Freelancers, the Travel Designers
Egypt and Jordan
The Orient Dahabiya
ORIENT DAHABIYA


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ORIENT DAHABIYA
Dahabiya Nile Cruises - Deluxe

The Orient is based on the design of an original Dahabiya from the late 18th and early 19th century. This traditional two-masted boat is about 37m long and 7m wide and has two decks. The Dahabiya is powered by wind. Relying on the river currents and a gentle breeze, this is the traditional way to cruise the Nile. A small river tug can help if the natural elements fail. The boat is fully air-conditioned and heated with individual controls, an electric generator for electricity, water filters for fresh water supply and safety equipment.   
 
ACCOMMODATION
The accommodation on board the Orient consists of four comfortable, large cabins and one spacious suite. Cabins and suite all have air-conditioning and two large French windows overlooking the Nile. They are individually decorated with authentic oriental furniture. Every cabin has two large antique beds and a private bathroom with bath, shower and toilet. At the end of the central corridor is the slightly wider suite, which also has a small private terrace. The suite has one large double bed, a private bathroom with bath, shower and toilet.  
 
SALON AND DINING ROOM
At the front of the boat is the charming salon & dining room, with two large French windows on each side. Just like all the cabins, this area is fully air-conditioned. There is a large dining table where meals can be served. The salon also has a small library with books about the Nile and Egypt. With its comfortable sofas this is the perfect setting to end the day. Swap stories, share experiences, read a book or play a game of backgammon while enjoying a Turkish coffee or a glass of Alexandrian wine.  
 
SUN-DECK
The half-shaded sun-deck forms the heart of the Dahabiya, with chairs, a divan, daybeds and dining tables. This is the perfect place to lie in a wooden deckchair and lazily watch the landscape gliding by. Enjoy daily life on the riverbanks and watch the fishermen at work, while the wind fills the sails and the water flows along the bows.  
 
LIFE ON BOARD
Life on board a Dahabiya is peaceful and idyllic. The day has many pleasures. You can lie in a deckchair, read a book or watch children playing and women doing their washing. Every day there is a chance to walk around villages, visit local markets or explore Pharaonic monuments along the Nile.  
 
All meals, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, are freshly prepared on board and served on the sun-deck, in the dining room or on a beautiful spot on the banks of the Nile. There’s nothing better than an evening dining under the stars by the light of a campfire. You’ll find no flashing disco here, but it might be possible to attend a show by local musicians under a twinkling night sky.
 
SIGHTSEEING
Dahabiyas sail back and forth between Esna and Aswan. A high concentration of well-preserved and partly restored monuments can be found along this part of the Nile, including the famous temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo. The relatively small, manoeuvrable Dahabiyas are able to sail to less accessible monuments, islands in the river and villages along the banks, where the huge cruise ships never come or moor. All excursions to the monuments and entrance fees are included, with an English-speaking tour guide/Egyptologist. The same sites are visited in both directions.
 
El Kab
El Kab is one of the oldest settlements in Upper Egypt. Here are the temples and ruins of an ancient city, dedicated to the goddess Nekheb. The town site is surrounded by an impressive wall of mud brick. Since 1937 a team of Belgian archaeologists has been excavating in this area. There are also rock-cut tombs decorated with scenes of everyday life and the afterlife.
 
Edfu
The temple of Edfu is one of the largest temples in Egypt and was dedicated to the god Horus, the falcon god. For centuries, this temple was hidden under the desert sand, so it has been preserved almost intact. The great court, hypostyle halls and shrines are completely decorated with beautiful reliefs.
 
Gebel el Silsila
This is where the ancient quarries of Karnak and other temples are situated. Thousands of workers cut sandstone here to supply the pharaohs with their favourite material, used for building temples. The archaeological remains include a rock-temple of Horemheb and funerary chapels cut into the cliffs. Gebel el Silsila means ‘mountain of the chain’. The Nile river is at its narrowest here, therefore only Dahabiyas are able to moor at this location.
 
Kom Ombo
This unusual temple, the only double temple in Egypt, is dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek and Haroeris, the falcon-headed god. The main characteristic of this temple is its symmetry, with twin entrances, sanctuaries and hypostyle halls that are divided down the middle.
 
Daraw
Daraw was once the last stop of the legendary Forty Days Road between Sudan and Egypt. The famous camel market at Daraw is the only market in South Egypt. Merchants buy their camels here and truck them to Beqash, near Cairo. From there the camels are shipped all over North Africa and the Middle East.
 
Other stops
Every Dahabiya journey stops at different locations, to explore smaller sites and islands that others pass by. Guests have the opportunity to go for a walk, visit a local market or explore the Egyptian countryside.


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A Dahabiya is a traditional shallow-bottomed, barge-like vessel with two or more sails. Dahabiyas have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. They are usually wind driven. Nowadays, authentic Dahabiyas can accommodate up to twenty passengers or more, and are often fitted with motors as well as sails. Sailing on a Dahabiya is an out-of-the-ordinary journey.


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