This route will take you on a trip to the most beautiful places North. You’ll travel back in time during your visits on the countless magnificent wrecks the Red Sea offers such as Thistlegorm and the fabulous wrecks of Abu Nuhas. Not only will you be charmed by these mysterious time capsules, these adventurous dives will also be combined with lazy diving on the beautiful dropoffs and fish-filled off shore reefs with abundant coral cover.
A route not to be missed for the pure wreck lovers amongst us!
Also called the Red Sea naval graveyard …
This reef is only uncovered at extremely low tide and is situated in the edge of the Suez Canal / Strait of Gubal exit, one of the busiest shipping routes in the world. Hence, near this reef wrecks are plentiful. The north side of the reef wrecked 4 of the most famous wrecks divers can discover : Giannis D, Carnatic, Chrisoula K and Kimon M. The wrecks are right next to the reef on the sandy bottom, with a maximum depth of 30 meters (100 ft).
Giannis D (Danae)
- Built : 1969
- Length : 99,5 meters (326 ft)
- Width : 16 meters (52 ft)
- Depth : between 10 and 28 meters (33-92 ft)
- Sank : April 19th, 1983
- Giannis D is one of the most intensely dived wrecks in the Abu Nuhas area, and for many it’s also the most appreciated one. After this Greek freighter loaded with wood hit the reef on April 19th, 1983, the ship slowly cracked and split in 2 pieces. It would take the broken vessel 2 weeks to slowly disappear under the Red Sea surface. The wreck is turned over on its port side in 28 meters (92 ft) of water. Must see’s are the intact bow and glassfish filled engine room. The double mast, wiring and cables are embedded in soft corals. Giannis D is easily accessible, but its slanted position can cause some vertigo. The diversity of species like lion- and scorpionfish give this dive something extra.
- Built : 1954
- Length : 106 meters (348 ft)
- Width : 15 meters (49 ft)
- Depth : between 18 and 25 meters (59-82 ft)
- Sank : August 31st, 1981
- The Chrisoula K, built in Germany in 1954, was acquired by the Greek Clarion Marine Company in 1979. On August 31st, 1981 the ship was sailing from Italy to Jeddah where it would discharge its cargo of Italian floor tiles. Tragically, also this vessel stranded on the Abu Nuhas reef edge, probably due to a navigational error of the captain or one of the officers. The ship slammed into the reef at full speed and snapped in the middle. The bow rested on top of the reef for a while, but the often forceful waves in this area also claimed this part of the unfortunate vessel that is now at rest on its starboard side. After more than 20 years in the water, the sea transformed this chunk of iron into a hard and soft coral covered and fish-ridden work of art to be enjoyed by all divers. Because of the instable position and narrow entrances and exits, it is recommended not to enter this wreck.
- Built : 1862
- Length : 89,8 meters (295 ft)
- Width : 11,6 meters (38 ft)
- Depth : between 17 and 27 meters (56-89 ft)
- Sank : September 12th-14th, 1869
- It is September 12th-14th, 1869. The British sail-steamer Carnatic sets out for Bombay with a precious cargo, for what will become her last journey. A few minutes before midnight she strands on the treacherous Abu Nuhas reef. According to the captain, there is no need to panic : the ship has a few leaks, but the bilge pumps would handle this situation until the “Sumatra” would come to their rescue. Somewhat annoying the “Sumatra” didn’t show up… During the night of September 13 -14 the leaks grew bigger and the generators had quit. And so did the pumps, so 34 hours after the collision the ship broke in half and the stern disappeared under the waves. Shortly thereafter also the bow slipped down. The main part of the cargo (the story goes that 40.000 pounds sterling in gold bullion was on board) was never found nor recovered. The wreck lies between 17 and 27 meters (56-89 ft) of water and is sometimes called the “wine wreck” after the plentiful load of wine bottles of which many were found by divers. Numerous glassfish and some grouper live inside this wreck. The hull is now covered with brightly colored soft corals, and sometimes morays and octopus are seen in and around the wreck.
- Built : 1940 (as Royal Navy freighter)
- Length : 126 meters (413 ft)
- Width : 17,5 meters (58 ft)
- Weight : 4.898 tons
- Depth : between 10 and 31 meters (33-102 ft)
- Sank : Egypt, October, 6th, 1941, World War II
- It is 1:30 in the morning when the SS Thistlegorm, anchored near Shaab Ali and filled with ammunition for the British African Corps stationed in Northern Africa, was spotted by the German air force. A short, but fierce fight follows, in which the SS Thistlegorm is ripped open by two fatal bomb hits. And swiftly she sinks to oblivion. The war rages over the world, and the ship is forgotten until no other than Jacques Cousteau himself stumbles upon her in the 60’s.
The cargo, consisting of locomotives, motorbikes, jeeps, trucks, tires, rubber boats, ammunition, grenades and much more, remained virtually intact over all these years. Not only the ship itself, but also the riches of fish that crowded this wreck in all this time, make this ship one of the most intensely dived and famous wrecks in the world. Due to the size of this vessel, and the long list of things to see, it is recommended to make at least two dives here. The deepest point, to be explored during the first dive, is at 31 meters (102 ft). Strong currents are common over this wreck, and visibility is not always up to Red Sea standards, but nevertheless this wreck is a definite must-see for every diver.
And that’s not all, we’ll continue sailing toward Safaga where we’ll visit the spectacular wreck of Salem Express and famous reefs like Panorama Reef, Middle Reef, …
- Built : 1966
- Length : 110 meters
- Width : 18 meters
- Depth : between 12 and 32 meters
- Sank : December 16th, 1991
16.12.1991 – The Egyptian ferry Salem Express prepares to set sail from the Saudian harbor of Jeddah to Safaga, Egypt. Hundreds of pelgrims, returning from Mecca, were on board during that stormy night. Around midnight fate strikes and the massive ship hits the Hyndman Reefs at full speed. Only 180 of the reported 650 passengers survive the tragedy.
Now, many years later, the ship has became a home to a lot of marine life and is visited by many divers from all over the world on a daily basis. A dive on the Salem Express is certainly special. Many people have lost their lives here, so diving the wreck requires utmost respect and care.
Note: all divesites are subject to weather conditions.