Nile cruises, 19th century style

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Departure information

Your holiday / vacation can be arranged at any time to suit you, and adapted to your requirements. The duration of the cruise can be as short as 3 nights and as long as 5 nights
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Nile cruises, 19th century style

Setting back in time is an experience that most will never and could never have. Sailing on a dahabia is like stepping back in time as they offer an antique passage in an antique land. Even if one takes a restored steam ship on the Mississippi, the modern world is still all around, but in Egypt, on one of these old cruisers, one really does seem to travel back in time and enjoy a soul searching experience. Also this type of cruising on the Nile depends on locals form the Southern side of Egypt and gives an employment opportunity regardless of their educational background and also helps keep old sailing traditions to survive rather than be wiped away by modern navigation machines.

As the program of the Dahabia is very flexible and its size allows it to stop by small villages and gives the traveller a chance to learn more about the local life in the south and may be even contribute positively to it. In the past 10 years many of our travellers kept ties with some of the places they visited and extended what we call bridges between cultures where both sides have learnt a lot about the world around them.

Reviews of Nile cruises, 19th century style

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 15 Jan 2011 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


1) The amazing sites of ancient Egyptian civilisation very well commented and
made to come alive by our very good guides Joseph and Mohamed from the operator.

2) The trip on a dhabia boat along the Nile for the beauty of the scenery but
also the quality of the service and facilities on board

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Book through this operator; don't go from Cairo to Luxor on the overnight
sleeper (our idea) as very uncomfortable, nor from Aswan to Abou Simbel by
convoy: The convoy races through the desert, you're not allowed to stop at
all you only get 2 hours at the site (for a total of 6 hours driving!) and if
you are unlucky, like us you'll get a lousy driver to boot. So: fly everywhere.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Difficult to say for such a short holiday. Re impact on the environment: we were
led to believe that dhabias SAIL down the Nile but in fact we were tugged all
the way by smelly tugboats - official explanation: not enough wind, but the sail
of the dhabia did seem disproportinately small for the vessel and we did get the
distinct impression picking up bits of conversation that they never really sail.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent, we were extremely well looked after by staff.

Read the operator's response here:

We always appreciate the views of our travelers and take all their points in consideration . As for the dahabias , through the past years all the dahabias we have used and had our travelers sail on have actually had tug boats as it is a requirement by the river police to have tug boats to secure continuos sailing and performing programs .

Reviewed on 23 Feb 2007 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The best part of the holiday was the Dahabia. A fantastic boat - the Royal Cleopatra - and a real privilege to be able to moor at such unspoilt places. It meant we could go to unusual sites, such as the sandstone quarry and a camel market, as well as walk on some islands in the Nile. All fascinating.

All the sites that we visited were brought to life by our excellent guide, too. The food was all delicious - Egyptian dishes using local ingredients.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Try and go on an individual boat like this. It is more expensive, but it is a truly remarkable experience. The cruise boats looked so big and brash in comparison. And, if given the option, definitely have a guide on the boat with you, as it was a real bonus being able to ask about all sorts of aspects of Egyptian life.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


It definitely seemed to benefit local people, and the boat especially seemed a locally-run concern, with Egyptian employees. Impact on the environment seemed minimal as the way of life on the boat was so simple, with very little water wastage and all local food.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Between 4 and 5 star - one of the best holidays we've ever had, and will definitely be back, especially to the sites of upper Egypt. My children, aged 13 and 11, and 72 year-old mother all loved it too, so it is very well suited to a wide age range.

This operator organised every aspect very well. The only glitch concerned an internal flight, which was no-one's fault. Can thoroughly recommend it to anyone.

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