St. Johns | Red Sea Dive Holiday

St Johns - Red Sea

  • Water temp 19 - 28 C
  • Air Temp 19 - 35 C
  • Visibility 15 - 25m
  • Good for... Reefs, Walls, Fish
  • Suitable for beginners All levels of certified diver
  • Highlights St Johns is a unique underwater environment home to stunning coral and brilliant swim throughs on reef and wall dives for all experience levels. One of the few Southern Red Sea itineraries to include regular night dives.

About St Johns

St Johns is a large reef system right at the end of the Egyptian Red Sea and all time favourite with scuba divers of all abilities. This itinerary packs in the stunning reef systems of St Johns in the Deep South, Fury Shoal and Wadi Gamal. The reef life is breathtaking and everywhere you look there is yet another fishy spot for the log book. The pristine and healthy corrals are simply divine. A liveaboard holiday truly is the best way to see the Southern Red Sea in its all its glory, far from the crowds.

After the check dive, Shaab Sharm is the ideal southerly stopping point on the way down to St Johns. A large oval reef with walls and colourful plateau, Shaab Sharm is an excellent dive day or night. After sailing overnight, you will wake up in the heart of St Johns. The entire region is filled with every kind of marine life, from the smallest nudibranch's to the largest. Bumphead parrot fish, baby white tips, barracuda and napoleons comb the deep south, whereas snapper, hawk fish, batfish and morays roam the more northern stop offs. Flat worms, nudibranch's and cleaning stations give ample reason to smile especially for the macro fiends amongst us. In between dives, keep an eye on the horizon as dolphin pods move between the reef systems on the hunt for a tasty snack... or some bow waves to ride. Diving the habillis is the order of the day. These submerged reefs are simply sumptuous wall dives where gentle currents, great gorgonians and soft corals abound. Lazy afternoons at Gota Kebir, Gota Soraya, Abu Basala or Dangerous reef make time for dives around pristine pinnacles and plateaus. St Johns cave to the north makes for a memorable dive. Here shallow cracks in the reef plate open into caverns and overhangs. Fury Shoal is famous for her hard corals - do not miss Shaab Claudia, Malahi or Abu Galawa Soraya. These ancient structures are as bright as they impressive. Shiriniat in Wadi Gamal is a must see stop off on the way back north for a lighthearted drift Final dives in the Marsa Alam region closes a spectacular week of unparalleled reef diving.

The St Johns itinerary is perfect for every diver, no matter what experience level. The diving is straight forward so you can concentrate more on the mind blowing marine life in this veritable underwater aquarium. Diving takes place both from the boat and RIB. With walls, pinnacles, caves, night diving over the whole week, the St Johns itinerary is packed with the dives that everyone can enjoy. Currents tend to mild and minimal. If you are an Open Water Diver, some dives are below 18m therefore we recommend having advanced experience or taking your PADI Advanced Open Water course on board to maximise your enjoyment from the trip.

See for yourself just why the Southern Red Sea keeps people coming back for more year after year.

Depending on weather, government approval and marine life sightings in recent weeks, Emperor boats may sail to the Southernmost islands of Rocky and Zabargad or they will stay in the vast reef system of St Johns.

Grand Sea Serpent

At 41 metres from stern to bow Grand Sea Serpent is an impressive Red Sea liveaboard. Enjoy the envious looks from others as you pull up to the reef on board this beautiful boat with her sleek, classic lines and spacious dive deck... MORE

Scuba Travel have regular departures of the St Johns itinerary throughout the year

Ghazala Explorer departs from the New Marina Hurghada
Bella Eriny departures are typically from Sharm
Emperor Fleet departures are typically from Hurghada or Port Ghalib
Aggressor Fleet departures are typically from Hurghada

Trip Duration
All of our St Johns trips run for 7 nights with 7 nights spent on board your liveaboard.

There are normally 4 dives a day (3 day dives + 1 night dive) apart from on your first and last day. There are around 18-20 dives on an average week, but this can vary depending on travel times.

All liveaboard itineraries are subject to various unpredictable changes including weather conditions and changes in local Government approval. Whilst our boat operators make every effort, we cannot guarantee diving at specific sites. In adverse weather conditions, the guides and captain of the boat will have the final decision about which dive sites to visit to ensure that the safety of guests, staff and boats is not compromised in any way.

Once you have been picked up from the airport you will be taken to the port to board your liveaboard. If you are making your own way to the harbour we ask that you not board before 18:00. There will be a full welcome briefing on arrival and you can set your kit up. If you have prepaid any rental equipment this will be given to you on arrival. There is then your first dinner and you can settle in for the evening. The boat will not leave harbour on this first night.

After the boat permissions are sorted, the boat will depart the next morning and the check dive will be made.

A normal St Johns itinerary will dive at the following areas but the exact dive sites and order will vary week by week depending on what people enjoy, where the best sightings have been and reflect diver experience levels.

Marsa Alam
There are many dive sites around Marsa Alam, especially to the south of Port Ghalib.

The Abu Dabab system has around 7 main reef systems which are brilliant check dives and night dives (look out for the feeding lion fish and large plurobranchs). Shaab Marsa Alam has a small wreck on it as well as good for smaller schooling fish and macro.

Ras Shona and Marsa Abu Dabab are always popular dive sites with so much for divers. The hard coral reefs are lovely and home to an impressive selection of fish. Sea grass beds in the centre of the bays draw in large turtles which are frequently seen feeding. If you are lucky you can also find the resident dugongs which literally hoover up grass. Large whip tail rays are also found here.

Elphinstone is one of the big name reefs in the Southern Red Sea. It is a slim and relatively small reef with dramatic walls and a plateau at each end. You can do several dives here (weather permitting). Head out to look for hammerheads on the north plateau before drifting along the magical wall (the clouds of anthias are vast!). A friendly trumpet fish will often shadow divers as you make your way down the wall. The southern plateau is where oceanic white tips hang out during the later half of the year. You must watch your depth and currents carefully on Elphinstone as conditions can be variable.

St Johns
St Johns offers a mixture of dive sites which are stunning.

Broadly speaking you will do your deepest morning dives on the wonderful walls. Habili Ali is always a cracking start to the morning with steep walls, giant sea fans and plenty of reef sharks. Bumphead parrott fish can be heard munching corals in the shallows and larger pelagics such as hammerheads, manta and dolphin often cruise past. Habili Jaffa boats similar marine life to the larger Habili Ali but with the added fun or being a pyramid shaped reef that you circle several times over the course of the dive. Further wall dives can be made at Gota Kebir and Gota Soraya - always worth looking out for sharks here.

There are several shallower dives sites which are ideal for the afternoon dive and at night. Abu Bassala is especially good for Spanish dancers and free swimming morays. There are pinnacles at Um Aruk packed with splendid anemones and clown fish. Swim through the shallow cave system at Dangerous Reef or just admire the large hard corals.

The final stop in St Johns is usually St Johns caves - a highlight for many a diver. Here you really can lose yourself in the shallow and safe cave system before working your way out onto the outer reef.

Fury Shoal
Fury Shoal is all about the spectacular corals here and abundant marine life. Sataya is the most southerly of the reef system and there are so many ways to dive it, including a shallow dive to see some Roman amphora. Shaab Claude is perhaps one of the most famous hard coral gardens and simply divine. Maksour is a great wall dive with beautiful southern plateau and pinnacles. Malahi is a fun dive with narrow swim throughs to explore. Aub Galawa Soraya and Abu Galawa Kebira are home to small wrecks, a great start to both dives around these coral playgrounds.

Wadi Gamal
There are 3 main reefs around Wadi Gamal that are visited either on the way down to or up from St Johns. Shaab Sharm is a large wall dive with excellent plateau at the south. This is a good location for manta or sharks and huge schools of snapper and bat fish that school on the drop off. Shriniat is a small reef that is quite broken up but with remarkable hard corals and macro life. Shaab Wadi Gamal is used more often for night diving and ideal for a range of creeping crustaceans and feather stars.

You will normally leave the boat after breakfast on your last day and be transferred to a hotel for the day. Your final transfer will take you to the airport for your return flight home. Please do speak to the travel consultant at the time of booking to confirm the exact last day arrangements as it can vary.