Red sea in December - Best option?

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Nausica

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I’ve a week of holidays at beginning of December, and I’ve decided to go to dive in Egypt, as I live in Europe. I’ve been done liveboards in Komodo and Philippines, among others, but it is my first time diving in Egypt. Also in the last two years I’ve not dived much, most of them in easy conditions.

I'm struggling deciding what to do in Egypt. My favorite part of diving is been surrounded by colorful coral and hundreds of fishes, like in aquarium. I also love big bank of fishes moving around, and turtles. Sharks I find them cool, and they a happy addittion to the dives, but not a priority anymore. Similar for wrecks, they are fun to explore (and Thistlegorm would be amazing) but not especial interest. Would be amazing if I could see a dolphin, I’ve still not dived with them.

My options of routes and vessels were very limited to my holiday days, and available flights that are not utterly expensive or crazy combinations, and not fully booked. Brother Islands, Daedalus & Elphinstone itineraries I’ve discarded because it looked very focused in sharks (or maybe I’m mistaken?) and so far I’ve narrowed my options to:

  • Fly Sharm, do daytrips from shore, maybe a short 3 days liveboard including Thistlegorm (Snefro Pearl). I’ve read that is not the best time for Ras Mohammed, what about Tiran straights?
  • Fly to Hurghada (bonus point that maybe I could visit Luxor) and do one of the following:
    • North and Tiran with Enigma (I don’t like that there are almost no reviews, but the boat looks well take care in the photos)
    • Brothers and North with Hammerhead I Liveaboard (same issue, no reviews).
    • Keep it easy and do a Best of Hurghada with Amelie. Boat is very basic, but I’m used to it and have good reviews. It looks a very relaxed itinerary, small boat and going where it is best according the conditions. Not big items in the itinerary, so I’m worried that I could find it a bit underwhelming.
  • Any advise or recommendation would be greatly appreciated.
 

Searcaigh

Chromodoris gordonii
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If flights to Sharm aren't an issue and it's your first trip to Egypt, then I suggest going there for some day boat diving out to the Tiran as well as the Thistlegorm and Ras Mohammed.

From Sharm you can take a bus (one hour) to Dahab and do some shore diving around there for a few days.

Temperatures will be around 23C in December IIRC.
 

Ucarkus

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I would go with North and Brothers, it is the best mix. I cannot say much about the boat though.
 

Adr1an

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If you haven't visited Egypt before and are even remotely interested in ancient art and architecture then Luxor is an absolute must. You can do a comprehensive visit as a 2 day trip from Hurghada.
 

Layla_13.10

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I’ve a week of holidays at beginning of December, and I’ve decided to go to dive in Egypt, as I live in Europe. I’ve been done liveboards in Komodo and Philippines, among others, but it is my first time diving in Egypt. Also in the last two years I’ve not dived much, most of them in easy conditions.

I'm struggling deciding what to do in Egypt. My favorite part of diving is been surrounded by colorful coral and hundreds of fishes, like in aquarium. I also love big bank of fishes moving around, and turtles. Sharks I find them cool, and they a happy addittion to the dives, but not a priority anymore. Similar for wrecks, they are fun to explore (and Thistlegorm would be amazing) but not especial interest. Would be amazing if I could see a dolphin, I’ve still not dived with them.

My options of routes and vessels were very limited to my holiday days, and available flights that are not utterly expensive or crazy combinations, and not fully booked. Brother Islands, Daedalus & Elphinstone itineraries I’ve discarded because it looked very focused in sharks (or maybe I’m mistaken?) and so far I’ve narrowed my options to:

  • Fly Sharm, do daytrips from shore, maybe a short 3 days liveboard including Thistlegorm (Snefro Pearl). I’ve read that is not the best time for Ras Mohammed, what about Tiran straights?
  • Fly to Hurghada (bonus point that maybe I could visit Luxor) and do one of the following:
    • North and Tiran with Enigma (I don’t like that there are almost no reviews, but the boat looks well take care in the photos)
    • Brothers and North with Hammerhead I Liveaboard (same issue, no reviews).
    • Keep it easy and do a Best of Hurghada with Amelie. Boat is very basic, but I’m used to it and have good reviews. It looks a very relaxed itinerary, small boat and going where it is best according the conditions. Not big items in the itinerary, so I’m worried that I could find it a bit underwhelming.
  • Any advise or recommendation would be greatly appreciated.
Hello☺️
I would always advise to go to Hurghada.

Don’t worry about Thistlegorm I was just there yesterday and it was okay. There you have to put Trust in the Captain.

But in the End I would say Go to Brothers and North.
I’m really not a Fan Of Liveaboards but the Dive-Sites are Amazing!
(You might be lucky to see the Thistlegorm anyway.)
 

diveUAE

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If you like beautiful corals and lots of fish you’ll love Red Sea.

Our very first LOB back in December 2008 was a 3 day trip with Snefro fleet - we liked it a lot. Thistlegorm is great. Also did 2 day trips from Sharm - not so interesting.

I’ve not done a north+ Brothers, but my guess is that would be a good one.
 

Christian

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I’ve a week of holidays at beginning of December, and I’ve decided to go to dive in Egypt, as I live in Europe. I’ve been done liveboards in Komodo and Philippines, among others, but it is my first time diving in Egypt. Also in the last two years I’ve not dived much, most of them in easy conditions.

I'm struggling deciding what to do in Egypt. My favorite part of diving is been surrounded by colorful coral and hundreds of fishes, like in aquarium. I also love big bank of fishes moving around, and turtles. Sharks I find them cool, and they a happy addittion to the dives, but not a priority anymore. Similar for wrecks, they are fun to explore (and Thistlegorm would be amazing) but not especial interest. Would be amazing if I could see a dolphin, I’ve still not dived with them.

My options of routes and vessels were very limited to my holiday days, and available flights that are not utterly expensive or crazy combinations, and not fully booked. Brother Islands, Daedalus & Elphinstone itineraries I’ve discarded because it looked very focused in sharks (or maybe I’m mistaken?) and so far I’ve narrowed my options to:

  • Fly Sharm, do daytrips from shore, maybe a short 3 days liveboard including Thistlegorm (Snefro Pearl). I’ve read that is not the best time for Ras Mohammed, what about Tiran straights?
  • Fly to Hurghada (bonus point that maybe I could visit Luxor) and do one of the following:
    • North and Tiran with Enigma (I don’t like that there are almost no reviews, but the boat looks well take care in the photos)
    • Brothers and North with Hammerhead I Liveaboard (same issue, no reviews).
    • Keep it easy and do a Best of Hurghada with Amelie. Boat is very basic, but I’m used to it and have good reviews. It looks a very relaxed itinerary, small boat and going where it is best according the conditions. Not big items in the itinerary, so I’m worried that I could find it a bit underwhelming.
  • Any advise or recommendation would be greatly appreciated.

Egyptian Red Sea is a year round destination, diving is/can always be good. In winter it will a bit chilly and you run a slightly greater risk of bad (windy) weather as you are in a shoulder from fall to winter now.
Winter is not "the best" time for Sinai from a marine life perspective. Not neceserily bad either, it's just not the best. The Northern Red Sea (Egypt) is quite seasonal and temperatures, on land as well as in the water, vary a lot. Water drop now and will be less than 25 C and sometimes reaching 19-20 in Feb in the Gulf of Aquba. In summer water reaches tropical temperatures and reefs "come alive", true for all spots but some are more affected than others. RasMo as mentioned is one that is incredible during a few peak weeks in July-August (also influxed by moon phases and currents), outside still impressive and worth it. Hot on land, yes, but it is a dry desert heat.
For the off shore reefs, Brothers etc., it's the season for Oceanic White Tip sharks (Longimanus) right now and that is why a lot of liveaboards run "shark weeks" in this period. But very little hammerheads now and other spieces of sharks less common too as well as mantas.
Sorry if I can't give you a clear advice, but personally I would go to see Oceanic White Tips or to dive Thistlegorm and the wrecks in Abu Nuhas now. But if I had no other option, I would gladly dive RasMo or Jackson reef too. Chose a good, reputable boat that you can find some nice reviews on. Try to figure out what market it caters to! People are people, but there are cultural differences that might or might not be an issue when you have to share the tight space of a ship for a week.
 
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