Itineraries > Africa itineraries > Felucca cruise on the Nile

A felucca cruise is a great way to experience the life source of Egypt: the Nile.

Understand edit

Feluccas on the Nile near Luxor

A felucca (Arabic: فلوكة, Falūka) is a traditional wooden sailboat and relies on wind and river currents for propulsion. It can be a slow experience, but that's half the point. All meals will be taken on the boat, and you sleep on the boat when night temperatures can drop dramatically.

Prepare edit

The most convenient place to begin a felluca boat trip is Aswan. The felluca trip will be personally arranged with a boatman. They leave whenever they are available for your convenience. Contact the boatmen on the Corniche and make personal arrangements. It is best to have a sleeping bag with you to use to keep warm at night (this is especially important in the winter - it can be very cold at night) otherwise you can ask your boatman to help you purchase a blanket in a local market.

If you are a solo traveler, you can approach your hostel or a middleman on the corniche and ask to join a group. Be assertive that you will not ride with more than 8 people plus crew; anything more is going to be pretty tight for sleeping. Six or seven is preferable. The trip shouldn't cost much more than 60LE per night.

A possible better solution is to get three or four people together (ask around at your hostel) and approach the felucca captain directly. Make sure that you are dealing with the captain himself and not a middleman; many middlemen troll the corniche and act like captains. You will likely be able to negotiate a price that's better for everyone.

Ask to see the boat and decide for yourself whether or not you are comfortable with the boat and the captain. If you ask about the boatman from a hotel - they will take a commission, so it is cheaper to work directly with the boatmen.

The arrangements will include food, and transportation from Edfu to Luxor. The three day trip will include a tour of a Nubian Village, stops at Kom Ombo, and Edfu.

Get in edit

Bring a sleeping bag for sleeping on the boat, because it gets cold. Drinking water is a good idea, along with any other beverages or small snacks you may want. Sun screen is a good idea, as the sun on the water is intense even in winter.

Float edit

The traditional felucca ride sails for three day and two nights to Kom Ombo, then minibus service runs to Edfu and on to Luxor. A one day trip on the felluca is possible, but it will only be a round trip, and a short visit to a local village. If you have a group together, you could also try a two-night trip to Edfu, or even more.

Stay safe edit

Bring xerox copies of your passport to give your fellucaman, they need copies to get a license from the police for taking tourists down river.

Go next edit

Transportation to Aswan from Luxor includes train, and airplane. Convoys have been eliminated, so travel is easier. Getting from your felluca trip to Luxor will be provided by your boatman. Sometimes travel from the river to Edfu is on local buses, which is lots of fun.

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