Crystal clear blue water, thriving coral reefs that start at the water’s surface and extend as far as the eye can see, and a host of unique and beautiful marine life are just some of the reasons why the Egyptian Red Sea has been one of the world’s most popular snorkeling destinations for decades. Take all of that and throw in an outstanding unique resort and liveaboard with world-class service, a stop at the famous pyramids, all accompanied by a professional and uniquely charming Photo Pro/Snorkel Guide who’s spent the better part of his adult life working in Egypt, and you have all the necessary ingredients for the snorkeling adventure of a lifetime.
We don’t want you to miss out on anything that Egypt offers so we’ve not only included a stop in one of the area’s best resorts at Marsa Shagra for its iconic house reef with visits by friendly pods of dolphins and the odd dugong, but we’ve also chartered the Emperor Echo for a liveaboard safari, taking us to the southern reefs where the marine life is most abundant.
Marine Life Guide
Upon your arrival in Cairo please make your way by licensed taxi to Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah where your group leader will greet you and the group will be staying. That evening you’ll have a chance to meet the rest of the group over a nice dinner together.
The following morning after breakfast we will depart for a full-day tour of Cairo which will include stops at the famous pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the Egyptian Museum as well as time to wander through the Khan Khalili Bazaar.
We will of course stop for a delicious lunch at a local restaurant to complete this tour of one of the most historic cities in the world. Back at the Sofitel we’ll have plenty of time to relax or indulge in the fabulous amenities of the hotel before a nice dinner together. The following morning we will check out of our hotel and head to the airport for our short flight to Hurghada where we will be transferred via comfortable vans to Marsa Shagra, just three hours south.
Marsa is the Arabic word for bay and as such, there is a huge expanse of house reef that extends hundreds of yards to the north and south of the gentle entrance into the water, just a short easy walk from the shore.
With this reef on the doorsteps of the resort you’ll have unlimited access to explore every inch of it any time you choose. With a myriad of colorful damselfish and reef dwellers using the hard corals as shelter from larger predatory fish like trevally or jacks cruising up and down the reef walls there is always something new to find. It’s not uncommon to come across larger creatures, like their resident turtles feasting on soft corals, giant moray eels, or blue-spotted rays digging for crustaceans or just hanging out on the sandy patches between the coral bommies.
Our first full day of snorkeling will be focused on exploring Marsa Shagra’s expansive house reef where you can come and go as you please. The resort has tenders that will help shuttle us to different sections of the reef, however, if you prefer to walk in from shore that is absolutely fine as well. The following day we will explore a bit further as we head out for a day trip on one of the resort’s large speedboats to snorkel around Marsa Alam and an area known as the Coral Gardens. There’s also a solid possibility of being taken to a spot where dolphins or dugong have been seen as they are frequently in the area. Marsa Shagra is really adept at reacting quickly to changing situations, such as a pod of dolphins being spotted in a nearby bay, so it’s not unusual for the plan to suddenly alter because an exciting creature has decided to make an impromptu appearance in the bay somewhere. Our final day of snorkeling at Marsa Shagra will conclude with another full day of snorkeling around the house reef.
Each session will last 60 to 90 minutes or longer if you are on the house reef and can’t get enough! The organized snorkel sessions are always accompanied by local snorkel guides as well as your Snorkel Venture tour leader.
After breakfast at the resort we will check out and transfer to the harbor just north of Marsa Shagra where we will be welcomed onboard the Emperor Echo Liveaboard which will be our home for the next 7 nights.
We have chartered this entire vessel so we will have exclusive use of it, and with their professional team of snorkel guides will be escorted to the best snorkeling sites in the southern Red Sea.
Each day we will stop for snorkel sessions at different sites with options for night and sunset snorkels as well. Typically there’ll be at least 3 escorted daily trips with your tour leader and the onboard guides.
For most scheduled snorkel sessions we will be using the liveaboard’s tenders to drops us right on the sites, but there will also be opportunities to snorkel directly from the big boat where circumstances allow.
Freedom to explore is the order of the days onboard, so you can join an escorted group or just have a slow aquatic ramble around the nearby reef should the location allow for that.
Our exact route is dependent on the weather and conditions but will feature sailing to the southernmost reefs of the Red Sea. We’ll depart from Marsa Ghalib Port and snorkel some sites to the south before sailing overnight to our southernmost point in the St. John’s area. We’ll spend time snorkeling the shallow reefs before heading back north to the vast network of reefs found around Fury Shoals.
St Johns is a vast collection of small reefs offering some of the most remote and rewarding snorkeling in the Red Sea. This incredibly beautiful reef lies a short distance north of the Sudanese border. The reef covers a huge area and many snorkel sessions would be needed to explore the numerous coral heads and islands. Habili Ali offers giant gorgonians and black corals with an abundance of schooling fish often seen in the blue. Habili Gafaar is a mass of soft corals teaming with shoals of snappers, butterfly fish, and barracudas. Mantas and reef sharks can often be seen in the blue.
Fury Shoals is made up of around 20 reefs offering diverse topography from reef walls to seamounts and plateaus. The shallow reef system makes it great for lots of varied snorkeling with colorful anemones, clownfish, barracudas, moray eels, huge groupers, giant trevallies, and dogtooth tuna attracted to the hard and soft corals and can be spotted here.
On our return to the Abu Dabab area we might have another snorkel or two closer to Port Ghalib to relax and unwind before your final night in port.
After breakfast on board the Echo we will disembark and be shuttled to the Hurgharda airport for our flight to Cairo where the tour will end.
Sofitel Cairo Nile El Gezirah
The Sofitel Cairo is a luxury five-star and urban oasis with it’s stunning indoor and outdoor pools, plush rooms, delicious food, and epic views of the Nile River at every turn. This grand hotel is central located right at the edge of the most popular areas for travelers and just off the banks of the famous Nile River. The rooms here are spacious and feature all the comforts of home and more with individual air conditioning units, large bathrooms, and top quality linens and mattresses.
Marsa Shagra Resort
Marsa Shagra occupies one of the most strategic and beautiful seaside locations for snorkelers. It not only offers us unlimited access to their house reef just a few feet from the resort’s beach but it’s also the gateway to Egypt’s southern Red Sea which is known for its abundant marine life and vibrant reefs.
Our group will be staying in their Deluxe Chalets, their finest rooms. These cleverly designed rooms offer private terraces with views of the mountains as well as the sea. Inside you’ll find a large double bed or two singles depending on your chosen sleeping arrangements. The rooms feature everything you would expect in an upscale resort which includes a wardrobe, television, AC, digital safe, and large bathrooms.
Emperor Echo Liveaboard
The Emperor Echo is the newest addition to the world-renowned Emperor Fleet. This spacious vessel can easily accommodate 25 guests and with its newly renovated saloon, restaurant, rooftop bar, and lounging areas you’ll have plenty of space to just enjoy the dramatic scenery pass by.
Accommodation on-board offers 6 x twin-berth and 1 x single bed cabins on the lower deck, 3 x twin-berth cabins on the main deck, and 2 x twin alongside the gorgeous Panorama Double on the upper deck. All cabins are ensuite with individual air conditioning.
While onboard we will be well looked after by not only the snorkel guides but also the stewards and chefs who will prepare us delicious meals and snacks which will always be waiting for us after each snorkel session. Oh, and the vessel serves free red wine at dinner.
Whilst we will mostly be snorkeling with access from the shore at Marsa Shagra and from the snorkel deck of Emperor Echo, there are times where we will use Zodiac Ribs for transfers between snorkeling sites. For more information on this please get in touch.
Marsa Shagra: Large inflatable ribs equipped for traveling longer distances. The boats do have ladders to help board the boat after snorkeling.
Emperor Echo: Smaller than Marsa Shagra’s long-distance inflatables but very comfortable for the short distances needed to shuttle us to the drop points.
On this page you will find our tour dates, a contact form and details of payment schedule including deposit and final balance. If you have any further questions please complete the form and we will reply within 24-48hrs.
Make an enquiry
6th – 19th May 2022
28 Oct – 10 November 2022
12 – 25 May 2023
Price: 4650 USD per person (Deluxe Chalet Marsa Shagra + Lower Deck Emperor Echo)
Emperor Echo Supplements:
Upper & Main Deck: 250 USD per person
Panorama Double: 500 USD per person
Single Supplement: 1250 USD
How to book your place?
Initial deposit to secure your booking $800 per person
12 Months before departure interim payment of $600 per person
6 Months before departure interim payment of $1000 per person
Balance due 3 months before departure
- 7 nights Liveaboard Emperor Echo with full board & unlimited snorkeling (up to 4 sessions per day)
- 4 nights Marsa Shagra Chalet Deluxe with full board with full board & 2 days house reef snorkeling + 1 day boat snorkeling
- 2 nights Sofitel Cairo with breakfast & lunch with a day tour of Giza, Khan Elkhlili and Nile
- Cairo to Hurghada Flights with 20 KG’s / 44 Lbs luggage
- Cairo – Marsa Shagra – Emperor Echo – Cairo Transfers
- Evening meals in Cairo
- Transfer from Cairo Airport to Sofitel on arrival
- International flights
- Soft drinks & alcoholic drinks
- Snorkel equipment rental
- Travel insurance