Egypt - River Nile

Category: Mediterranean East, Rivers, Lakes and Canals,

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A ten person dehabaya on the Nile is one of life’s great undiscovered joys. Engineless, silent, powered only by colourful lateen sails, these beautiful traditional craft glide gently up and down stream.

Should the breeze fail a discreet little tug pushes her along as guests laze with mint tea to a backdrop of reed beds where pure white egrets stand stock still and fishermen gently draw in their nets from frail river boats.

The Upper Nile is a haven of peace and tranquillity, far from the mad cacophony of Cairo, where life has not altered significantly for 2,000 years. There is no more private way to explore the splendid artery of Egypt.


Day 1

From Luxor it is a short drive to Esna where the dehabaya awaits. Lunch on board overlooking the languid Nile precedes a visit to the Temple of Khnum. Only partially excavated and a mere two hundred paces from the river, it lies nine meters below street level. Esna boasts a lively street market to satisfy early cravings for local souvenirs. Overnight alongside on the west bank.

Day 2

For those who have not seen Luxor, there is the chance to take a taxi into Luxor, 30 miles by a good road. Said to be the finest open-air museum in the world, the former city of Thebes contains the temples of Luxor and Karnak within the city. Returning to the vessel for lunch, she sails during the afternoon to El Hegaz to overnight.

Day 3

A breakfast sail to El Kab with an early visit to the Tombs of the Nobles dating back to 1500 BC. Over lunch the yacht sails for Edfu and the Temple of Horus, built from sandstone blocks and said to be the most completely preserved in all Egypt. A short sail to Fawza Island and an evening alongside a small village with a chance to wander ashore.

Day 4

Early sail to Basaw Island for a visit to its village. Mid-morning the dehabaya sails for Gabal el Selsela, where stone for many of Egypt’s temples was quarried and the great Temple of Hormoheb, before which she ties up for lunch. An afternoon sail stops at Basheer where dinner is served with an evening visit to a local Kiosk to enjoy a shisha pipe, Arab teas and coffees and local delicacies.

Day 5

From Basheer to Kom Ombo is a two hour sail to the 2nd Century BC Temples of Aroeres (Apollo) and Isis. Sailing to Daraw, end of the “40 Days Road” trading route from Sudan, there is a visit to an atmospheric local camel market, returning to the vessel by toc-toc. Sailing to Hordiab there is a lunchtime barbecue on board and a rare chance to swim in the Nile. Afternoon sail to Kobaneya.

Day 6

Awaking in Kobaneya a visit is arranged to a local Nubian village followed by a three hour relaxing sail to Aswan. After lunch on board there is a visit to the Temple of Kalabsha, the largest structure to be moved from its original site above the High Dam followed by the Nubian Museum, established to house thousands of historic artefacts before the valley was flooded. Overnight in Aswan.

Day 7

Breakfast is followed by a day exploring Aswan with its temples and classical sites. The area includes an extraordinary variety of religious history from Ancient Egyptian to Coptic Christian and the spiritual heart of the Ismaili Khojas, followers of the Aga Khan whose mausoleum lies here. Afternoon sail to El Nakheel Island for a last night aboard.

Day 8

The following morning the Captain makes an early start for the return down-stream while guests breakfast and relax as the dehabaya slips past some now-familiar sights during the five hour sail back to Esna and a departure around 10.00.

To enquire about this destination or to discuss creating your bespoke dream holiday, please get in touch.

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