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Red Sea, Hurghada, 11 - 20th April '17

DATE:           11 - 20th April '18
PRICE:          Starting @ R23 999 per person sharing
                           ** currently on special for R21 999 pps
INCLUDING: Return flights, airport taxes, transfers, 7 nights liveaboard, 6 diving days, up 21 dives, all meals
ADD-ONS:      2 nights Hurghada @ The Elysees Hotel, Cairo city tour (including Pyramids, Sphinx, Egyptian & Military Museum) 
BOOKINGS:   R17 000 deposit to secure flights and liveaboard, with the balance due 11
th February '18

** Terms & Conditions apply
** Photo gallery & trip review
**
Reefs of the northern Red Sea  /  Wrecks of the northern Red Sea
** Liveaboard options


Asmaa10


Egypt's Ras Mohammed northern itinerary, is the Red Sea resort for scuba diving, snorkeling and family fun, it is the jewel of the Sinai, with history going back thousands of years. One of Egypt's top holiday destinations, Hurghada is situated on the Sinai peninsual.  With the Red Sea on one side and the mountains of Mount Sinai on the other.  The northern Red Sea offers arguably the best diving in the world!


ABOUT THE LIVEABOARD

Emperor Asmaa is designed with the diver in mind, comfortably accommodating 20 people in 10 twin-berth cabins (4 x Upper Deck), all ensuite with individual air conditioning and two towels per guest. There is a large dive deck and sun deck. NITROX is free, as is red wine with dinner. Of course fantastic food is standard, and at least 2 professional guides will help you get the best out of the stunning Red Sea dive sites you'll visit. Emperor Asmaa offers genuine value for money for divers looking to explore some of the best sites the Red Sea has to offer in a more intimate atmosphere.

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THE ROUTE OF REEFS & WRECKS (FROM HURGHADA)

Beneath the crystal blue surface of the Red Sea lies a rich and diverse ecosystem, just waiting to be explored. Located between Africa and Asia, the warm tropical waters are home to more than 1100 species of fish, 200 species of hard and soft corals and 44 species of shark. This rich diversity is in part due to the expanse of coral reef that extends along its coastline.

The Red Sea is a unique marine paradise that offers some of the most spectacular diving in the world. With miles of beautiful coral reef, numerous wrecks and a vast array of marine life from brightly coloured nudibranchs and tropical fish to large pelagics such as oceanic white tips and hammerheads, there really is something for everyone! Whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced diver your Red Sea experience will be one that you never forget.

 

* Abu Nuhas / Straits of Gubal / SS Thistlegorm / Ras Mohamed / Ulysses / Rosalie Moller

Please note: This is a 21+ itinerary. You must be a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent and you are expected to be able to complete each dive with your buddy or following the guide. The guides may not enter the water and remain onboard as surface support for some dives. However to get the most from the trip we suggest you are certified to dive to 30 meters and be PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent. The PADI Advanced course can be completed whilst onboard so be sure to pre-book.
The best of both worlds, where you visit famous wrecks in the northern Red Sea along with some stunning reef diving.

The famous horseshoe shaped reef of Shaab El Erg is a perfect example of the reefs on offer on this cruise, with its beautiful hard coral garden and the chance to see dolphins.

Abu Nuhas has four well-known wrecks: Giannis D, Carnatic, the lentil wreck and the tile wreck, all offering spectacular dives and plenty of fish life.

Night dives can be superb as Gubal Island offers protected anchoring for the night. A small wreck at 8-10 metres makes for a spectacular night dive with lionfish, scorpion fish and its resident giant moray eel as well as the wreck of the Ulysses and the Rosalie Moller. Next onto the Kingston lying at Shag Rock; the Carina lying close to Sha'ab Ali and the Dunraven at Beacon Rock in Ras Mohamed National Park. And finally the most famous wreck in the Red Sea, the Thistlegorm, at Sha'ab Ali.

The SS Thistlegorm was sunk in 1941 after being bombed by the German Luftwaffe while on a mission to deliver a cargo of ammunition and other war materials to the British troops in North Africa. The Rosalie Moller, carrying a cargo of coal, suffered the same fate just two days later.

Whilst in Ras Mohamed, you may have the chance to do a dive at Shark Reef; a sheer wall falling into the blue. From here the boat heads back towards Hurghada.

In between wreck dives you will also visit the reefs of the Straits of Gubal, Gulf of Suez and those to the north of Hurghada. A variety of deep walls and hard coral gardens with an abundance of reef fish make them well worth a visit.

All wrecks are subject to divers' experience and weather conditions

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HURGHADA EXTENSION

Hurghada offers a fantastic opportunity to relax after the busy diving schedule on the liveaboard.  There is a selection of sea-side resorts to stay at with easy access to the Hurghada International Airport as well both the modern city center of Sakkala and authentic down town Hurghada.

 

LAND BASED ATTRACTIONS ONCE BACK IN CAIRO

When it comes to tourist attractions above the water, Egypt needs no introduction... it is World famous. Here is just a selection of the many impressive attractions you may wish to visit while in Egypt.

The Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx:
The Pyramids of Giza represent one of the greatest architectural feats of man. The last surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the world's oldest tourist attractions and attracts vast numbers of tourists every year. There are three main pyramids in Giza; the Great Pyramid of Khufu, The Pyramid of Kafhre and the smaller Pyramid of Menkaura and each Pyramid is a tomb to a different King of Egypt. In front of the pyramids lies the Sphinx, carved out of a single block of stone, this enormous cat-like sculpture has mesmerized millions of visitors.

Abu Simbel: Next to the Pyramids of Giza, Abu Simbel is perhaps the most recognized monument of ancient Egypt. The two temples built for the pharaoh Ramesses II have been attracting visitors since Victorian times. Today there is a daily sound and light show which is not to be missed. Twice a year in February and October the Abu Simbel Festival is held and the natural sunlight and architectural brilliance combine to make the inner sanctum of the temple light up - an experience not to be missed if you are there at the right time of year.

Valley of the Kings: Home to Tutankhamun's tomb, the Valley of the Kings is situated on the ancient site of Thebes and is where the pharaoh's were buried and hoped to meet their Gods in the afterlife. To see the treasure that Tutankhamun was buried with, you will have to visit the National Museum in Cairo, however Tutankhamun was actually a relatively a minor king and there are many larger and more impressive tombs to discover in the Valley of the Kings.

Luxor Temple: If you travel to Luxor then it will be hard to miss the spectacular Luxor Temple situated in the center of Luxor city. Largely built by Amenhotep III and Ramesses II around 1400BC, its main purpose was to celebrate the festival of Opet. Many rulers built on to the temple yet it always remained a place of worship for Christians and later Muslims. A mosque built inside the temple still exists and is one of the highlights of the site. Luxor Temple is beautifully lit at night and its well worth visiting the site at sunset.


PACKAGE INCLUDES

* Return flights Johannesburg / Cairo / Hurghada / Cario / Johannesburg
* Airport taxes
* Shared cabin, 7 nights on board
* 6 Days diving (see route description above for number of dives), guide, tanks, weights
* Hire of weights and 12L aluminium tanks
* Nitrox
* Breakfast, lunch and dinner (including wine)
* All tea, coffee, water, snacks & soft drinks
* Environmental tax, Marine Park fees and port departure fees

PACKAGE EXCLUDES 

* Add on return flights to Johannesburg if required
* Hurghada & Cairo add-ons
* Hire of dive equipment other than tanks and weights (15L Cylinder – 40 Euros)
* Alcohol
* Visa processing cost @ R350 per passport
* Liveaboard service charge (50 Euros – divided amongst crew)
* Personal travel, baggage and diving insurance (Group Policy – R240)
* Lunch dinner & drinks in Hurghada and Cairo


TOUR ITINERARY

Day 1: Check in at OR Tambo airport for flight to Cairo.   Depart Johannesburg @ 21:45pm and arrive Cairo @ 05:35am

Day 2: Arrive in Cairo airport, met and assisted through customs.  Transfer to domestic airport to check in for domestic flight from Cairo, departing 07:00am and arriving Hurghada at 08h05am. Met at Hurghada airport on arrival at approximately 10h00 and transferred directly to live-aboard.  Once Port clearance has been obtained, live-aboard departs.  The luxury live-aboard offers 5* service, exceptional cuisine, a friendly crew and unlimited diving opportunities. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily and tea, coffee, soft drinks and bottled water are freely available on board.

Day 2 - 8: Unlimited diving on only the best dive sites in and around Ras Mohammed National Park, also including the famous Thistlegorm, Sha’ab Abu Nuhas and Gubal wrecks.  Night 7 is an overnight in Hurghada Port on liveaboard - group has night free to visit Hurghada.   There is a selection of restaurants, shops and bars right on your doorstep. 

Day 9: Check out of live-aboard after breakfast and transfer to the airport for short flight departing Hurghada at 20:00pm and arriving Cairo at 21:05pm or go onto the hotel for your Hurghada extension.  Departing Cairo @ 23:10pm and arriving Johannesburg 07:10am.

Days 9 & 10 (optional add-on): Spend 2 nights / 2 days at leisure in Hurghada @ The Elysees Hotel.  Overnight on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 11: Transfer to Hurghada airport in the morning to catch return flight to Cairo.  Met and assisted at Cairo airport where you will depart for a guided tour of the Pyramids and Sphinx (if included in your package).  Half-day hotel room included. Lunch and dinner are at own cost.  Depart for airport in the late evening to check in for return flight to Johannesburg.  Departs Cairo at 23h10.  Dinner and breakfast are served on the flight.

Day 12: Arrival time in Johannesburg approximately 07h10.

 

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ABOUT THE DIVE SITES

* Reefs of the northern Red Sea
* Wrecks of the northern Red Sea

The Sinai Peninsular itself is a mountainous region which often seems mirrored underwater with monumental drop offs’, dramatic vertical walls and canyons. The water around the Sinai is on a major shipping route and is a gateway from Europe to Africa. Over the years the combination of hundreds of reefs and boats has resulted in shipping accidents creating numerous wrecks. The Northern Red Sea boasts some of the most impressive wrecks world wide including the Rosalie Moller and the SS Thistlegorm. In addition to the wrecks the northern Red Sea is home to some spectacular reef dives. The northern route begins from the port of Hurghada.

* Straits of Tiran: Gordon, Thomas, Woodhouse, Jackson
* Ras Mohamed Area: Shark Reef & Yolanda, Jackfish Alley
* Sharm Area: Stingray Station, Ras Katy
* Abu Nuhas: Carnatic, Marcus, Ghiannis D
* Gubal Island: Bluff Point, Barge, Ulysses
* Shag Rock: Kingston and Reef
* Sha'ab Mahmoud: Small Crack, The Alternatives, Dunraven

The Straits of Tiran
There are four main dive sites in Tiran: Gordon; Thomas; Woodhouse; and Jackson. These are named after the English Cartographers who drew the first nautical maps of the region. The straits are formed by the island of Tiran to the east, and the Sinai coastline to the west. The meeting of deep waters, continental plate, and narrow passage creates a bottleneck through which a strong, dense flow of plankton is funneled to the coral reefs. A food chain is set in motion which links the plankton, coral organisms and reef fish to the larger fish – the sharks! At certain times of the year, weather and sea conditions permitting, a dive may be done in the deep blue water to search for a school of hammerheads.

Ras Mohamed National Park
Ras Mohamed peninsula separates the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba. Currents flow out of both gulfs and bathe Ras Mohamed in rich nutrients, which assure both plentiful and varied marine life. Shark Reef and Yolanda wreck is the most impressive dive in the national park. Shark reef has a vertical wall descending to over 800m and although the Yolanda wreck is too deep for recreational dives you can swim amongst her cargo of ideal standard toilets, baths and a BMW car. In the summer months vast numbers of snapper, barracuda and bat fish school in the blue water in front of Shark reef with oceanic black tip sharks moving between them

Reefs are covered in fish life and some reefs are so shallow that these can even be viewed from the surface.  The corals come to within 1 meter from the surface and then continue down into the depths. Most of the fish life is the smaller reef dwellers as opposed to the pelagic life, but if you look into the blue the big stuff is there.

One of the real highlights of diving in this region are the well-preserved, accessible shipwrecks that litter the seabed across the entrance to the Gulf of Suez.  At least six major wrecks lie in easy reach of Sharm El Sheikh or Hurghada.  There are 19th century mail steamers, modern cargo ships and historic spice traders lying on the bottom of this stretch of sea, all waiting to be explored.

It's also worth mentioning that the Red Sea is very salty so expect to carry more weight than you would imagine necessary with your warm water kit.

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CLIMATE

Tempered by sea breezes from the gulfs of Suez and Aqaba, temperatures are mild in winter and blazing hot in summer, often reaching 40 degrees (104 F) or more.  Rainfall is minimal and limited to the winter months.  Beware of the danger of fierce sunlight and cover up, using a good sunscreen.


CONDITIONS

Seasonal temperature variation is quite similar to that found in southern Sinai.  Water temperatures range from the upper twenties (80s F) in the summer to winter lows as cold as 19 to 20 degrees (66-68 F).  You may be comfortable enough in just a swimskin in summer, particularly if you normally dive in cold water.  Conversely, in the wintertime, some locals use drysuits!  A 3mm (0.12in) or even a 5mm (0.20) wetsuit would not be out of order for most of the year. 

As autumn progresses to winter, the prevailing northerly winds in the area change.  Long swells pushed by the south wind have the entire length of the Red Sea to build up, and by the time they reach the Straits of Gubal, they can be pretty powerful.  Conditions are rarely so bad that diving is impossible, but the boat ride can get rough, particularly since so many of the sites in the area are on open-sea reefs.  If you suffer from seasickness take a good supply of motion-sickness tablets.


LOCAL DIVE ETIGUETTE

It is important that every diver does his or her bit to preserve the reef environment.  Please note that the whole area is protected and no touching or breaking of coral, feeding of fish, fishing, wearing of gloves or little rings is allowed; offenders are liable for prosecution.

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For enquiries, quotes or bookings, contact Lynne on:
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Cell: (+27) 76 689 3795
DAHAB EXTENSION:

Dahab offers a fantastic opportunity to relax after the busy diving schedule on the Liveaboard.  The bay is lined with small shops & restaurants overlooking the sea.  The snorkelling & diving in this area is spectacular including the famous Blue Hole, Canyon and Islands.  Other activities include Quad Biking, Camel Desert Safari, Mount Sinai and St. Catherine’s Monastery Tour, White & Coloured Canyons etc.  Dahab is located away from the hustle and bustle of Sharm-el-Sheikh making it a very relaxing and affordable extension to your holiday.  

PACKAGE INCLUDES:

* Return international flights from Johannesburg to Cairo
* Return domestic airfares from Cairo to Sharm el-Sheikh
* All transfers and transportation scheduled in Egypt
* Liveaboard: 6 Day / 6 night’s accommodation on luxurious Liveaboard
* Unlimited diving on only the best dive sites in and around Ras Mohammed National Park, also including
   the famous Thistlegorm, Sha’ab Abu Nuhas and Gubal wrecks
* Hire of weights and 12L aluminium tanks.
* Ras Mohammed Park fee
* Breakfast, lunch and dinner
* All teak, coffe, bottled water, snacks & soft drinks
* Hotel in Sharm-el-Sheikh: 1 day use hotel room in Sharm-el-Sheikh
* Harbour/Hotel/Airport transfers

PACKAGE EXCLUDES:

* Add on return flights to Johannesburg if required
* Airport taxes: R1 900 (subject to change without notice)
* Hire of dive equipment other than tanks and weights (15L Cylinder – 40 Euros)
* Nitrox fills (6 Euro per fill,  Prepaid unlimited package – 60 Euros)
* Visa processing cost @ R350 per passport
* Liveaboard service charge (50 Euros – divided amongst crew)
* Personal travel, baggage and diving insurance (Group Policy – R240)
* Lunch dinner & drinks in Dahab and Cairo

Please note the following:  An additional admin fee of R300 per person will be levied for any breakaways to this itinerary.

TOUR ITINERARY:

Day 1:  Saturday, 2 July

Check in at 18h00 at Johannesburg International airport for flight to Cairo.  Flight departs Johannesburg at 21h45.  Flying time approximately 8 hours.  Dinner and breakfast is served on board the plane.

Day 2: Sunday, 3 July

Arrive in Cairo airport at 06h30 and transfer to the transit lounge for the domestic flight from Cairo to Sharm-el-Sheikh departing at approximately 09h00.  Met at Sharm-el-Sheikh airport on arrival at approximately 10h00 and transferred directly to live-aboard.  Once Port clearance has been obtained, live-aboard departs from Sharm-el-Sheikh.  The luxury live-aboard offers 5* service, exceptional cuisine, a friendly crew and unlimited diving opportunities.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily and tea, coffee, soft drinks, snacks and bottled water are freely available on board. 

Day 2 - 7: Sunday 3 July – Friday 8 July

Unlimited diving on only the best dive sites in and around Ras Mohammed National Park, also including the famous Thistlegorm, Sha’ab Abu Nuhas and Gubal wrecks. 

Day 8: Saturday, 9 July

Check out of Liveaboard after breakfast and transfer to a day use hotel in Sharm-el-Sheikh, ideally situated in the heart of Naama Bay close to the beach, restaurants and shopping areas.  Spend the day relaxing and exploring Sharm-el-Sheikh before transferring in the evening to the airport for your flight to Cairo.Optional Cairo Day Tour:  Fly to Cairo in the morning where you will be met and assisted at Cairo airport and transferred to a day-use hotel room at a 5 Star Hotel. Depart for guided tour of Pyramids & Sphinx.  Return to hotel after tour.  Lunch and dinner are at own cost. Depart for airport in the late evening to check in for return flight to Johannesburg.

Day 9: Sunday, 10 July

Arrive at Cairo airport and transfer to the transit lounge for the International flight to Johannesburg. Flight departs Cairo at 02h40 in the morning.  Dinner and breakfast are served on the flight.  Arrival time in Johannesburg approximately 09h40.

Tour Itinerary for Dahab Extension

Day 8: Saturday, 9 July

Check out of live-aboard after breakfast and transfer to Dahab (approx 1 hours drive).  Check in at hotel on a bed and breakfast basis.Shore and boat diving can be arranged at the dive centre at the hotel and there is excellent snorkelling, numerous restaurants and small markets within the village. (Shopper’s paradise)

Day 9 & 10: Sunday 10 July & Monday 11 July

Spend time at leisure in Dahab. Overnight on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 11: Tuesday, 12 July

Option 1:

Spend day at leisure and transfer to Sharm-el-Sheikh in the evening to catch flight departing 22h15 and arriving in Cairo at 23h10.

Option 2:

Transfer to Sharm-el-Sheikh airport in the morning to catch return flight to Cairo.Met and assisted at Cairo airport and transferred to a day-use hotel room at a 5 Star Hotel.  Depart for guided tour of Pyramids & Sphinx.  Return to hotel after tour.  Lunch and dinner are at own cost. Depart for airport in the late evening to check in for return flight to Johannesburg.

Day 12: Wednesday, 13 July

Check in for flight to Johannesburg.  Flight departs Cairo at 02h40 in the morning.  Dinner and breakfast are served on the flight.  Arrival time in Johannesburg approximately 09h40.

For enquiries, quotes or bookings contact Lynne on:
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it / cell: 071 569 1342 / 083 463 2163

 

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