Liveaboard itinerary: Southern Solitude on the Emperor Echo
The Emperor Echo is a beautiful boat that sails many different routes in the Red Sea. One of the routes the Emperor Echo sails is the Southern Solitude. This route sails from Marsa Alam via Elphinstone and via Daedelus to the Rocky and Zabargad Islands. Then the boat sails up through St John’s and Fury Shoals. By approaching these iconic sites in the opposite direction of most standard routes, Emperor hopes to give you the best opportunity to dive with as few people around you as possible.
Elphinstone is known for its steep walls covered with soft corals and likely encounters with oceanic whitetip sharks and maybe even a manta ray. Daedalus is also known as Hammerheads paradise. You can also see oceanic whitetip sharks, schools of fish, barracudas and tuna.
Rocky Island offers a true wall diving experience. This is a reef wall that falls vertically with cracks and overhangs full of soft and hard corals against a beautiful deep blue background. Zabargad is a huge and picturesque mountain rising out of the water. Large enough to offer a variety of dives from soft corals, reef fish, macro life and turtles.
Fury Shoals offers amazing marine life, including super-friendly turtles and a large pod of local long-tailed dolphins. St. John’s is a great destination for divers looking for beautiful overhanging caves and colorful reefs.
This route is especially suitable for experienced divers.
Best travel time: Diving in the Red Sea can be done year-round. Usually the sea is between September and May slightly quieter and visibility is best then. The chance of thresher sharks at BDE is greatest between November & April. In the summer months, the water temperature is most pleasant.
Level of dives: You must be at least Open Water certified. Convenient, but not required, is also to have your Advanced since many dives are under 18m. We recommend you have a minimum of 20 logged dives and you should be comfortable diving in drifts and currents.
Rebreather diving: Emperor supports rebreather divers on all its boats with a rebreather dive package: unlimited sofnolime, cylinders & oxygen. At all times, the maximum dive time is 60 minutes and diving is within recreational limits.
Wetsuit advice for the Red Sea
What will you experience on this trip?
View itinerary here
Day 1 - Flight to Marsa Alam
In the late afternoon, on Friday, the Emperor Echo will start from (Port Ghalib) Marsa Alam on the Southern Solitude route. This means you can either arrive on the day itself or if more convenient one day in advance. Of course, we will find a suitable flight for you. Flying to Hurghada and Marsa Alam is possible from the most airports in europe. Flight time from Amsterdam to Egypt takes about 5 hours. The exact duration may vary depending on factors such as flight path, airspeed and stopovers. At the airport, you will be picked up by Emperor’s crew.
In the evening, the Emperor Echo leaves for the first dive site (Elphinstone). Below is an example of the sailing schedule for the route. This sailing schedule may vary due to weather conditions, among other things, or because it is very busy at one dive site, for example. Then the captain throws around the schedule so you get the most out of your liveaboard.
Day 2 - Elphinstone
Elphinstone is about 30 km from Port Ghalib and this dive site is usually the last to be visited on a liveaboard trip. On this trip, you’re going to do it right first, which means there’s a good chance there are few boats today.
The Elphinstone Reef is 300 meters long with steep walls richly covered with colorful pink and red soft corals and elegant red gorgonians descending to about 40 meters. Other parts of the reef have nearly vertical cliffs, protrusions, small caves and drop-offs up to 100 meters. Elphinstone is known to experience strong currents that attract many different species, including barracuda, angelfish, groupers, Napoleons, moray eels, reef sharks and large schools of dogtooth tuna and jacks. Occasional sightings include dolphins, turtles, oceanic whitetip sharks and hammerhead sharks.
Day 3 - Daedalus
Daedalus Reef is a large oval reef with a lighthouse and is the furthest offshore reef in the Egyptian Red Sea. The deep walls and drop-offs offer some of the most spectacular diving around. Daedalus has mountainous, pristine, hard coral formations.
Daedelus is known for its abundant shark action. Oceanic whitetip sharks, schooling hammerheads, gray reef sharks and silvertip sharks all swim around the southern tip of Daedelus.
There can be quite a bit of current at this dive site, but that is directly why there are so many sharks.
Day 4 & 5 - Rocky, Zabargad & St. Johns
Over the next two days, the boat sails past the dive sites at Rocky, Zabargad and St. Johns. These three areas are relatively close to each other.
At Rocky, you’ll go on real steep wall dives and enjoy colorful hard and soft corals bustling with busy anthias.
Zabargad is a combination of pinnacles, swim throughs, macro and turtles.
St. Johns Reef is known for its diversity of drop-offs, tunnels and dramatic hard coral formations. The reef formation at St. Johns is not the only thing that will leave a lasting impression on you. The marine life and colors of the soft corals are among the best in the Red Sea. There is a strong possibility that dolphins and pelagics will join the dives.
Day 6 & 7 - Fury Shoals & Off shore reefs
On Day 6, you will again sail slowly toward the northern Red Sea. We cruise past the famous Fury Shoals area. One of the most popular dive sites at Fury Shoals is the Shaab Claudia. The site is known for its beautiful coral gardens, filled with a variety of fish and other marine life. The highlight of the site is a beautiful coral garden with a large population of anemonefish, as well as blue-spotted rays, moray eels and moonfish. Divers can also explore a series of passages and tunnels where they can spot schools of barracuda and snappers.
On Day 7, you sail from Fury Shoals leisurely back to Port Ghalib while you spend another full day diving the offshore reefs of the Red Sea. After the final dive, the boat sails back to Port Ghalib harbor.
Day 8 - Return home or extend trip
Around 10:00, on Friday morning, you will leave the boat. Depending on what time your flight to the Netherlands is, we can arrange a day’s hotel. It is also possible to extend your diving vacation with a stay in a (diving) resort or to take a beautiful cultural tour of Egypt. For example, visit the pyramids at Luxor or sail down the Nile on a traditional felucca (sailing ship).
The stay and surroundings
Emperor Echo Liveaboard
Emperor Echo is perhaps the most beautiful boat in the Emperor Red Sea fleet. The boat underwent a stunning renovation in 2022. The Echo offers exceptional value for money for the “eat-sleep-dive-repeat” diver and easily accommodates 25 guests. The boat has a spacious and modern saloon, restaurant and lounge areas.
Lower deck: 6 cabins with twin beds and 1 cabin with a single bed
Main deck: 3 cabins with twin beds
Upper deck: 2 cabins with twin beds and 1 cabin with panoramic sea view and a double bed
What is included
Depending on the route sailed, a stay on the Emperor Echo costs between €1195 and €1445 p.p.
Starting price indication per route:
- Famous Five €1195,- p.p.
- South & St. Johns €1195 p.p.
- Daedelus, Fury & Elphinstone €1345,- p.p.
- Simply the Best €1345,- p.p.
- Southern Solitude €1345,- p.p.
Prices are subject to price changes, increases or changing exchange rates.
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Included in this trip, from €1345, - p.p.
Attention! It is important to book the items below in advance. Upon arrival in Egypt, these optional items are often no longer available AND also the prices are higher locally.
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