From the Sinai Peninsula in the north through to St. John's pristine reefs at the Sudanese border in the south, the Red Sea shimmers as an example of dedicated environmental conservation. The success of the region's sea life is largely thanks to conservation efforts implemented in the early 1990s. The Egyptian government is planning further expansion of their conservation effort, which is good news for scuba divers, like you!
On liveaboard diving safaris in the Red Sea from Hurghada and further south, the weather plays a slightly more prominent role but rewards scuba divers with awesome visibility, sheer walls, lots of wrecks and pelagic action in droves. Characteristic of the region are sheltered reefs and towering pinnacles, a favourite habitat of a diverse shark populations. Dark clouds of schooling reef fish, swarming snappers and heaps of surgeons also abound. Divers speak in hushed tones of sites such as The Brothers, Elphinstone, Daedalus, St John's and Sudan.
From Hurghada down to St. John's, the south and deep south of Egypt's Red Sea possess an abundance of liveaboard-only dive sites, each fascinating in its own right and offering something different. [More details on these dive sites: Southern Red Sea.
The Brothers are among the most beloved places in the Red Sea, despite being only accessible by Egypt liveaboards and in an exposed location. Flourishing soft and hard coral growth overwhelms sheer walls where many pelagic fish dominate the blue. [More details on these dive sites: Brothers.
Due to its remote location, Daedalus Reef is a pristine site and one of the best to visit on Red Sea diving cruises. Currents, while occasionally trying, mean predators such as trevally, tuna and hammerheads are common visitors along with the less commonly sighted thresher sharks. [More details on these dive sites: Daedalus.
In the most southerly of Egyptian waters, the St John's Reefs system is riddled with tunnels and swim-throughs as well as shallow reef flats and steep walls. It therefore provides something very different from many other areas of the Red Sea. There is a great mix of pelagic action here as well as vibrant reef life. [More details on these dive sites: St. John's.
A variety of different liveaboard trips are available in this part of the Red Sea and are almost always for 7 nights. Brothers, Daedalus Reef & Elphinstone is among the most popular routes. Red Sea South trips also include Elphinstone but concentrate on the Fury Shoal dive sites. St John's Reefs Is the other main route which often includes sites like Rocky Island and Zabargad.
There is a great deal of cross-over between these routes, with some itineraries encompassing sections of 2 or more of the above-mentioned routes. Indeed, many of the boats from our 'North and Wrecks' section also make liveaboard tours of the Southern Red Sea.
Trips tend to feature 3 dives a day. Conditions can be more variable in the south with more exposed reefs experiencing less calm seas and occasionally strong current. For these reasons, the Southern Red Sea charters appeal to more experienced divers and those who have previously visited the northern regions. Indeed according to Egyptian law, it is necessary to show proof of 50 logged dives before you can dive in its marine parks located in the south.
For an adventure of a lifetime, you can combine your Red Sea diving cruise with tours to discover the sights of ancient Egypt. Take an overland tour of Cairo to visit the Sphinx, the pyramids of Giza, and the national museums, or join a Nile River cruise to explore the Valley of the Kings: Egypt antiquity tours.
Click to view product. Special discounted trips highlighted in yellow
The Southern Red Sea of Egypt is a little warmer than the north. Water temperatures rise to 28-30°C from July to September. In October and November the temperatures drop to 27-28°C and then from December to February to 26-23°C. After this, temperatures warm up again from 25-28°C between March and June.
Summer winds can blow between May and September, with stronger winter winds from October to April. On rare occasions, dive cruises will be re-routed if winds are too strong for the original routes.
Oceanic whitetip sharks can be encountered In St John's around May and June, and at Elphinstone and the rest of southern Egypt from October to December. Thresher shark season is from September to December around the offshore islands, Brothers and Daedalus. Hammerheads can be seen at Daedalus in the summer months when big numbers of females are attracted there. Manta ray and whale shark season at St. John's, Daedalus and Brothers is around April and May.
Liveaboard Ports of Departure for Red Sea South and How to Get There
Red Sea South liveaboard safaris depart from Hurghada, Safaga or Port Ghalib (at Marsa Alam). Often they will begin at one port and end at another. St. John's Reef trips are the exception, in that they use only Port Ghalib as their departure and return port. In some cases the boats are moored at port and depart the day after the trip begins. This means you can arrive quite late on the first day of the tour and still board the boat before it sets sail the following morning.
You can view the ports that each boat uses in the 'Departures & Prices' section of that boat's web page. Whichever ports your boat uses, normally the boat operator provides a transfer to the boat from the local airport or hotels (if you overnight beforehand). We will send you full departure details during the booking process.
Most international travllers fly into Cairo International Airport. Over 70 international airlines from Europe, the US, Africa and Asia use the airport. Hurghada, Safaga and Marsa Alam are accessible via domestic flights or direct via a few international airports. More information on: How to get to Egypt.
We suggest you take out insurance to cover scuba diving and travel activities, including trip cancellation. See our insurance programmes section for a quotation:
Places to Stay
If you are going to continue your stay in Egypt before or after your Red Sea liveaboard expedition, there is a large range of accommodation options at our affiliated hotel reservation specialists: hotelscombined.com. Make use of their 'Low Price Guarantee' to ensure you get top-dollar value for money. You can browse their website, use the on-line chat to ask your questions, then simply use your credit card to make your booking:
Useful References for Liveaboard Cruises in Red Sea South
... The liveaboards and dates were laid out really well on the website, making it easy to choose the suitable trip. Contacting Dive The World was easy and very helpful with fast prompt replies
to every single inquiry or change in plans. The best thing was the ease by which I can choose my trip, and prompt and quick replies from the website. ...
-- Yousuf Abusamra, Egypt. [More customer reviews]