with us for more information.

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