Worldtraveltime now is presenting very pretty issue, listen to David Roberts 1838:
“To the eye of the Painter nothing can exceed in beauty these craft skimming along the river with their white sails spread & shivering in the wind”
In 1969, the Norwegian anthropologist & explorer Thor Heyerdahl attempted to sail a papyrus raft from West Africa to South America to show how very early sea crossings may have been made by Nile people.
For the river the square sail had been suitable. The ancient Egyptians never discovered the art of tacking, or using triangular sail, that would have enabled them to sail against the wind at an angle. This type of sail was the lateen (from the word “Latin”), which appeared in the Mediterranean around the time of Alexander the Great.
The great age of “Sail” has passed & working sailboats are becoming harder to find each year, not just in, but all over the world.
The largest & last type of working sailboats are right here on the Nile.
The pleasure felucca is the Nile yacht, it will keep the lateen sail billowing on the Nile for years to come.
Felucca is purely Italian name that Egyptians nowadays give to any small pleasure sailboat.
With cushioned benches along the sides & sometimes a table in the center for outings & picnics, the felucca s a pleasant way to spend an hour or two. Stretched out on a felucca as it floats on the Nile at sunset, or during the full moon with the lateen sail gracefully moves & plays with the wind is unforgettable moment.
Although some feluccas with steel hulls are appearing in Luxor, most craft on the Nile are still of wood.
Sadly, the upkeep of a wooden boat, not to mention the coast of wood in Egypt, is expensive & there are fewer craftsmen to maintain them.
Aswan is last place in Egypt where the sailing boat prevails, blending beautifully as it does with the quiet & peaceful nature of the setting. The Nile is somewhere is about 3 m. deep, somewhere is much deeper but of course it is not as deep as the see.
The felucca tour is safe, & even if the wind is little the boatmen can manage.
Worldtraveltime recommend that tour at least once during your stay in Egypt, you can try to have a motor boat if it is possible, but you have to be on a felucca as well at least once.
Aswan, or Luxor, is a good place for the tourist to take his traditional felucca ride, watching the contrastive views & the panorama of the buildings, hotels, temples, cliffs, sand & plants.
It is something you should not miss & for those who are interested in photograph it is excellent opportunity to take wonderful & unique photos.
Thanks to the water of the Nile & the felucca Worldtraveltime hope a nice tour for you, have a nice time.