SS Thistlegorm wreck, Egypt
The SS Thistlegorm is one of the most famous wrecks for a good reason. The wreck is in a good condition and loads of different vehicles, weapons and so on can be explored. It is also possible and quite easy to penetrate the wreck.
The 128m long british merchant navy ship was sunk in an airattack by the German army during world war II (1941).
What to see: The SS Thistlegorm, trucks, motorcycles, guns, ammunition, wellington boots, two tanks, an aircraft and two locomotives.
Plus wildlife around the wreck like barracuda, batfish, tuna and if very lucky dolphins / on the wreck; scorpionfish, lionfish and nudibranchs / during nightdives shrimp and crab, as well as lionfish following you around trying to hunt in the light of the torch.
Diving: Boat entry, following a line down to the boat, the currents can get strong, depth from 14 to 30 m
Level: At least advanced, Nitrox is recommended to extend the dive time
Who should go there: Divers who love wrecks and artifacts
How to get there: Daytrip from Sharm el Sheik or Hurghada, there is a huge variety of day-boat operators. As it takes around 3 hours from Sharm and 4 1/2 hours from Hurghada to reach the wreck the boats leave early in the morning and serve breakfast on board.
Alternatively the wreck can be reached on a liveaboard (book your liveaboard trip online). A wide variety of liveaboards leaving from either Sharm el Sheik or Hurghada offer a „north wreck tour“ which includes many other wreck dives in addition to the Thistlegorm or tours which combine the diving at the Thistlegorm with reef dives. The liveaboards normally offer 2 to 4 dives at the Thistlegorm, some including a night dive.
Recently mooring lines were installed around the wreck so the boats won’t attach lines to the wreck anymore. Due to this rule boats might not be able to find a free mooring point and have to choose another dive site.
Update Jan 2017: I have been told that the mooring lines are already gone again.
Where to stay and dive: In a resort or hotel in Sharm el Sheik or Hurghada or on a liveaboard
Rates: Daytrip between € 70 and 100 for two dives, liveaboard starting at € 600 for one week
Climate: max 30 to 35°C in summer, 20 to 25°C in winter, temperatures can drop down to 12°C during the night in winter
Water temperature: up to 28°C in summer, down to 19°C in winter
Visibility: 25-30 m
Season: All year round
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My trip: I booked a liveaboard starting in Hurghada to the wrecks in the north and the brother islands for € 700 with Blue Planet Liveaboards. We did two day dives and one night dive at Thistlegorm.
I choose to go there outside of the season (sept) so there was only one other boat while we were there. As I have heard it can get pretty busy around the wreck in high season and especially when the day boats arrive. One advantage of a liveaboard trip is the possibility to do late afternoon and early morning dives without the day boats around.