South & St. Johns (from Marsa Ghalib Port)
St Johns Reef Systems and Fury Shoals
Please note: As a 21+ DIVES cruise, there's a good chance to enjoy 21 or more dives on a 7-day safari if you choose to.
You don't need a minimum number of dives, but you should be comfortable with drift dives, as currents can be unpredictable and strong. If you are an Open Water Diver, some dives are below 18m therefore we recommend having advanced experience or taking your SSI Advanced Open Water course on board to maximise your enjoyment from the trip. Inexperienced and beginner divers may find some dives challenging and may be asked by the Cruise Director to skip dives that are not suitable for their diving experience. All diving is made from zodiacs to give precise entry and exit points.
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 and dive some sites to the South before sailing overnight to your southernmost point in the St. John's area. Depending on weather, government approval and marine life sightings in recent weeks, we may sail to the southernmost islands of Rocky and Zabargad, or we'll moor instead in the vast reef system of St John's to begin the adventure in the South.
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.
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.
On the last day as we head back to port, we will try to take in a dive or two on the world famous Elphinstone Reef if weather and diver experience permits us, or we will finish in the Abu Dabab area perhaps with another dive or two closer to Port Ghalib to relax and unwind before your final night in port.