Photo Story: Sailing the Nile River on an Egyptian Felucca

By Mark Wiens 31 Comments

Lounging around in a traditional jellibaya, sipping on tea and gnawing on dates while peacefully slicing through the Nile River with mist lightly dampening my face, was a dream come true (slightly opposite of crazy Cairo)!

We set out from Aswan for a 3 day, 2 night felucca (Egyptian Nile sailboat) trip, desperately searching for a few days to gather our thoughts, inspire our ideas and enjoy the beauty of Egypt’s lifeline.

The entire felucca trip was crafted with relaxation in mind and flowing with Egyptian hospitality.

Our boat was outfitted with mattress pads covering the entire surface of the sailboat and the staff attempted to meet all of our needs.  We slowly sailed against wind, having to zig zag our way back and forth to make progress while slicing through the current.

Real sailing was only a few hours per day, but even during anchored down time, the slight current from the Nile ripples offered a rocking dosage of rest and relaxation.

Hope you enjoy these pictures (details on how you can enjoy a Nile River felucca trip at the bottom)!

nile-felucca

nile-sailboat

felucca-ropes

sailboat-sail

nubian-captain

felucca-captain

felucca-rope

sailing-egypt

nile-river-bank

rope

nile-river-buffalo

nile-helper

arabic-bread

food-nile-egypt

felucca-anchor

egyptian-boys-nile

nile-village

egypt-donkey-ride

nile-river-egypt

nile-river-cruise

How you can have a Nile River Felucca trip:

I heard many stories of tourist’s organizing long felucca trips with captains on the side of the river, only to end up having to turn around or simply not satisfied with their journey.

We haggled around for the best price, joked and made friends with the staff at the Noorhan Hotel where we were staying and eventually agreed on a package deal for 3 days, 2 nights.  We began our trip in Aswan and ended in Luxor.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

We got a very good deal for 115 LE all inclusive (not entrance to the temples).  Expect to pay anywhere from 115 LE to 175 LE for the tour.  My only complaint was that there were too many people on the boat, but with the price we paid, we weren’t complaining!

Other Tips:

Hope you have as good of a time as I did on a Nile River felucca sailing trip!

– Migration Mark

31 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Gaston

    5 years ago

    Hello Mark, what a great blog! With my wife, we are planning to do a similar trip. 5 years have passed from yours, and things have changed on Egypt…
    Do you still recommend us to do this trip?
    In Aswan, do you think is worth going to a guest house? Or is better to stay in a hotel.
    Thanks in advance for your advice!!!!
    Gaston

  • ashwin

    8 years ago

    Hi,

    Is it easy to get people to share a felucca with? I am a single traveler,so I’m concerned if I’ll be able to find a group.

    • Mark Wiens

      8 years ago

      Hi Ashwin, I think the best way is to go through a guest house, that way they can get you on a shared felucca. Other than that, I’m not sure how to set up a shared boat.

  • Mark Wiens

    10 years ago

    @Joan: You are welcome, and thanks for checking it out! I’m sure spending 5 days on the felucca was even more incredible! I didn’t want to get off after my 2 days. And you are totally right about the greatest joy, the entire journey was priceless!

  • joan mckniff

    10 years ago

    thanks for brilliant pictures and happy memories. a friend and i met up with 6- 8 others, 5 counties, for 5 day, 4 night felucca sail on smaller boat in 1994. biggest surprise: how cold it could get at night on deck. greatest joy: impossible to name one…the whole experience, the sunrises, sunsets, stopping when wanted, camaraderie, the Egyptian people and cultures. readers: don’t put this off til “later”

  • John

    10 years ago

    Pictures looking really very beautiful, thanks for sharing it with us …………..

  • Rebecca

    10 years ago

    Would love to do this! GREAT photos!

  • PNR Enquiry

    10 years ago

    Wow, Amazing series of adventure shots!

  • greg urbano

    10 years ago

    great series of shot, real adventurous!

  • LeslieTravel

    10 years ago

    What a journey! Love the photos– they really tell a story about the experience.

  • gregurbano

    10 years ago

    fantastic series of adventure shots!

  • Dave and Deb

    10 years ago

    Nice Job Mark! We loved our Felucca time in Egypt. I can see you did too!

  • Kristina

    10 years ago

    Amazing photos! You had one heck of an adventure and swam in the Nile. Way to go! Haha bring toilet paper indeed.

  • Mark Wiens

    10 years ago

    @John: Thanks so much for looking!

    @Michael: It’s definitely worth the trip, you will have a great, relaxing time!

    @Cam: Yes, there was nothing like a few days of tomb chasing and then being able to peacefully sail down the Nile for a few days!

  • Cam

    10 years ago

    Great photo blog! Some very artsy pics. We didn’t get a chance to sail the nile during our visit, it looks like you had a great trip! 😉

  • Michael Figueiredo

    10 years ago

    Beautiful photos! It looks like quite an adventure. Sailing the Nile #1 on my list of things I want to do in my lifetime 🙂

  • jamie

    10 years ago

    great post! the shots are incredible.
    was the name of the boat “white” or did they paint that on so that colour-blind people could determine the colour of the boat?

  • John in France

    10 years ago

    Congratulations on these magnificent photos, and for sharing them with us!

  • Mark Wiens

    10 years ago

    @Breville: Awesome, hope you have a chance to visit the Nile someday!

    @Lisa: Thanks so much Lisa!

    @Sofia: Sailing (when you are not the one doing the work) is on another level of relaxation! I enjoyed every moment!

    @eat-laugh-love-anon: Very cool! You will have a great time!

    @Robin: I enjoyed many many bowls, and they cooked the fuul extremely well on the felucca!

    @Inka: Thank you! Appreciate the kind comment!

    @Bethany: Yes, we haggled down for a very decent price and it was worth every Egyptian pound!

    @Adam: Those mattresses were extremely comfortable, other boats could really learn some lessons!

    @Cathy: Thanks so much!

    @Jeremy: It was awesome! Thanks for checking it out!

  • Jeremy B

    10 years ago

    Great photos! Sounds like a great river trip down the Nile!

  • Cathy Sweeney

    10 years ago

    Captivating photos and great tips. Would love to have that experience.

  • Adam

    10 years ago

    Looks and sounds lovely! Great recap and pictures. All boats should adopt the mattresses policy; what a great idea!

  • Bethany

    10 years ago

    Wow – looks very cool! I can’t believe how cheap too! Swimming in the Nile sounds exciting. Love the pics too.

  • inka

    10 years ago

    I admire your knack for taking fantastic shots of details. With your camera you make a know into a work of art.

  • Robin

    10 years ago

    Aah…a lovely bowl of fuul….:)

  • eat-laugh-love-anon

    10 years ago

    Wow. What a fabulous trip and what fantastic photos!
    Egypt and the Nile are definitely on my to-do list.

  • Sofia

    10 years ago

    I love your photos, I like how you capture the small details! Would love to do some sailing to one day.

  • Lisa E @chickybus

    10 years ago

    Great shots..wow! I especially love the one of the man’s hands and the rope. Great contrast. But I also love many others, including the people shots and the final one.

    I went to Egypt many years ago and would love to return after seeing your photos!

  • BrevilleBJE200XL

    10 years ago

    This is an interesting trip, and it’s one of my dreams to visit the Nile River.