Nile Dahabya Cruise History
The Nile Dahabya is an Arabic word that means "golden boat". It is an imitation of the gold painted boats used by the Pharaohs and nobility of ancient Egypt. Travelers in the 19th century were using Nile dahabyas to cruise the nile. It was the most popular back then.
Amelia B. Edwards, author of "A Thousand Miles up the Nile", had many details about Nile Dahabyas. She had to choose from 200 Dahabyas offered for rent at Cairo Nile harbor.
It was used by Victorian travelers who first began to explore the ancient land of Egypt as tourists.
Egyptologists and early explorers used Nile Dahabya to reach archaeological sites. Their pictographs and literature describes these magical journeys so well.
Egyptian royalty and upper class were frequent passengers on those Nile Dahabyas.
Steamships came to existence in 1860. This caused Nile Dahabyas to lose their dominance on the Nile. Most Dahabyas got scrapped while others turned into house boats.
Today, only about five of these boats are in operation. They belong to heirs from that age.
Traveling on a Dahabya never lost its feel of an exceptional ambience.
Dahabya is a small sail boat with no more than 10 cabins. This size of a boat gives the feeling you are sailing into the past.
Dahabya has less rigid schedule and can have customized itineraries. While at the same time offering many of the amenities of the larger Nile cruisers. They can also land at sites that are for the most part impossible for the larger Nile Cruisers to dock. But of course, the real lure of these boats is their nostalgia.