ALL THE BASICS YOU NEED : TRAVEL, WEATHER, DIVING CONDITIONS & MORE ...
To help you plan your trip, we've prepared a list of basic information you'll want to know before you book. Once your trip has been reserved, you'll receive pre-departure information with all the details you need for your adventure. Do allow plenty of time for transit between flights.
GETTING THERE AND AWAY
Depending on your itinerary, you'll schedule your flights into and out of one of 3 international airports serving the Red Sea : Hurgada (HRG), Marsa Alam (RMF) or Sharm el Sheikh (SSH).
Most Hurgada and Marsa Alam (Port Galib) trips are also round-trip Hurgada-Hurgada or Galib-Galib. A few trips are scheduled out of Hurgada and into Port Galib ... or the reverse. Sharm el Sheikh itineraries are virtually always round-trip leaving from and returning to that port. When you choose your liveaboard and itinerary, we'll discuss the best logistics for flights and transfers.
If your liveaboard itinerary leaves from Port Ghalib near Marsa Alam, you may still need to fly to Hurgada, as there are more international flights going in and out of this airport. The Hurghada International Airport is approximately 3-4 hours from Port Ghalib. Your transfer will be arranged either by Dive Advice Travel or by your liveaboard. Only a few international flights go to the Marsa Alam International Airport, which is 10 minutes from Port Ghalib.
Please check with your airline regarding current regulations for telephones, computers, batteries, etc on flights in and out of Egypt. Also, be sure to check baggage allowances which can be quite limited for flights into Egypt, especially in high season.
WHAT'S THE WEATHER LIKE IN THE RED SEA ?
Marsa Alam and Hurghada have a subtropical desert climate with mild warm winters and hot summers.
Summer time ... daytime 33C / 91F ... nighttime 26C / 78F
Winter time ... daytime 21C / 69F ... nighttime 17C / 62F
WHAT ABOUT WATER TEMPERATURES & DIVING CONDITIONS ?
You’ll be diving in water that averages 74°- 84° degrees or 23°- 29° C, depending on the time of year. On some itineraries, you may make as many as 5 dives each day, so you'll want more than shorts anda t-shirt. A 3mm wetsuit in the summer and 5mm in winter should be comfortable for most divers ... although in deep winter (December through March) some divers prefer a 7mm suit.
EXPERIENCE REQUIRED FOR RED SEA DIVING
For itineraries that include Marine Park dives, you must be a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent and have logged a minimum of 30 dives. In general, we recommend a minimum 30 logged dives for all itineraries. However, if you are a novice diver, your Cruise Director will work with you to advise you of the dives which are appropriate for your level. Not all Red Sea dives are novice-friendly.
BEST TIME TO GO
The Egyptian Red Sea is a year-round diving destination. Having said that, the weather & water conditions are rougher from December through March ... and air temperatures can be quite hot in July and August.
Certain sunscreen ingredients have been found to be damaging to corals. These include oxybenzone, octinoxate, octocrylene, 4MBC, or butylparaben. Research indicates that these chemicals can cause DNA damage to corals, promote viruses in corals, and contribute to the bleaching.
Some dive destinations have banned these chemicals but we would encourage you to choose and use a sunscreen that is "coral safe" in all destinations..
: The Government of Egypt has recently begun enforcing regulations that requires all dive operations to obtain (certified and non-certified) a Diving Medical History form before allowing anybody to participate in recreational diving activities. The universal RSTC Medical History Questionnaire is acceptable.
We suggest you bring over-the-counter motion sickness medication or consult your doctor about prescription brands, such as the trans-dermal patch or Scopace tablets. The nearest
recompression chamber for most itineraries is located in Marsa Shagra which is 40 kilometers/24 miles from Port Ghalib and 20 kilometers/12 miles north of Marsa Alam.
Hyperbaric facilities are also located located in: Dahab, El Gouna, Hamata, Hurghada, Marsa Alam, Safaga, Sharm el Sheikh.
FLYING AFTER DIVING
Current studies show that you should wait at least 24 hours after multiple days with repetitive diving before flying. Please keep this in mind before you book your onward international or domestic flights.
The local currency is EGP, Egyptian Pound. (18 EGP = approximately $1 US).
TAXES & FEES
Upon arrival to Egypt, all visitors buy an entry visa at $25 or a multi-entry visa for $60. Prices are subject to change without notice.
There are Port Fees and Marine Park fees (if your itinerary includes a Marine Park). These are generally paid on board and the boats have different regulations for payments. We'll clarify everything at the time of booking.
There is a 14% Value Added Tax (VAT) required by the Egyptian Federal Law for all onboard purchases or services added to your bill (including nitrox).
DO I NEED INSURANCE?
Travel insurance : We strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance to cover against unforeseeable events including personal & business impediments, illness, travel delays and missed flight connections. We hate seeing any of our clients fall into the category of unfortunate travelers who are without coverage for unexpected circumstances
Diving insurance: the liveaboards now require diving insurance. You must not confuse regular travel medical and/or travel insurance with diving-specific insurance such as DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure. This type of insurance will cover all of your scuba diving and snorkeling activities, including the costs for recompression chamber treatment and emergency air evacuation. These are not covered by the average travel insurance.
We recommend Dive Assure as they are one of the few companies who offer insurance which includes general travel insurance, including trip cancellation .... plus full dive coverage.
Click here or on the button in the side panel to access Dive Assure directly.
Return to Red Sea Diving Overview