3 independent reviews for Nile felucca cruise in Egypt

Reviews for Nile felucca cruise in Egypt

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review 22 May 2018

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

Sailing the Nile with your own Felucca. Late morning on Saturday 5 May 2018 our driver drops us, father and daughter, off on the banks of the river Nile somewhere north of Aswan. There is our Felucca, the traditional wooden sailing boat that Egyptians have used for thousands of years to transport people and goods up and down the river Nile. We meet our crew: Hesham, the young captain, and Karim, the guide, cook and co-captain. The first sentences are “Welcome to the boat. This is now your boat.” Wow, I am a passionate world sailor and traveller. What a feeling not to be a tourist, but the adventurer that now will explore on this new Felucca the secrets of the river Nile with that smiling and experienced crew.In no time, Hesham and Karim have stowed away our baggage, served the tea and off go the lines and we are underway. The breeze is light and most of the work is done by the current. The water level is high, but not at its peak. I estimate the current at 3 knots. The feeling is amazing, from bewilderment settling into our new home to the total deceleration from our modern loud and busy life. It is so calm, so quiet. Occasionally the donkey screams, the muezzin calls and the kids splash into the Nile. We beach the Felucca on an island in the middle of the Nile. There are gazing cows, birds, the night falls and we have candle light dinner. It is amazing what Karim produces on his little stove. All local produces, Egyptian delicacies. The crew tailors to our needs as far as our hygiene is concerned. There is the mobile toilet, the fresh water and the cleanliness on the boat. We sleep under the stars. The voyage continues with us stopping from time to time to visit the temples, the villages, the markets … And our advantage is that we can stop at places off the beaten track and we can play it by ears. We are free. When the wind typically picks up in the afternoon, we tack up the Nile northbound. There is only the sound of the gargling water and the tenderness of the soft breeze. We pass the green fields, the palm trees all with the desert mountains in the background, the reed, the fishermen harassing the fish into their nets, the cows, donkeys, villages. All is passing by like in a slow movie. It is our boat, so I take the rudder. What an exhilarating feeling it is to see the Felucca working its way upwind thanks to its one big lateen sail. That Egyptian invention changed the trade routes, built fortunes and changed the world. Midterm, a strong storm is forecast. We dig the Felucca in at a safe place on the river bank. I arrange a private transport. We fight our way on the desert road through the wall of the sand storm. In Luxor the weather clears up and we experience the overwhelming art and artistry decorating the Pharaohs’ tombs in the Valley of the Kings. How elegant, what finesse! When we return the next day, our Felucca is ready again, spot clean and that after the sand storm. We have the sail of the century. There is a fresh breeze and the Felucca starts flying. We spent in total five nights on our Felucca and we made it from Aswan to Esna, where we were picked up again for the drive back to the airport. We were quite impressed to have made it that far. You never know as you are dependent on the currents and winds, but that is part of the experience. Our sail with the Felucca was a special experience. When I dig into why, it has to do with that the boat became ours, the trip was ours and we had Hesham and Karim as new friends who helped us to make the best out of it. We sailed when we could, I was amazed by their skills in navigating the current. Hesham and Karim spoiled us with amazing food, magnificent hidden spots, for ever tea, laughters and stories.

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

If you want an authentic Nile experience off the beaten track, charter your private Felucca! They call their Felucca “Freedom Nile”. Very adequate.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely. Chartering the Felucca "Freedom Nile" supports an Egyptian family directly. We used the river current and wind, supplies from local markets, local drivers on our visits. We behaved respectfully when visiting the villages and meeting the locals.

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

Spectacular. Probably it is not for everyone. You need to want an authentic experience that will take you into a different world, out of your routine and comfort zone. It is well worth it.

review 10 Apr 2018

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

Egypt was beautifully chaotic, dusty and dirty and a treasure to behold. The most amazing part of this was the relaxing, quiet 2 days spent on the Felucca sailing the magnificent Nile. We felt completely looked after, all our needs met and especially great food from cook Ramadon and expert guidance from guide Hesham. Want to thank Captain Hesain for his expert sailing and the special trip to his home. Much appreciated.

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

Be aware that it is not 5 star comfort - which is exactly what we wanted and what we loved about it. Wash in the Nile, bathroom set up on the side of the river and sleeping in your clothes. The experience was amazing and exactly what we wanted, quiet, peaceful, reflective beauty.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I do feel it did and I hope it did, this is why I booked here. I felt comfortable that we were less of a tourist venture (as so much of Egypt is) and more of a local experience.

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

I would use this company again, I loved the experience as did my kids - really was the highlight. Thank you team you did a great job.

review 29 Mar 2016

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

Waking up as the sun rose over the milky waters of the Nile was pretty incredible. Walking on the sandy banks and washing as the fishermen and farmers arrived for their work was truly magical.

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

Bring some mosquito repellent and a sheet or sleeping bag liner. The blankets provider are warm but you'd want something between you and them. Wake up for sunrise. Be prepared for plans to change slightly as wind and currents are your masters.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

You only need to watch the huge cruisers pass you by to realise how lucky you are to be sailing with no engine, no other tourists and local sailors/guides. Food is fresh and bought at markets as you travel. The money is going straight to the staff.

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

The felucca part of our Egypt trip was a definite highlight. I could have camped on the Nile for many more days, aimlessly drifting and relaxing.

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