Wish Come True - Red Sea
Stretching nearly 1,400 miles from the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba to the strait of Bab el Mandab, the Red Sea the "youngest ocean" in the world offers some of the best coral-reef, wall and wreck diving you could wish for.
Conditions in the Red Sea are ideal for coral growth. Lack of river run-off means excellent visibility, and its position as a main shipping lane means plenty of genuine maritime incidents are now plum for exploration. Throw in myriad varieties of marine life, many endemic to the area, and you have a world-renowned diving destination just waiting to be explored.
The Red Sea can be accessed through several countries: Though Israel started the whole package-diving deal back in the 1980s, Jordan has some of the best shore diving in the region. Sudan is home to dramatic reefs like Sha'ab Rumi and Angarosh ("mother of sharks" in Arabic) Reef, which were made famous by Jacques-Yves Cousteau. And last but not least, there's Egypt, which boasts some of the best and most-accessible diving in the Red Sea within its coastal and offshore waters, and resort towns, such as Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada, have expanded massively through the years to cater to the growing number of divers visiting the area.
Egypt's top dive sites include Sha'ab Abu Nuhas, a half-circle reef home to four shipwrecks (the Carnatic, the Giannis D, the Kimon M and the Marcus); Ras Mohamed, a sheer wall at the tip of the Sinai Peninsula that, in summer, brings in huge shoals of breeding fish, which attract predators, such as sharks, barracuda, giant trevally and jacks; and the SS Thistlegorm. German bombers sunk this British supply vessel while it anchored, awaiting passage through the Suez Canal. Now it lies upright in 108 feet of water, its cargo of military supplies still in the holds.
These sites can all be accessed on day boats, but live-aboards can also trek to offshore marine parks, including the Brother Islands and Daedalus Reef. These coral-and-rock pinnacles poke up from the depths in the middle of the Red Sea and are magnets for marine life, including pelagic species, such as several different sharks, turtles and manta rays.
Quick Guide Learning Through Travel hosts its divers at Sharm El Sheikh's Sheraton Hotel, Resort, Villas and Spa at Al Pasha Coast. PADI Five-Star IDC dive-center partner Emperor Divers also offers live-aboard excursions. sportdiver.com/livebrochure/learningthroughtravel