Recently in Sharm El Sheikh Category

Red Sea on FIRE! Best diving for a decade ...

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We divers know the sea is not an aquarium and that nothing can be guaranteed, but we also know that there are certain destinations to go to for the
best chances of diving with the big stuff.

The Red Sea has always been convenient, close and with reliable clear, warm waters. It has also always had the capacity to surprise, with sightings big and small every year to delight divers. Right now though, it is on a hot streak and is delivering delights that we haven't had since the pioneer days of Red Sea diving.

Nature often has cycles but could there be another reason for such amazing diving right now? Is it due to the reduced number of, not just divers, but water users up and down the Red Sea coast since the decline in tourism due to the 2011 and 2013 uprisings? Certainly there are many fewer dive boats on each dive site compared to the peak years of the early 21st century but not only that, there are many fewer watercraft, not as many bathers, less construction on the coast, less sewage and less chemical runoff all as a consequence of lower numbers.

Plus, conservation organisations such as HEPCA have been subsidising fishermen to encourage them not to fish in breeding seasons.

Could it be that all these factors are starting to produce a positive effect on the marine environment in the Red Sea? Well, we've now had excellent diving for more than a year so we certainly think so.

This newsletter is going to showcase the phenomenal sightings we have had – and to really prove a point we will only include pictures and videos from this June and July!

September through to November usually presents the best diving year on year. Sea temperatures are an average of 28-30C while air temperatures cool a little from the hot summer. The big life loves these months, and we cannot wait to see what's in store under the waves. With good flight prices available now for those three months, come and get some of the action with a truly welcoming team of guides and crew.

What's been showing in the Red Sea theatre...

Marsa Alam
Dennis returns!
June 2016

Not seen since 2014, Dennis the Dugong makes a welcome return in this video by guest, Chris Colliard.

Dennis the Dugong

 

Emperor Asmaa
Hammerheads at Daedalus
July 2016

A theatre of delights with hammerheads and happy guests.

Hammerheads

 

Emperor Elite
Daedalus & Elphinstone
July 2016

Top of the tops diving, plenty of sunlight, warm water, excellent boats, professional and smiley team and affordable prices.

Daedalus & Elphinstone

 

 

Marsa Alam
Elphinstone day trip
July 2016

Oceanics get close up and personal in this video.

Oceanics at Elphinstone

 

Emperor Elite
Red Sea safari
July 2016

Everybody do the manta dance! Fabulous video with thanks to guest, Simon. Got your wavy arms ready?

Manta dance

 

Marsa Alam
Meet the dugong whisperer!
July 2016

Dive guide Taki gets it right most of the time. Here with dugong mum and her calf with thanks to Eric and Valerie Du Pont for the photos. Magical.

Meet the dugong whisperer!

 

Emperor Asmaa
The Big Friendly Giant
July 2016

Happiness is waving at a whale shark. Right here in the Red Sea. Not too far to travel for an experience of a lifetime is it?

Whale shark

 

Now all you need to do is get here!
Contact our really helpful team today.
reservations@emperordivers.com

 

Got any questions?

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We have the most wonderful, helpful and friendly team who are more than happy to answer any questions you have on diving the Red Sea or the Maldives.

You can contact them at reservations@emperordivers.com

Or you can see some frequently asked questions here.

Dive the Thistlegorm - and more - from El Gouna

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Wreck Fest from El Gouna - Thistlegorm, Rosalie Moller and, of course, Abu Nuhas available from our El Gouna Dive Centre.

For summer 2016, you can get your heavy metal fix from our centre in El Gouna. With regular trips scheduled to the four wrecks of Abu Nuhas, the iconic Rosalie Moller and the world class underwater museum SS Thistlegorm, El Gouna is the diving place for wreck-heads and reef-lovers alike.

Aboard our well known safari boat, Pegasus, we offer variety galore to our guests like never before. Weekly scheduled trips to some of the best wrecks in the Red Sea as well as daily trips to the lesser dived reefs North of Hurghada mean a diving holiday full of the kind of diving you want.

Ghiannis D_NEW_8765 (Small).jpg

 

Abu Nuhas – 4 wrecks in one place; highlights are the Giannis D a 100 mt long cargo ship between 10-28 mt de

pth and the Carnatic, a nearly 150 year old steam powered P&O wreck at 18-27 mts.

Rosalie Moller – With the decks at 35 mt, the Rosie is an advanced dive but well worth it if you can. She is still very much intact, covered in life and standing upright this 108mt long vessel gives some iconic wreck diving views.

Thistlegorm waepon_Patrick Verhey (Small).JPG

SS Thistlegorm – The old lady herself. Previously only accessible by liveaboard or from Sharm El Sheikh, let us take you across the gulf to dive on this phenomenal piece of history at a time when very few others will be diving on her. With her best features in the 20-30 mt depth range, nitrox gives you a decent length of dive to visit the AA gun, props, tanks, locomotives and huge anchor. A second dive into the holds to see the trucks, rifles and motorcycles that never made it to the allies in WWII is simply magnificent.

*trips subject to weather, minimum numbers and extra charge. See our website, email us or ask your team in resort for details.

Visit El Gouna dive centre here or email reservations@emperordivers.com

Words from a Red Sea Dweller

I’m an ex-pat, which is a posh way to say immigrant, and have been for the past seven years. I like the quiet life, so as soon as I set eyes upon Port Ghalib on the south of Egypt’s Red Sea coast, I knew it was where I wanted to call ‘home’. It has a small community, a smattering of bars and restaurants and a very simple landscape of vast yellow desert and even vaster blue sea. It is such a sleepy place, that in my seven years the most threatening thing to have happened was a brief dust up between a few dive guides and a couple of amateur boxers in (the once popular but now closed) TGI Fridays. And a donkey once gave me a peculiar look. Frightening stuff.

You’ll know Port Ghalib if you’ve been on one of the many liveaboards that depart from here, often going to Brothers Islands or Daedalus and occasionally further south. Or, you’re one of the relatively few divers that have been this far south on a land-based trip. For those that don’t know, it is a small private, modern development right next to Marsa Alam airport (RMF), almost exactly 200km South of Hurghada (HRG). It has never been inundated with holidaymakers, mainly because the airport does not receive many flights (only one per week from the UK) but divers have usually been savvy enough to find a way down via Hurghada. Those that come are rewarded with exceptional coral reefs, regular sightings of the rare dugong, and pelagic encounters on famous reefs like Elphinstone.

Dugong feeding in Marsa Alam HR copyright _ description (Medium).jpg

 

I came to Egypt in early 2009 to begin my career as a Dive Instructor having cut my teeth part time in the UK as a Divemaster (playing dead in the corners of Stony Cove, waiting an age for the next Rescue Diver student to locate me and inevitably flood my drysuit with icy water while they grappled me to the surface). The full time job paid the bills but the diving was what I lived for and so the opportunity to combine the pleasure with the pay was too much to resist – quit boring job, rent out apartment, store possessions, pack bags, go. Oh, and bring the missus.

Since 2009, I have seen three major news items hit the TV about this country, each one rocking the tourism industry; the Arab Spring of 2011, the ouster of the Islamist presidency of summer 2013 and most recently the plane incident on Sinai in October 2015. I’m not even going to include that recent (January 2016) nonsense in Hurghada that should have barely made national news, let alone front page international “news” (I’m being kind to the Daily Mail there). Thankfully for the latter incident, the Foreign Office and credible news outlets waited for the facts to come out before splashing their opinions all over the place, and rightly ignored it as the scuffle it was. So back to the three major incidents, and how I viewed them as a resident and insider. Not surprisingly, I saw events unfold in the exact same way most Brits would have, namely clutching a cold beer and watching the TV. Probably the only difference being I was wearing flip flops and shorts.

Cairo is a long, long way away from the Red Sea, the closest resort being Hurghada at a mere 280 miles or so, Marsa more like 400. I know this, as I recently had to travel there to go and see Star Wars: The Force Awakens (hey, I was born in 1978 and I’m called Luke – what choice do I have?). My options were either a seven-hour car journey or a one-hour flight, hardly next door. So to be worried about whether events in Cairo would spill over, while sitting in a bar in a Red Sea resort, would be like someone in Seahouses (if you’ve not been there, you haven’t done some of the best UK diving on offer!) worried about the London rioters knocking on their door in August 2011. For those who worked in the Egyptian diving industry during these events, the worry was never safety. I never saw a thing firsthand that would have told me anything was amiss in Cairo. The worry was, and still is today, what will be the impact on the number of divers coming out?

Oceanic whitetip shark at Elphinstone, Marsa Alam HR copyright_description (Medium).jpg

 

The latest incident regarding the plane downing in Sinai late last year caused a response by the Foreign Office to put flights into and out of Sharm on hold, while the cause was investigated alongside a review of Egyptian airport security. The effect on Sharm has been colossal with many hotels and some dive centres closed at least temporarily whilst some have packed up for good. It’s a little bit difficult to watch and this well written article in the Gulf news by a British journalist makes some very good points about the scale of the reaction to that incident and even has a poll at the end (you have to pick an answer to see the result), which shows to me that most people really do have their heads screwed on right: http://gulfnews.com/opinion/thinkers/egypt-s-tourism-industry-battered-unfairly-1.1655842 .

It’s difficult for those who have never been to the Red Sea before to visualise the Egyptian Red Sea as a peaceful and welcoming place since the media has inevitably tarred the whole of Egypt with a very large brush. I’m sure those that have been before know, when they stop to think, that a trip to Sharm, Hurghada or Marsa Alam would be safe but are still maybe hesitating. We are very  good at focusing on ourselves and our own (sometimes inaccurate or misled) intuitions instead of facts; it’s for that reason for example that people often find it difficult to intuit that in any 23 random people, there is a greater than 50% chance that two share the same birthday. It’s true, look it up. And so it is, if you find yourself hesitating about an upcoming Red Sea dive trip, it’s the misleading part of your intuition at work. 

The facts about the Red Sea are clear. It is the closest warm water coral reef diving to the UK at five hours by plane. It is one of the best value diving destinations available to Brits. There are world class events to be seen such as the fish schooling of Ras Mohamed, as well as possible encounters with sharks, mantas, dolphins, dugong and turtles to name but a few. The visibility is usually a spectacular 30m+ and the water temperature ranges from 22C to 30C. There are wrecks of every shape and size to suit divers of all ability. There is a phenomenal tourism infrastructure, hotels of every class, liveaboard vessels, dive boats and transportation on hand everywhere. The diving is regulated and safe, with professional licensed outfits available in all the main resorts as well as a large network of hyperbaric chambers should one need. The local people are always hospitable and are especially welcoming to British nationals who traditionally have supported Egypt at times when other nationalities have not. And, most pertinently, it is safe to holiday here. As I said, I am sure most of you believe this deep down anyway but for those who don’t, just look at the Foreign Office advice https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt . Hurghada – green. Sharm El Sheikh – green. Marsa Alam – green. Even Cairo – green (which suited my cinema ambitions). They quote “Over 900,000 British nationals visit Egypt every year. Most visits are trouble-free”. The same is true for all the major European advices; Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy etc. I’m no mug; I wouldn’t live here if I doubted my safety.

Schooling snapper at Ras Mohamed, Sharm El Sheikh HR copyright_description (Medium).jpg

 

Unsurprisingly the national response has not been covered in the international press as widely as the incidents themselves. Boring news does not sell papers. Egypt needs tourism; it is a huge and vital part of the country’s revenue. And so while I think you would have to go a long way to find someone in the Egyptian government who considers the sudden drop in tourism fair or justified, they have been forced to react positively. I bashed the Daily Mail earlier, so it’s only fair to include an article they ran somewhere in their back pages recently: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3399945/Egypt-spend-32M-upgrading-tourist-resort-security.html . As well as an investment in resort security, there has been work behind the scenes on airport security. British government representatives have recently been over to Egypt and have voiced their approval at the decision to use an international private company, Control Risks, to audit and strengthen security at airports, although you have to dig very deep for this news http://allafrica.com/stories/201601210964.html.

Since Egypt also recently finalised their democratic government with the first session of parliament for three years, another British government delegation which was there to see the inaugural session, “affirmed they would recommend the resumption of British air flights to Sharm El Sheikh upon their return to the UK”, which again was hardly reported http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/181266/Egypt/Politics-/British-parliament-members-recommend-resumption-of.aspx

Thresher shark at Little Brother HR copyright_description (Large).jpg

For you, the savvy diver, this is all good news indeed, albeit news you probably would not have seen.  So, Egypt is safe as the FCO advises, yet it is spending significantly to further secure its resorts. Egypt has also shown a quick and welcomed response to improving airport security to eradicate the one ban that does currently apply at Sharm airport. Diving in Egypt in the past few years has just got better and better; 2015 must go down as one of the best ever, certainly in the past 10 years. Ras Mohamed had fish schools of epic proportion, Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone had near ever present shark sightings (hammerhead, whale shark, grey reef, thresher and oceanic whitetip to name a few) from May to December and even Rocky Island in the far south had tiger sharks for two months.

It could be asserted that perhaps there were too many divers in the years leading up to 2011 with reports of overcrowding on popular reefs and wrecks and nowhere near as many pelagic sightings as we have had recently. Since the masses will be hesitating about coming to the Red Sea, there is an opportunity for savvy divers in 2016 to experience the resorts and diving like never before. Reefs should be uncrowded, deals should be plentiful, and the diving spectacular. You can book for Marsa or Hurghada right now and expect the Sharm airport situation to be resolved in time to allow summer (which is the prime time for the Ras Mo fish schooling) trips there.

There are no guarantees in life, but if you look at the facts rather than the tabloid tales they chose to sell papers and decide rationally rather than intuitively, then you will see that rather than thinking to give the Red Sea a miss for the time being, it is exactly the time to come and dive here. If you do, I’d love to share a cold beer with you. Bring your own shorts and flip flops.

 

"What is Feefo?"

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Feefo is a global ratings and reviews provider of genuine guest feedback. Unlike some reviews platforms that have made the news for allowing fake and malicious reviews to be published, Feefo has never allowed this to happen.

Feefo generates feedback from guests and delivers real reviews from real customers that have actually used the services of Emperor Divers and are therefore qualified to give a view. Feefo generates feedback that you can trust.

In 2015, Emperor received the 'Feefo Gold Trusted Merchant' Award.

Make the most of our Autumn Sale - ends this Friday

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Autumn Sale

 

You've got until 6 November to make some super savings on your Red Sea and Maldives diving.

Great value on day diving and liveaboards in the Red Sea and liveaboards in the Maldives.

Red Sea diving from £26 / €35 per day
Red Sea liveaboards from £444 / €599
Maldives liveaboards from £1014 / €1369

» Click here! Hurry as it closes on Tuesday 6 November.


Autumn Sale now OPEN - not just for the dive show

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Autumn Sale

Join us at the Dive Show and find out what warming Autumn Sale offers we've got lined up for you.

And it's not just the Red Sea but the Maldives too!

Red Sea diving from £26 / €35 per day
Red Sea liveaboards from £444 / €599
Maldives liveaboards from £1014 / €1369

Can't make the Dive Show? Then visit here instead!

Hurry as it closes on Friday 6 November.

NEC Dive Show 2015

24/25 October, Birmingham
Stand 602

Hope you can join us! We've got the team lined up and ready to give you the latest on the Red Sea and the Maldives.

Luke Atkinson.jpg

Luke Atkinson is giving a Seminar on the diving in Sharm El Sheikh, and other Red Sea diving delights and liveaboards!

Rather catchily titled, "Spectacular Sharm El Sheikh – why it's time to (re)discover its diving charm – and other Red Sea places!"

Catch him from 14.55 to 15.25 on both the Saturday and Sunday in Ocean Theatre 1.

Luke has an entertaining 30 minutes for you complete with photos, anecdotes and interesting information to inspire you!

Huge bouquets to the team at Emperor Sharm El Sheikh who have received a run of fantastic feedback via TripAdvisor recently...
 
SenseOfAdventure
St. Albans, United Kingdom
“Excellent service, great diving”
 
We visit Sharm el Sheikh every year and always go diving with Emperor. My daughter has trained from open water up to rescue diver and I completed my advance qualification with them in 2006. My experience with them has consistently been positive, with some instructors who stay with them for years and new ones joining each season. Whatever length of service, all staff are extremely helpful and friendly and make for some great days out and diving. Facilities and food on the boats are always good and add to the overall enjoyment. I feel totally confident in 
recommending Emperor they run a very tight ship and off great service and value.
 
MelthamTerrier
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
“Very well set up with great guides and excellent value for money”
 
Picked up on time from our hotel and transported to the dive centre which is about 2 minutes from Naama Bay port. Booked in and gear collected within about 15 minutes. Dive boats used are functional and relatively clean, don't expect 5* luxury. Duncan, our guide did a very comprehensive brief for the first dive and made everyone feel comfortable with the dive plan. Second dive was equally well briefed by Paul. The dives themselves were extremely interesting with all the corals and numerous fish species, it was an assault on the senses, there was that much going on. Once back at the centre we needed to wait for all the divers to return before we could get transport back to our hotel, however there is a bar in the attached hotel so a nice cool beer can be had whist waiting. The second day's diving was hosted by both Elise and Hannah who were very good guides and we got 3 dives ( 2 in Ras Mohammed and 1 'local') Extremely good value for money and who recommend without any hesitation. Will be back in December for another day. Note this is a full day 7:30am until about 6pm Visited September 2015
 
MattF1993
Rutland, United Kingdom
“Amazing, Safe Knowledgeable dive centre and boat crew.”
 
This was my first diving experience in the red sea, It was reassuring that safety was the first priority throughout my two days diving in Sharm El Sheik. I dived and my mum (although qualified) just snorkelled and was treated very well as a non diver. I found all of the emperor diver staff and boat crew highly personable and very knowledgeable. I managed to see two white tipped reef sharks on my first day and I swam with a turtle on my second day which was absolutely magnificent! I would not hesitate to recommend Emperor divers to any of my diving friends, I felt so appreciated, safe and happy with everyone. Pete, Saad and Paul were all great with full briefings and debriefings. The boat crew were extremely helpful and friendly at all times both in and out the water. 
The lunch was fantastic on board also. Thanks for a brilliant couple of days diving - problem is I just want to go back now! Thanks to all of the Sharm El Sheik Emperor team and Crew on Boat Marcus!
 
Paulapopop6
Chelmsford, United Kingdom
“Simply the best”
 
My daughter qualified open water with emperor and has since dived with them 4 holidays on. They are amazing, safety is paramount but fun is second. The boats are clean with great staff on all. Non divers are made to feel welcome. Absolutely faultless and I would wholeheartedly recommend. Will use emperor on our return to Egypt
 
 
 

Early Bird Offers

Book before 15 September for smiley savings...

  • Dive from €35 / £25 a day in a choice of Emperor resorts
  • Liveaboards from €599 / £420

» Click here for more info...

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Sharm El Sheikh category.

Scuba Diving - Tips & Tricks is the previous category.

Special Offers is the next category.

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