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Dive Review of Mar Rosso in
Red Sea/Saudi Arabia

Mar Rosso: "new pastures", Aug, 2023,

by Michael Joest, Kehl, DE (Top Contributor Top Contributor 40 reports with 28 Helpful votes). Report 12525 has 2 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments “Visit and enjoy the Red Sea like it was 20 years ago” the ad said and each of you like me would have for sure out of curiosity looked closer into this offer in our dive magazine. Well, it showed the first offer for a live aboard in Saudi Arabia shortly before Covid came, S A introduced the tourist visa access for Europeans in 2000. I was interested, as I dove Jordan at Tala Bay already which was nice and not that far from the border to S A where signs clearly stated warnings “ you are reaching the border …” I did some research on S A but internet couldn´t tell me much on S A diving. Only John Bantin, who it seems was already in each spot of the world, told me he was not that enthusiastic about Farasan. New things are always tempting and so I looked into that special offer. They had two different trips, one to Farasan Banks which was supposed to cruise around some offshore islands and visit steep drop offs with awesome soft and hard coral and the chance to spot pelagic like hammerheads etc. This started in autumn until May. The other was Yanbu route which went out of Jeddah cruising through many pristine coral gardens plus “seven reefs” and “five sisters”. I wanted warm water so I chose the latter and a 10 day trip to get a good impression of this area in August. By that time a second travel agent had picked up this destination and voted for more comfort on a luxurious boat. While my offer ran around 2140 € (without flights) this one charged already 1928 € for 7 days. Money concerned the Saudis are as smart as their Sudan “neighbors”. Folks are always ready and prepared to pay a bit more for new things. So naturally there is the necessary visa which you can get with a bit of work on the internet for 125 €, for permits marine park and service charge add another 405 € which is steep and you pay on board. I never found any reference to a marine park on the internet, so I doubt this money goes to nature protection. The roundtrip flight with Saudi Arabia Airlines from Frankfurt to Jeddah was 1200 which I preferred with only 6 h in the air to cheaper offers with detour for around 500 and 12 hours of travel. I asked for culture and things to do apart from diving but the travel agent was ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Websites Mar Rosso   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving worldwide more than 100 destinations, mostly South Pacific and Asia, Africa and Caribbean
Closest Airport Jeddah Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 28-33°C / 82-91°F Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30-40 M / 98-131 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments [None] ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
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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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