By Selene Muldowney
Egypt is home to ancient pharaohs, the landscape dotted with dazzling temples and museums, tombs and historic treasures hidden in plain sight. Besides traversing the market place, indulging in exotic flavors, and meeting the tenacious people who call Egypt home, visitors can indulge in superb scuba diving and outdoor adventures. Egypt has plenty for travelers to enjoy with a perfect mix of activities combining culture, history, adventure, and tranquil relaxation.
Scuba divers flock to Egypt’s Red Sea, one of the region’s most popular tourist destinations, boasting miles of beaches and an underwater mecca teaming with unique ecological structures, a plethora of marine life, and coral. Scattered along the Eastern Desert of the Red Sea are stretches of Egypt’s Roman and Christian era remnants. Touted as one of the top dive destinations in the world and a bucket list must have, the Red Sea draws divers to her shores and lures them underwater to explore the wide assortment of 19th and 20th century shipwrecks; from the famous wreck of the Thistlegorm, a British WWII casualty that sank with all her war cargo onboard including motorcycles, trucks, and ammunitions, to very solemn site, the wreck of the Salem Express.
Twenty-four men and women will have an opportunity of a lifetime as they embark on their journey across the world to Egypt, guided by Dave Valaika, owner of Indian Valley Scuba (IVS), a full service diver center located in the northeast United States with a constant offering of educational and worldwide dive travel opportunities. This carefully choreographed adventure takes these divers and non-divers across Egypt, beginning with tours of the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo then to the shores of Hurghada where they will embark on a seven day cruise aboard the newly renovated Excelsior Mermaid Liveaboard.
This year marks the fifteenth anniversary of IVS and the fifth trip to Egypt for Valaika who has developed a strong connection with the region and the people. By a sheer stroke of fate and timing, Valaika was present in 2011 during the Tahrir Square protests, the focal point of the Egyptian Revolution against former president Hosni Mubarak, where he witnessed firsthand the gathering of peaceful demonstrations in direct contrast to the violent scenes that filled CNN’s news feeds. Valaika met and spoke with both Coptic Christians and Muslims where he was welcomed with open arms.
His experiences across Egypt have made a marked impression on him – his interactions with the people, his adventures both on land and underwater, and the sheer beauty beckons him time and time again. If you act fast, you may still be able to secure a spot on the epic, bucket-list adventure – or get on the list for our next return!