Strait of Tiran & North
Similar to the Northern & Ras Mohamed itinerary, the Strait of Tiran and North cruise allows you to take in some of the most notorious wrecks and reefs the Red Sea has to offer as well as the pristine coral reefs of Tiran.
The Tiran dive area is found in the entrance to the Gulf of Aqaba and is made up of four main reefs that form the top of an underwater bridge. These reefs, named after British cartographers (Jackson, Woodhouse, Thomas, Gordon), are world famous for their extraordinary diversity of corals and strong south westerly currents make them home to many large pelagic fish.
QUALIFICATION NEEDED: You must be a PADI Open Water diver or equivalent to join this safari.
Please note that although the qualification needed for this itinerary is Open Water; Tiran is not for beginners and there can often be strong currents.
**PLEASE NOTE** the itinerary below is just an example of the route taken and the order and dive sites are not guaranteed. All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and the final route taken is at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.
Day 1 - Shaab El Erg, "Ghiannis D" at Abu Nuhas and Abu Nuhas Reef
Day 2 - "Carnatic" at Abu Nuhas, "Dunaraven" at Shaab Mahmoud, Beacon Rock
Day 3 - Shark & Yolanda Reefs at Ras Mohammed National Park and Tiran dive sites (Woodhouse, Gordon, Thomas or Jackson) and Laguna Reef
Day 4 - Tiran dive sites (Woodhouse, Gordon, Thomas or Jackson) and Small Crack at Shaab Mahmoud
Day 5 - Thistlegorm, Umm Usk and Siyul
Day 6 - Poseidon & El Mina
SS. Thistlegorm - Shaab Ali: Probably the most famous of the Red Sea wrecks. The 129m English Freighter was bombed by German aviation on 6th October 1941. Today she creates an artificial reef on a sandy bottom at 32m max depth. She is home to an enormous variety of marine life and is especially popular with large schooling fish.
Small Crack - Shaab Mahmoud: This is a small split in the middle of Shaab Mahmoud's barrier. Drift along the outside wall next to beautiful corals and colourful fish. Look for a sand slope that leads you up and through the crack. When the current is right you can fly through the 5m deep channel and be thrown out across the sandy lagoon!
Shag Rock: This large circular reef is often overlooked but offers excellent diving on pristine coral from any location on its perimeter.
Abu Nuhas: Also known as the 'Ships Graveyard', this reef is dangerously positioned close to the busy shipping lanes of the Gulf of Suez. This reef has claimed more ships than any other in the area. On the north side are four wrecks laying on a sandy seafloor at the bottom of a steep sloping reef layered with table corals. On the south side is a safe anchorage for liveaboards and two ergs, known as Yellow Fish Reef.
Ras Mohamed Reef: This is a world renowned dive site, situated at the tip of the Sinai. Two small ergs are joined by a vertical wall dropping into the abyss. At Shark Reef the current allows you to drift along the wall, rich with colourful corals. Moving towards Yolanda Reef you reach a plateau scattered with small ergs and coral outcrops. Continuing around the reef you will come upon the scattered remains of the wreck 'Yolanda' complete with its cargo of toilets and baths. The whole of this area is big fish territory so keep an eye on the blue!
Jackson Reef - Tiran: This is the most northerly reef and on its northern edge lays the wreck of a freighter serving as a stark warning to ships in the narrow straights. Dives are usually conducted from the moorings on the south side which is sheltered from the main swell and currents. Moving northwards you will come across a forest of spectacular Gorgonia fan coral at about 20 to 30 metres as well as many different kinds of reef fish. This site can also be done as a drift dive heading from the mooring towards the East with the reef on the left where it is mostly wall diving with excellent corals.
Woodhouse Reef - Tiran: This is the longest reef of the four in the Strait of Tiran. Home to reef sharks and eagle rays, it is dived as a drift dive usually from South to North. Jumping at the southern part of the reef is a wall to about 30m covered with coral from the surface all the way down. There is a canyon going along the reef at about 25m which spreads out into a coral garden with sand alleys.
Thomas Reef - Tiran: This is the smallest reef in the Strait and diving here is governed by the weather as there are extremely strong currents. The ends are vertical walls with a large plateau at about 25m on the south eastern side. This plateau often has sleeping sharks on the sand patches and the colourful coral has a fence of Gorgonia fans at the end.
Gordon Reef - Tiran: This is the most southerly reef of the four and has a different topography from the others offering both a shallow plateau area and drop offs. A huge variety of reef fish and big schools of groupers can be seen here and on the sandy bottom at 4 to 5 metres there is an eel garden area along with coral encrusted drums. The top of the reef, with its lighthouse, is also home to the wreck Lovilla which sits almost parallel to the wreck on Jackson Reef.
Laguna Reef - Tiran: Home to the wrecks Kormoran and Million Hope. Both wrecks are located north of Laguna Reef and so you need good weather to dive them as they are very exposed.
Want to go? Check out the Schedules and Prices HERE
Thanks to (Dray Van Beeck) for providing the featured underwater images.