The Management and Staff at Infinity Safaris have operated liveaboards in the Egyptian Red Sea for many years. With all of the experience we have gained in diving businesses around the Red Sea we have come to appreciate that liveaboards can prove to be one of the most difficult aspects to operate because so many factors and variables contribute to an ideal charter.
To share this experience with our guests, we have compiled this fact-sheet with answers to commonly encountered questions plus other information which we hope will be useful.
Unfortunately boats by their very nature, no matter how well maintained, can suffer mechanical failures which can cause disruption whilst you are on your charter or in the worst possible scenario, may even mean that you have to change boats if the problem has appeared prior to embarkation. There is an engineer onboard all of our boats and in the event of a mechanical failure they will do their utmost to rectify the problem and cause as little inconvenience as possible to the guests and their planned diving programme.
Although the boat is thoroughly checked before it embarks on a charter, marine air-conditioning can be temperamental and if it breaks down on your charter the crew may decide not to dismantle the system to discover where the problem is, but will instead wait until a qualified air-conditioning engineer can come onboard. If one cabin’s fan is damaged, this won’t have any influence on the other cabins. In any instance the maximum time needed to re-operate the system is only one night. In the event that this happens you will have the option to sleep on a mattress on the fly-bridge, if it is too hot to sleep below. Even if the air-conditioning is working, during the summer many people opt to sleep on the fly-bridge anyway, as sleeping under the clear star-lit sky can be a wonderful experience. In summer the air-conditioning is often kept on during the day in the salon and in the cabins at night. If the system is getting too hot the crew will turn it off after the last guest has retired.
Do not expect that because liveaboard tours are often more expensive than land based tours, the cabins should be as comfortable, or even more so than a hotel room! Unfortunately, cabins on most liveaboards can be a little cramped with limited storage space. On all our liveaboards, dress is informal and we suggest that you keep your clothes to a minimum, shorts & T-shirts/sarongs in summer and add tracksuits, jeans, jumpers and warm socks for the winter evenings. If you pack your clothes in a holdall rather than a suitcase it will be much easier to stow away in your cabin. Bed linen is supplied on all liveaboards along with towels. However we still recommend that you bring a towel of your own for general use.
A simple rule on all boats is not to put anything down the toilet that you have not eaten first! Even a small piece of toilet paper can block marine toilets and it is unfair on the crew member who has to go and eliminate the problem. Instead a bin is provided beside the toilet for all paper or other sanitary products. If you find that the bin needs emptying please tell a member of the crew.
All of our boats have desalination equipment fitted onboard, but we still ask you to live as though we have a limited supply of water. When our boats go to sea they do not intend to return to port until you disembark. The amount of water you have onboard should be enough for the maximum capacity of guests to be able to have a shower at the end of each day. Where there are showers on deck they can be used to rinse off your face & hair, cameras, regulators & computers. Full equipment washing at the end of each dive is unnecessary. If you are using too much water the boat may well run out and if you are not close to port you will have to forgo all showers and washing. This situation is rare but possible, but please be sensible about the amount of water you use.
Food & Drink
The meals on our liveaboards are mixture of European and Egyptian cuisine. If you have any special dietary requirements e.g. vegetarian, gluten-free, please let us know in advance so we can inform the cook. Mineral water, tea, coffee snacks and soft drinks are free.
TV, CD, DVD & Battery re-charging
All of our liveaboards have a flat screen TV onboard as well as a CD and DVD players. The voltage onboard is 220v, is available 24 hours per day and is 2 x round pin so you will need a travel plug adapter. The boats have at least two generators and whilst one is cooling the other will be in use, so there should not be a problem re-charging batteries. The re-charging points are normally in the salon and on dive deck. If you cannot see enough points, please ask the guides or a member of the crew. Because of the visibility underwater you do not need huge lanterns, and torches are ideal. Some non-rechargeable torches such as Underwater Kinetics SL4 and Scuba pros ‘Blue Light’ take 4 alkaline batteries which will give you 8 hours of light - more than enough for a week’s liveaboard and saves carrying spares.
All dive sites and itineraries are sea condition and weather dependent and are agreed by the skipper and dive guide. Wrecks tend to lie in exposed locations with navigation hazards and as such we cannot promise to dive on all of the wrecks we may advertise as weather conditions may make it is unrealistic to ask a boat captain to compromise the safety of his guests, crew & boat when sea conditions are not favourable. Likewise, we cannot guarantee sharks on any safari route as although reef sharks may tend to be territorial, they tend to be very shy and the larger pelagic sharks are cruisers and you are simply lucky if you spot them!
Your dive guides have a responsibility to cater for the least experienced diver onboard. If you feel that you would like to do diving that is more advanced than that being offered, and if the guides are looking after divers with less experience, you should be able to conduct your own dives in buddy pairs. As we are frequently a good distance from a recompression chamber, none of the dives are decompression dives and the maximum depth is 30m, or 40m with appropriate certification and experience. The guides will give briefings before each dive - if you feel that you require a more in-depth briefing, please tell the guide and they will be pleased to elaborate.
All our boats carry first aid and emergency Oxygen kits. Remember to bring enough sun lotion for the duration of your tour; even in winter when there can be a cold wind, but you can still burn. If you intend to snorkel it is a good idea to wear a white T-shirt or a rash vest to reflect the surface ultra-violet rays.
For strategic reasons the Egyptian Ministry of Defence may decide to place temporary bans on certain sites. If this happens we will amend your route and provide a different dive itinerary. We will never compromise the guests or the boat by visiting sites we have not been granted permission to dive.
Please find enclosed some of the 'realities' about being on a liveaboard.
If you have any questions or require any further information, please contact us on the email address below.
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