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Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

Thunder Bay, Canada
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Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

Cruise boat or a felucca ?

for going down the nile?

From people who have done both, what aspect did you enjoy better?

Would the felucca not be recommended for a long journey of 2 or more nights?

What were the pros and cons to each of them. as having a hard time deciding.


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for Nile River Valley
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1. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

Feluccas have no facilities at all - no toilet, no kitchen......just an open wooden boat..........it may be great for male 18 year olds who enjoy camping. They travel about 10 miles a day downriver.

Stockholm, Sweden
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2. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

For information about the pros and cons of cruise ships check this article:


As for a felucca Nile cruise it is totally different than a Nile cruise on board a motor ship. A journey on a felucca is a mobile camping adventure with the possibility to explore the Nile in an exotic way (sailing close to the Nile banks, meeting locals on the way, fire camps at night, Nubian drum show and dance, food prepared in front of you by the crew etc). It is an authentic sailing adventure.

It is true that facilities are primitive and you don't have the same comfort of home. However some newly built large feluccas intended for long journeys are equipped with either a toilet on board or a mobile toilet tent mounted on shore. For larger groups and well organized trips, a motorboat with a toilet usually escorts the felucca passengers during their journey.

If you think that you can live an exotic camping adventure without all the comfort of home then a felucca Nile cruise might be for you.


Tucson, Arizona
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for Quito, Ecuador
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3. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

Have you considered a dahabiya? I was just on the Africa two weeks ago and it was one of the highlights of my trip. The cabin, bathroom, salon, and upper deck were all very comfortable and the food was fantastic. I had read a nice report on its sister the Cenderella here on the forum and knew that was just my cup of tea. A regular cruise boat with its jacuzzi, TVs, shows, and size would not suit me. The dahabiya can also anchor by the shore so you can visit smaller sites.

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4. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

I wonder if I can sail from the Mediterranean Sea up the Niles River to Cairo and maybe up to Aswan.

My sailboat got an 18 meter mast and 2 meter draft. Is there some bridges that will not open or be too low, or is there some other obstacles stopping me? From Cairo to Aswan the Nile looks to be more open.

Halifax, Canada
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5. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

As for your question, I never took the large cruise boat. However booked a four day three night felucca for four USD for the entire trip in 2001 through my tour agent. At the time, the best tip from an Egypt travel veteran was to approach the cruise boats just as they prepare to sail and see what throwaway prices you can get on their all inclusive package. They sail whether full or not and seems the logical way to get a real bargain at the dock in Aswan. As for the felucca, I really enjoyed myself and the crew and other tourists were a gaggle of Korean girls and an Irish chap; they were all a lot of fun. The feluccas often play a bit of tag with the cruise boats which plow straight down the river never deviating course or direction for smaller craft. You hear them and smell the diesel smoke long before you see them. Felucca was awesome when they crossed cruise boat wakes which were sizeable and exciting waves. The toilet option was basic, a little hole hanging off the side with a bit of privacy and not a problem. One of my favourite memories was gathering firewood and palms fronds with a beautiful Korean woman and the time the night guard asked to borrow my radio to listen to near their fire on the beach as we slept under a night sky of incredible stars. If you have the time in your itinerary why don't you just try both?

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

Actually, there is a Felucca cruise on the Nile with all facilities (toilet, beds, kitchen, etc...)

please check it out www.nilebreeze.com

San Diego...
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7. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

The felucca is definitely more primitive. Toilet is a hole in the ground on shore, used by lots of other people, and you sleep on deck with everyone else while the cabin boy keeps watch. Meals are peasant food, but they're delicious and filling. I played cards and told stories with the other passengers, and we talked about our travel experiences. Felucca is a leisurely trip down the Nile, with nights spent storytelling and listening to Nubian singers around campfires. I wouldn't have traded this experience for anything. Cost about $100 American for 3 days down the Nile, and that was pricey. Captain didn't speak a word of English, but the cabin boy spoke a little English, so it all worked out. Definitely take a felucca cruise if you have the time. Wonderful experience.

8. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

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South Africa
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9. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

Thank you for posting this website.

Hamilton, Canada
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10. Re: Sailing the Nile question - Cruise boat or Felucca

Can you go from Aswan to Luxor on a felucca tradional sail boat and if so how many days would it take? We are 10 people travelling and would enjoy that experience.