Egypt, Travel

Sailing the Nile on a Felucca

April 22, 2016

sailing the nile

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Four days of heavy sightseeing and one of those days being up at 3:30 AM, I was ready for a day of relaxing and doing nothing. The felucca ride was the perfect rest day in a fully packed schedule. We arrived at the dock and quickly got ourselves settled in for our day on the Nile. Since we were a large group, we were split onto two boats. The boats are long and shallow. Sitting on deck were large pieces of what I assumed was foam covered in sheets and blankets pulled tight to create a comfortable area to sit or lay down on. Overhead is a shade to protect you from the sun. The boats are simple, and there are no facilities on board, but a support boat would follow us for our meals and bathroom breaks. We set out from Aswan and headed north. Here is the video I shot throughout the day on the felucca.

YouTube video

Sailing the Nile on a Felucca

Some people asked me afterward if I found it boring, but it wasn’t boring in the least! I really enjoyed watching the scenery change along the way and seeing how people lived along the Nile. I loved seeing the green at the water’s edge and then the desert rising up behind it. Because it wasn’t high tourist season in Egypt, there were not lots of boats on the water, and it was quiet most of the day. It was wonderful to feel the wind and sun on my skin.

Sailing the Nile on a Felucca

We docked to eat lunch at an area with a small beach. Unfortunately, the water was too cold to swim despite having brought my swimsuit. I did put my feet in the water, though. I could go all the way to Egypt and not put my feet in the Nile!

Sailing the Nile on a Felucca

Most of us napped, took photos, read, or sketched the day away. The sailors had music playing out of a speaker that was in the shape of a dinosaur. Unfortunately, I failed to get a picture of the dinosaur. There was lots of Bob Marley played! I never did figure out the obsession with Bob Marley. In the video, you can see a Bob Marley flag with the Egyptian flag.

Sailing the Nile on a Felucca

We sailed until sunset. We then docked with the support boat and the other felucca for dinner and our overnight on the felucca. Both meals on board were simple Egyptian fare, but very good and there was lots of it. We had lots of options for drinks including beer and wine. The feluccas were wrapped in fabric by the crew for us for sleeping. It was still chilly at night in Egypt at this point, and this helped keep it warm. Although part way through the night, I had to get in my sleeping bag to keep warm. The only annoying thing was that large river cruise boats kept going by and rocking our boats. We could also hear the train going by. I was really glad I brought my noise canceling headphones! You do sleep on the deck with everyone on the boat and the crew sleeps on the support boat or underneath the deck of the felucca.

Sailing the Nile on a Felucca

I could have easily spent a few days sailing up the Nile on one of these feluccas. My tips for having a successful sail up the Nile are to layer your clothes, especially in winter, as it was cool in the morning and evening, but warm during the day. Bring your own snacks, earplugs to combat train noise and snoring fellow travelers, something to read, and an easy going attitude! I enjoyed this sail so much, it is what inspired me to go on the two-week sailing trip to Greece.

Have you been on a sailing trip that you loved?

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  • Reply Luke April 22, 2016 at 4:10 pm

    I did this a few years ago as part of a 9 day tour. I think I had 2 nights and I reckon I could have done another 2! So relaxing, and such beautiful scenery that goes by at a stead pace. Thankfully it was plenty warm for us to swim when I went in the middle of summer.

    • Reply Tiffany April 22, 2016 at 4:11 pm

      I would have want to swim if it had been warmer. I am jealous you got two nights!

  • Reply Karen Arrighi April 22, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    What an amazing trip – the blog continues to be great. travel safely and have fun!

    • Reply Tiffany April 22, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you Karen! See you this summer!

  • Reply Tami Tales April 23, 2016 at 10:34 am

    This sounds amazing! I really want to visit Egypt soon, and when I do I will defo add this to my itinerary.

    • Reply Tiffany April 23, 2016 at 11:08 am

      It was so amazing. All of it. I hope you get to go soon!

  • Reply Marcy April 24, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    This experience sounds fantastic, and I liked your description of the land right near the river and the change to the desert. I did a sailing trip in Greece, too, that I really loved. We sailed from island to island during the days, and then stayed in the harbors during the afternoon and nights, with time to explore the islands and have dinner on land.

    • Reply Tiffany April 24, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      It was! Thank you. That is what I will be doing in Greece. I hope you loved it. I can’t wait to go.

  • Reply Ellen Best April 25, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Hi A Lovely blog you have. I am pleased to virtually meet you. I am enjoying my visit, but my husband is looking over my shoulder sulking. He completed the first Arc race and sailed around the world with Knox Johnson in the late nineties. Your blog made him hanker for hot bunking and I heard him whine a little, I am sure I saw a wet drop on his cheek. Now he is recanting his three months spent on a 1912 old schooner, he delivered after sailing from Southampton and finishing in Raffles Marina. I will be back to search your archives and dream of sunnier climes. Thank you.

    • Reply Tiffany April 25, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      Hi! Thank you so much! Well, don’t tell your husband, but I am going on a two-week sailing trip around the Greek islands in September. I will be on board a 60 foot bareboat sailboat. I can’t wait! Although, his experiences sound way more thrilling than my experiences. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you like the rest of the blog.

  • Reply fromdreamtoplan April 27, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Beautiful pictures and post! It definitely seemes a nice trip to do!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Reply Tiffany April 27, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Thank you! It was lovely and I would do it again!

  • Reply travelingaddress May 4, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Nice trip, one day i will go to sail the Nile too! it was in my to do list as a kid but then, there was a lot of unrest in the country so it was postponed to a later date.

    • Reply Tiffany May 4, 2016 at 5:03 pm

      Thank you! You will love it.

  • Reply Sailing the Greek Islands - Arrival and the Boat | A Girl and Her PassportA Girl and Her Passport January 2, 2017 at 11:00 am

    […] Islands, they thought I was going on a cruise, but they were wrong! Inspired by sailing up the Nile in Egypt, I decided to find another sailing adventure. I wanted to be close to the water and for more than a […]

  • Reply April Munday March 16, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    What a great experience. Stupidly, I had no idea that the desert is that close to the river, or that the river runs through the desert, whichever way round it is.

    • Reply Tiffany March 16, 2017 at 9:03 pm

      Not sure which way around it is either. It is pretty amazing to see it though.

  • Reply Emmalene May 11, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I’ve never done a sailing trip but it certainly appeals to me now! Great post Tiffany

    • Reply Tiffany May 11, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      I definitely recommend it! Thanks

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