14 Days Exploring the Best Reefs of the Red Sea – Plus Cairo and Pyramids
May 12-25, 2023
This is going to be an amazing trip! Join this snorkeling only group to experience the abundant coral reefs and sea life of the Red Sea, from both a seaside Egyptian resort and a liveaboard yacht. Oh, and you also get a fascinating cultural tour of the great pyramids of Giza and Cairo to start it all off. There is another Egypt trip in 2023 you can see here.
Based on how many people are interested in Red Sea snorkeling, we think this is going to be a very popular trip. One of our community contributors regularly visits this area, staying at the same seaside resort, and has glowing reviews about it. The Red Sea is certainly on our radar for having some of the most alive and interesting reefs in the world.
This trip is being run by our partner and friend Ben and his team. Based in the U.K., they are experts at running amazing excursions, and have a great appreciation for the underwater world. You will be accompanied by a guide from Ben’s team for the entire trip who has spent many years working in Egypt, and is also an underwater photography pro. There will be local guides from the resort and liveaboard always with the group, too.
Where Is the Red Sea and Where Will You Be Staying?
The Red Sea lies between Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea in Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula, with the Sinai Peninsula at the northern end. This trip will be focused on the reefs of the Egyptian coastline, in the northern part of the Red Sea.
Your tour starts in Cairo. After your arrival at Cairo International Airport (CAI) in Egypt, you will take a licensed taxi to the Sofitel Cairo Nile el-Gezirah Hotel, where you will meet and stay with your guide and tour group. You will spend two nights there, with a tour of the Giza Pyramids and Cairo included.
Next your group will fly from Cairo to Hurghada, and then shuttle by land to the Marsa Shagra Village Resort for a four night stay and lots of snorkeling.
Next you will travel a short distance to Port Ghalib and board the Emperor Echo Liveaboard yacht for a seven night cruise filled with snorkeling.
Finally your group will transfer from Port Ghalib to Hurghada Airport for your flight back to Cairo, completing the tour.
What Will Your Tour of Cairo and Your Hotel Be Like?
Your first two nights will be spent in a Luxury Room at the five-star Sofitel Cairo Nile el-Gezirah Hotel, which is situated right on the Nile River.
After a relaxing evening at the hotel, getting to know your guide and group, you will be treated to a full day tour of Cairo. Cairo is an ancient city, founded in 969 CE, so this will be a true step back in time. Your tour will include stops at the famous Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum.
You will also have time to wander the remarkable and ancient Khan el-Khalili Bazaar for sightseeing and shopping.
After your tour of Cairo you will have time to relax for another evening enjoying the luxurious facilities and dining of the Sofitel Cairo Hotel. There are indoor and outdoor pools with stunning views of the Nile River, numerous restaurants and a spa, all located in the most popular area of Cairo. Breakfast and lunch are included in Cairo.
Your Luxury Room will be very spacious with air-conditioning, free WiFi, a large bathroom, top quality linens and mattresses, and a full view of the Nile.
About Marsa Shagra Village Resort and Snorkeling
Marsa Shagra Village Resort is perfectly located to access some of the very best snorkeling available in the Red Sea, and you will have four nights there.
The resort has a vast house reef in a bay that is so large, and so interesting, that you will have two days of guided explorations of different parts of it.
To explore some parts of the reef you will be taken by boat. And you will also be free to snorkel the reef all you want by simply walking in from the beach. There are beautiful hard and soft coral reef structures to explore around, in a variety of depths.
The corals are home to a myriad of beautiful reef fish, turtles, giant eels, rays, and other larger fish cruising by looking for a snack, like jacks and trevally.
In addition to exploring the house reef your group will also take a day trip by boat to an area called Coral Gardens that is known to have dolphins and dugong.
Your room at Marsa Shagra will be a Deluxe Chalet, their finest rooms. These upscale rooms have everything you would expect with air-conditioning, a TV, safe, and large bathrooms. Each has a private terrace with views of the sea and mountains.
All meals are included, and are freshly prepared. They are served buffet style and dinners offer alternating cuisine theme nights. Dietary restrictions (vegan, gluten free, etc.) can be accommodated. The restaurant, pictured below, is an outdoor terrace with wonderful views in all directions.
There are snacks, tea, coffee, water, and bottled soft drinks always available. You are encouraged to bring your own water bottle to be refilled to help reduce plastic waste. Alcohol and other specialty items are not included.
What The Emperor Echo Liveaboard and Snorkeling Will Be Like
The Emperor Echo was completely refurbished in 2018. It is a wonderful platform for exploring the more remote and stunning reefs of the Red Sea.
This yacht has been exclusively chartered for your snorkel group, so all the sites visited will be chosen for ideal snorkeling depths and sea life encounters.
Your group will enjoy up to four daily guided snorkel trips, stopping at different spots. There will also be opportunities for night and sunset snorkeling.
At times you will get in the water directly from the rear of the yacht, and other times you will be taken by the liveaboard’s smaller tenders to different snorkel sites.
The yacht’s route will be dependent on weather conditions, but it will be sailing south from Port Ghalib, circling around the St. John’s area of reefs. There are reefs with giant gorgonians and black coral, teeming with schools of fish. There are other areas full of butterflyfish, with manta rays and reef sharks in the deeper waters.
You will also explore another huge area of reefs, known as the Fury Shoals, which offers a nice variety of underwater topography from walls and seamounts, to shallow plateaus, where you will find beautiful anemones, clownfish, massive groupers, and giant trevallies.
Between snorkeling outings you can enjoy stunning views of the sunrises and sunsets and have lots of opportunity to kick back and relax, taking advantage of the comforts of the yacht and the great service of the staff.
There are a few different cabin options on the yacht. There are six twin-berth cabins on the lower deck, three twin-berth cabins on the main deck, and two twin-berth cabins and the gorgeous Panorama Double cabin on the upper deck. All cabins are ensuite with individual air-conditioning.
During your cruise you will be well cared for by the crew and chefs, who will keep you well fed on delicious meals and snacks. Meals are served buffet style and include many choices. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated.
During this adventure both at the resort and on the liveaboard the group will at times be transferred to and from snorkel spots on Zodiac rigid inflatable boats that have ladders for access out of the water.
Trip Details and How to Sign Up
This is a small group charter and we expect it to fill quickly. Your spot is reserved with your deposit. Contact Ben below for deposit instructions.
May 12-25, 2023 – Trip full, request to be waitlisted below. There is another Egypt trip with an available 2023 date you can see here.
$4750 US per person (Twin/Double Share) (Deluxe Chalet Marsa Shagra, Lower Deck Emperor Echo)
Emperor Echo Supplements:
Upper & Main Deck: $250 US per person
Panorama Double: $500 US per person
Single Supplement: $1250 US
The initial deposit for this trip is $800 US per person. At 12 months before departure there is a $600 US per person interim deposit, and at six months there is another $1000 US per person interim deposit. The final balance will be due three months before departure. A few payment options are available including debit and credit cards.
Individual travelers – Ben will happily find someone of the same sex for you to share a room with. If he cannot find you someone, no single supplement surcharge will apply.
- Domestic flights with 20 kg/44 lbs baggage allowance, economy class (Cairo – Hurghada – Cairo)
- Cairo – Marsa Shagra – Emperor Echo – Cairo transfers
- 2 nights Sofitel Cairo Luxury Room with breakfast and lunch
- Day tour of Cairo – Giza, Egyptian Museum, and Khan el-Khalili Bazaar
- 4 nights Marsa Shagra Deluxe Chalet with full board
- 2 days Marsa Shagra house reef snorkeling + 1 day boat snorkeling
- 7 nights Liveaboard Emperor Echo with full board (including red wine at dinner)
- Unlimited snorkeling from the Emperor Echo (up to 4 sessions per day)
- International flights
- Taxi from Cairo Airport to Cairo Hotel
- 2 dinners in Cairo
- Alcoholic drinks
- Snorkel equipment rental
- Travel and health insurance
Ben and his U.K. based team are the organizers and leaders of this trip (more about them below). Galen & Nicole from TropicalSnorkeling.com are promoting this trip, but all signups, trip organization and payments are made to and managed by Ben’s team. TropicalSnorkeling.com does receive a referral fee in exchange for promoting the trip, at no extra cost to attendees.
How to Sign Up or Learn More?
Use the contact form below to contact Ben and his team to request more information about them and express your interest in signing up. They will get back to you shortly with full details.
More About Ben and Our Partnership
Ben (pictured with Nicole) is our friend and snorkeling trips partner. He and his team are based in the U.K. and have over 20 years of experience guiding in Asia and beyond. He has been running his own business since 2010 and is primarily offering guided snorkeling trips, but he started with diving. He began offering snorkeling specific trips because he was aware that snorkelers often get the short end of the stick when thrown in with divers. He and his team love the freedom and low stress of snorkeling, and are very aware of the different needs of snorkelers versus divers, in terms of the reef depth, and calm surface conditions needed.
From our experience going on one of his snorkeling trips we found it very well organized, the guides were fantastic and very helpful, and the underwater experiences were exceptional. Snorkeling groups really get the benefit of all of Ben and his guides’ years of experience in the water, and with different resorts and liveaboards.
All of his trips are small groups of 12-18 guests, or with a similar ratio of snorkelers to guides. And for where they visit, and how packed they are with experiences, they are affordable.
His company is licensed and insured. Barring extreme circumstances they do not cancel trips, and all funds are held in a trust until the trip is completed giving you 100% financial security if they or any of their suppliers go out of business before the trip happens.
Learn More About the Hotel, Resort and Liveaboard
Sofitel Cairo Nile el-Gezirah Hotel
Completed Trip Dates
May 6-19, 2022
October 28 – November 10, 2022