Dahabillya on the Nile, Luxor, Egypt
(syn. Dahabillya, dahabeah, dahabeeyah, dahabiah, dahabiya, dahabiyah)
Travel companies, please call
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to advertise your Dahabillya Rental / Dahabillya Cruises (dahbailya cruises) on the Nile.
Please specify where in Egypt you sail - from Luxor, Cairo or Aswan or elsewhere.
A Dahabillya is traditional Egyptian Nile 'live-aboard' boat. Dahabillyas have cruised the Nile, in one form or another, for thousands of years. Boats of a similar design are pictured on the walls of the tombs of Egyptian Pharaohs, and the Muslim rulers of Egypt used similar boats, covered with gold, in the Middle Ages.
Before the advent of steam boats, and now the huge Nile cruisers, most travellers journeyed up the Nile in the comfort of a Dahabillya - a shallow-bottomed, barge-like sailing boat. In the 1920s-40s travellers would rent their Dahabillya for weeks at a time. The boats were beautifully crafted from wood, with a colonial / oriental / Egyptian decor, a comfortable cabin (4 - 10 cabins were usual), a bathroom, a chef and servants. A Dahabillya was then - and is now - a luxurious and satisfying way to travel in Egypt.
A Dahabillya trip is usually between Luxor and Aswan. During the journey the dahabillya stops at privately moorings along the banks of the Nile and at Nile islands en route. These days a typical Dahabillya trip takes 7 nights and takes in the major tourist attractions - which, given the gegraphy of Egypt, are all close to the river.
Today's Dahabillyas are made from wood or iron, with motors as well as sails, They come in many sizes, with accommodation for just two, or up to a dozen, passengers.