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The British Army, still in Egypt after World War I brought over some paddlers - one of which became a Royal Yacht, and now a luxury river cruiser.
A steam-fired paddler, built in 1917. She is understood to have been built to
a design of the Lytham Shipbuilding & Engineering Co for use
on the Rivers Tigris and Eurphrates in Baghdad for the British Army.
A number of vessels were sent to Iraq, but possibly six (one of
which which became Karim), went for use in Egypt instead. Soon afterwards
she was used by the then Sultan, later King Fuad
I of Egypt and later by his son and, after the republican revolution, state presidents.
She has been in regular passenger service for public cruises since refurbishment in 1991. The 45.8 metre long vessel has 15 luxury cabins and is equipped for 30 passengers. Her normal schedule is for 7-night cruises from Luxor to the Aswan Dam at Lake Nasser and is operated by local company Spring Tours and has been marketed worldwide by Voyages Jules Verne (until April 2012 with what is expected to be a temporary break).
She has stern-placed side wheels, the so-called "quarter-wheel" arrangement, which can be operated independently and are driven by two compound engines.
Photo (above) kindly supplied by Mr Morsi Shehata, General Manager of Spring Tours
Click here for more photos from Mr Shehata
Click here for photos kindly supplied by Kevin Hoggett in 2011
Two other former British army stern-wheel paddle steamers built by Fairfields at Govan are still in existence.......but not in public service
Built 1886 by Fairfield at Govan, Glasgow (yard no 295) for the British Expeditionary force in Egypt which was sent to relieve Major-General Gordon under siege in Khartoum in the Sudan. Her engines bear the plate of John Elder, also located at Govan, whose business ended in 1885 just as Fairfields established theirs on the Govan site. Spent many years on the Wadi Haifa to Aswan run after conversion to a passenger steamer. Was understood to be under refit for a future cruising role (as at 2004) but this appears to have been deferred and it is understood that she is now being converted for a role as a restaurant ship.
The Clydesite's Clydebuilt database (as at Dec 2009) lists Akasha, a sister ship of Ibis, also built by Fairfields (no 296) as still active , but I have no further information as to exactly where she is.
The Thomas Cook Company were pioneers in "holidaymaking" and owned an extensive fleet of Nile Paddle Steamers : Two sternwheelers survive
Laid up at Esna near Luxor. Believed to have sunk at some stage.
Former Thomas Cook fleet steamer.
Photo by kind courtest of Paul Smith (Archivist, Thomas Cook)
Above : October 2009. This and other photos of taken in 2009 are by kind courtesy of Connie Tindale
paddler is up for sale with Luxor Marine Services as broker. Current
theories suggest she is Thomas Cook's PS
Fostat. After her regular career ended she had various uses. In
1962 and 1963 she was in service for the University of Chicago Institute
of Oriental Studies and used by the American Research Centre
in Cairo in the early 1990s.
Click here for more photos and information
The Anglo-American Nile Navigation Company were the first main competitiors to Thomas Cook and two old stern-wheelers survive from their fleet
Both are understood to have a common owner, a steam enthusiast, who is looking for buyers who will restore them and return them to service
known as Farida and Queen Farida
MORE EGYPTIAN PADDLE STEAMERS