We’re sure you’ll have plenty of questions while you are planning your first Nile cruise on our dahabiya. Here is a convenient guide to the most common questions with our answers.

If you can’t find the answer to your question here, simply send us a mail. We’re happy to help, and we look forward to welcoming you to our dahabiya very soon!

Do I need an entry visa for my Nile cruise in Egypt?

Yes. All non-Egyptians wishing to enter Egypt must apply for a visa at the Egyptian embassy in their country. Depending on your nationality, you may also be able to get a visa at your arrival airport.

A relatively new option is to apply for an e-visa before you depart. The official site for this is visa2egypt.gov.eg (other sites charge high fees!). After some days, you should receive the e-visa by email and can then make several copies to take with you.

How much does an Egyptian visa cost?

The visa fee at the time of writing (November 2019) is US$ 25.00. If you get a visa at your arrival airport, you can also pay in your currency, although change is given in Egyptian pounds (LE).

What documents do I need to get a visa for my Nile cruise?

To enter Egypt you need a passport or personal ID card. Both documents must be valid for a further six months after your departure from Egypt.

To enter Egypt with a personal ID card, you also need to bring a copy of your personal ID and two separate passport photos.

As a general rule, you should always carry several copies of your personal documents.

Entries for children in their parents’ passports will not be accepted; children must have their own child’s passport.

What procedure will I have to go through at the airport when I enter the country to start my Nile cruise?

You will receive an entry card on the flight or at your arrival airport in Egypt. Complete the card and present it at the passport desk together with your personal ID and your visa label (see above).

How long is my visa valid?

A tourist visa that you buy online or at the airport is valid for one month.

If you decide to extend your stay in Egypt after the unique experience of a Nile cruise on our dahabiya, you can apply for a visa extension at the passport offices in the major tourist centers. You will need copies of the first page of your passport and of the page with the entry visa stamp, and passport photos.

What currencies are accepted on board our dahabiya and our other Nile boats?

The official currency of the country is the Egyptian pound (EGP or LE). An Egyptian pound has 100 piastres (pt).

We accept Egyptian pounds, Euros, US Dollars and UK Sterling on board the dahabeya ABUNDANCE, the felucca A NEW LIFE and the motor cruiser JAQUELINE.

Where can I change money on a Nile cruise?

You can change money in all major tourist centers. Cash can be changed at banks or bureaux de change.

When you change money ask for small notes, as small change (see below) for small purchases and tips is generally rare.

Where can I find ATMs during my Nile cruise?

Cash machines (ATMs) can be found at many banks and even large hotels. Avoid ATMs on the street, as they are often unreliable. We will be happy to point out suitable ATMs during our cruise excursions.

Many Egyptian ATMs only allow withdrawal of a maximum of 2000 EGP (approx. €95.00) but permit up to four repeat withdrawals. If you try to enter a higher amount you may see a message that your account is overdrawn.

Will I need small change during my Nile cruise?

If you wish to go shopping or take a taxi you will need small-denomination notes or coins. Traders or taxi drivers often cannot give change for larger notes (100 LE upwards). We therefore advise carrying small notes (5 LE, 10 LE, 20 LE) or 1 LE coins (e.g. to buy packets of tissues sold by children on the streets).

What temperatures can I expect on a Nile cruise?

The winter months (November to February) in Egypt can be cold and windy. Spring (March, April) tends to be mild, but the summer months (May to October) can be hot or even very hot.

In winter, daytime temperatures range from 10°C to 30°C depending on location.

Spring temperatures are very pleasant, usually between 25°C and 35°C. In summer the temperature may soar to 45°C. However, it is always slightly cooler on Nile cruise ships.

Can I swim in the Nile during my Nile cruise?

Yes, but you need to pick your spot. It is not advisable to swim in the canals or too near the bank; this will place you at risk of bacterial infections or other diseases (bilharzia).

However, there are many places where you can swim without worries. The captain of the dahabiya will point out suitable places to you during the cruise.

Are there rules of etiquette that I need to observe during my stay in Egypt?

Like every other country in the world, Egypt also has a range of norms and customs that should be followed by travellers.

As a general rule, if you are courteous and open with the locals you will receive a warm welcome.

Some tips on how to behave

  • Avoid public displays of affection in Egypt. Same-sex relationships should not be demonstrated in public.
  • Do not drink alcohol in public, but only in bars, restaurants and on the Nile cruise ships.
  • Drugs of all kinds are strictly prohibited. These include specific prescription drugs (in western countries) such as Tramadol.
  • Photography is not always welcomed. Make sure to ask politely, “mumkin sura?” (may I take a photo?) in advance. In museums, comply with any signs shown. Never take photos of military personnel, police, government buildings, bridges, factories or other state buildings (e.g. schools).
  • Try to avoid discussing politics and do not express any opinions in public (including social media) about problems in the country.
  • Always wear appropriate clothing (see below).

What clothing is appropriate for women during a Nile cruise in Egypt?

  • Dressing conservatively is best and will avoid attracting unwanted attention.
  • Wear light, loose linen or cotton pants or a below-the-knee skirt and a shirt with elbow-length sleeves.
  • If you go out for dinner to a restaurant, especially an upmarket one, or on a cruise ship, dress elegantly and take a scarf to cover your shoulders.
  • During the cruise the dahabiya is your home, and we want you to feel comfortable there. You can dress to suit your taste and wellbeing.
  • Comfortable sturdy shoes are essential (sturdy sports shoes or leather shoes) if you plan to walk or hike. Otherwise you can wear sandals or flip-flops.

What clothing is appropriate for men on a Nile cruise?

It’s simpler for men: long pants or bermudas, a shirt or T-shirt.

What should I take along for my Nile cruise?

You should always bring the following items along for your Nile cruise:

  • Sun hat
  • Sun cream with high SPF
  • Insect repellent
  • Travel first aid kit and any medication you need to take regularly. (Please observe the import regulations for prescription drugs, e.g. opiates and opioids.)
  • Shoes you can wear in the water, or hiking shoes
  • Camera or video camera and any accessories you need to capture the stunning scenery you will experience during your cruise on the Nile and on excursions
  • Small flashlight
  • Small day pack for excursions during your Nile cruise
  • Appropriate clothing for the season

Who should I tip?

Your service staff in a restaurant and the ship’s crew.

In other cases (e.g. taxi, horse-drawn carriage, tuktuk) you should agree on the price in advance. It often already includes a tip.

How much should I tip?

A tip is a gift and should be given for good service. We suggest 10% of the restaurant bill.

I would like to enjoy a Nile cruise as a single woman. Is Egypt safe for women travelling alone?

Women are treated with respect in Egypt, and you will be perfectly safe. However, care is naturally advised; you should make sure other people are in the vicinity and always dress conservatively.

Do not accept offers of rides. Only use official taxis, which you can identify by their signs.

Your complete safety is naturally guaranteed on our dahabiya and our other Nile cruise ships and during tours and excursions during the Nile cruises.

Do I need to take any health precautions during a Nile cruise?

To ensure nothing spoils the supreme experience of your cruise on the Nile on our dahabeya, we recommend:

  • Do not drink tap water.
  • Do not over-exert yourself.
  • Drink plenty – but please avoid chilled drinks in hot weather.
  • Take care not to eat too much. The new dishes and culinary skills of our chef on the dahabeya are very tempting, but too much places additional stress on the body.
  • When you return from an excursion, we suggest you have a cup of tea on the deck of the dahabiya to acclimatize before returning to your air-conditioned cabin.

What about hygiene in Egypt and on the Nile cruise?

Hygiene is naturally no problem during our cruises.

Wash your hands regularly while travelling and use paper handkerchiefs to dry them. Do not use wet wipes.

The service water supply on the dahabeya goes through two filters. We use mineral water for cooking. We serve you mineral water from sealed bottles.

Is WiFi available on the dahabiya during the Nile cruise?

Yes, we provide free WiFi to our guests on the dahabiya ABUNDANCE.

How eco-friendly is a dahabiya cruise down the Nile?

Low-impact, sustainable tourism is a high priority for us.

Preserving and protecting the natural environment and beauty of the Nile Valley is extremely important to us. To avoid impacting on the environment during our cruises, we never leave waste behind. Our ships provide bags for toilet paper and other hygiene items, which we then dispose of. We collect water bottles and drink cans. Organic kitchen waste is composted at our home port.