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M/Y Golden Dolphin is a 34 metre boat and was the first liveaboard built for Golden Dolphin Safari World. She offers 7 night itineraries around the Red Sea departing from Hurghada or Port Ghaleb with a choice of 5 routes to choose from visiting various sites including the Brother Islands, Abu Nuhas, Ras Mohamed, Abu Galawa, Rocky Island and the Island of Zabargad. The experienced captain, 8 friendly crew and 2 guides will lead you through the trip whilst helping with any questions or queries you may have regarding the boat or the itinerary.
M/Y Golden Dolphin comfortably accommodates 20 guests in 8 twin cabins located on the lower deck and 2 double cabins located on the upper deck. All cabins come with en-suite bathrooms, mini bar, storage, fresh bedding a mirror and an air conditioning unit with individual climate controls for your convenience. The food aboard is a variety of international, Italian and local cuisine with the occasional BBQ suiting the needs of most customers. Any dietary requirements must be stated at the time of booking so the chef can adhere to any guests needs.
She has an air conditioned salon furnished with tables, chairs, a well-stocked bar and a TV/DVD providing the perfect place for you to relax in. The adjoining dining area is air conditioned, has 2 large tables and comfortable seating for guests to gather and enjoy 3 meals throughout the day. The exposed sun deck located on the top deck is furnished with sun mattresses with the large shaded sun deck below providing tables, chairs and ample space for all guests. The large dive deck has hot water showers, charging station and a camera table with the dive platform a few steps down with 2 steel ladders into the water.
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10 x double cabins, air-con, minibar, private bathroom; 8 twin cabins on the lower deck; 2 cabins with queen-size bed on the upper deck
Route Description - Brother Islands-Daedalus-Elphinstone
M/Y Golden Dolphin offers a mixture of wall and wreck diving around the northern Red Sea for 7 night charters on the Brothers Islands itinerary. She departs from Hurghada or Port Ghalib and visits sites like the Aida II and the Salem Express all located in The Brothers area. The Red Sea has a high temperature and salt content due to its isolated location between Asia and Africa with a narrow passage to the Indian Ocean.
Top Dive Sites
The Brother Islands are one of the best diving spots in the world and are identified by two undersea mountain pinnacles rising from the depths of the abyss located 60 miles offshore from El Quseir. The Big Brother and the Little Brother Islands offer wall diving that is covered in soft corals and gorgonians attracting a diverse array of marine species. Tuna, barracudas, jacks and snappers cruise in the blue waters accompanied by the occasional white tip sharks, mantas and hammerheads.
The Aida II and the Numidia lie on the walls of the Big Brother and are perfect for divers who want to explore more wrecks than reefs. Both wrecks are covered in a rich growth of hard and soft corals attracting families of Napoleon wrasse and grey reef sharks.
The Salem Express is a 100 metre ferryboat sunk in December 1991 when it hit the reef during a stormy night and sunk rapidly without giving passengers and crew the opportunity to board the lifeboats. She is one of the largest wrecks in the Red Sea and roughly the same size as the Thistlegorm. The ferry boat is now covered in hard and soft coral that attracts thriving underwater life including frogfish, blue spotted rays, angel and butterfly fish.
You must be a PADI Open Water diver to be able to take part in this trip.
Route Description - St.Johns – Abu Fendera
The tour descriptions (dive sites) are samples. Depending on the weather conditions and the quality of the divers other dive sites can be chosen.
In the deep south of the Red Sea we find the St.Johns reefs. Big Habili and Small Habili with their fantastic drop offs overgrown with big gorginias and colorful bright soft corals promise you to be a fantastic dive. You find a lot of marine life at the reef itself and as well in the blue you may see barracudas, different sharks, sometimes dolphins or manta passing by. Umm Erug seems to be the place of unusual coral blocks. Next to the main reef in a depth of 12m to 30m you find many different block formations who remind you of everyday life`s figures. Schools of small reef fishes, camouflage artists and small critters you can explore. Around two hours drive to the north there is the area of St. Johns Cave. The name cave is program and Umm Hararim impresses of its unique cave and canyon system. The main reef surrounded by a beautiful hard coral garden is on its south-west side full of holes like a Swiss cheese. In shallow water you can dive through the open passages to see the light show of the sun and the nice soft corals growing.
On the way up to the north you pass by Sataya, Hamata and Marsa Alam area. Different divesides invite the divers to have great dives. Shaab Claudio makes fun! There you have caves, canyons, openings and passages in 5m to 16m depth. It´s easy to dive and full of marine life. Close to Shaab Claudio there is El Malahi, the children’s playground. The single coral towers stay close to each other overgrown with hard corals and invite to cruise around to discover the small overhangs and passages. In Abu Galawa Soraya there is a small wreck, a sailing boat sank in the 80th and it´s full of soft corals and the home of many glass fishes.
In the south of Marsa Alam, (Wadi Gimal area) is Shaab Sharm. A huge reef with colorful overgrown drop offs and a gorgonian wall between 17 and 22m in the east direction. The plateau on the east side, starting from 18m to 32m depth, with its coral block formations is the home of a lot of marine life. Doctor fishes, napoleons, small critters and turtles eating and resting. The plateau continues small along the south side of the main reef. Dolphins, sharks and mantas patrol along the reef in the blue.
South of the St. Johns area there is the 6 km reef line from west to east of Abu Fandera. Between the six long reefs you find passages which have different topographies full of coral blocks between 15m and 20m depth. Amazing soft corals in all kind of colors, reef fishes and small critters are common. Often you see a small reef sharks and napoleons and the highlight is the hump head parrotfish which is passing by in big schools of 30 or more.
Route Description - Daedalus – Rocky – Zabargad
The Daedalus reef is a huge reef formation that lies at about 180 km south of Brother Islands. The reef is surrounded by a sheer wall all around, featuring a plateau on its southern side that goes from 28 m beside the reef to 40m on the edge of the drop off. If the weather is good, try to get as far north as possible and drift along one of the sides of the reef. Reef and hammerhead sharks are often spotted here. Marine life is here more abundant than anywhere else, with schools of surgeons, fusiliers, carangids.
Rocky Island is a mysthical site that represents a diver’s dream. The indented reef that circles the entire perimeter of the island drops deeply to an astonished depth and the constant currents that flow all along the year favor the growth of different kinds of colorful marine life in a continuous struggle for a place on the reef. The walls are absolutely covered with the most beautiful soft corals, as well as gorgonias, fans, sponges and black coral trees.. Reef sharks, especially grey and silvertips, you can watch in the blue and may be manta rays, turtles and dolphins.
The Island of Zabargad is a superb dive spot. Here you can dive along walls, hover over drop offs or dive slowly in the shallow area, watching the big amount of reef fishes or inhabitants and admire the beautiful coral garden.
Route Description - Rocky, Zabargad and St. John's
M/Y Golden Dolphin offers a mixture of reef and wall diving around the southern Red Sea for 7 night charters on the Rocky, Zabargad and St John’s itinerary. She departs from Hurghada or Port Ghalib and visits St John’s Reef, Rocky Island and the Island of Zabargad. The Red Sea has a high temperature and salt content due to its isolated location between Asia and Africa with a narrow passage to the Indian Ocean.
Top Dive Sites
St John’s Reef system is located in the southern Red Sea and offers exciting drop offs and pelagic action. The wall of ones of the reefs is covered in giant gorgonians and another overgrown with a number of colorful soft corals. You will see a lot of fish cruising in the blue waters with the occasional sightings of hammerheads, grey sharks, white tip reef sharks and silvertips.
Rocky Island is a fringing reef that circles the island and drops steeply into the blue waters, it is covered in beautiful soft corals, gorgonians, fans, sponges and black coral trees. Due to its isolated location sightings of reef sharks, grey sharks and silvertip sharks are a certainty with the occasional sightings of manta rays, sailfish and dolphins.
The Island of Zabargad is an amazing dive spot as you get to dive along the walls, hover over drops offs and dive in the shallows admiring the coral garden and the fish. For wreck divers there is a nameless 70 metre long wreck at the north side of the island that lies upside down 24 metres down with the stern section still intact.
Route Description - South till Dolphin Reef (Sataya)
The tour descriptions (dive sites) are samples. Depending on the weather conditions and the quality of the divers other dive sites can be choosen.
Sataya – Fury Shoal – South: South of Marsa Alam, in the area of Wadi Gimal there is Shaab Sharm. A huge reef with colorful overgrown drop offs on the north and north west side and a gorgoniawall between 17m and 22m in the east direction. The plateau on the east side, starting from 18m to 32m depth, with its coral block formations is the home of a lot of marine life. Doctor fishes, different kinds of reef fishes, napoleons and small critters – very often you see a turtle eating and resting. The plateau continues small along the south side of the main reef. Dolphins, sharks and mantas patrol along the reef in the blue. Shilineat in Wadi Gimal is the aquarium. Along the beautiful hard coral garden on the west side and in the high amount of blocks in the sandy area beside the reef you can rummage for camouflage artists and small critters. In maximum 16m and with the white sand and the sunlight it is amazing and full of small fishes and species. Very often there are turtles or dolphins around.
South of Hamata there is the big area of the Fury Shoals. The reefs are close to each other but also very different for diving.
In Abu Galawa Soraya there is a small wreck, a sailing boat sank in the 80th and it´s full of soft corals and the home of many glass fishes. On the north side you can dive over fantastic hard coral formations and enter through into a theatre with sandy bottom and the walls around are colorful hard coral blocks with many murder mussels in different sizes. As well Abu Galawa Kebir is home of a wreck. The Chinese barge named TIEN HSING sank in 1943 and lays between 5m and 16m depth directly at the reef and meanwhile it is a part of it.
Shaab Claudio makes fun! There you have caves, canyons, openings and passages in 5m to 16m depth. It´s easy to dive and full of marine life. Close to Shaab Claudio there is El Malahi, the children’s playground. The single coral towers stay close to each other overgrown with hard corals and invite to cruise around to discover the small overhangs and passages. Blue fusiliers and other reef fishes stay around the blocks in the sunlight.
Shaab Maksur is a small but long reef with a plateau in the north and south and drop offs in the west and east side. At the north terraced plateau you can see often dolphins, barracudas or reef sharks passing by. The south plateau with its bigger coral blocks is home for many species. The southeast point of Fury Shoals is Shaab Sataya. Horseshoe-shaped the huge lagoon is home for dolphins and on the very south side of the reef you have a nice shallow plateau with coral gardens and blocks ending at a drop off.
Route Description - North – Brother Islands
The SS Thistlegorm is probably the most famous wreck in the Red Sea. The British cargo ship was on its way to bring military equipment of all kinds for the British troops in North Africa. But then on the 6th of October 1941 a German bomber attacked the Thistlegorm. The wreck is lying upright on the sea-bottom at 32m depth. Especially interesting is the cargo: Tanks, trucks, motorcycles, weapons, railway carriage and two railway engines.
The Reef at Abu Nuhas is famous for wrecks. There are 4 wrecks, which are today an attraction point for divers all around the world. For example the Greek cargo ship GIANNIS D, which ran aground the reef on 19 th April 1984 and sank a short time afterwards. It is now lying in a maximum depth of 27m and is overgrown with hard- and softcorals. The ship cracked down in the middle. The better part of the two halves is the stern section. Here it is easy to dive inside the wreck, because there are a lot of entry and exit points. Because the wreck is leaning on a 45° angle you will find yourself swimming up a stairwell which your mind tells you are heading down. This effect is very special. The steamship CARNATIC struck the reef in September 1869. She sank the following day as the weather worsened. She lies in about 26m depths. She has broken up amidships, leaving her bow and stern intact. The decking has fallen away to be replaced by a thick growth of tube sponges, alcyonarians and occasional table corals, making her very photogenic. She is also laid open to light from above and is easily penetrated.
The Dunraven, a steam and sail-powered vessel used to transport spices and timber, ran aground the reef Shaab Mahmoud in April 1876 during a voyage from Bombay to Newcastle and sank quickly. The ship broke in two, and her two halves came to rest on the sea floor. The wreck lies upside down with the stern at a depth of 28m and the bow at 18m. At the stern you find the propeller and the rudder, which are overgrown with corals. Inside the wreck you see thousands of glassfish.
The marine park Ras Mohammed offers dreamlike diving spots. For example SHARK REEF and JOLANDA REEF. Both reefs are standing on a plateau, which is between 10m to 20m deep. The edges of the plateau fall down to more than 200m. At the reef you will find nice hard and soft corals, plenty of fish in all kind of sizes. With luck you can see sharks during your early morning dive. At Jolanda Reef you can see the cargo of a Cypriot freighter JOLANDA which ran aground in 1980: a large quantity of household pottery such as toilets, bath and shower tubes, bidets…
The Brother Islands one of the best diving spots in the world. The Islands - the Big Brother and the Little Brother - are two small exposed promontories that just come out of the water in the middle of the sea at around 60km from the Egyptian coast line. The Little Brother has a very high concentration of life in a much reduced area. The walls are covered literally with sponges, anemones and all sorts of hard and soft corals in an astonishing variety of colors and shapes. Of course you will find here plenty of fish. It is not unusual to see sharks: hammerheads, thresher sharks, grey reef sharks, silvertip and whitetip reef sharks. About one km north of the Little Brother lays the Big Brother. Situated, in the middle of the island, is a lighthouse. When it is not too windy, you can proceed to dive the wreck NUMIDIA which lies upon the reef on the northern side of the island between 5m and 80m. This 150m long ship sunk in 1901 and is now completely covered with both hard and soft corals and gorgonias. At the NW side of the island you will find the other wreck: the AIDA. This 82m long steam ship sunk 1957. The remaining pieces of the wreck are scattered all over the reef and just the back side of the hull can be found between 34m and 60m. It is nicely overgrown and worth to visit. Because of strong current and may be high waves it is not easy to dive at the Brother’s. This safari is only for experienced divers.