Freelancers, the Travel Designers
Egypt and Jordan
The Zekrayat Dahabiya
ZEKRAYAT DAHABIYA


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ZEKRAYAT DAHABIYA
Dahabiya Nile Cruises - Deluxe

Zekrayaat follows the design of an original Dahabiya from the late 18th and early 19th century. This traditional two-masted boat is about 39m 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 and safety equipment.   
 
ACCOMMODATION
Zekrayaat can comfortably accommodate up to 12 guests in four spacious, tasteful decorated cabins and two larger suites, each with a private terrace. All cabins and suites are air-conditioned and individually decorated with antique oriental furniture and Egyptian fabrics. The cabins each have two large antique beds, French windows and a private bathroom with bath, shower and toilet. At the end of the central corridor are both suites. Each suite has an antique double bed, a private bathroom with bath, shower and toilet, French windows and a private terrace overlooking the Nile.   
 
SALON AND DINING ROOM
The fully air-conditioned salon & indoor dining room at the front of the boat is furnished with comfortable sofas, a large dining table and a small library. Meals can be served here as well. This cosy area with two large French windows on each side is the perfect place to end the day. Meet your fellow travellers, read stories about Egypt and the Nile or enjoy a Turkish coffee or a glass of Alexandrian wine.   
 
SUN-DECK
On the upper deck is the sun-deck, an ample open and shaded space, with wooden deckchairs, daybeds and dining tables. From every angle there are fantastic views over the Nile and rural life in the villages along the riverbanks. Usually guests spent most of their time here. Relax on a deckchair, read a book or enjoy delicious Egyptian meals, prepared by our creative chef.   
 
LIFE ON BOARD
Life on board of a Dahabiya is peaceful and idyllic.The day is full of things to look forward to. You can lie in a deckchair reading a book or watching the children playing and women doing their washing on the riverbanks. 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. Nothing can beat 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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