This dive cruise aims to give you an introduction to the southern Red Sea, which is renowned for its incredible reefs that are home to both hard and soft corals in pristine condition and pelagic fish in great numbers. There are many species of shark, including hammerheads which can be found in schools. Other impressive marine encounters may be made with pods of dolphins, schools of bump-head parrotfish and the occasional turtle. The area is also home to a selection of wrecks (like the Tienstin), but undoubtedly the reefs are the main attraction.
If you are hoping for encounters with hammerheads and seeing the bump-head parrotfish you will have more chance during the summer months. By late November, the sea can become rough but temperatures are much more agreeable.
Note: This dive cruise should suit most of the divers with a minimum of 40 logged dives. If the weather conditions are favourable, travelling will be done during the day. All dive sites are subject to weather conditions.
Dive sites Explore the South tour
Abu Dahab is a collection of 7 reefs offering sheltered diving, suitable for night dives (to see sleeping turtles and Spanish dancers). It gives you the opportunity to explore a wreck of a boat which sank in July 2003 together with large mounds of boulder and mountain corals, rose and salad corals with different fish species hiding in and underneath its midst and giant clams. You will also have a good chance of seeing white tip reef shark together with nice swim-throughs and caves. However, the major attraction is ‘Dennis’ Dugong, with a bit of luck, hanging around in the sea-grass area.
Abu Galawa (part of Fury Shoals), offers a nice shallow reef dive with very good quality of coral, including large table corals and an abundance of staghorn. At Small Abu Galawa, there is also a small unnamed wreck of about 15m, thought to be an American yacht that sank around five years ago. The wreck lies on its starboard side at the bottom of the reef which is at around 15m. The hull is still intact and it is extremely well covered in a variety of soft and hard corals.
Dolphin Reef (part of Fury Shoals) or Sha’ab Sataya offers a great wall dive where often sharks, trevallies and fusiliers can be seen. The reef self is sandy and got its name for the may encounters with dolphins.
Elphinstone Reef, with its sheer walls plunging into the blue, is one of the most beautiful reefs in the Red Sea. It is richly decorated with soft and black corals, sponges, gorgonians and fans. Sharks often swim over the plateaus at the North and south of the reef. The east and west walls offer an excellent drift dive. Frequent sightings of Hammerheads and Oceanic White Tip sharks.
El Malahi (part of Fury Shoals) is a bit like a Disneyland Paradise underwater. Magical, mystical, the most gorgeous coral formations of hard corals, gigantic boulders and swim throughs make this a unique dive site. It has the most gorgeous blue and pink shades of staghorn corals, towering boulders with dramatic formations, with soft pink corals lining the walls. Large groups of banner fish and goatfish congregate in the midst and again, fantastic for photographic opportunities.
Fury Shoal Garden
Fury Shoal Garden is for some the most beautiful garden in the Red Sea. The colourful hard coral can be found here in abundance, amphitheatre after amphitheatre.
Habili Radir is very weather dependent but the coral formations are stunning. There are three large reef areas and a pinnacle at 25 metres where you can see a large congregation of garden eels in the sand.
Gota Soraya (part of Fury Shoals) is rated as possibly one of the best wall dives in the Red Sea, with overwhelming boulders, coral formations, amazing table corals and cracks in the reef wall, full of glass fish and sweepers and an abundance of corals, Grey Reef, Silvertips and Hammerhead sharks.
Just south of Marsa Alam is Sha’ab Samadai (or Dolphin House). This is where a pod of spinner dolphins are resident, however you are only allowed to snorkel with them and since it got a marine park status you have to pay an entrance. Samadai is a large horseshoe shaped reef with several dives to do including its outer walls and the large group of pinnacles on its western tip. You will find caves, corals and an abundance of fish on this reef.
Sha’ab Claude (Fury Shoals)
Sha’ab Claude (part of Fury Shoals) is famous for its swim-throughs, cavern and huge pyrite corals. White tip reef sharks and an anemone and clownfish settlement can be seen a little off the reef to the South.
Sha'ab Maksour (part of Fury Shoals) offers a nice wall dive together with pinnacles. The more experienced once they can try a cave that starts at the edge of the wall at 30m and emerges at 40m via a short swim through.
Sha’ab Sharm gives you steep walls and a remarkable large eastern plateau at about 30m where you will find a lot of diversity on this reef. There is always the possibility to encounter Manta Rays, sharks and other big fish, as well as beautiful soft corals and schools of fish over the plateau.
Shiriniat (part of Fury Shoals) gives you an overview of the different kind of fish you may find in the Red Sea, another paradise for photographers.
The Tienstin is a small Japanese tug boat and is covered with hard and soft corals. Inside she is full of glassfish and a resident red mouth grouper also lives here. The wreck lies at approximately a 45 degree angle with the stern sitting in the sand at the bottom of the reef and the bow rests shallow on the reef top. This is a wreck that is now totally infested with colourful reef life of all kinds.