Taking a sail in a felucca ride is so quintessential Egypt. Locals and tourists alike love it and you feel transported back in time sailing down the Nile. We met up with friends and had a total of 6 adults and 5 kids on the boat. I arranged everything through a bakery called Sweets and Treats and they booked the felucca, catered the meal, delivered it to the dock (they even have their own dock), set it up, and then cleaned up at the end. It was great. They do a range of meals at all times of day. We went with a sunset dinner with a light summery menu.
Everyone met at 5 pm for the 2 hour sail. This would allow us to see the sun setting just after 6:30 pm. Feluccas are simple sail boats. Ours had a long bench all around the outer 3 edges with a big table in the middle. That area was covered with a shade awning. The captain sits in the back to steer. The front had open space and the sails.
The table was set beautifully and we had a delicious menu–watermelon feta salad, fereek tabouleh, hummus with carrot sticks, mini chicken shwarma wraps, mini quiche, mini cheese nigella sambousek (dough puffs with cheese inside), mini pizzas, muffins and fruit. Plus fresh fruit juice, water, and coffee. We brought our own wine and champagne.
I had DS on a leash because he adores the water and there were no railings. We did NOT need a swim in the Nile–which is pretty to look at, but not clean for swimming. DD did fine not getting too far over the edge. The meal was self serve as desired and we ate and drank and talked as the boat sailed along.
Given it is a sail boat, you go as fast or slow as the wind allows. We had some little bursts of speed and some sitting idle, but mostly slow moving. It was pretty watching the other boats and the shoreline pass by.
It was fairly dusty on the horizon and while the sun gave us some nice reds and oranges, it ended up disappearing into the dust before actual sunset. I was really hoping for a rare clear sky with some puffy clouds, but I know we’ll be on it other times as well!
I loved getting some close up shots of the boat while sipping on wine and chatting–pretty much the best way to do photography, especially since DH held DS’ leash!
DD and DS LOVED the boat ride. 2 hours was the perfect length and DS loved watching the water so much he didn’t want to eat, which is rare for him!
Getting There–for Sweets and Treats, a taxi is the best option as there is no parking. One friend did find parking farther down the Corniche and then walked back to the dock. Some of the felucca spots will have parking.
Location? Off the Corniche in Garden City near Grand Hyatt and Four Seasons Nile Plaza or Maadi near Fusion and TGI Fridays for renting on own. We went through Sweets and Treats and their Maadi location is across from the Japanese Embassy on the Corniche. They send you a pin drop and a map when you book.
Cost? Barter, but about LE100 an hour if you arrange on your own with the captain. Sweets and Treats charges a per person cost based on meal picked. 8 Person minimum. Dinner was LE 200+ pp. Don’t forget a tip for the captain–we tipped LE20
Camera Fee? no–definitely bring it! Beautiful shot opportunities
Toilets? No. These are simple boats with chairs, a table and the floor. A typical ride is 2 hours, plus travel time, so go ahead of time and limit how much juice your kids drink.
Food/Drinks Allowed? Sold? Bring your own food and drink or hire a caterer, like Sweets and Treats for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks. We provided our own alcohol.
Stroller Friendly? You won’t need a stroller on board. The Sweets and Treats Maadi dock had space if you had it with you and needed to leave it on land. Do bring a baby carrier or baby leash for little ones as the falling in risk is high.
Booking–I did everything through FaceBook Messenger with Sweets and Treats and then they sent the maps and final directions via WhatsApp. You can also call or go in person. They request at least 24 hours notice for booking. 8 person minimum and 20 person maximum (though that would be a tight fit).