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Lawson Wood on his 45-year love of the Red Sea

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Red Sea dolphins


Here's a wonderful blog by Lawson Wood who joined us on Emperor Superior last year for our first ever 'South for Winter' relaxed trip.

» Read why Lawson has loved the Red Sea for 45 (!) years



Find out why Berk Celebi loves Emperor Asmaa

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Manta, St John's Reef


Berk Celebi was so impressed with Emperor Asmaa, the team and the diving. Here's what he said.

"Simply the best. This is by far the best team I've ever met in the Red Sea. If anything goes wrong, they do their best to make it right. They make you feel like all their staff are working individually for you to make your holiday the best one ever. Food is awesome, hospitality is on the top level. Meet them once and you'll never look for another."

Thanks Berk! And a little reminder that we have some super offers on Emperor Asmaa right here.




Manta video from St John's Reef, Red Sea

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Manta, St John's Reef


St John's Reef always promises amazing diving but what more could you want than a manta to join you for part of your dive!

Thanks to Paul Fassolas for the video taken whilst on Emperor Asmaa.

Talk to us today or email our super friendly Reservations team.

0719 jamie hull 2 (Large).jpg


A former soldier in the United Kingdom Special Forces Reserve, Jamie Hull was fulfilling a lifelong ambition of becoming a pilot in 2007 when, on a routine solo flight, his engine caught fire. Jamie sustained 60 per cent third-degree burns to his body, tissue scarring and internal injuries. He was given a five per cent chance of survival. Undergoing over 60 operations, he was able to pull through but, for Jamie, life as he knew it was over: “I couldn’t see a life beyond injury, I couldn’t see that road ahead. Physically, I felt I was done for.” Read how diving, one of Jamie’s first loves, helped him to get life back on track …

Back in 1998, Jamie was a keen and ambitious scuba diver. Originally a full-time officer in the Thames Valley Police, he decided to embark on his IDC with leading Course Director of the day, Theresa Simpson, who quickly took him under her wing and mentored him to success. A then newly qualified PADI Open Water Instructor, Jamie couldn't resist the pull of the ocean and soon afterwards took the plunge to take a sabbatical from UK policing and return to the Red Sea to work directly for Emperor Divers. “I still remember those early years,” Jamie reflects, “great memories of the excitement of working in a busy dive industry in Hurghada, resounding with the same clarity as the magical visibility of the Red Sea itself!”

Jamie's life story, however, went on to take the guise of many twists and turns including a comprehensive service with the British Army as a higher committed Reservist working all over the world before being subjected to the ultimate physiological and psychological downfall that a human being could possibly sustain. In the summer of 2007, little did Jamie realise that an epic life-changing accident was on the horizon.

A catastrophic injury, sustained during his training to be a pilot, left him with 60% third-degree burns to his body, severe tissue scarring and internal injuries; Jamie was given only a 5% chance of survival. Undergoing over 60 operations, he was able to pull through only by the skin of his teeth but, for Jamie, life as he knew it was over, “I couldn’t see a life beyond injury, I couldn’t see that road ahead. Physically, I felt I was done for.”

Ultimately however, Jamie never gave up and after many years of pain and discomfort, he went on to further project himself in a range of challenging events and endeavours, always going a little further to achieve his goals and in doing so, helping to support others.

“Following on from the ethos of my former Regiment 21 SAS, I always try to continue to live by those values and, in particular, the 'individual pursuit of excellence'.  By way of example, I've continually followed my passion for scuba diving as a vehicle for benefitting my own recovery and rehabilitation from the burns injury. Over many years, I've worked very hard with the diving and recently certified as a PADI Course Director. It's such an amazing sport, which has helped me enormously on the long road to a stronger recovery. One of my goals now is to continue working with others to enable them to fulfil their career ambitions within the dive industry.” 

Excitedly going back to his roots with Emperor Divers, Jamie recently delivered a diving expedition for several UK veterans, training them on a range of PADI courses and using the Blue Brothers’ Emperor Divers dive centre in the stunning marina at El Gouna. 

“Having previously used the efficient and reliable services of UK-based Diverse Travel, I was very impressed with the whole organisation of my recent dive trip to the Red Sea with Emperor Divers. In all sincerity, for anyone looking to organise any kind of dive trip around the world, the booking and administration of Diverse Travel always delivers as smoothly as a well-balanced regulator at 40 metres!”

“The expedition I ran was indeed a great success, supported by the enthusiastic and diligent staff at Emperor Divers’ marina shop including a highly competent captain and crew of the Emperor Pegasus dive boat. As a Course Director, I genuinely recommend the top service Emperor provides for divers of all levels. What's more, as for the diving in the Red Sea, I can still see the magic down there; with all the beauty, clarity and warmth there ever was!”

By Jamie Hull – PADI CD #109809





Watch as Emperor Raja Laut sails right in front of Sangeang Volcano with its Hot Rocks dive sites (we'll be bringing you the underwater video soon).


Sangeang video


» Discover Indonesia, Emperor Raja Laut and Emperor Harmoni here


Emperor Divers


Mike says, "Honesty, integrity, marvellous boats and lovely crew." Not just that but Mike says our booking staff are great; "no tricks, cheats, no extra phoney discounts".

And the proof is in the pudding.

Last year Mike enjoyed diving on Emperor Elite, Red Sea and Emperor Raja Laut, Indonesia.

This year on Emperor Echo, Red Sea and Emperor Explorer, Maldives.

Hang on, there's more ... next year he's on Emperor Echo again then Emperor Harmoni, Indonesia. 2021 on Emperor Explorer for a double back-to-back.

Wow! Welcome back Mike - time and time again and for as many times as we can welcome you. Now that's Loyalty with a capital L.



Just why is the Red Sea so amazing?

Dive into this fantastic video taken by Behind the Mask whilst on Emperor Superior and you'll find out why.

It's refreshingly passionate. The team loves to discover new things, be honest in their story telling and to show Nature in her natural light.

Prepare for extreme happiness, hammerheads, reefs, Longimanus (oceanic white tip), pods of dolphins, inquisitive turtle and smiles and smiles and smiles.


Behind the Mask Red Sea video

Click here to watch


Feefo Reviews


Yes we have more! Thanks to all our guests for taking the time to share their Emperor adventures. We hope it helps to give you a personal insight into diving and making memories with us.

Emperor Superior, Red Sea
Excellent service in every way. Good food, good diving good accommodation and first class guides and crew. Hany, Hamada and all the crew couldn't do enough for you.
Irene Storey

Emperor Superior, Red Sea
'Great Variety of Diving'
Service was great, airport transfer to the boat on time. Hotel to airport (after the trip) 10 minutes early. On Emperor Asmaa: great crew, great food, very laid back and chilled out. The diving nice and varied a good balance between reefs and wrecks with great conditions. Overall a great week. Love Emperor Divers as a company.
Lovely guest

Emperor Superior, Red Sea
'Fantastic Guides!'
Another fantastic Red Sea Safari; well organised, great sites, great food and excellent dive guiding by Hani and Hamada. All the crew can't do enough to make your trip enjoyable, exciting and safe. Already planning our return trip!
Andy Capel

Emperor Superior, Red Sea
'Had an excellent time'
Had an excellent time on board of Emperor Superior. Amazing staff, clean rooms and good food! Lovely guest

Emperor Superior, Red Sea
'Outstanding thoughtful Company'
I have dived with Emperor for about 20 years and the service is fantastic. I have had back surgery in the past 18 months and your team were outstanding looking after me. Sonia is wonderful lady and understood that i needed assistance but not too much to make me feel helpless in any way. Top of the class I say. Thank you so much.
Paul Clark



We thought you might like an update on little Acorn, the rescue Hawksbill turtle.

Back in March we told you about our then Dive Master Trainee, Sandeep, at Emperor Laamu rescuing a small Hawksbill turtle that had become entangled in nets floating in the sea. Acorn was flown to Marine Savers Maldives to be cared for and is back to full health.


Acorn the turtle


We have recently received this video showing Acorn's release into the wild. Thank you to the helpful staff at Olive Ridley Project for their assistance and this update. A special mention goes to the amazing staff at Marine Savers for doing such a great job bringing Acorn back to full health.




Mike Kuiper

Mike Kuiper

Quick facts...

  • Mike Kuiper is our Dive Centre Manager.
  • He's 51 years old and Dutch nationality.
  • A PADI IDC Staff Instructor.
  • 30 years of experience in the diving industry and some.
  • 10 years working in the Maldives.
  • Speaks Dutch, English and German.
  • Welcoming, fun and incredibly knowledgeable.

You & Me in Raa Atoll is for adults only and perfectly set up for all things diving. We also manage the state-of-the-art Water Sports Centre with a range of activities for divers and non-divers alike offering everything you need for those water sports thrills from snorkelling to jet skis, there is a complete range of water sports equipment and activities.

Our Dive Centre is right on the arrival jetty with direct access to the lagoon.

» Dive into Emperor Divers You & Me Raa Atoll here



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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Trip Reports category.

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