Diving


Red Sea Virtual Diving Centers
Diving the Red Sea can be one of the most inspirational experiences of your life. The Red Sea is a spectacular ecosystem formed millions of years ago when the Arabian Peninsula broke off from Africa as a result of the movement of the Red Sea Rift. Closed on the North by the Sinais connection to Egypt, Israel, & Jordan, the Red Sea is open to the Indian Ocean through the Mandib Strait and the Gulf of Aidan to the South. About 2250 km (1398 mi) long and 355 km (220.6 mi) wide at its widest, the Sea is rather large, and is the northernmost tropical sea. Being surrounded by desert climate makes the Red Sea warm and pretty salty, since it receives minimal waterfall each year, and much evaporation occurs as a result of the heat. This also means that the Red Sea is relatively warm, with average water temperatures in February being 22C (72F) and reaching 30C (86F) in June August.
 
The great conditions of the Red Sea also include good visibility, due to calm waters and increased light penetration resulting from its close proximity to the Equator. These factors make the Red Sea great for both the growth of underwater wildlife, and also great for diving to see this wildlife.
 
The water conditions of the Red Sea have helped to nourish more than 1200 species of fish, of which about 10% are native only to the Red Sea. These fish are supported by about 2000 km (1240 mi) of coral reefs along the coast, some as old as 5000 7000 years old. Among these reefs can also be found dolphins, turtles, and approximately 44 species of sharks. Though there are a few species that are harmful to humans, most species are actually harmless.
 
Diving the Red Sea also offers something for everyone. Not only is there plenty of nature to enjoy, but the further North you go, there are also many wrecks that are quite beautiful and worth a visit to. Among them are the Thistlegorm and the Kingston. Since the Red Sea has had ships traveling through it as an important trade route for centuries, some of these ships have gotten caught on rocks and sunk, and some have even been sunk during World Wars I & II. Needless to say, these wreckage sites offer sine stunning views, having been populated by some coral and fish in the years since their sinking.
 
Yet another beautiful attraction in the Northern Red Sea is the Ras Mohamed National Marine Park. This is truly a gem of the Red Sea. Located on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, only 12 km from the resort town of Sharm El Sheikh, Ras Mohamed was declared a marine reserve in 1983 to protect the stunning wildlife from the ruin of fishing and overdevelopment. The park contains the islands of Tiran and Sanafir, Shark and Yolanda Reefs, and many more beautiful formations. The area is so rich in nutrients brought in by currents from either side of the Sinai, that underwater life is abundant, with barracuda, unicorn fish, batfish, and sharks. Jacques-Yves Cousteau even ranked Shark Reef as one of his top 10 dives.
 
A bit further south is Marsa Alam, a great diving destination. Marsa Alam enjoys pleasant water temperatures year round, with winter temperatures being about 24C (75F), and summer water temperatures around 30C (86F). Being located further south, Marsa Alam enjoys less pollution and crowds, making the water clearer, though in April and May visibility isnt at its best as a result of a seasonal boom in plankton. Overall, Marsa Alam is so wildlife friendly with its warm waters, its common to see bottlenose dolphins, spinner dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, and even a dugong. Life is so peaceful here, and so are the waters, it allows divers and snorkelers a great opportunity to experience the colorful coral and some its friendly inhabitants.
 
While there are plenty of great dive sites worldwide, the Red Sea really is amazing in that there is such a vast variety of marine life, and the conditions are just right, so youll be able to experience a sea teeming with unique life & sites, while also being able to visit some of the most historically significant regions in the world. Dive by taking a day boat or a live aboard. Either way, diving the Red Sea has never been easier or more worthwhile!
 
Note:
The currents in these areas vary from no current to very strong, so it is strongly advised to dive or snorkel with guides or with experienced divers who have dove in the area before and are familiar with the conditions. In the following pages, you will find descriptions as to the expertise required for the various dive sites. The following definitions of the diving skill levels should help you evaluate the required skill for each dive site.
Snorkeler - a person who is a good swimmer and is skilled in ocean snorkeling.
Novice diver - a person who is in good physical condition and recently completed a basic certification diving course, or someone who has been certified before but has not been diving in a while or has no experience in similar conditions.
Advanced diver - a person who has logged many dives under similar or rougher conditions and is in good physical condition.
Dive master or instructor - a person who has advanced training as a dive master or an instructor who has logged over 100 dives in similar conditions and is in excellent physical condition.
 
All in a Week's Work: Finding a Shipwreck in the Red Sea by Ned Middleton
Strange as it may seem to some, but as I approached my twenty third year of Diving, I had yet to visit the Red Sea. I could probably have come up with a number of flimsy excuses as to why not - though the truth was, I simply never got around to it. This often put me at a disadvantage when, even editors would suddenly say - "well you must know what the Thistlegorm is like" or "well its bit like the Red Sea" - and, of course, I had never been there.
 
Dire Straits, Where Shipwrecks are Commonplace by Ned Middleton
The Straits of Tiran are located at the interface between the north Egyptian Red Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba. This is a fascinating destination for divers dominated by four outstanding Reefs located right in the middle of those Straits. Without their presence, the Straits would have been narrow enough, but those Reefs make the navigable channels all the more treacherous.
 
Discovery of the Dunraven by Ned Middleton
The Dunraven wreck in the Red Sea was discovered by Howard Rosenstein who formed Red Sea Divers and chose Naama Bay on the Sinai Peninsular for his base. He had decided to embellish history by deliberately inventing fictional connections with "Lawrence of Arabia" and his fabled treasure ships. Having started on this course of action, all he needed now was a suitable shipwreck. He found it in the Dunraven.
 
The Dolphin Boy by Ruth Corner
In a small Bedouin village in a remote part of the Sinai coast on the Red Sea there is a truly remarkable story taking place. Since 1992 a friendly wild dolphin has lived in a bay by the village of Mezina. She has a special friend - a 14 year old boy who has grown up with her as his playmate, swimming in the warm clear waters every day of his life, with this large, beautiful gentle creature by his side.
 
The SS Dacca: In Search of a Lost Ship by Ned Middleton
This ship is not yet found. Built in Lanark, the Dacca was launched in 1882 at a cost of 90,000. Constructed as a Steel Screw Steamer, she was officially described as a Passenger Cargo Vessel. She was a well found ship, brigantine-rigged and fitted with two engines which provided a very comfortable 500 nhp. The Dacca displaced 3,908 grt and possessed both passenger and Government Emigration Office certificates. On 29th April 1890 the Dacca left London with a crew of 91 Europeans (including the Master) and 464 passengers.
 
Wreck Diving in the Egyptian Red Sea By Ned Middleton
One of the tasks that is very much associated the correct identification of any shipwreck, is being able to unravel all the available information and misinformation and then set aside that which is patently incorrect before proceeding along the right path. These days it seems that too many writers are so keen to get their work into print that accuracy is often ignored.
 
Red Sea Diving Tours
It gives us great pleasure to share our exciting diving programme with you.        
Our magical Red Sea experience is still unsurpassed with northern and deep southern liveaboards, land based tours out of Sharm El sheikh & Dahab.            
ElAhlamTravel, longest established holiday company, is run by an enthusiastic team with intimate knowledge of all our locations. Over the past 16 years, we have gained a reputation for providing first class diving tours whilst building long term relationships with our clients. We aim to provide a personal service, committed to giving you the very best diving, one of the reasons so many of our adventure seeking divers return to us year after year.          
 
ElAhlamTravel is the owner of liveaboard / safari operator JulietDivers who are renowned for managing  M.Y. Juliet as well as other safari boats.     
 
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the destination that would best suit you, then please contact us - we would be delighted to assist you and we are sure that we can create the diving adventure you are looking for!
 
Land Based Diving

Sharm el Sheikh located on the tip of the Sinai Peninsula, has developed to become the most widely recognised resort on the Red Sea Riviera for world class diving. The entire coast of the Sinai is lined with fringing reef, rich in beautiful corals and tropical fish. Sharm el Sheikh also boasts dive sites that are frequently rated as being in the top ten dives sites of the world. Legendary sites include, Shark and Yolanda Reef, the show case dive site of the Ras Mohammed National Park, Jackson Reef in the Straits of Tiran, home of the Hammerhead Sharks and the SS Thistlegorm, a World War II wreck loaded with war time artifacts. With more than 40 miles of fabulous dive sites to choose from, the opportunities are endless.     

 

 Standard Day's Diving

Dives are made from our fleet of modern well equipped dive boats. Our standard dive day includes 2 dives with an optional 3rd dive. On your 1st day (Shake day) where you will visit the local dive sites to sort out your weights and buoyancy, you then progress to more adventurous sites which includes the Ras Mohammed Marine Park and the Straits of Tiran.

Our guides try to avoid large number of boats and divers which means our guests enjoy a more relaxed dive with a better chance of an encounter with larger marine life.

We cater for everyone from the newly qualified beginner to the experienced diver

Wreck Diving

While you are here in Sharm you may as well take advantage of diving one of our wrecks. We have opportunities for every level of diver. We would suggest the Dunraven as your 1st wreck dive and if you enjoy that ask you dive guide about a trip to the Thistelgorm.

Nitrox Diving

Take advantage of our unlimited Nitrox offer which allows you to use as many Nitrox tanks as you like for a fixed rate.

Why not do the PADI Nitrox specialty course and dive for the rest of the week using Nitrox for free.

Night Diving

Night dives may be conducted off the beach next to Oonas or off one of our dive boats. If you have never tried one, where better than here at Oonas? where your guide will introduce you to an amazing, strange new experience. 

 

 

 

 

 Diving Prices     

Resort

Rates       Repeat Clients

1 Day Diving (2 Boat Dives)                           €60                        €48

1 Day Tiran or Ras Mohamed                      €60                        €48

Ras Mohamed Park Fees                              $5                          N/A

Thistlegorm                        €120                      €96

Dunraven or Third Dive                 €20                        €16

Night Dive (Excluding Torch)                       €35                        €28

Renting Complete Scuba Gear                   €25                        €20

EAN 32% Nitrox Tank                      €7                          N/A

Snorkeler or Passenger                 €30                        €24

Renting Snorkeler Equipment                    €8                          N/A

 

                               

  Dive Package Deals      

5 Days Diving (10 Dives)                 €240                       N/A

6 Days Diving (12 Dives)                 €288                       N/A

10 Days Diving (20 Dives)                              €465                       N/A

Unlimited Nitrox (Per week)                       €60                         N/A

 

Diving Sites        

The Straits of Tiran

The eastern arm of the Red Sea, which separates the Sinai from Saudi Arabia, is known as the Gulf of Aquaba. It is a huge rift in the sea floor that plunges down thousands of meters into the deep. At the mouth of the gulf is Tiran Island, and it is between Tiran Island and the Sinai that the Straits of Tiran are located. The Straits consist of four reefs, named Gordon, Thomas, Woodhouse and Jackson after the British Cartographers that first mapped the area. These four reefs rise up from the deep all the way to the surface, and are swept daily by fierce currents that occur as the waters from the Gulf flow back and forth through the narrow channel. It is these currents that bring nutrients to corals of the four reefs, and it is the abundance of reef fish that bring in the pelagic fish such as Snappers, Tuna and Barracuda, then come the sharks. White-tip, Grey Reef, Silver-tip, Leopard, Thresher, Tiger and schooling Hammerhead sharks can be found cruising around the walls and across the beautiful deep water coral gardens of these reefs.

 

Jackson Reef, Tiran

The Straits of Tiran are made up of four off shore reefs that climb up from the depths of the Gulf of Aquaba all the way to the surface. Described as, ‘one of the most beautiful places in the world’, by Jacque Cousteau, Jackson Reef is the most northerly reef in the Straits. Due to its location, the southern side of Jackson is most frequently dived, as the northern wall is often subject to large swells. The reef is essentially circular in shape with steep walls on all sides. To the east and west of the southern wall beautiful coral gardens can be found which are home to hawksbill turtles and a multitude of reef fish. Pelagic fish such as Snapper and Barracuda can be seen hanging in the blue and below them White-tip and Grey Reef Sharks. During the summer months it is on the northern wall that the famous Scalloped Hammerhead Sharks are seen schooling in crystal blue waters

 

Thomas Reef, Tiran

This is the smallest reef in the Straits of Tiran, which means that if the conditions allow, it is possible to dive all the way around it. With steep walls on all sides, made up of a variety of hard and soft corals, and fast currents running, this is an exciting dive. Below the eastern wall of the reef is a wide deep-water plateau that leads the dive north over a stunning canyon. Swinging around onto the north and western walls the style of the reef changes from being a bright and colourful dive, to craggy walls where baby sharks and turtles are sometimes found resting in small caves. 

 

Ras Ghozlani, Ras Mohammed

This is possibly the simplest of dive sites in the National Park. The currents here are never strong and the diversity of life that can be seen here is outstanding. The shore reef descends down to a plateau that then proceeds out into the sea and then drops away. The topography of the plateau varies between rolling coral gardens and large coral bommies. The most significant features to this site are its huge table corals and Gorgonian fan corals. A huge variety of reef fish live among the corals, turtles come into the site to nest on the shoreline above and Manta Rays glide through the blue.

 

Shark and Yolanda Reef, Ras Mohammed

The most famous of the National Parks dive sites is Shark and Yolanda Reef. Here, the variety of all the Parks dive sites is combined to create a dive that is hard to beat. Shark Reef is an 800m wall, with crystal blue water that, during the height of summer, fill with thousands of schooling Snapper and Barracuda, which are hunted by marauding Sharks. It sits on the tip of the Sinai next to Yolanda Reef, which takes its name from a ship that hit the reef and sank in the early ‘80s. Around the outer edge of Yolanda is a beautiful coral garden full of vibrant soft corals and thousands of Anthias. To the west of Yolanda, in the shallows, is what remains of the ships cargo. Toilets and bathtubs lie encrusted in corals and have become home to Giant Morays and a variety of reef fish taking shelter from the currents. Linking Shark and Yolanda together is a saddle, which runs up from the depths onto a shallow plateau between the two reefs and the shore, where turtles can often found feeding on soft corals.

 

Ras Mohammed National Park

On the very tip of the Sinai, where the Gulf of Aquaba and the Gulf of Suez meet with the main body of the Red Sea, there is a high cliff wall. It is on this cliff that it is said you can see the outline of the Prophet Mohammed's face looking south over the Red Sea. This is where the Sinai's oldest National Park takes its name. Established in 1983 the Park covers all of the land starting from the tip of the Sinai all the way north to Sharm el Sheikhs main port, and all the waters along the coastline. There are several dive sites in the Park, which vary from sleep wall dives and fast currents to mild drift dives past fabulous coral pinnacles and gardens.

 

Thistlegorm

In the Gulf of Suez, between the reefs system of Sha'b Ali and the Sinai Peninsula is where MV Thistlegorm finally came to rest. She was sunk by German bombers in World War 2 while she was entering the Suez Canal. The Thistlegorm was carrying supplies for the Allied troops in North Africa. Her cargo ranges from rifles to steam engines, motorbikes to airplane wings, and it is this extraordinary amount of equipment that makes this dive so interesting. The wreck sits upright on the seabed and has become home to schools of Snapper and Barracuda, and many smaller reef fish. Much of the wreck is encrusted in sponges as well as hard and soft corals. It is possible to penetrate almost all of the wreck and it is in the front two holds that much of the cargo can be found still in tack. This dive is one of the best wreck dives in the world and is a must see for any wreck

 

Red Sea Liveaboards

M.Y. Juliet Standards       

Liveaboard boats provide the easiest and most relaxing way for divers to visit the Red Sea and its most remote dive locations. Dive sites that are out of range of daily dive boats can easily be reached and dived at your leisure. A liveaboard diving safari provides all of your diving holiday needs in one complete luxury package.  

But how do you choose your liveaboard? The Red Sea has become renowned for its outstanding diving and exceptional Egyptian hospitality, and all liveaboards appear to be excellent. When choosing your liveaboard, often word of mouth and reputation are the most reliable references.

Our new selection of liveaboards has been carefully hand picked and are managed by the same team that has operated JulietDivers / M.Y. Juliet for more than a decade. 

M.Y. Juliet has provided great diving safaris for thousands of divers visiting the Red Sea and her reputation for excellence is well known among the diving community.

Now ElAhlamTravel, the same team that operates JulietDivers / M.Y. Juliet, wishes to offer you this same quality of service and diving philosophy aboard all of our liveaboard vessels operating in both the northern and southern Red Sea.

 

Northern Red Sea Liveaboards   

Our northern liveaboards depart from Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, weekly throughout the year. Their exciting dive itineraries have plenty of variety and include the very best coral reefs and islands between the Tiran and Gubal Straits including Ras Mohammed National Park. Although weather dependent, they can usually cover Sha'b Abu Nuhas, famous for its wrecks which include the Giannis D, a cargo vessel, and the Carnatic, a 100 year old wine wreck, plus the S.S. Thistlegorm in Sha'b Ali. Most of the dives are made from ribs, ensuring plenty of drift diving. All itineraries in the north can be tailored to fit the sites your group wishes to visit.

 

Southern Red Sea Liveaboards   

Our southern liveaboards operate from the ports of Marsa Allam or Hurghada and cover a large area in the southern Red Sea. Our itineraries can be flexible and can leave from, and return to, either port allowing more dive sites to be covered. These liveaboards can visit any site from the Brother Islands all the way down to St Johns Reefs, and may include Elphinstone, Zabargad, Deadalus and Rocky Island. All itineraries in the south can be tailored to fit the sites your group wishes to visit.

 

Diver Training

Resort Training Courses                                  

While many of the dive centers in Sharm run courses with as much as 8 students per course!!! Our courses are usually limited to 2 to 3 students at any one time which means more care, and more personal attention for you...

Liveaboard Training Courses

Being on a liveaboard is a perfect opportunity to continue your diving education as an integral part of your holiday. Enhancing your skills could greatly add to your enjoyment and allow for extra flexibility when choosing dive sites.

 


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