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Liveaboard Diving in Straits Of Tiran
What to Expect on A Straits of Tiran Liveaboard
Various Egypt Liveaboard itineraries will offer dive cruises to the well known area of Straits of Tiran. Separating the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea The Straits of Tiran are a small passage of water only 13 nautical miles wide. They were named for their proximity to Tiran island to the west of the straits and provide a very important shipping channel providing a connection between Egypt and its neighbours Saudi Arabia and Jordan.
There are areas of the straits that have very deep water, several hundred meters in some places which are perfect for shipping. There are also huge areas of shallows and reefs which is good news for diving!
Four of these reefs lie across the channel with the two deepest passages Enterprise and Grafton on either side. They are marked above the surface by numerous lighthouses and the wreck of the Loullia which ran aground and remains sticking out on top of the reef. The wreck is not diveable, but does lend a dramatic feeling to the sweeping reefs.
The other dive sites in the area are located around the North and South Laguna close to Tiran Island. These sites are within reach of Sharm el Sheikh and with their fantastic corals, great visibility and the chance to see sharks they have become one of the most popular dive sites in the area. Liveaboard diving in the Straits of Tiran has long been a favourite amongst Red Sea divers.
The straits also have plenty to offer technical divers with canyons and wrecks going down to 100 meters/328 ft. In particular, the wreck of the Lara off Gordon Reef is very popular as it sits at 90 meters/295 ft.
Daily Schedule (example)
Morning - Liveaboards will start the day early at The Straits of Tiran to get the first few dives in before any day diving and snorkelling boats arrive from Sharm el Sheikh. This usually means a 6 am before breakfast briefing with a snack and a coffee before heading to the dive deck for the first dive. Be sure to take note of the currents and conditions, The Straits can have very strong even whirling currents in some areas. Also some specific areas of the reefs are good for seeing sharks and so making a note of this on your slates could increase your chances of seeing the big stuff.
Afternoon - After a proper breakfast there will be a second and third dive, some liveaboards offer three afternoon dives and a night dive as well. With up to five dives a day this is definitely eat, sleep and dive territory. Liveaboards will try to take shelter on a fixed mooring on one of the sheltered areas of the reefs such as the South end of Jackson.
The night dives start after dinner at sunset, Gordon and Jackson reef have good plateaus which make for more comfortable night diving. The conditions and current can still be quite difficult here so this is not for inexperienced divers.
The Straits of Tiran Underwater
The Straits of Tiran are an environment rich in sea life and healthy corals. The visibility can be from 20-30 meters/ 65-98 ft although it can be more than 40 meters-13 at times. In the North Jackson Reef is a small round island with steep drop-offs all around. This is mostly a wall dive with beautiful hard and soft corals and an eel garden to the South where divers can find some shelter from currents. Red anemone and fire corals and huge numbers of colourful reef fish are the attraction on the Southern side.
To the East divers can catch some drift on increasing currents along a spectacular wall. The North on the other hand is a sandy rock bottom but with a gem of a plateau where divers can see Grey and Whitetip Reef sharks and even Scalloped Hammerheads.
Jackson Reef connects to Woodhouse Reef by a saddle, although the current here can be very severe. Woodhouse is long in shape with a canyon along the sides before a deep drop-off. The dive site is around 30 meters/100 ft. with very strong currents making this a very enjoyable drift dive, with turtles and a small wreck towards the Northern end. Thomas Reef to the South of Woodhouse is also a drift dive with beautiful archways, caves and swimthroughs as well as fantastic corals.
Gordon Reef is probably the most distinctive above the water with the wreck of the Loullia sitting on top of the reef. Underwater the dive site is over a large plateau with steep drop-offs. There are fantastic corals and bigger fish such as tuna, eagle rays and to the North Whitetip reef sharks and Scalloped Hammerheads.
Top Tips for The Straits of Tiran
- These reefs are best suited to more experienced divers; new divers might find the currents quite strong.
- An alarm on your computer is a good safety measure as the drop-offs and good visibility can be deceptive.
- An SMB is recommended as currents can be unpredictable and there are a great number of boats in the areas around the dive sites.
- Some of the reefs are home to fire corals so wearing adequate protection on your body and hands is wise.
Getting to The Straits of Tiran
The Straights of Tiran are accessible by diving liveaboard. Most liveaboards will depart from either Hurghada or Sharm. Both of these ports have their own international airports with regular flights from mainland Europe and connecting flights further afield.
Itineraries departing from Hurghada will normally take in a number of the wreck and reefs between the port and Tiran, such as Sha'ab El Erg and the Thistlegorm before moving on to the straits. Some of our Egyptian Liveaboard itineraries departing from Sharm el Sheikh may visit the Thistlegorm and Ras Mohammed National Park and end at The Straits of Tiran.
Liveaboards will normally anchor further out from the reefs and the divers will be dropped off and picked up by smaller tenders directly at the dive site. Day boats leave from Sharm el Sheikh early in the morning around 6 am and arriving around 8 am depending on the boat. Day boats drop divers directly and normally offer two dives in the straits before returning late afternoon to Sharm.
Straits Of Tiran Diving Reviews
- 9.1 Superb
- 6 Verified Reviews
It could be chopy sea but under the surface its paradise.
Diving Straits Of Tiran in October on the King Snefro 6
Red sea anemone's at 100ft with the best color I've ever seen.
Diving Straits Of Tiran in February on the Snefro Pearl