July 2014 Archives

Join us for the Best of the Maldives!

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Just like its title, this is where you dive the best and most famous dive sites of the Maldives in a week of wonderful liveaboard diving across Male and Ari atolls.

The iconic sites of North Male, South Male and Ari Atoll await with channels, drifts and pinnacles the chance of meeting mantas, whale sharks and marine life of many varieties. Flexibility is the word so that no matter what time of the year, this underwater world is there for the exploring.

This itinerary gives a marine mix of big fish such as shark and manta as well as reefs, reef fish, morays and abundant macro life. One of the best known dive sites is Maaya Thila; this pinnacle is approximately 30m in diameter and falls away to reveal sharks and fish a plenty.

A night dive from sheltered moorings here is a must and the trip also aims to find whale sharks and the chance to snorkel with them.

The first trip is on 10 – 17 January, 2015, and costs just £988 including shared cabin, 7 nights/6 days diving, 3 meals a day, afternoon snacks, 1 BBQ dinner on uninhabited island, unlimited drinking water, tea, coffee, 17 dives (inc 1 night dive), guide, tanks, weights, free Nitrox, return airport transfers, Male city tour (on request), separate diving dhoni and excluding flights.

Click here for lots of information and photos.


Slow down and watch Tom's Superior video

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Here's a treat. Bradley de Leeuw's video taken on Emperor Superior earlier this year. Great footage, good music and a red-carpet cast of Red Sea celebrities

Watch it here now.

And if you'd like more on Emperor Superior and her winning ways, click here.

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For the full photo album, click here to Facebook.

A ten day long windy spell has finally given way to what is normally our typical summer weather: flat calm seas ;-)

For our Famous 5 trip this week we had again a mini United Nations Committee on board, including South Africans, British, Spanish, Germans, Australians and Thai.

Captain Mahmoud decided to sail to the Brothers first in an attempt to avoid the rough weather, which was still besieging the north but seemed to have left the south behind.  Very wise decision, as we had perfect weather on the Brothers and later on in the north!

The wreck of the Salem Express was on our way and she welcomed us with great visibility and a blanket of fusiliers. Andy and Wanwisa even spotted a sea moth hovering about on the side of the ship, what an unusual and rare surprise! They usually dwell on sandy bottoms and are not common at all … excellent find.

Luxury diving on the Little Brother was next, as we were the only boat and the currents very mild all day. We enjoyed the gorgeous gorgonian fan garden in all its splendor, with large Napoleon wrasse swimming by. A huge school of densely packed crescent-tail big-eyes, and an equally large but less dense group of schooling bannerfish, as well as schooling cornetfish,  were profusely admired, while the dazzling soft coral growth, smothered in lovely orange anthias, displaying the most purple of eyes and eye-liners, provided a magnificent back-drop.

The Northwestern Point of the Little Brother had two grey reef sharks in store for us, as well as many large dogtooth tuna. Some very elegant yellowfin tuna were chasing each other along the reef, not a very common sighting as they only really come close to the reef at mating time.

The real winner, though, was the Numidia. Not only is she striking, covered in soft corals, she also worked her ever powerful magic by producing three mating grey reef sharks chasing one another back and forth, as well as a handsome,large hammerhead making several passes across the wreck in its majestic winding way. Finally, around the corner, a thresher shark was getting cleaned by the reef, just a few metres under us, while schools of dogtooth tuna of all sizes patrolled the reef chasing each other, obviously mating … awesome! The west wall, as usual, was magnificent, with its gorgeous overhangs populated by different species of fans, spilling out over the wall, which is carpeted in lush soft corals in all shades of pink, purple and orange.

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Shark Reef and Yolanda always impress, even when the current comes across from Yolanda. Especially this time of year, diving here is memorable, as dense schools of red snapper, unicorns, batfish, trevally and blackfin barracuda hover about around both reefs. An eagle ray flew by us and we spotted a large feathertail stingray resting on the sand. The advantage of having a reverse current was that we could get all around Yolanda, ending up in the shallows, completely draped by anthias, soldierfish and soft corals.

The visibility on the Dunraven went for miles, and the density of the glassfish at mid-ship was overwhelming. The soft corals are doing very well everywhere, being ever so lush at the glassfish area and at the bow of the Dunraven.

Cooler water than normal for the last years has definitely boosted soft corals growth everywhere in the Red Sea! Get those thicker suits out, as we still have 26-27 degrees up north in mid-July.

The Thistlegorm showed itself in its best visibility during the morning dive and was visited by schooling Superheroes on a special under-cover mission … the fish were most impressed! Andy and Wanwisa also spotted a few very yummy looking Tambja affinis nudibranchs in the Thistlegorm holds.

We were all sad when the aft mast of the Rosalie Moller fell some time ago, ending up lying at an angle over the side of the wreck, but actually it turned out to be a good thing as the whole mast is now smothered in massive purple and pink soft corals, glassfish, cardinalfish and silversides. One could spend the whole dive simply exploring this magnificent mast. Four grey morays, Flabellina rubrolineata nudibranchs, crested velvetfish, lionfish, fridman’s and yellowback dottybacks, many blennies, banded boxer shrimps and a whole school of cave cleaner shrimps, amongst many other fascinating creatures, also call it home.

The Carnatic was everybody’s favourite, so very scenic, overgrown with soft corals and densely populated by glassfish with the beautiful light shafts penetrating the decking ribs creating such a cathedral-like atmosphere.

The Ornate Ghost pipefish at Um Gammar Island has moved on but we had wonderful dives by day and night as we spotted large Spanish dancers, banded snake eels, stonefish, huge morays and were fascinated again by that beautiful glassfish pinnacle, home to a whole school of lionfish.

A huge thank you goes to our superb guests who made diving the Famous 5 such an enthusiastic and beautiful experience. Thank you so much for sharing our dear Red Sea with us! A great thank you also to our dear Captain Mahmoud and his splendid and hard-working Crew, who took such good care of us, taking as there and back again safely and always with broad smiles.

Dear Fish and Soft Coral Friends, have a safe journey home and hopefully see you soon again!

Fat sea hugs


12 - 19 August 2014
Emperor Asmaa is a custom-built motor yacht designed with the diver in mind and comfortably accommodating 20 people in 10 twin-berth cabins, all ensuite and with two towels per guest. The cabins and salon are centrally air-conditioned and there is a large dive deck and sun deck.

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Sailing to the southernmost reefs, this cruise departs Hamata Port so you don't waste anytime travelling to and from Port Ghalib.
You'll start with a very short sail to a nearby site that's perfect for that first check dive. You then spend a week diving, diving, diving.
Fury Shoals dive sites are dived at the beginning and end of the trip with the St Johns in the middle. 
Group Discount:
9 pay full price - 1 free
18 pay full price - 2 free
More information on Asmaa here or, even better, book here today!


A short taster of diving and staying in El Gouna. Shot for Emperor by BBC cameraman, Mark Sharman, this footage brings you closer to the Red Sea and all that El Gouna has to offer.

Diving, day boats, kitting up, fab food, clear blue water, colourful reefs, dolphins and relaxing in resort. And if you're not diving, this shows you a range of things to do above the water.

Dive El Gouna

» Click here and enjoy...

In the past few days, diesel prices have risen by 64% and dive operators have had no choice but to introduce a fuel surcharge. Accordingly, as of 28 July, Emperor will apply  fuel surcharges to new bookings as follows:

€5 per day for boat diving

€3 per day for house reef diving

€55 per person per week for northern safaris

€80 per person per week for southern safaris

Existing bookings for 2014 will not be surcharged, however, new bookings for 2014 and new and existing bookings for 2015 will.

Mike Braun, Emperor Divers' General Manager, explained, "Last year we absorbed an average 75% increase in fuel costs but fuel prices, including natural gas, have risen by as much as 78% and have a direct effect on the cost of transporting food and goods as well as public transportation so we have no option but to apply this surcharge. However, with the price reductions seen in the Red Sea over the past few years, we still feel the area offers fantastic value for money."

Please do not hesitate to contact us at reservations@emperordives.com if you have any questions.




El Gouna trumps with new diver

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A glowing review for the Emperor El Gouna team via TripAdvisor. 

Well done all ...

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I learned to dive with Emperor Divers from 10th-14th June 2014 and absolutely loved it.

All the staff were immediately friendly, fun and welcoming. It is situated right next door to the Three Corners Ocean View Hotel, where I was staying.

My instructor was Paul, who was endlessly patient with me (I tested this at times!) and made me feel sale and calm. Every aspect was thoroughly explained and my questions answered with explanations to help me get to the solution, rather than giving me the answers. in the pool and the sea,

Paul demonstrated techniques when necessary and ensured I understood and was competent before we moved on to something else. He was encouraging and full of humour.

All the equipment was in good order and the diver boats were great! Lovely food too. There was a fun atmosphere onboard and all the staff were very safely-conscious.

The dive briefings were thorough and the diving experience heightened by the guides, such as Paul and Tiger, pointing out things divers could easily have missed, such as frog fish and octopus.

I would highly recommend Emperor Divers, both for those wanting to learn to dive, like myself, and those more experienced. I spoke to a number of other divers and all were very pleased with the service. A number are returning later in the year (lucky them!!) and will dive with Emperor Divers again.

Marilyn Stewart


Fascinating report from dive guide, Sonia Goggel, on Emperor Superior


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Every time I am fortunate enough to submerge myself in the magical waters of the Red Sea, I am overwhelmed by the quality of the light and visibility. Like no other diving in the world, the beauty of the dive sites is enhanced greatly by the huge amount of sunlight, the clarity of the water and the often more than fifty meters visibility. Better even, we have these conditions on at least 350 days a year. How much better can it get?

The Carnatic was the perfect expression of the above. As we descended on this 19th century underwater gem, we could clearly see the whole wreck and way beyond. The atmosphere inside is magnificent with the shafts of light penetrating the portholes and rib system and reflecting on the large school of glassfish and very lush soft corals in all shades of purple and pink. 

The Emperor Superior was home to eighteen British Wreck lovers last trip, and to Get Wrecked was our quest. We even had Flash Gordon visits and The Green Man on board; unbelievable but true :-)

Mike’s better half, Karen, preferred to enjoy the sun and have the boat all to herself while we were diving.

On the Chrisoula again, we enjoyed the beautiful light shafts amongst the piles of tiles in the bow and in the work shop.

The Giannis D is the most scenic of all Abu Nuhas wrecks. Great visibility and midday sunlight showed her at her best. The dense school of copper sweepers and glassfish in the engine room provide a most stunning backdrop to a photograph towards the hatch.

We were grateful for the good weather, as the Ulysses was next, gloriously covered in dense soft corals and populated by gorgeous Flabellina rubrolineata nudibranchs and egg-laying sergeant majors.

A dive on the Rosie was next, always impressive, covered in glassfish and cardinals, chased around by lionfish and jackfish. The highlight of the dive, though, met us on the safety stop; a bottlenose dolphin circling us for quite a while.

We also had a dolphin visit on our Bluff Point dive, as ten of these friendly creatures swam by us.

Four dives on the Thistlegorm followed. The last one was the best, though, as we had thirty metres visibility, wonderful light and a blanket of fusiliers being chased by jacks covering the whole wreck.

And then we were off to Shark Reef and Yolanda, one of my personal favourites. 

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We had it again at its best, how could it not be :-) We descended on a big school of snappers, unicorns and big-eye jacks, then drifted along the brilliant Shark Reef wall, crossed over to Yolanda and were mesmerized by the soft coral pinnacles and tons of anthias. As if the sensory overload had not been large enough, a huge swirling barracuda school performed for us during our safety stop. I feel completely privileged to be a dive guide every time I visit Yolanda.

Ras Mohamed was followed by the wreck of the Salem Express. Even though it is always a bit of an eerie dive, the visibility was crystal clear, the pipefish were floating about everywhere and our wreck fans loved it.

When diving the Safaga area, Panorama Reef is a must, especially the Northern edge of the South-Eastern plateau. There is a deep fan coral garden, covered in soft corals and huge pockets of glassfish. Say no more. I could just stay and live here. Pure bliss!

The dense and pristine fan coral forest of Giftun Drift was the cherry on our diving week cake. John O’B, our Master Nudibranch Spotter, found some gorgeous nudibranchs crawling around on the sandy patches.

El Fanadir was our last dive, and we were lucky to spot many stonefish, free-swimming spotted snake eels and two octopuses actually getting bitten by the same giant moray, while swimming by, and then cuddling up to comfort each other.

Night diving was also critter-rich with plenty of Spanish dancers, giant morays, stonefish, lionfish, spiny lobsters and cuttlefish.

We on Emperor Superior are truly blessed with Captain Ahmed Omran, who took us around safely in quite some heavy seas. He and his superb Crew gave the best of themselves on this trip, yet again. Thank you so much my Dear Superior Family, you are truly SUPERIOR!

A great thank you also goes to all our dear guests for getting wrecked with us and sharing the many wonders of the Red Sea. We wish you a safe flight home and hope to see you again soon!

Many sea hugs and safe bubbles!


Click here to see lots more photos from Sonia and guests...



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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2014 is the previous archive.

August 2014 is the next archive.

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