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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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August 2018    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 44, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Our Picks for Top Red Sea Liveaboards

from the August, 2018 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

We understand why you might not want to travel on the MV Tempest, featured in our full review . But Egypt's dive industry is well-run, and its liveaboards have been built specifically as dive boats, rather than converted from a previous function . Layout is almost standard among them all -- each one has spacious dive decks at the stern, where divers' equipment is kept fully rigged, and tanks are refilled . A large aft swim platform has freshwater hoses and stairs for easy access to and from the water . Nitrox is available on tap . Every vessel has two deck toilets/showers, two ladders and two pick-up RIBs that take divers to and from dive sites .

Staterooms, each with a flat-screen TV, are mainly below decks, although there are typically two largewindowed cabins on the upper cocktail deck . A spacious salon is where the buffet meals are served, and a large plasma-screen TV shows movies, dive briefings and divers' footage of marine life . Vessels are air-conditioned throughout and offer a sundeck with Jacuzzi, twin engines and generators, water makers and WiFi depending upon location . Cell coverage is generally good .

Some vessels to consider:

* MV Red Sea Aggressor II: a brand-new, recently launched, 131-foot vessel that accommodates up to 22 divers and offers up to five dives per day in Egypt's northern Red Sea . From $145 per day. (

* MV Red Sea Master (formerly MV Blue Horizon): a 134-foot motor yacht accommodating up to 26 divers that can support technical and rebreather diving, and offers up to four dives per day . From $120 per day. (

* MV Royal Evolution: a 128-foot, steel-hulled vessel built for the long open ocean journey it sometimes makes down to the Sudan. It accommodates up to 24 divers . From $145 per day. (

If you need advice on booking, travel specialists with Red Sea expertise include Reef & Rainforest ( and Dive Advice Travel ( in the U.S., and Scuba Travel ( and Regaldive ( in the U.K.

An upside with booking through a European operator is taking advantage of the very inexpensive cost of charter flights and Red Sea packages (they're "ATOL protected," which stands for Air Travel Organizer's License, and means you don't lose money or become stranded abroad if the travel operator goes kaput) . For example, booking a one-week trip on MV Red Sea Master through British dive travel agency Blue o Two can cost as little as $1,760, including flights from Gatwick Airport near London, transfers, accommodation, visa, diving and a day at a hotel in Hurghada before your return to the U.K.; you only have to pay for nitrox and alcoholic drinks. (

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