Liveaboard Diving in Daedalus

What to Expect on a Daedalus Reef Liveaboard

Due to it's remore nature choosing a liveaboard to Daedalus Reef is necessary to fully apprecaite this amazing dive area. East of Marsa Alam about 80 km/50 miles offshore, Daedalus reef, also known as Abu Kizan lies within a marine protected zone. At the centre of the reef the Egyptian Navy has built a lighthouse on a small man-made island originating in the 1860's which was then rebuilt in the 1930's. A long fixed pier stretches from the lighthouse out to the edge of the shallows. This is where most liveaboards moor to keep stable in the open sea. Daedalus is included in numerous Egypt liveaboard itineraries that visit this area.

Daedalus has a large shallow reef with drop-offs at the sides. It varies from a few meters of beautifully clear water to the deepest point for recreational divers at 40 meters/ 130 ft. This means Daedalus has the best of both worlds. On the largely unspoiled reef there are stunning corals, tropical fish and huge napoleon wrasse for divers to enjoy. In the deeper sections, out in the blue, the pelagics: sharks, mantas and tuna shoals can be seen passing through.

For technical divers there are other areas that are only accessible to those with experience and equipment for going deep. The wreck and debris of the Zealot steamer is very popular for rebreather and side mount diving.

Daily Schedule (example)

Morning - The first dive will normally be a dawn dive. After a quick snack and coffee, you will have a briefing before heading to the dive deck. The deeper dives will be first and divers will enter from the liveaboard directly or by tender boat. After breakfast there will be a second briefing followed by the second dive. The dive times will vary depending on the depth of the dives and air consumption.

Afternoon - After lunch and a break on board, there will be another two or three dives in the afternoon. These will likely be shallower reef dives to look at the coral and anemone city. Sadly, there is no night diving within this marine protected area. This is not only for conservation but also safety, the currents and general conditions can be difficult even during the day.

Daedalus Reef Underwater

The reef is less than a kilometre long and 100 meters wide with a drop offs all around. The deepest areas of the site are around 40 meters/ft. and currents can be very strong. Visibility is very good despite often rough conditions. Divers can expect between 20 to 30 meters 65 to 100 ft. The water temperature varies from 24 to 30 degrees 75 to 85 Fahrenheit.

Fortunately, because Daedalus is less frequently visited by divers, it is in pristine condition with soft and hard corals and a huge variety of tropical reef fish. 'Anemone City' an entire section of the reef covered with anemone is a macro photographer's dream.

In deeper waters the position of Daedalus reef so far offshore makes it ideal for encounters with passing pelagics. Hammerheads and oceanic whitetips are just some of the big sharks you can hope to encounter around Daedalus. There is also a chance in the south of the reef to see solitary thresher sharks, easily distinguished by their long pointed tails. There is also a chance in the summer to see whale sharks passing by in the blue.

There is also a wreck at Daedalus reef, the Zealot which lies in between 80 and 120 meters of water. Not only is there the wreck but the cargo of iron is scattered all the way down the reef lost as the ship sank. This steamship, sank due to poor navigation in the 1980's, is perfect for technical divers to explore.

Top Tips for Daedalus Reef

  • Currents can be strong at Daedalus but the directions are fairly predictable. Take a compass to stay orientated.
  • Do remember to check the rules of the marine park, many things such as wearing gloves while diving are prohibited.
  • Be sure to take adequate thermal protection as currents can make the water feel colder than it is.
  • Be aware that there will be a charge to enter the marine parks such as Daedalus depending The price will depend on how many you will be visiting. It should be paid on the liveaboard.

Getting to Daedalus Reef

Most Egypt liveaboards depart from Port Ghalib near Marsa Alam which is the closest mainland harbour. These liveaboards are easily accessible from Marsa Alam airport which receives frequent flights from a number of major European airports. Alternatively, Hurgada airport is a four-hour transfer away from Marsa Alam.

The reef itself is an 9-hour sail, normally done overnight from the port of departure. Daedalus is part of a number of different itineraries which can also include the Brothers, Elphinstone and St. Johns. The number of dives at Daedalus will vary depending on which itinerary you chose.

The distance from shore makes this site exclusively for liveaboard dive boats. This means the reef is in very good condition and you won't be surrounded by hundreds of other divers every day. Dives can be done directly from the liveaboard which moors close to the edge of the reef or from a tender.

Daedalus Diving Reviews

  • 9.2 Superb
  • 36 Verified Reviews
  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Tina H
  • Denmark Denmark

Amazing close encounters with hammerheads, manta, Oceanic white tips.

Diving Daedalus in July on the Emperor Echo

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Marco C
  • Portugal Portugal

Amazing; best place in Red sea: Hammerhead shark, napoleon...

Diving Daedalus in June on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ernst V
  • United States United States

Mind blowing. My favorite dive site.

Diving Daedalus in June on the Golden Dolphin II

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Alex S
  • United States United States

Another amazing spot. Will be back in order to find the schooling hammers

Diving Daedalus in June on the Tillis

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Alexander K
  • Canada Canada

Excellent, sometimes challenging because of currents

Diving Daedalus in May on the JP Marine

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Naisan E
  • Bahrain Bahrain

Whale Shark, Ocianics and Hamerheads and my good Friend the Napoleon Rass

Diving Daedalus in May on the JP Marine

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Tanner M
  • United States United States

The best dives Of the trip. My favorite location in the world.

Diving Daedalus in May on the JP Marine

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Giovanni C
  • United States United States

This was my favorite spot! The amazing clarity of the waters and the remarkable amount of coral variety was absolutely spectacular.

Diving Daedalus in April on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Becky Y
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Nice, quaint working light house with a huge reef surrounding it. We took many pics and bought a T-shirt with hammerheads on the back of it!...And of course, we saw hammerhead shark, lurking far below us, beyond 40m, in the blue. It was exciting! During our dives, there were big barracudas, anemone city with clown fish (Nemo!) and a very curious bump-headed giant parrot fish playing with us—it esp. like the very colorful(!!) wet suit of a fellow diver (probably thought that she was another giant parrot fish!).

Diving Daedalus in September on the JP Marine

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Marc F
  • France France

No dives at this beautiful site during my last diving travel !

Diving Daedalus in September on the Emperor Asmaa

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Jeremy T
  • France France

The Best (would've liked to stay one more day)

Diving Daedalus in July on the Sea Serpent

  • 7.6 Good
  • YANG G
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Hammerheads is definitely the highlight

Diving Daedalus in May on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Julia R
  • Germany Germany

good visability,we saw a school of hammerheads (12) - as promised, nice corals. but the hammerheads were the highlight of it

Diving Daedalus in November on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Malgorzata B
  • Poland Poland

One of 2 top dive sites in this trip. I'm impressed and would like to return.

Diving Daedalus in November on the MY Seawolf Felo

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Stephane M
  • Canada Canada

Hammerheads!!!! The highlight of the trip!!

Diving Daedalus in October on the MY Seawolf Dominator

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Marc B
  • Netherlands Netherlands

big school of hammerheads (over 25). Oceanic White Tips

Diving Daedalus in September on the Sea Serpent

  • 7.6 Good
  • Michel G
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Very good dives and visibility

Diving Daedalus in August on the Sea Serpent

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Kenneth Broberg F
  • United States United States

Best things here are encounter with hammerheads, and whatleshark, Manta

Diving Daedalus in July on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Paolo S
  • Italy Italy

exciting (we saw the hammer head shark)

Diving Daedalus in July on the Emperor Superior

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Thibault B
  • France France

Excellent, beautiful coral, some hammerheads and a Manta

Diving Daedalus in May on the Red Sea Aggressor

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Jordi G
  • Spain Spain

The best, with hammerheads although not the school

Diving Daedalus in May on the Blue Pearl Liveaboard