Liveaboard Diving in Daedalus

What to Expect on a Daedalus Reef Liveaboard

Due to its remote nature choosing a liveaboard to Daedalus Reef is necessary to fully appreciate 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 1860s which was then rebuilt in the 1930s. 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 for 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 1980s, 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 a 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

  • 8.9 Fabulous
  • 325 Verified Reviews
  • 8.4 Very good
  • Philip P
  • United States United States

My favorite dive sight. We saw an oceanic white tip a thresher shark and a whale shark on 1 dive.

Diving Daedalus in November on the Tillis

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Kevin B
  • United States United States

Deep diving in search of Hammerheads. Conditions were rigorous. We did finally see one hammerhead. Lot of work for a small payoff. Surprised at the lack of color. Of course when your that deep your not going to see it any way.

Diving Daedalus in November on the Blue

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Alexander F
  • United States United States

Cold (eapecially due to the very high winds) with poor viz and relative absence of large marine life, except a Silky shark.

Diving Daedalus in March on the Blue Seas

  • 7.6 Good
  • Christopher E
  • United States United States

Saw Sharks all 6 dives there

Diving Daedalus in May on the JP Marine

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Rick B
  • United States United States

Sucky. Far too many divers. No fun.

Diving Daedalus in November on the Blue Seas

  • 8.4 Very good
  • James B
  • United States United States

Not much to see on this trip for our group. Too many other boats in the area

Diving Daedalus in April on the Blue Melody

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Richard C
  • United States United States

Beautiful. A coral landscape that looked like a “fantasy land”, can’t even describe in words.

Diving Daedalus in May on the Emperor Elite

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Jennifer P
  • United States United States

Really enjoyed the diving here and the chance to go on land to the lighthouse

Diving Daedalus in May on the Emperor Elite

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Maximilian S
  • United States United States

Nice island, good chance to see hammerheads, and a few threshers. Not a bad reef for some drift diving, but not much coral to look at. Some chance of seeing dolphins as well.

Diving Daedalus in May on the Emperor Echo

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Colin G
  • United States United States

My favorite dive site out of all of them great reef and the conditions were perfect

Diving Daedalus in May on the Blue Horizon

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Eric T
  • United States United States

Absolutely amazing, 1st and 3rd dive we saw hammer heads and all black manta ray

Diving Daedalus in June on the Tillis

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Karen N
  • United States United States

Mostly stayed in the blue looking for hammerheads. Had a few passes, and the other group got a great experience surrounded by about 20 beautiful hammerheads.

Diving Daedalus in July on the Amelia Discovery

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Jennifer M
  • United States United States

I liked the walls of coral here best, manta, hammerheads

Diving Daedalus in August on the Golden Dolphin III

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Erica H
  • United States United States

This by far was the best place on the trip. Best coral walls, 6 dives 6 hammer heads. Everything was incredible here.

Diving Daedalus in September on the Tillis

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Greg K
  • United States United States

Excellent, lots of hammerheads.

Diving Daedalus in October on the Blue Storm

  • 9.2 Superb
  • william G
  • United States United States

And epic and unique shark encounter that made the trip memorable

Diving Daedalus in October on the Blue Melody

  • 6.8 Review score
  • Jim B
  • United States United States

2/10. Go deep and maybe see something. Boring!

Diving Daedalus in October on the JP Marine

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Lara L
  • United States United States

Got to see a hammerhead and manta!

Diving Daedalus in October on the Alia

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Ryan L
  • United States United States

Amazing! Saw school of Hammerheads! 🤙🏼

Diving Daedalus in October on the Samira Discovery

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Robert S
  • United States United States

The corals and fish were so colorful. Great diving site

Diving Daedalus in November on the Emperor Elite

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Kris H
  • United States United States

Clear Warm waters, beautiful corals, great dives

Diving Daedalus in November on the Ghazala Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Mary F
  • United States United States

Daedalus had a beautiful reef as well as Hammerheads. I could have stayed at Daedalus for a whole week, but was so glad that we got to stay for 2 days!

Diving Daedalus in November on the Tillis

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Christian F
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Chance to see hammerheads in the blue if lucky

Diving Daedalus in October on the Okeanos Xplorer

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Philipp A
  • Germany Germany

for me the best, saw a lot of sharks

Diving Daedalus in November on the Blue Seas

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Álvaro A
  • Spain Spain

Really good but we had to do more dives here because of the weather

Diving Daedalus in April on the JP Marine

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Markus K
  • Germany Germany

Amazing. Mehrere Tauchgänge mit Hammerhaien.

Diving Daedalus in April on the Emperor Echo

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Petra S
  • Czech Republic Czech Republic

This was the place I liked most. Hammerhead sharks, reef grey sharks and other sharks, turtles, amazing night dives...

Diving Daedalus in May on the JP Marine

  • 6.4 Review score
  • Michael V
  • Denmark Denmark

Clearly the best dive site we saw hammerheads on all 4 dives we had there. Very nice.

Diving Daedalus in July on the Samira Discovery

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Keith T
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Beautiful corals and fish. The warm waters kept the sharks away, but still we saw a shark and a manta ray.

Diving Daedalus in September on the Thunderbird

  • 7.6 Good
  • Gijs L
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Great - one good encounter with hammerheads but no other big things

Diving Daedalus in September on the Sea Serpent Grand

  • 7.6 Good
  • Nick K
  • Canada Canada

Daedalus was good for seeing hammerheads. Visibility wasn't the greatest.

Diving Daedalus in September on the Blue Pearl

  • 4.8 Review score
  • Jonas K
  • Germany Germany

Had a lot of dives here, since we stayed for 2 days. Saw some nice fish and sharks. Really strong current all time, which led to some dangerous situations. The big group was splitted during 2 dives and some people waited really long for the zodiac.

Diving Daedalus in September on the JP Marine

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Sebastian L
  • Germany Germany

awsome, unfortunately no hammerheads

Diving Daedalus in October on the JP Marine

  • 7.2 Good
  • Eduardo S
  • Spain Spain

5 dives in the place and no sharks, but nice Napoleons

Diving Daedalus in October on the Sunlight

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • ELI A
  • Portugal Portugal

Nice dives, but we expected to see more sharks

Diving Daedalus in November on the Tillis

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Anders Khallash R
  • Denmark Denmark

Spend too much time looking for sharks, would have liked to see the western side in stead as I know it is great asround Anemone City.

Diving Daedalus in November on the Blue Storm

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Andreas D
  • Germany Germany

ok, unfortunately no sharks

Diving Daedalus in November on the Tillis

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Matteo C
  • Italy Italy

Great! We didn’t spot hammerheads shark but longimanus sharks were exciting enough!

Diving Daedalus in November on the Tillis

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Rahel L
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Boring if you don't see any big stuff

Diving Daedalus in November on the JP Marine

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Richard D
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Sadly again nothing big but three rewarding dives.

Diving Daedalus in March on the Blue

  • 8.4 Very good
  • LUIZ P
  • Brazil Brazil

Fun but sadly devoid of big animals

Diving Daedalus in March on the Red Sea Adventurer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Nasr A
  • Jordan Jordan

Daedalus is a great dive spot but probably too cold this time of the year for the hammerheads

Diving Daedalus in March on the Sea Serpent Contessa

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Pascal J
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Wonderful! Manta rays, a school of tuna, napoleons, trevallies…

Diving Daedalus in April on the JP Marine

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Carlos R
  • Spain Spain

Good, mantas, longimanus despite not excellent visibility

Diving Daedalus in April on the JP Marine

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Richard A
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Very Remote feeling here, which was great because we were only sharing the dive site with 2 other boats, great looking dive site, with the potential of seeing larger fish in the blue off the walls.

Diving Daedalus in April on the JP Marine

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Susana M
  • Spain Spain

No big fishes, bad visibility, bad luck this time

Diving Daedalus in April on the JP Marine

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Bjorn E
  • Sweden Sweden

Excellent! Hammerhead and Manta!

Diving Daedalus in April on the Blue Horizon

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Roger A
  • Sweden Sweden

Fairly good and the trip to the lighthouse was very nice.

Diving Daedalus in April on the Red Sea Aggressor III

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Markus M
  • Germany Germany

No sharks in April but one Manta Ray

Diving Daedalus in April on the Red Sea Aggressor III

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Michel B
  • Belgium Belgium

Amazing, it was also nice to go to the lighthouse Again the season was not the best, visibility so so and no hammerheads. Will go back once in June, July, August, September or October. We sould have a better luck with sharks and warmer water

Diving Daedalus in April on the JP Marine

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Konrad M
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Hammerheads are always nice

Diving Daedalus in April on the Blue

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Mark D
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great dive site. Lots of lovely soft coral to see whilst an opportunity to drift into the blue to look for big stuff!! Great meet with a large Manta Ray.

Diving Daedalus in April on the JP Marine

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Sven K
  • Netherlands Netherlands

Good, Hamerhead and Manta rays

Diving Daedalus in April on the Sea Serpent Grand

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Francesco M
  • Italy Italy

We saw a Manta Ray dancing around us!

Diving Daedalus in April on the Red Sea Aggressor III

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Joel B
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

This was my highlight of the trip. Great diving! Saw Mantas.

Diving Daedalus in April on the Red Sea Aggressor III

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Alex J
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Great! Experienced two manta while diving

Diving Daedalus in April on the Red Sea Aggressor III

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Clément L
  • France France

Unsuccessful looking for sharks

Diving Daedalus in April on the Ghazala Explorer

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Jean-Francois L
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Very nice, we saw a manta doing loops in the water anf many hammerheads

Diving Daedalus in May on the Blue Storm

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Eva Z
  • Germany Germany

Excellent - hammerhead shark, manta, longimanus and a very curious humphead wrasse / napoleon

Diving Daedalus in May on the Blue Storm

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • sdsd S
  • Afghanistan Afghanistan

Great for hammerhead sharks

Diving Daedalus in May on the Seawolf Felo

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Nachshon M
  • Israel Israel

Very impressive walls. Sharks were expected and came. Manta also appered.

Diving Daedalus in May on the Sea Serpent Grand

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Camilla Adamsen N
  • Denmark Denmark

Amazing! Spotted hammerheads and manta rays

Diving Daedalus in May on the JP Marine

  • 5.2 Review score
  • Luiz Roberto C
  • Brazil Brazil

Was good, but technically difficult due to the currents and the depth

Diving Daedalus in May on the JP Marine

  • 7.2 Good
  • Ji W
  • Canada Canada

Ok dives. Saw 1 hammerhead during the group’s 5th dives

Diving Daedalus in May on the JP Marine

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Rolf M
  • Germany Germany

Beautiful Drop off, Hammer Head Sharks, Mantas and a nice little Nemo City

Diving Daedalus in May on the Seawolf Felo

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Andrew O
  • South Africa South Africa

Unfortunately we only saw one shark but it was incredible

Diving Daedalus in May on the Blue

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Michael R
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Current was quite strong, we saw mantas and hammerheads and many more things.

Diving Daedalus in May on the Emperor Elite

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Emily P
  • Mauritania Mauritania

An incredible experience diving with hammerheads.

Diving Daedalus in June on the Blue

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Billy L
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Another great dive site, we see hammerhead sharks, a manta up close and a thresher shark in the distance.

Diving Daedalus in June on the Tillis

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Tanner M
  • Canada Canada

Amazing! Mantas and schooling hammerheads!

Diving Daedalus in July on the Samira Discovery

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Florian M
  • Germany Germany

Great wall dives, pretty crowded at times

Diving Daedalus in July on the Blue Melody

  • 6.0 Review score
  • kristoffer G
  • Denmark Denmark

great dive site, 8-10 hammerheads + mantas + grey reef shark. awesome dive site

Diving Daedalus in July on the JP Marine

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Marc B
  • Switzerland Switzerland

excellent, big fish action

Diving Daedalus in July on the JP Marine

  • 7.2 Good
  • mic D
  • Netherlands Netherlands

viel diepe duiken en niet zo goede visabilty. De hammers die wij gezien hebben, zaten helaas erg diep

Diving Daedalus in July on the Emperor Echo

  • 8.0 Very good
  • Nichola D
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

This was the best of the diving in my opinion as it was a level everyone enjoyed, the groups got smaller as some were able to dive unguided

Diving Daedalus in August on the Amelia Discovery

  • 7.2 Good
  • Nathan A
  • France France

Ok, we were unlucky with hammerheads though.

Diving Daedalus in August on the Amelia Discovery

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Jacqueline S
  • Australia Australia

Unfortunately didn’t see hammerheads

Diving Daedalus in August on the Blue Horizon

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Timo N
  • Germany Germany

Had the Chance to 3-5m Manta 😃

Diving Daedalus in August on the Golden Dolphin IV

  • 7.2 Good
  • Dirk S
  • Germany Germany

Excellent: hammerheads and mantas - nothing more to wish for

Diving Daedalus in September on the Sea Serpent Grand

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Matthias G
  • Switzerland Switzerland

a little disappointing in contrast to previous trips. Maybe too many Boots in Daedalus

Diving Daedalus in September on the Sea Serpent Glory

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Maximilian L
  • Germany Germany

Beautiful offshore Reef with a lot of pelagics to bei spotted.

Diving Daedalus in September on the Emperor Asmaa

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Jan Patrick M
  • Germany Germany

Awesome, we saw Hammerheads and Mantas

Diving Daedalus in September on the Red Sea Aggressor III

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Martin W
  • Switzerland Switzerland

Not so Good, to many ships more than 18 ships where there during the say

Diving Daedalus in September on the Red Sea Aggressor III

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • howard E
  • Australia Australia

We saw a school of 7 hammerhead sharks and countless fish.

Diving Daedalus in September on the Andromeda

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • howard E
  • Australia Australia

We saw a school of 7 hammerhead sharks and countless fish.

Diving Daedalus in September on the Andromeda

  • 8.8 Fabulous
  • Florian S
  • Germany Germany

Ausgezeichnet, Weißspitzen-Hochseehaie!

Diving Daedalus in September on the Blue Horizon

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Marc B
  • Switzerland Switzerland

6 hammerheads on one dive early in the morning.

Diving Daedalus in October on the Samira Discovery

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Chun L
  • Hong Kong Hong Kong

Saw a group of Hammer Shark in close distance.

Diving Daedalus in October on the Tala

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Tim P
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Awesome, OWT's, multiple Scalloped Hammerheads and mantas made this the pick of the itinerary

Diving Daedalus in October on the Blue Melody

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Nobin C
  • India India

Great diving with many hammerhead sharks

Diving Daedalus in October on the Ghazala Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Nenad B
  • Serbia Serbia

Saw Longimanus, huge Napoleon fishes, gigantic mantaray, barracudas…

Diving Daedalus in October on the Blue Seas

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • Katie S
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Amazing. Great spot to see sharks

Diving Daedalus in October on the Ghazala Explorer

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Gabriel C
  • Spain Spain

The best in the whole trip. Plenty of sharks!

Diving Daedalus in October on the Tillis

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Christa K
  • Finland Finland

Amazing! A lot of hammerheads, oceanic white tips, manta rays and amazing reef!

Diving Daedalus in November on the Tillis

  • 9.6 Exceptional
  • John G
  • Ireland Ireland

6 dives on Daedalus with Hammerheads on most of them.

Diving Daedalus in November on the Ghazala Explorer

  • 9.2 Superb
  • Paul G
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom

Lots of into the blue with varying success. Three dives were quite boring because we didn't see anything, but one had a Manta Ray and a White Tipped Shark in quick succession!

Diving Daedalus in November on the JP Marine

  • 8.4 Very good
  • Tommy B
  • Norway Norway

Amazing dive with hammerheads

Diving Daedalus in November on the Samira Discovery

  • 7.2 Good
  • Jerome R
  • France France

18 hammerheads and some thresher sharks.

Diving Daedalus in November on the Contessa Mia

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Marzena W
  • Poland Poland

Excellent - sharks, sharks

Diving Daedalus in December on the JP Marine

  • 10.0 Exceptional
  • Weber A
  • Switzerland Switzerland

We saw a lot of Hammerheads and White tip sharks

Diving Daedalus in December on the Red Sea Aggressor III


Origin: US