Emperor - South and St.Johns
St. Johns, Rocky, Zabargad and Fury Shoals Reef System
Departing from Marsa Ghalib Port
Experience Level: Emperor requires that you are a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent for this itinerary. However to get the most from the trip we suggest you are certified to dive to 30 metres and be PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent. The PADI Advanced course can be completed whilst onboard so be sure to pre-book.
This trip takes you to some of the best diving the Red Sea has to offer. Here the diving is less arduous so it's a trip for those who want to see the best but have a more relaxed time while doing so. Sailing to the southernmost reefs, you'll depart from Marsa Ghalib Port or Hamata (depends on the time of year) and dive the sites at Fury Shoals en-route to Rocky, Zabargad and the vast reef system of St Johns.
When leaving Marsa Ghalib the route can sometimes take in a dive at Abu Dabab on the first or last day. Often spoilt for choice, your guides will pick sites that they know to be the best for the time of the year and can find excellent alternatives should the weather affect the normal route. Although the distances are long, where possible we travel overnight so, as a 21 plus route, our aim is to get as many dives in as possible at some of the most impressive reefs. Below are some of the highlights.
On the way to Fury shoals, dive Sha'ab Sharm with its wall dives and white tip reef sharks. Oceanic white tips and silky sharks can sometimes be found in the blue and turtles often visit the south side before heading further south. At Fury Shoals, dive Sha'ab Claude with its famous swim-throughs and huge porite corals. White tip reef sharks and an anemone and clownfish settlement can be seen a little off the reef to the South. Abu Galawa Soraya has a fantastic coral garden and a wreck of a private sailing boat populated with glass fish.
Zabargad Island lies along the western margin of the Red Sea rift with walls abundant with soft coral and spectacular coral pinnacles. A 75m long, intact wreck known as the "Russian Wreck" and believed to be The Khanka, lies 24m in the western bay on the eastern side of the island provides an alternative to reef diving.
Rocky Island, just 4 NM south of Zabargad, has a fringing reef, sheer walls covered with beautiful soft corals, gorgonias, fans, sponges and black coral trees and vast drop offs in to the deep circle the island. Constant currents flow all year long attracting visitors such as; hammerheads, grey reef and white tip reef sharks, remember to look out in to the blue for manta rays, turtles and dolphins.
St Johns is a vast collection of small reefs offering some of the most remote and rewarding diving in the Red Sea. This incredibly beautiful reef lies a short distance north of the Sudanese border. The reef covers a huge area and many dives would be needed to explore the numerous coral heads and islands. Habili Ali offers giant gorgonians and black corals whilst grey reef, silvertip and schools of hammerhead sharks might be found on the west side. Habili Gafaar is a mass of soft corals teaming with shoals of snappers, butterfly fish and barracudas. Mantas, grey reef and silvertip sharks can often be seen in the blue.
Gota Kebir is a massive reef, famous for its tunnels and south plateau, where jacks and barracudas can be seen and the occasional manta. The tunnels are ideal for novice cave divers.
Gota Soraya is rated as possibly one of the best wall dives in the Red Sea, with overhangs and cracks in the reef wall full of glass fish and sweepers and an abundance of corals, Grey Reef, Silvertips and Hammerhead sharks.
Please note: 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 may remain onboard as surface support for some dives. As with all diving activities, the dive guide has the final decision regarding any divers competency to complete any particular dive. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change without notice. The itinerary will depend on several factors including, but not limited to, weather, diving ability of guests & the number of other boats already present at the various dive sites.