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Dive Review of Emperor Divers/Emperor Elite in
Red Sea/Port Ghalib

Emperor Divers/Emperor Elite: "Amazing diving liveaboard at a bargain price", Aug, 2016,

by Eric Schindler, AZ, US (Contributor Contributor 13 reports with 15 Helpful votes). Report 9011.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The Diving: Warm water above 83 degrees in summer. Reefs and walls in very good condition. Hammerhead sharks congregate at Daedelus island. Fish life is moderately abundant and conditions have improved significantly thanks to declining tourism and more assertive conservation policies. We had always wanted to cross the Red Sea off the bucket list and now want to return! While Coral Triangle locations are still generally more prolific, the Red Sea, at least further south is beautiful, interesting, and appealing, especially compared to Caribbean destinations.

Various itineraries are available and recommendation to include one with visit to the more offshore Brother's Islands and/or Daedelus. Diving done from zodiacs, and occasionally directly from ship. Deep dives very common on these sites as sharks congregate lower below modest thermocline in summer, so nitrox a big plus. We got very lucky with flat seas; rougher conditions are more common. Info on website very accurate and Emperor Divers a top notch company. Excellent dive guides with freedom to do own profile or have them lead. Visibility up to 150 feet at times, usually about 80-100 and never below 60

The Boat:
Elite is the top of the line vessel in the fleet and a well maintained liveaboard that I would label as just short of the luxury category. 12 cabins - the two premium ones are worth the extra $50 in a better location. We were lucky with only 13 people on our trip; would be a bit crowded above 18 I would judge. Food was outstanding, plentiful, varied, and free local wine (surprisingly Egypt makes wine) with beer reasonably priced. Very attentive staff working hard to please.

Logistics:
We were the only Americans on this cruise, and Red Sea is more a European venue. Very competent divers in our group a pleasure.

At under $1400 for a week trip that would cost over $3000 elsewhere, the Red Sea is very appealing. Much closer to US than some other diving locations actually. We flew through Frankfort on to Hurghada where free transportation is provided (3.5 hours) to the boat. Fewer flights to Marsa Alam right at the port exist, but can be an option. Van transport even had wifi though. To avoid concerns about Egypt we chose to not fly through Cairo, the other option. Tourism has suffered catastrophically in Egypt and land based hotels/diving is at low occupancy. That said, we still had many other boats at several of the sites and coordination of dive times was done by the crew.
Websites Emperor Divers   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Indonesia, Palau, Maldives, Philippines, Mexico, Caribbean]
Closest Airport Marsa Alam or Hurghada Getting There Through Europe, or alternatively via Cairo

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 83-86°F / 28-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 70-150 Ft/ 21-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Come up with reasonable air left, dive sensibly
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments I am not a photographer so can't provide expert feedback. Dedicated space for cameras, etc provided, maybe a bit small
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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