Sonesta Dahabeya Amirat Review

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Sonesta Dahabeya Amirat  on Nile (Photo/Sonesta)
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Jeannine Williamson

The most unusual vessel in the Sonesta Cruise Collection is the intimate Sonesta Dahabeya Amirat. Launched in 2009, it is the smallest ship in the fleet but it is also the ultra-luxurious flagship. Carrying just 14 passengers, the twin-masted ship is based on the shallow-bottomed sailboats that can be traced back to the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Sonesta Dahabeya Amirat is inspired by the dahabeyas of the middle to late 19th century used by royalty and aristocrats. It is the smallest of the six ships in the Nile fleet operated by Sonesta, which is part of the namesake international hotel chain.

Sonesta Dahabeya Amirat Deck Plans Feature Modern-day Comforts

While Sonesta Dahabeya Amirat pays homage to dahabiyas of yesteryear, it features contemporary amenities for modern-day travelers including air-conditioned cabins, a la carte dining along with more crew members than passengers.

The cabins, decorated in a sophisticated blue, gold and cream color palette have upscale bathrooms and they all have a bathtub. There are five deluxe cabins which measure 49 square feet and sleep two. These cabins have panoramic windows, twin beds, a mini-bar, TV, safe, hair dryer and telephone. The two 65-square-foot suites have queen-size double beds and private balconies overlooking the back of the ship, along with all the amenities of the deluxe cabins.

The main dining room serves buffets for breakfast and lunch followed by an a la carte dinner. Room service dining is available until midnight. The sun deck bar serves beverages and cocktails and there are also loungers, a shaded area and whirlpool.

Sonesta Dahabeya Sails When Conditions Allow

The most instantly recognizable features of traditional dahabeyas are the two large sails at the bow of the ship and at the stern. Where possible the ship sails under wind power, creating a very leisurely and authentic way to travel on the Nile, and the motor is only used when necessary. The small size of the vessel also allows it to reach small islands and villages that are not accessible to larger ships.

Sonesta Dahabeya Amirat Sails a Week-Long Itinerary

All sailings on Sonesta Dahabeya Amirat are seven-night itineraries from Luxor to Aswan or in reverse. The vessel can also be exclusively chartered by families and groups of friends.

Sonesta Dahabeya Amirat Stats

The ship measures 118 feet and carries 14 passengers at full occupancy with a crew to guest ratio greater than 1:1.


Passengers: 14
Crew: 14
Passenger to Crew: 1.1:1
Launched: 2009

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