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tovy

Israeli travel agent for Sharm diving?

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I’ll be in Israel for a month starting mid-August and I am planning to spend a couple of weeks diving in Sharm. Is there a competent Israeli travel agent thoroughly familiar with Sharm hotels and dive operators who can get me there in one piece? I am a US citizen and I am getting my Egyptian visa in the next couple of days. Thanks.

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Tovy, unless they've changed it recently, if you are flying into Egypt, you can get the visa at immigration. I used the american express travel services in Tel Aviv to arrange for my tours in Jordan and they were very competent. Sharm diver ops are mostly cattle boat operators. Check out Red Sea Diver College, used them before a few times.

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You always meet lots of Israelis diving in Egypt. It is a pretty usual for them to head down into Egypt to go diving - so I think it shouldn't be a problem to organise when you are there.

 

Alex

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tovy, I've been through this before.

 

1. Check with Arkia airlines. For a long time they flew from Tel Aviv to Sharm el sheikh. Around 2000, that route stopped. But if there is a possibility, it's worth trying. Back in 1993 I did a package through Arkia. I ran into Shlomo Cohen, the author who was working on a sequel to his Red Sea Divers Guide.

 

Egypt Air/Air Sinai might have a Tel Aviv-Sharm el Sheikh, flight but probably not.

 

You can fly from Tel Aviv to Cairo to Sharm, but it's expensive and time consuming.

 

2. If you can't fly dircectly, then you will be left with two options after you get to Eilat (you can fly or take the bus). Then cross the border to Taba and:

 

-Take the East Delta bus from Taba to Sharm el Sheikh- takes about 4-5 hours. It costs about $5. Camel Dive Club (in Sharm) used to post the schedule on their website.

 

- Taking a Bedouin taxi. Usually people group together at the border and haggle a price. It is a very intersting experience flying down the road in a 1979 Peugeot. Rates vary wildly, mostly depending on when the bus comes.

 

3. You can book a hotel directly. I paid $40 per night at the Hilton Sharm Dreams in 2003. It was on the regular Hilton website.

 

4. Try a UK-based agent for the hotel. I don't know if Regal and Explorers do hotel-only, but www.crusadertravel.com probably will. FYI Crusader is affiliated with Aqua-Sport in Eilat.

 

5. Israeli-based operators do trips to Sinai, but they are mostly camping in the desert.

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