Since the Red Sea is so popular with European divers due to proximity and quality of diving, most North Americans are very surprised by the number of boats at the most popular dive sites. This unique itinerary is an opportunity to dive spectacular Red Sea reefs in warm water, without the crowds. Only Royal Evolution liveaboard is permitted by the Egyptian government to dive Elba Reef on the border with Sudan, and it's built for safety, constructed to SOLAS standards.
Jacques Cousteau once said "The Red Sea is a corridor of marvels. The happiest hours of my diving experience have been spent there". That statement is as true today as it was when Jacques Cousteau explored here. Surrounded by desert, there is no runoff to cloud the crystal-clear waters.
All guests on our expeditions must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, regardless of Egypt's current entry requirements. Join trip hosts Rhia Weinhaus and Greg Hamman to travel by liveaboard and dive an exciting and uncrowded Southern Red Sea itinerary in the best time of year!
Southern Red Sea
Note: 50 logged dives required
Attention: This is an intermediate to advanced itinerary. We'll dive from a live skiff, requiring a backward roll to enter the water, sometimes with a negative entry. You should be comfortable with currents, descent and safety stop/ascent without a visual reference, buddy diving, and hopefully large sharks!
Planned Itinerary highlights:
Elphinstone: The closest of Egypt's offshore Marine Parks, Elphinstone offers a likely encounter with oceanic whitetip (longimanus) sharks, along with sheer walls covered in soft corals.
St. John's Reefs: Directly south of the Peninsula of Ras Banas and close to the Sudanese border, St. John’s reefs offer a great diversity of diving environments. One of the big advantages of diving the St.John area is the few liveaboards visiting this area, and most of them stay a day & half maximum.
With warm, crystal clear waters and amazing sights including caves, coral reefs and beautiful tropical fish, there is a whole underwater world just waiting to be explored in the St. John area.
The highlights of diving the Red Sea’s Deep South include some terrific coral walls and gardens, including a mix of both soft and hard coral formations, plenty of tunnels and caves, and great visibility, probably the best in the Red Sea.
Reef & fish life is still untouched and the deep walls and currents at some of the dive sites attract grey reef, hammerhead, Oceanic & sometimes thresher sharks, as well as other predators such as barracuda and jacks.
Elba Reef: Elba Reef is a triangle-shaped reef in the northern Part of Sudan, at the border with Egypt. It’s part of three reefs that we call the Elba Region.
The long north plateau starts at around 20 meters depth and drops to a northern tip around 45 meters (don't go this deep!). Plenty of huge coral fans are at the edge of the plateau. Quite often you can spot some big pelagics here, such as grey reef sharks and even hammerheads. Best conditions are in the mild north current, where you might start your dive from the back of the boat. If mooring is not possible according to the weather conditions it would be a dive by the zodiac. The eastern wall has plenty of cracks, overhangs and inlets that are full of soft coral.
The south plateau is a bit shorter, with some huge pinnacles. It started as well at around 20 meters and slopes down to 45 meter too. The eastern and western sides drop quite steep to more than 100 meters in depth.
In the shallow part of the reef is a beautiful cave system at the eastern edge, starting at around 8 meters depth. Best diving at the south plateau for sure in south current.
Please note the itinerary is an example of the planned route, and the order and dive sites are not guaranteed. All sites are subject to weather conditions and the final route is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.
Not included: airfare to Hurghada or Marsa Alam (see air info below), any extra hotel nights, visa on arrival (currently US$25), Port and Egyptian Marine Park fees (180 Euro), fuel surcharge (currently $150), alcoholic beverages, Friday night dinner in port, Nitrox, equipment rental if needed, crew gratuity, and trip insurance (required for this vacation).
European divers have air connections directly to Marsa Alam (RMF) and Hurghada (HRG) from multiple gateways. Please arrive no later than the morning of October 19, preferably a day early. Once the ship departs port, no delayed passengers or luggage can be brought on board.
North American divers can fly to Cairo (CAI) non-stop from JFK on EgyptAir, or to Hurghada or Marsa Alam (RMF) via connections in Europe. Please plan to arrive at least one day early. You can relax overnight from travel at the Marriott Hurghada, or we're happy to arrange a stay at a resort with diving.
You can depart from Marsa Alam (RMF) on the morning of October 26, about 24 hours after our last scheduled dive. If you join our Nile Cruise and Land Tour, please plan to depart Cairo on Sunday, October 29.
Due to Port Authority regulations, late arrivals cannot be boarded after our scheduled 6 am departure from Marsa Ghalib on Friday, October 20. Please purchase travel insurance to cover you in case of delay or cancellation.
REQUIRED MEDICAL DIVING FORM: The Government of Egypt requires that all dive operations obtain a Diving Medical History form before allowing anybody to participate in recreational diving activities (certified and non-certified). The universal RSTC Medical History Questionnaire is acceptable. If you answer YES to any of the questions, you will need to visit with your local medical professional for an examination and obtain their approval (via their signature) before participating in recreational diving. A positive response simply means that there is a pre-existing condition that may affect your safety while diving and you must seek the advice and approval of a medical professional before engaging in diving activities.
Deposit: $700; second deposit of $500 due at 180 days; final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
How to reserve your space:
We'll place a space on courtesy hold for you and send you a confirmation e-mail.
Complete and return the trip application and waiver from the letter with your deposit by check or credit card.
After your space is confirmed with application and deposit, make your airline reservations. We're happy to help you find the best flights.