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Old 20 August 2007, 09:30   #1
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UK Divers who travel to the Red Sea?

This is hardly a Ribbing issue, but my betrothed and I are considering a couple of weeks of diving in the Red Sea next March. Rumour has it, that there are much better deals to be had by making arrangements in the UK. Over here, a trip to the Red Sea is considered very "exotic" and so comes at a premium price...

Can any of you diving types recommend either a good dive shop or a travel agent over there that specializes in dive travel? I figure we could make our way to London easily enough, but could use a little help from there on!

Also, any thoughts about dive areas would be appreciated. We are both experienced divers and are lookng for a "real" dive trip... not a Club Med. type if you know what I mean! We would also be interested in a week at a resort and a week on a liveaboard...

Thanks and feel free to PM if you prefer.

Stoo
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Old 20 August 2007, 10:06   #2
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May I suggest you try YD a Dive forum www.yorkshire-divers.com/forums
They have members all over the place and will probably get you a better response than on here.
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James
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Old 20 August 2007, 15:41   #3
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Thanks James... I'll look them up...

S
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Old 22 August 2007, 18:20   #4
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Stoo
I have a reasonable amount of experience with arranging groups of friends on trips to the Red Sea and have always found these good : they have a large and wide range of boats and loads of experinece with a good balance of safety and wanting their customers to have an enjoyable time.

http://www.emperordivers.com/

You may like to try for a week in Sharm as a land-based day boat diving to do the northern Red Sea : straights of Tiran, Ras-Mohammed etc and then fly to Hurghada for a week liveaboard around the Southern Red Sea ??

If you are thinking of booking with these - mention my name and refer to ECRP 04252 and explain I have recommended them to you and they may give you a better discount. I am not sure they do flight/accomodation and dive packages as I generally book flights/hotel separately but worth checking; they will certainly be able to do land based and liveaboard mix.

I also find these good for accommodation and flights :

http://www.explorers.co.uk/

Naama Bay Hotel is pretty good and handy for the jetty and "town" of Sharm

These do do full packs including diving but I just like Emperor for the quality.

Hope this helps

Others
http://www.regal-diving.co.uk/home/
http://www.sinaidivers.com/english.htm
http://www.cameldive.com/



Jeff

...... If you time it right let me know and I'll see if I can take you diving in Tobermory, Isle of Mull during your stopover !!!
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Old 23 August 2007, 03:18   #5
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A top company 100%....www.oonasdivers.com ask for a brochure
then try www.ralphyimages.com thats my brother he's a dive photographer
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Old 23 August 2007, 04:51   #6
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Have a look here:

http://www.bsactravelclub.co.uk/

I appreciate that you may not be a member, but it might help a bit.

Regards,

Orve.
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Old 23 August 2007, 06:54   #7
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A few years ago I went to Eilat in Israel and it was allegedly (I've never dived at Sharm although we were there for a race last year) less busy and commercial. We also crossed over into Egypt for some boat dives - it was the only boat in the area and everything was totally untouched!
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Old 02 September 2007, 09:11   #8
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Sorry for the slow reponse folks... been away.

Thanks for all of this info. I've been in touch with some of the groups you have recommended and they are putting together some information for us.

I was suprised to read that the water can be fairly cool there in Feb/March (compared to the Caribbean). The Yorkshire forum had a fair bit of discussion about wearing 7mm suits or even drysuits! What's up with that? (The Better Half like her diving to be in bath-temperature water!)

Thanks again for all of your help... I'll let you know hiw we make out!

Stoo
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Old 02 September 2007, 09:54   #9
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Don't know about the Northern part but where we lived in the South the temp was usually above 100F - warmer than blood!!!
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Old 02 September 2007, 16:13   #10
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Stoo,
There is only one way to dive the Red Sea - liveaboard - do not waste your time/money with any other alternative!! Basically, you will have the time of your life with a decent liveaboard operator. My recommendation would be Tony Backhurst (http://www.scuba.co.uk) - they have been voted number 1 operator over a number of years and have an excellent range of boats (mostly only a few years old) - I have been with them over 5 times!
Your choice of itinerary depends on your experience - if you are relative novices then I would suggest a northern itinerary sailing from Sharm or Hurghada (wrecks and reefs is a good one and includes the Thistlegorm and Rosalie Muller WW2 wrecks - the former is a must see for any diver!!). If you are more experienced and want to see pristine reefs and sharks then I would aim a southern itinerary (brothers, simply the best, St Johns). These tend to be more demanding from a diving perspective (>50 dives at least) but you are guaranteed worldclass diving!! There is simply nothing better than waking up in the morning and jumping off the back of the boat for a quick dive before breakfast!!
Day boat diving from any of the major resorts is nolonger worth bothering with - most of the reefs that are in reach of day boats have been damaged and you will not get the same quality of coral, fish and certainly no sharks. That said, it is the red sea, and relative to most diving around the world, it is still overall very good!
Our last liveaboard trip to the brothers we were diving with thresher sharks and oceanic white tips - quite simply awesome!!

PM me if you need any further information - or contact Dan at Tony Backhurst - he will give you some honest info.

Cheers Dave

PS. Didn't want to imply that the north was for novices only as there are some great (and challenging) dives in the north. The Rosalie Muller is such a dive (40M) and not for a beginner!!
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