June 2013 Archives

With two exciting new itineraries available from spring 2014, divers can now enjoy more of the best sites that the Red Sea has to offer with less travelling time on top-rated liveaboard, Emperor Elite; Daedalus & Elphinstone and Brothers & Elphinstone from Port Ghalib.

Mike Braun, Emperor Divers General Manager, explains, “We make a point of asking guests for feedback so we can continuously improve our service. Many asked for routes that gave more diving at these iconic sites so we’re really pleased to be able to offer them in our early 2014 schedule. More dives and less travel seemed to be the request so we've responded.”

diver reef sm.jpgDaedalus & Elphinstone promises some of the best pristine diving in the Red Sea with Daedalus being the most offshore reef in the Egyptian Red Sea and only accessible by liveaboard. This abundant virgin reef boasts steep wall dives and challenging drift dives whilst rewarding with manta rays and rarely seen elsewhere, the thresher shark. With less travelling distance, guests have more time to spend at these popular sites as well as diving around Torombi and Sha’ab Abu Dabab on the way to and from Port Ghalib.

The Brothers & Elphinstone itinerary ticks all the boxes showcasing stunning plush coral covered walls,  gorgonian forests, the infamous and alluring Aida II and Numidia wrecks. Located in the open sea with shifting currents the area attracts an array of marine life including hammerheads, silvertips, silky, turtles and manta rays. Offering the same time-saving dives around Marsa Shouna and Sha’ab Abu Dabab are included.

Elphinstone, with its sheer walls covered in soft corals, offers a likely encounter with oceanic white tip sharks.

Elite_web.jpgEmperor Elite is a 38 metre motor yacht custom built to a superior standard and happily takes a maximum of 24 guests in 11 twin-berth cabins and a double master suite, all with ensuite and air conditioning. She is a spacious boat with free Wi-Fi (available where there is a signal), three sundecks, dive deck with platform, Jacuzzi/hot tub, two air-conditioned salons and air-conditioned dining room where good food and free wine with dinner is served. She has all the diving and safety equipment including two large RIBs with outboards.

With the new itineraries costing from £779 for 7 nights, Emperor Elite offers good value for money for divers looking to explore some of the best sites the Red Sea has to offer but without spending too much time sailing to them!

There are direct flights to Marsa Alam.

More information can be found at www.emperordivers.com or email info.safaris@emperordivers.com

By Bernie Mcateer & Team Marsa Alam

Here at Emperor Divers Marsa Alam we have been taking steps to develop from within and our latest program was PADI Snorkel guides training for our Oceans Red Sea boat trips.

Developing the Marsa Alam team

Our aim was to certify members of staff from many different areas of the business including office staff, boat crew and compressor staff. The added knowledge and experience throughout can only benefit the team here and allows more flexibility.

The training began with two days' Emergency First Responder training, covering basic first aid to CPR training. This is vital as the more staff we have trained for an emergency on land or in water the better prepared we are.

Then it was time to get wet, the training covered many areas from guiding, responding to and assisting a panicked snorkeller. Each candidate had to display a high standard of rescue skills and care. Then maybe their least favourite part of the course was some endurance swims. After three days of training the course culminated in putting their skills into practice on a Classic Oceans trip; along with their instructor they joined the trip to Marsa Mubarak. On the trip they got a chance to put their briefing skills to the test and then joined the guests guiding and helping. All performed brilliantly; it was a great day for all after a few pre-trip nerves about doing it for real. The guests were also very happy to have so many guides in the water pointing out turtles and helping them along.

Over the coming months each new guide will go on Oceans' trips to assist the main snorkel guide and build their knowledge and experience until they are also ready to lead the trip themselves.

Developing the Marsa Alam team

Developing our team in this way brings us closer together. Staff from all parts of the business who may have very little contact on a daily basis get together to help each other through the training. These bonds are long lasting and the understanding of how a role such as snorkel guide really works, plus the ability and the opportunity to progress within our team, makes this development invaluable.

But it doesn't stop here; Ahmed Froun who you may recognise from Empress Amy in the centre of the photo has been a snorkel guide for some time now. He is one of the main guides on Oceans trips and also assisted with some portions of the training. Ahmed has recently begun his PADI Divemaster course, is studying hard in his spare time and has begun assisting PADI instructors on some courses. Next time you visit us he might be guiding you...

Click the links for:
more on diving Marsa Alam
more on Oceans Red Sea


Having never made much of the fact that Emperor Divers Marsa Alam at Marina Lodge is well prepared to welcome divers with disabilities, it was through comments from two guests that the team were encouraged to highlight the fact and to encourage disabled divers to visit.

Disabled divers can enjoy boat diving from the Marina Lodge as access to the boats is made easy with the assistance of the dive guides and crew. Although the boats are not specifically designed for wheelchair access, the following feedback explains well how the system works:

Feedback from paraplegic diver, Frank Jennings;

0613 frank jennings disabled diver.jpg“The Emperor dive boats that leave from Marsa Alam (day trips) are not ‘wheelchair friendly’ in so much as there is no specific wheelchair access, but this has never been a problem.

The physical lifting of me and my chair has never been an issue because both the boat crews and dive teams go to every extreme to ensure that getting on and off the boat is not a problem. Whilst on the boat I have every bit of help that I need and every effort is made by everyone to make the experience a good one. I wish I could do two weeks diving five times a year!”

Feedback from diver, David Gosnell;

The last time I dived with Emperor Divers in Marsa Alarm (March 2013) I had the privilege to dive with another qualified diver and her husband who was wheelchair bound. Even though I was not part of their buddy team, I was impressed and very happy to see the boat crew bend over backwards to help both the wife and her husband. From meeting them on the jetty, moving him onto the lower diving deck in his chair making sure he was secure before we left harbour, to all the help you normally get with kitting up. 

They helped with buddy checks and the forward roll he had mastered to start the dive. The after dive exit it was even more impressive. The dive leader helped with in-water kit removal and then the boat crew raised the diver from the water using the method agreed by all prior to the dive. A hive of activity then was then apparent, one stowed away the kit and two and sometimes three helped with the reverse of getting him back into his chair and moving him back up onto the higher diving deck away for the exit platform.

At all time the crew showed extreme consideration to the diver and never treated him any different to the rest of us and, while all this was going on, still helping other divers including his wife.

As a PADI and BSAC open water instructor it was great to see that Emperor Divers has been able, with the limited resources you find on Egyptian day boats, to allow the sport to be shared by some of us who are less fortunate. Well done Emperor and keep up the good work.

For more information on diving Marsa Alam at Marina Lodge visit here.

Paul qualifies and Hurghada 'goes Dutch'

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by Shaun Lambert, Hurghada Dive Centre Manager

Paul Thewissen

"Congratulations to Paul Thewissen (aka The Crazy Cloggie) who has just qualified as our newest Instructor.

Paul started diving with the Nederlands Onderwater Bond in Holland and after a holiday in Mexico got really hooked. Not one for warm-water-only diving, Paul continued to dive off those Dutch shores in the North Sea, brrrrrr. In 2006, Paul moved to Hurghada where he completed his PADI DM course and stopped being a NOB.

After seven years he decided to take the plunge (pardon the pun) and did his IDC here in Hurghada, which he has successfully passed. As a result of this Emperor Divers Hurghada can now offer courses in Dutch as well as the many other languages that we already cater for.

Paul has become an integral part of the team and we look forward to him continuing his diving career with us. Well done again Paul."

Extreme snorkel for Sharks Trust

Mel Hicks is an avid snorkeller and has been known to cruise the Red Sea waters off Hurghada covering long distances. It was this that led to her decision to undertake an 'extreme 5km ocean snorkel swim' to raise monies for The Shark Trust.

"My curiosity with sharks started as a child when I read a few pages of 'Jaws'. When I started diving I saw for myself how malign they are and what their true nature is really like," explains Mel.

Although more people are beginning to realize that sharks do not deserve the reputation they have been given in the past because they are not cute and cuddly, it is often more difficult to raise awareness and money for them. As they are at the top of the food chain in the oceans they are particularly vulnerable as they do not reproduce quickly like those nearer the bottom of the food chain. This is bad news for sharks as they cannot recover quickly when large numbers are killed due to fishing, by-catch or finning.

Mel will be joined by Cat Braun, Tekstreme Manager, and Judit Bordos, Instructor, in her quest on 16 July. The trio will snorkel-swim from North Fanadir back to Emperor Diver's Hurghada dive centre at the Hilton Hurghada Plaza.

If you would like to support them, email Mel at info.hurghada@emperordivers.com or click on this link to her Just Giving page.

"Team Emperor Hurghada is really pleased to be supporting these three crazy ladies with their charity swim and wish them all the best with the event," says Dive Centre Manager, Shaun Lambert.



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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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