There is a huge range of boats in the Red Sea to choose, from high-tech modern luxury to more basic small vessels, but all share high standards of safety. Following the completion of rigorous audits of all dive centres and liveaboards by Egypts Chamber of Diving and Watersports (CDWS) in 2009, visitors are assured the highest safety and operation standards on their liveaboard holidays. A full list of legally operating liveaboards can be found on the CDWS website
With so many different liveaboards and underwater sites to choose from, booking a liveaboard for the first time can be a little daunting. The first step is to pick the area you want to dive and what itinerary suits your diving interests and experience. Liveaboard cruises depart throughout the year from Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada, Safaga, Marsa Alams Port Ghaleb, as well as some other minor ports.

The North
From the celebrated diving gems of Tiran and Ras Mohammed to the wrecks such as the Thistlegorm and the Abu Nuhas wrecks of the Carnatic, Giannis D and the Chrisola K, the Northern Red Sea liveaboard holidays cover the best of the sites accessible from the Sinai. Most operators offer the choice of two week-long excursions: best of the wrecks and reefs or simply wreck-focused trips.
Sharm el Sheikh is the preferred point of departures for Northern Egyptian Red Sea liveaboard excursions. The majority of boats leave from Travco Jetty, a 30 minute journey by road from the international airport. Others depart from the International Port, a few minutes south of Travco by road.
Usually arriving in the evening, on all liveaboards your luggage will be taken with you straight to the port where you will board the vessel. Following a short briefing, you will soon be heading out ready for your early morning start underwater the following day.

The South
The marine parks of the South offer some of the best sites for marine life in the Red Sea. Most popular liveaboard trips include the south marine park including life filled reefs such as Elphinstone, Samadai, Shaab Makhsour, Shaab Claude, Staya and St Johns. Deep south trips head towards the stunning sites of Rocky and Zabargad Islands.
At the central part of the Red Sea you will find the northern marine park and the famous pelagic haunt of the Brother Islands. These sites are often exposed to strong currents and may require a minimum qualification of advanced open water or equivalent, plus 50 logged dives.
Southern trips usually depart from Hurghada and Marsa Alam, both destinations with international airports. The new marina in Hurghada is a short 20 minute drive from the airport and offers a cosmopolitan feel, with top quality restaurants and bars to choose. The liveaboard mooring area of the marina is very quiet as it is far enough away from the hustle of the busiest marina bars.
Port Ghaleb marina is only five minutes drive from the Marsa Alam international airport and offers much closer access to the deep south sites as far as the Sudanese border.

Top tips
  • Check out the CDWS website for more information and a full list of legally operating centres and boats.
  • Make sure you are the suitable level of experience for the itinerary you choose.
  • Always take a surface marker buoy (SMB) and whistle.
  • While many boats take spares, it is good to carry your own back-ups, including torch, fin straps, mask.
  • Pre-booking nitrox is often cheaper, check before departure. Some boats may include nitrox free.
  • Dont forget the sunscreen and hat.
  • It is customary to tip the crew at the end of your liveaboard trip. Some will advise on what to tip, but this is at your discretion.
  • Remember some boat crossings are rough. Most boats will carry a dive safe seasickness tablet.
  • You will be diving up to four dives a day and will need a suitably warm and comfortable wetsuit. Even if you plan to hire kit, it may still be worth bringing your own wetsuit.
  • If you are in a big enough group, you may be entitled to one persons place for free. Check with your operator.
  • Have fun.


CDWS The diving industry in Egypt is regulated by the Chamber of Diving and Watersports. For your safety and quality of service, ensure you book with a CDWS member operator. All CDWS members have passed an ISO audit to meet European standards for recreational diving in order to obtain their operating licence from the Ministry of Tourism.
For a full list of legal dive operators in Egypt click here: