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Sonesta Dahabiya Amirat

Nile, Egypt

Launched in 2009, the Sonesta Dahabiya Amirat has been designed and furnished in an old-fashioned style and operates seven-night Nile cruises between Luxor and Aswan. A small and authentic sailing boat, the Amirat has just five cabins and two suites.

At a Glance

  • Docks outside cities overnight for a more peaceful experience

  • A sailing boat with no engine

  • Cruises start and end on a Saturday

  • Five cabins and two suites: maximum occupancy of the boat is 15

  • Stops at local islands for lunch and to explore

  • There is a Jacuzzi on the main deck

  • The cabins have twin beds while the suites have double four-poster beds

Cruise, Couples, Culture, Honeymoon

Insider's View

Robert De Niro was the boat's first guest, in 2009

Clare Monro

Insider's View

There is a tug boat which pulls the Dahabiya along for 50 meters before it sets sail

Clare Monro

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Sonesta Dahabiya Amirat or take a look at our itineraries to Nile


The Sonesta Dahabiya Amirat is a small barge-like sailing boat on the River Nile with five cabins and two suites, operating seven-night cruises between Luxor and Aswan. It has an intimate atmosphere and can either be taken exclusively or on a shared basis.

The boat was launched in 2009 but has been designed to give it an old-fashioned feel with antique furniture in the public areas, taking guests back to the early 20th Century. The Sonesta Dahabiya Amirat is just one deck high, with the cabins and suites on the inside and flat on top, which keeps the boat traditionally light to make for faster sailing. There are five cabins, all furnished with twin beds, and two suites which are furnished with double four-poster beds. Each cabin has an en-suite bathroom, equipped with a full-sized bathtub, and the suites, located at the back of the boat, have spacious balconies.

All meals are included in the cruise, and are served either on the roof of the boat or on a local island meaning that guests get to explore and have greater flexibility than on a larger cruise boat. There is a bar serving soft and alcoholic drinks, an area where guests can relax and sunbathe, and a Jacuzzi uniquely designed to fit into an old carriage.

The Sonesta Dahabiya Amirat operates 'lazy sailing', from sunrise to sunset and moors privately overnight outside the towns and cities along the Nile, meaning that it is much more peaceful and there are no streetlights nearby.

The itinerary operated by the Sonesta Dahabiya Amirat takes seven days, sailing from Saturday to Saturday and either from Aswan to Luxor or vice versa. The sightseeing takes in all of the main places of interest along the Nile between the two cities, including Philae Temple and the Aswan High Dam, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Esna, Karnak and Luxor Temples, and Luxor's West Bank where the Valley of the Kings is located. The Dahabiya uses hand-picked Egyptologists to give guests the best possible experience and small groups mean that sightseeing is as personal as possible.


There are five cabins and two suites, each with an en-suite bathroom with full-sized bathtub. The cabins are furnished with twin beds and the suites have double four-poster beds. As the Sonesta Dahabiya Amirat's suites are at the back of the boat, they have private balconies. Cabins and suites also have color televisions with satellite boxes, minibars, safety deposit boxes, hair dryers, air-conditioning and telephones.


There is a fully-equipped kitchen and breakfast, lunch and dinner are served either on the top deck or on a local island. All food is included in the rate, and there is also a bar serving both soft and alcoholic drinks which are chargeable locally. A Jacuzzi is situated on the top deck.


A seven-day sightseeing itinerary is included with hand-picked Egyptologists taking guests to the most fascinating sites along the Nile, between Aswan and Luxor (or vice versa). Sites include the Aswan High Dam and the Old Dam, and Philae Temple, Kom Ombo, Edfu, Esna, Luxor and Karnak Temples, the Valleys of the Kings and Queens, Queen Hatshepsut's Temple, and the Colossi of Memnon. For those guests who want to visit El Kab or Gebel El Silsila, this is under request and requires an additional charge.

Board games are available on the dahabiya, as well as a selection of historical DVDs about ancient Egypt.

Location & Directions

Nile, Egypt

The Sonesta Dahabiyya is located in Egypt on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan.

When to go

Egypt has year-round sun, and almost no rain. Daytime temperatures range from pleasantly warm in the winter to very hot in the summer. Northerly cities such as Cairo and Alexandria are generally about 5ºC cooler than southerly areas such as Aswan and Abu Simbel. Nights in the desert can be extremely cold.

Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to Sonesta Dahabiya Amirat or take a look at our itineraries to Nile

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