Never in my life had I thought that I would ever own a sailing ship like the dahabiya, not even in my dreams. I used to travel on ships when I lived in the South Pacific, but that wasn’t always pleasant, because sometimes I get seasick. A sailing ship on the Nile is a different story.
These boats are known to the Egyptians as launches. They are great service boats which are used to ferry guests across the Nile in Luxor.
The boats are 9 m long and 2.5 m wide and are equipped with a 45 Hp outboard motor. When there is no wind, we use them for day tours on the Nile around Luxor. Or they accompany our felucca from Luxor to Aswan and provide extra space and engine power for the no-wind days.
You can make yourself comfortable on the cushions and watch life on the riverbank go by, or take a seat on the roof of the boat to sunbathe or drink in the surroundings. It’s also a special experience to sleep on the roof of the motorship on a comfortable mattress with warm blankets.
The motorship is crewed by the skipper and the cook/helper. The cook prepares fresh, simple meals on a two-burner gas cooker. We use bottled water and carry soft drinks for our guests. Alcohol is available on request.
If you’d like to read my first-hand experience of a motorship cruise from Luxor to Aswan, take a look at my travel story: “150 miles of mangos and date palms”.