Reef Oasis Dive Club

Itineraries - Red Sea Liveaboard

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A rich collection of itineraries in the Red sea covering Dahab, Sharm el Sheikh, Gulf of Aqaba, Gulf of Suez , and Hurghada Area, exceptional for divers and cruise travelers


Visit the best that the Northern Red Sea has to offer. Drifts, reefs, wreck and wall diving, caves and plateaus. Dive into an underwater world that is unique in variety and number of species.

Good To Know

A week-long diving safari starting and ending in Sharm El Sheikh. Visit the best that the Northern Red Sea has to offer. Magnificent drift, reef, wreck and wall diving, caves, plateaus and the big blue. Dive into an underwater world that is unique in both variety and the sheer number of species.

You need to be a PADI Advanced Open Water certified diver or equivalent with at least 20 logged dives. You must have dived in the last year and recorded this in your log book to join this safari. Scuba Tune-Up is available on request. This trip is suitable for snorkelers to join.

The itinerary is an example so if you have a special wish for a certain place in this area just let your dive guide know. Liveaboard itineraries are subject to various unpredictable changes including weather conditions. All dives and especially some wreck dives are subject to divers' experience and weather permitted. Liveaboard itineraries are depending on Egyptian Government, Coast Guard and/or Marine Police approval. Every effort is made but we cannot guarantee diving at specific sites. The final decision lies with the captain and guide. Safety always comes first!

Note May 2012: Dive Sites in the area of Gubal Island cannot be dived due to an order from the military. This affects the dive sites of Ulysses, Barge, Malak and the Rosalie Moller. It is unknown how long the restriction will be in place.

Schedule

Day 1.  Afternoon/ evening: the transfer to the New Marina port (El Wataneya) and the embarkation. Welcome on board, cabin arrangement and boat-briefing. Permission work with port authority, sailing very early next morning.

Days 2 - 7. In the early morning the boat sails to nearby Temple or Ras Katy for a check dive. The week-long safari will cover the area from the Strait of Tiran, Ras Mohamed National Park and the Gulf of Suez which is usual visited first.

The National Park begins at the small bay of Marsa Ghazlani followed by the larger and deeper bay of Marsa Bareika. Continuing along the coast to Ras Za'atar, Jackfish Alley, Eel Garden and Shark Observatory, to the southern end of the peninsula with Anemone City, Shark Reef, and Yolanda Reef and ending at the Quay. Because of the geographic position, this is a privileged area distinguished to strong massive currents that transport large quantities of plankton and other food which gives rise to an extraordinary growth of hard and soft corals. It attracts large shoals of both reef and pelagic marine fauna, over a thousand species in all. Schooling barracuda, jackfish, tuna and many kinds of sharks swim in these deep blue waters, especially in summer from June to August, sometimes till early October.

The safari will also take you to famous sites like the wrecks of Dunraven and Thistlegorm, Shag Rock and the wreck of Kingston, sails to Sha'ab Ali where pods of dolphins are common. Explore several spots at Sha'ab Mahmouds reef system or maybe cross to Abu Nuhas.

Don't miss the four famous reefs in the Strait of Tiran: Jackson, Thomas, Woodhouse and Gordon Reef, probably the most interesting and richest in marine life. You can choose from several dive sites with superb wall and drift diving. In the afternoon of the 7th day the boat will return to Sharm area.

Days 7-8: Depending on guest's check out and flight time, there may be another dive or just snorkeling. Return to the New Marina port (El Wataneya) and the disembarkation. A transfer to the airport or to the hotel.

Straits of Tiran

Sinai Classic Northern Route

The Straits of Tiran lie at the mouth of the gulf of Aqaba and are bordered on the west by the coast of Sinai and on the east by the island of Tiran. In the middle of this channel are four reefs lying in a northeast-southwest direction that were named after the 19th century English cartographers who drew the first nautical map of this region: JACKSON REEF, WOODHOUSE REEF, THOMAS REEF and GORDON REEF. These reefs divide the straits into two canals, to the east is the so-called GRAFTON PASSAGE, which is used exclusively by ships going northwards, while to the west is the ENTERPRISE PASSAGE for ships heading south. The strong currents that characterize the Straits of Tiran transport great quantities of plankton and other nutrient material every day, thus supplying a great deal of food to the corals and hence to the reef fish which in turn are eaten by the large pelagic predators such as barracuda, jackfish, tuna and above all sharks which are always in this zone. Consequently, scuba divers in the waters of Tiran are sure to see not only an infinite number of corals but also rich fauna, both reef and pelagic.

Ras Mohammed

Sinai Classic Northern Route

RAS MOHAMED National Park has 9 dive sites: Ras Ghozlani, Marsa Barieka, Ras Zatar, Jackfish Alley, Eel Garden, Shark Observatory, Anemone city, Shark & Yolanda Reefs. South of Sharm el Sheikh the coast is totally deserted, with no shelter for more than a mile, up to the small bay named MARSA GHOZLANI, where the RAS MOHAMMED NATIONAL PARK begins. This is followed by another bay, MARSA BAREIKA which is much
larger and deeper. It penetrates the land for 2.8 miles, forming the RAS MOHAMMED peninsula, which extends south-eastwards into the Red Sea for almost 5 miles and separates the Gulf of Aqaba from the Gulf of Suez. Because of its geographic position the Ras Mohammed peninsula is a privileged area that benefits from strong currents that transport large quantities of plankton and other food that give rise to an extraordinary growth of hard and soft corals and attract large schools of both reef and pelagic marine fauna. With the great abundance of food, barracuda, jackfish, tuna and sharks swarm in these waters, especially between June to August, offering divers the chance to make extremely interesting and exciting dives.

Thistlegorm Wreck

Sinai Classic Northern Route

THE THISTLEGORM, its Gaelic name meaning BLUE THISTLE, was a British transport ship belonging to the Albyn Line shipping company, is 126.5 meters long, a capacity of 4,898 tons and had a `three cylinder steam engine developing 1,860 HP that gave the vessel a speed of around 10 knots. The Thistlegorm was built to transport refurbished wartime materials for the British troops. In May 1941 with a crew of 39 men it had left the port of Glasgow, Scotland, with a cargo of munitions, bombs of different kinds, anti-tank mines, Lee Enfield MK III rifles, hundreds of BSA, BSA W-M20, Matchless G3L and Norton 16H motorbikes. Bedford, Morris and Ford trucks. Four light Brengun Carrier MK II tracked vehicles. Two steam Stanier 8 F locomotives complete with two coal tenders and water tankers. On the night of the 5-6 October 1941 two German Heinkel HE III bombers, coming from their base in Crete, sighted and attacked the ship. It was hit by two bombs on hold no.4 where the munitions deposit amongst other things was situated. The Thistlegorm sank in an upright position on a flat, sandy seabed 30 meters deep at 1.30 am on the 6th October 1941. Jacques Cousteau discovered the wreck in 1955 and mentioned it in an article published in February 1956 in the monthly National Geographic Magazine. Jacques Cousteau did not reveal the position of the wreck, thus it went forgotten for almost 40 years until 1991 when it was rediscovered by an Israeli skipper. In a short time The Thistlegorm has become a great favorite with scuba divers from all over the world and is now the most visited wreck in the whole Red Sea.

Temple

Sinai Classic Northern Route

The Temple is our house reef. It is located on the north side of Sharm El Sheikh Harbor. Formed of a group of three pinnacles that rise up from 20 metres below to the surface. This is a flat, sloping reef with two major, and a few minor, pinnacles adding contour to the reef face. The largest of the pinnacles is 'The Tower'. Its bulk is split by two major fissures, one of which can be swum through. The second should not be entered, to avoid damaging the delicate gorgonians growing along its sides. All the pinnacles hide a surprisingly rich variety of reef animals.
The pinnacles are rather close to each other and have sand channels between them. The pinnacles have sheer walls which are covered with soft and hard corals, fan corals and reef fish. Coral growth throughout the site is good, with a density and mix of species difficult to match in the immediate area. They are a blanket of color. The fish are as pleasant a surprise as the coral, with a truly amazing range of species colonizing the reef. There are lionfish all about, as well as stonefish that do not move and are camouflaged. Around the pinnacles are schools of glass sweepers that move together.
Because The Temple is so close to Sharm El Sheikh and Na'ama Bay, it is a very popular night-dive site. At night the basket stars create the illusion of a curtain in the light current as they feed. As the basket stars are hit by your dive light, they tend to withdraw into a ball. As the light moves away, they expand back out and continue feeding. The feather stars and soft corals have many colors that are very beautiful in the dive lights. You can find parrotfish in the crevices with your dive lights. Some may even have their cocoons around them.
The typical depth range of the Temple is 5 to 20 meters deep and is accessed by our shore.

Woodhouse Reef

Sinai Classic Northern Route

Woodhouse Reef is narrow and long done only as a drift dive. Its northern part is the attractive and it has a canyon starting at 30 meters. Lots to see there from red anemones, great potential for Sea Turtles, Jackfish and Eagle Rays. Strong currents exists at the northern end and poor weather conditions upon surfacing the dive. Also referred to as the 'washing machine' due to powerful whirling currents and strong winds.

Gordon Reef

Sinai Classic Northern Route

Gordon Reef is easily identified by the wreck of the Panamanian cargo ship Loullia which crashed in 1981. Enjoy the various species of coral, small nudibranches hidden in the crevices and the soft corals, you can encounter as well White Tip Reef Sharks and Eagle rays. By the middle of the reef you will see some metal drums that homes Octopus and different types of eel such as Moray, Peppered and Gold edged morays. Divers need to be careful of strong current at the north and southern ends of this reef.

Ras Ghozlani

Sinai Classic Northern Route

A beautiful dive site to dive in Ras Mohamed Nationan park. This site has a superb array of beautiful table corals, glassfish covered pinnacles and a wonderful corals landscape.

Ras Za'tar

Sinai Classic Northern Route

Situated at the southern entrance of the large bay Marsa Bareika, this dive combines a vertical wall, impressive chimneys and blue water. This is a good place to find large tuna, barracudas Jackfish and in summer, cruising grey reef sharks.

Shark & Yolanda Reefs

Sinai Classic Northern Route

A world ranked dive site formed of two little underwater islands, the Shark reef and the Yolanda reef. Shark Reef, is a vertical wall dropping to 700 meters, covered with fantastic corals. While the Yolanda Reef has a wide plateau with a coral garden and lots of of pinnacle corals. Between Yolanda reef and the Ras Mohamed reef lies the remains of the wreck of the Yolanda that is 74m long and was carrying bathroom supplies heading to the Gulf of Aqaba when she crashed in 1980. The presence of strong currents is often at this site. Diverse marine life to watch : scorpionfish, crocodilefish, groupers, turtles, tuna, big morays and napoleon fish, Red Snapper, batfish, unicornfish, barracudas and more which of course sometimes attracts the predators such as Grey reef or black tip Sharks.

Jackfish Alley

Sinai Classic Northern Route

The name of this site derives from the white sandy road between the coral ledge bordering the coast and a parallel satellite reef that is often frequented by Jackfish and other predators. Jackfish Alley, which was originally known as Fisherman's Bank, is south of Ras Za'atar. You will have to make it as a drift dive, lookout for Gorgonians, stingrays, trevally, Glass fish, triggerfish and sometimes you might see a Whitetip reef shark.

Shark Observatory

Sinai Classic Northern Route

This name indicates not only the first balcony on the top of the Ras Mohammed promontory, but also the diving site that is on a level with that promontory. This is a magnificent wall dive, also known as the Ras Mohammed Wall: while looking down into the deep blue, you can admire a grandiose environment and at the same time see large pelagic predators (even some Whale sharks have been seen in this area time and again). After descending for about 15 meters you can explore the wall on your left, which is rich in Alcyonarians, gullies, shelters and caves swarming with life, without losing sight of the blue, from which Jackfish, barracuda and some sharks might suddenly appear.

Anemone City

Sinai Classic Northern Route

Anemone City is our dive of choice for deeper trimix dives. This wall descends to well over 150m. It is a combination of hard fossil coral overhangs and ledges draped in soft coral, teeming with life. End your dive at the spot that gives this site its name, a ledge of spaghetti anemones colonized by clownfish, damsels and chromis.

Jackson Reef

Sinai Classic Northern Route

This is the northernmost reef in Tiran and is known for the wreck, partially demolished in 1996, of the Cypriot merchant ship Lara, which sank here in 1985. Diving here usually begins on the southern side, which is sheltered from the waves and wind and where there are a large metal buoy, a fixed mooriing - which is not far from the reef - and two other mooring points on the reef on water level: here the wall, cut through by some splits, descends steeply to the sandy floor (-45 meters). Going westwards (dive A), you will see some gorgonians and a splendid red anemone at a depth of 28 meters. This is followed by a plateau that is connected to Woodhouse Reef by a saddle. The south-western corner of Jackson Reef, where numerous fire corals (Millepora dichotoma) can be seen, is subject to the currents, which can be extremely violent. If conditions are right (especially when the tide is ebbing), it is possible to drift dive on the eastern part of the reef (dive B). Here, about 15 meters down, is a sandy ledge that sinks into the abyss to the north. It is quite easy to spot turtles (Eretmochelys sp.) and large pelagic fish in this zone. Among the latter are White-tip reef sharks (Triaenodon obesus), Grey reef sharks (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) and Hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini), which are especially numerous from July to September.

Thomas Reef

Sinai Classic Northern Route

This reef is one of the most spectacular diving sites in the northern Red Sea for both recreational and Technical Divers. The lack of mooring points makes drift diving necessary: The southern corner of the reef is the classic starting point for your underwater itinerary, which continues along the eastern side where the wall, rich in multicoloured coral, descends to a sandy plateau that begins at a depth of about 25 meters and has a slight incline. Here you can see large Alcyonarians (Dendronephthya sp.), impressive gorgonians and colonies of black coral , Antipatharians with their characteristic spiral shape. At a depth of 35 meters a splendid and extremely deep canyon opens out, running parallel to the reef and crossed by a series of impressive arches. At the north-eastern corner of the reef you may come upon a very strong counter-current. If you can get past this point and conditions are favourable, you can go around the entire reef. This will allow you to explore the northern wall, which has some nice shelters and splits, and the western one, where you will see many crevices and caves, lovely gorgonians and a wealth of fauna consisting of sea turtles, reef fish .

Dunraven Wreck ( Beacon Rock )

Sinai Classic Northern Route

This historic wreck was a 79 meters long, British steam sail ship which was built in Newcastle and struck the reef in 1876 en route from Bombay to Liverpool. Soon after she slid off the reef and turned upside down and is now covered in so much coral growth, it is hard to tell where the reef stops and the wreck begins. After taking a look at her rudder and propeller, divers are taken through the hull of the wreck. Swimming inside Dunraven is like swimming through a Cathedral with beams of light pouring through her portholes. Old Hessian ropes and the remains of wooden cargo boxes bring this ship alive and the sight of her enormous boilers are a reminder of the magnificent age of steam engines. A safety stop on the reef brings schools of yellow goatfish, baby barracudas and a numerous of stonefish.

Shag Rock (Kingston Wreck)

Sinai Classic Northern Route

Being so close to its neighbor, the Thistlegorm, this large circular reef is often overlooked. It offers excellent diving on pristine corals from any location on its perimeter. The sheltered southern point is the most dived location offering the opportunity for drifts along the west or east sides. Weather permitting the northern point hosts the wreck of the Kingston just below the surface (max. depth 12m). Large schools of yellow goat fish and sweet lips abound here and the area regularly patrolled by grey reef sharks. :
The Kingston wreck is a British cargo vessel called Kingston built in 1871 in Sunderland by Oswald Shipbuilding Co. which ran aground on the 22nd February 1881 whilst en-route to Aden, located in Southern Yemen with its cargo of coal. 78m long, 10m wide and 1449 tons this wreck lies in water of 4m down to 15m. The wreck is easily accessible and offers spectacular opportunities for photographers. There is an abundance of soft and hard corals, varied reef fauna. Divers need to be aware that this wreck should only be dived when conditions are good as strong currents are possible.

Abu Nuhas

Sinai Classic Northern Route

About 2.5 hours cruising time from Hurghada lies the reef of Abu Nuhas - "The father of bad luck", so called because of the number of ships that have hit this reef over the years. The reef is to the north of Shaidwan Island, close to the main shipping channel from Suez and usually partially submerged making it dangerous for shipping.
Among the many ships that have hit the north side of the reef, 4 remain as diveable wrecks for recreational divers. Starting from the north they are: Kimon M, Chrisoula K, Carnatic, Giannis D
In addition to the wrecks it is also possible to dive on the other side of the reef at a site known as Paradise, which has a plateau with a huge coral garden and a drop off into deeper water.

Giannis D Wreck

Sinai Classic Northern Route

The "wooden ship" which was carrying a cargo of timber bound for Saudi Arabia. Stranded on the reef, the ship broke its back during a storm and sank in two pieces. The stern section has twin masts that reach up to 5 meters from the surface with the stern at 24 meters. The engine room can be visited by suitably qualified divers.

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