- This tour starts in Hurghada, and leads you first to the Brother Islands, and then to the famous wrecks in the Northern Red Sea (the order depends on the weather).
- The fans of old sunken ships will get one’s money worth on this live aboard. The “big brother” impresses with its steep faces and two wrecks – the Numidia and the Aida. The “little brother” stitches with its colorful hard and soft corals in many overhangs and schools of fishes.
- Big fishes, such as fox sharks, hammerhead sharks, grey sharks or oceanic white tip sharks promise you on both “brothers” exciting dives.
- Then we continue to the North. In addition to the wrecks of Abu Nuhas (Carnatic, Chrisoula K, Ghiannis D.) of course the Thistlegorm is on the program. A relaxed last dive day you can spend for example at Shaab el Erg (extra fee for Marine Park) between the dolphins.
On the eastern plateau, we have the pleasure of running into longnose hawkfish, lionfish under the table coral, barracudas, reef sharks, shoaling fishes and two cleaning stations: one at the centre of the plateau for young tuna, the other located close to a large block on the south side for surgeonfish. The 'cowardly triggerfish' also lives here too – however, that's a whole other story and one that is best told by the guides on site.
Shaab el Erg
Shaab el Erg is an extensive reef, in the shape of a horseshoe. This formation is open to the south with a shallow lagoon, which is full of ergs. The whole lagoon can be dived.
Very popular are the northern tip, the eastern wall or the southwestern tip - Gota Shaab el Erg.
Sometimes sandy valleys (wadis) interrupt the reef, or you can explore overhangs and clefts. An excessively rich coral growth and countless fish put the diver in amazement.
The dives with an almost rapid current is leading you to the northern tip. Here you can find a gentle slope to around 10 - 30 m.
It was a tragic navigational mistake, which caused the demise of the Salem Express. The ship came from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and wanted to call at the port of Safaga. Only eleven kilometers away from the port of destination, the ferry ran aground at full speed on the westernmost coral block of the Hyndman reef.
A 10 meter long hole had been torn into the front part of the hull, whereby the enormous bow flap of the ship jumped up. Through these two openings, enormous quantities of water was able to penetrate and it sank in only a few minutes. From the 690 passengers only 180 survived the accident.
Abu Nuhas / Carnatic
The Carnatic on the journey from Liverpool to Bombay with 27 crew members, 203 passengers as well as a cargo of cotton, copper plates and 40,000 pounds Sterling in gold, in the night of 13. September 1869 on the reef Shab Abu Nuhas.
The ship at first, remained lying on the reef, however it broke apart on 15 September despite different rescue attempts and sank.
The exaggerated confidence in the stabilityof the ship affected itself fatally. Since the Carnatic had not been vacated, and both passengers and members of the crew remained on board, the ship dragged 27 people with it into the deep.
The survivors saved themselves firstly onto Shadwan island and were later saved from the Sumatra.
In October 1869a helmet diver saved the largest part of the gold freight as well as 700 copper plates. Also several dead bodies were discovered – a victim was still stuck in a porthole, through which he had tried to escape in vain.
There is still 8,000 pounds in Sterling which can still be found in the wreck. So far, nobody has found it – perhaps they have been secretly retrieved or has disappeared under the coral.
The wreck was again discovered in 1984, and since then is a popular goal for the dive boats from Hurghada. Since then it has been thoroughly plundered by souvenir hunters.
The “Carnatic” lies on it’s side at the base of the reef, in a depth of 20 to 27 m. In the centre the ship is badly destroyed, bow and stern are in good condition. The wooden deck has rotted away, so that one can safely penetrate the inside. The hull is densely covered with stone and leather coral.
Abu Nuhas / Chrisoula
After several owners it finally changed to the shipping company Clarion navy and got the name Chrisoula K. It was under this name, which she began her last voyage, which was on 30. August 1981, in the area of the reef of Abu Nuhas in the Red Sea, with a freight of cheap Italian paving tiles. By a navigational error of the captain, the ship hit the reef and sank on the night of 30. August.
The wreck lies today in a position which is optimal for divers, at a depth between 5 meters and 25 meters. The ship is in slightly inclined position, which is strongly damaged in the middle part, where it ran aground.
Abu Nuhas / Ghiannis
The rear half of the wreck lies a little bent, on the port side. Over the front of the Quarterdecks, rises the funnel with the large letters “D”.
“D” stands for the name of the shipping company: Danae.
Before the funnel lies the bridge deck, behind it different areas, an enormous winch, the bollard, the intact railing and also the framework, which supported a large awning in former times, which did not get damaged as it sank.
At the foot of the funnel, are narrow portholes, which lead into the engine room. The machines offer an impressive sight, with their long series of camshafts, valves and lines.
The middle ship area resembles a scrap heap, because steel girders are bent and torn up, and the side panels lie caved in on the sea-bottom. This area of the wreck is teeming with flat heads, scorpion fish and parrot fish. Also some groupers are at home here.
Big Brother Island
The name Brother Islands comes from the company which did the electrical work for the lighthouse on the larger island. Both islands are of volcanic origin and sit atop a mountain ridge which plunges well over 1,000 metres in depth from the west side to the east side. The volcanic history can still be seen today: namely on the basalt rock, which is significantly darker than the reef structure itself.
Big Brother is 650 metres long and 180 metres wide. With the exception of the eastern plateau, we encounter a steep-faced reef in all directions. There's usually the chance for you to stretch out your legs on the island, smoke a shisha with the lighthouse keepers and purchase small souvenirs or simply to enjoy the view from the lighthouse! Depending on the mood of the military, this can quickly change however.
At the western end of Big Brother, we usually have to take large waves and a stronger current into account. Should the conditions allow us to dive in the afternoon, we may quite possibly have the chance of seeing grey reef sharks and hammerhead sharks swimming between the wrecks.
On the eastern plateau, the thresher shark says 'Good night' to the spotted sea hare and encounters with grey reef sharks also occur here all the time. Beautiful depressions in the reef, which are covered in soft and hard coral, can be identified further down the north side. Mooring points are also located in the east area and around the boots there's a lot to see – from whitetip oceanic sharks to silky sharks.
Just as squirrels in the park learn to trust, so do Napoleon wrasse in famous diving sites – two specimens of this fish already accustomed to divers can be found west at any time of the day. Gigantic shoals of fish can be found in the south, near the jetty, which is used to supply the lighthouse. Mackerel, tuna and barracudas on the hunt usually rush past us in the water. Silky sharks or whitetip oceanic sharks as well as turtles top off this spectacular underwater picture.
The Red Sea has at the Brothers a width of 180 km, but the crew managed to strike this small island – shortly after two clock at night Captain Craig was rudely awakened from the mighty impact of the ship on the reef at the northern end of the “Big Brother”.
The “on duty” officer Merwood had fallen asleep at the same time with his boss. The route led the ship then in truly instinctive certainty in the middle of the reef.
So the ship got stuck in the narrow fringing reef and all efforts to self release failed.
In the following days other ships were still trying to drag the Numidia freely, but they failed as well.
Captain Craig remained only the thankless task to stay on the desolate island for several weeks and to monitor the recovery of the cargo.
Probably in the winter storms 1901/02 the ship was then torn from the reef and sank definitively.
As already mentioned, high waves and strong currents make diving here often difficult or impossible!
Originally, it was meant for the Egyptian port and lighthouse administration, and however, it was used later for ferry and supply work in Egyptian ports.
At the southeast coast of Big Brother Island, where Egyptian soldiers were always stationed for two months, the Aida was supposed to provide the supplies for the soldiers. It had fresh water, food and the next “watch” on board.
On the 15. September 1957 in a heavy storm, and despite several warnings, the captain decided to drive and tried to fasten to Big Brother. It struck to the reef. The Aida began to sink rapidly and the captain did not have any other choice, but to leave than the ship with his crew and give it up. A life raft was still able to be discharged, and all 77 sailors were taken safely on board, before the Aida sank, and set them down on Big Brother.
The dive is an unusual dive, it doesn’t matter how experienced a diver you are. It will surprise you, how a ship can sink onto the sloping reef edge in such a way that it looks as if it’s been parked. Since the ship contains no more cargo, it is assumed that this slipped off by the wreck and lies now in deeper regions. The same as, the AIDA stands straight up on the sloping reef edge, the highest point at 25 m, the propeller at 57 m. Apart from the collision with the reef the ship is still perfectly intact.
For more than 40 years now
it stands there and becomes ever more a part of the reef. Covered in coral. With increasing depth you will find a variety of all sorts of corals and soft corals. Within the upper area, these appear by daylight in a multiplicity of colours, and leave a unique impression. With regards to fish, beside the entire range of the usual fish, large tuna can very often be found.
Small Brother Island
The name Little Brother sounds cute, but this dive isn't for rookies. There are mooring points on the reef's south-east side, however, most dives start off from the Zodiac. Little Brother is 360 metres in length and 160 metres in width and it runs north in the shape of a wedge. Bordered by a protective fringe reef, the reef drops steeply down. In the south-east at a depth of 10 metres, there is a small reef spur which ends with an overhang at 37 metres. A lagoon-like wall leads to a large gorgonian garden here.
Boasting massive overhangs and large depressions, the reef extends to the north-west where a small hill has been formed at a depth of 40 metres – the Shark Point. During the morning hours, we often see grey reef sharks who've come to have their teeth brushed after a successful night of hunting. From the south-east to the north, Little Brother is shaped by a steep face, which exists between a depth of 25 and 40 metres.
The north side of Shaab Sheer is a little less quiet, but the south side in right there like a lagoon and is usually very well protected. We can expect a strong current on the west side, which faces the 'South Safaga Channel'. Most divers appreciate the area between three and 15 metres because the brain coral garden looks almost like the landscape of the moon; despite this we find a wide variety of reef inhabitants.
Picasso triggerfish, orange-striped and yellowmargin triggerfish, parrotfish, scrawled filefish and sling-jaw wrasse are to be found here in large numbers. In the area of the north plateau and at the steep wall we can also see bream, humpnose big-eye bream, mackerels, red and black snapper as well as shoals of tuna and barracuda.
In 60 to 90 minutes we will have reached Panorama Reef by boat. The east and west sides drop steeply; to the north and south, however, we find very interesting plateaus with a whole lot of life and, what else, but a spectacular panorama. We can see unicornfish, barracudas and giant trevally. The west side is where we are most likely to see whitetip reef sharks and, particularly in the afternoon, grey reef sharks, moray eels every now and then, flatheads, eagle rays, dolphins, silvertip sharks, humphead wrasses and the famous turtle with the deformed shell.
Wonderful hill-forming corals, large table corals and thousands of anthiinae are to be found on the northern plateau at Panorama Reef. The current comes from the north to 95 percent, which means it is often quite ‘stormy’ here. The south plateau is more protected; it begins at a depth of 18 metres and falls slowly to a depth of 30 metres. Giant gorgonians grow up the chimney. The large field of sea anemones is also part of it, as are the almost obligatory sightings of stonefish.
Ras Abu Soma
"Ras", what means the "head" of Abu Soma, is the drop off that falls in the depth at the northern end of the bay of Safaga. In about 25 meters depth we find a plateau with many corals, especially table and hard corals.
Wind and current are at "Ras Abu Soma" not worth mentioning, so this dive spot is ideal also for rookies who want to see something more than just reef fish. In blue water there is a good chance to see barracuda, mackerel, snapper, tuna and bat and surgeonfish. From time to time even grey reef sharks or white tip reef sharks sighted at "Ras Abu Soma" - in spring as well leopard or hammerhead sharks, stingrays, violin or eagle rays and manta rays.
Should we really be dogged by bad luck, we will see just some boxfish. There are times when the big fish avoid "Ras Abu Soma". Why? This mystery was not yet to be aired.
But at the Plateau we always find interesting reef dwellers such as moray eels, octopus or cuttlefish at the reef slope and Clownfish in their anemone homes. Further south, "Ras Abu Soma Garden", a great coral garden - the turtles and milkfish love is.
Small Giftun Island
It begins several meters from the east coast of Giftun el Seghir, the smaller of the two military islands of Giftun, half an hour away from Hurghada.
The sensation of drifting in the blue with the current is marvelous. Even more exciting is the possibility of meeting the big and peaceful Napoleon fish, that approaches the divers with curiosity.
This unforgettable gliding flight leads to the vertical wall of Giftun Island, which drops to 90 meters depth.
Here we can choose to continue our dive at 20 meters depth or to go on to explore the famous tunnel cave at 46 meters depth. This sandy bottomed cave is very rich in gorgonians and has the possibility of quite interesting encounters.
However, the shallower path is very beautiful as well. It is on the eastern side of Giftun and is called "Gorgonia Reef" for its richness in coral life.
This dive ends in the lagoon south of the Giftun el Seghir island where the boat has moored. In this lagoon giant moray eys can be met on the lagoon reef which is rich in stone corals, fire corals and many other kinds of hard corals.
ATTENTION: The tour description is merely our suggestion. Which diving places on tour are dived is determined by many factors including the wind and weather.
After arrival in Hurghada or Marsa Alam transfer to the boat.
Check in, dinner and spending the first night onboard in the marina.
Departure in the morning.
Instruction on the boat,
Diving, safety and equipment briefing.
Two Dives at Gota Abu Ramada
Night dive at Gota Abu Ramada
Small Giftun Island
Night dive at Small Giftun Island
Abu Nuhas Chrisoula K and Ghiannis D.
Night dive at Shaab Mahmud
Night dive at Bluff point/Small Gubal
Dive at Bluff Point and Umm Gammar
Head to Port.
At least 20 hour safety rest before flying would be given to all participants.
Handing trip educational material/ videos.
Breakfast and check out latest at 10:00 am.
Transfer to the airport or hotel.