Cedar Pride Shipwreck

Best Wreck Dive

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True name Cedar Pride
Depth 7m to 26m+
Conditions Wreck
Visibility Excellent (20m+)
Platform Boat, shore
Level Beginner to Technical
Snorkelling? Yes
Other names used N/A
Cedar Pride Shipwreck

Cedar Pride Shipwreck

Welcome to the Cedar Pride Shipwreck, the most famous dive site in Jordan for good reason, she is one of the rare wrecks easy accessible from shore. After a short, 130 m swim over a sandy bottom, she looms out of the depths before us, imposing in an interesting position - lying intact on her port side with a separate reef supporting both bow and stern.

Cedar Pride Shipwreck | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea
The Cedar Pride is a recreational wreck diver’s dream.

And don't worry - you can enjoy this experience whatever your diving level, though you'll need Advanced training or beyond to explore the deeper parts of the ship because the Cedar Pride's bow sits around 20 m and her stern at 16 m.

Of course, from shore we'll come upon her keel first (she lays deck-to-sea, on her port side). Since she forms a massive bridge between reefs above the seafloor, we'll take the swimthrough at 26 m, the deepest point of the ship, and turn to explore her superstructure. Much of it was destroyed in a fire (see below), but what remains, including a lifeboat near the stern that usually has something interesting inside, is in remarkably good condition.

She's encrusted with more than 35 years of multi-coloured coral growth from bow to stern.

Cedar Pride Shipwreck | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea
The Cedar Pride offers easy-access penetration, perfect for Wreck specialty training.

We see a rich assortment soft corals and large, waving sea fans along the entire length of the ship. Schooling reef fish are everywhere, especially at depth, where hard corals are more common, and if we dive here at night you're sure to see octopi and morays on the hunt.

The only "bare" spot - and it's not really bare, if you have a careful eye - seems to be the very bottom of her port rail, the closest point to the seafloor where the sun never really shines. Life is everywhere on the Cedar Pride.

As we make our way along the ship on our way up, look around carefully and you will see different species of seahorses, slugs, crabs and shrimps hiding in the secret corners of Cedar Pride. And don't miss the regular locals - sea bass and barracuda swimming in the sun.

Cedar Pride Shipwreck | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea
Much of the ship's structure and fittings are remarkably well-preserved,...

We can easily spend the dive on this 74 m x 20 m wreckage without ever going inside. Although, if you're trained and equipped enough for overhead environments, the wide structure makes penetration into the area of the fuel tanks easy.

But sooner or later we will have to return. Depending on our air consumption, we will either follow the mast or along the mooring attached to the stern to a depth where we can make a safety stop (you can wave your hand at the snorkelers here), or along the bottom line back to shore to get another view of the surrounding reef.

And if you've ever wanted to visit a scary shipwreck at night, this is the place to be. The wreck is easily accessible and incredibly beautiful.

Cedar Pride Shipwreck | Aqaba, Jordan, Red Sea
... and marine life loves it, too.

A Little History

Launched in 1964, it changed several times names and flags, this 74 m long cargo ship with a displacement of 1100 tons did not sink - it burned down.

In 1982, a fire that claimed the lives of 2 crew members broke out inside the ship. The ship burned down to the waterline; only the hull, part of the superstructure, and damaged internal structures remained.

In short, it remained abandoned until a royal decree came out (the king of Jordan was himself an avid diver): Cedar Pride, the name under which the ship ended its "floating" days, must be cleaned and sunk to create an artificial reef for divers (and snorkelers) in Aqaba.

So they did - and it turned out great! Scuttled in 1985, now it houses a fantastic variety of marine life, including some species not found elsewhere in the region, both outside and inside the ship.


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