Top 10 Wreck Dives Around the Globe You Can’t Miss

For those with a passion for scuba diving and a fascination with history, wreck diving offers an unparalleled experience. Here are ten of the best wreck dives from around the world, each with its own allure and secrets waiting to be discovered. Find out more about wreck diving here.

1. SS Thistlegorm, Red Sea, Egypt

The SS Thistlegorm in the Red Sea is often hailed as one of the best wreck dives in the world. Sunk in 1941 during World War II by German bombers, this British transport ship is now home to an amazing array of marine life. Divers can explore motorcycles, trucks, and wartime cargo still contained within its holds.

  • Depth: Approximately 30 meters (100 feet) at its deepest point.
  • Exploration: Well-preserved and accessible for divers with intermediate skills. Divers can explore the cargo holds with wartime artefacts like motorcycles and trucks.

2. USS Oriskany, Florida, USA

The USS Oriskany is the largest artificial reef in the world. This aircraft carrier was intentionally sunk off the coast of Florida to create a diving site, after serving in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. It offers an impressive structure for advanced divers, teeming with marine life and an opportunity to explore a colossal piece of naval history.

  • Depth: The deck lies at around 41 meters (135 feet), while the sea floor is at 64 meters (212 feet).
  • Exploration: Suitable for advanced divers due to its depth. The superstructure offers numerous areas for exploration, but the deeper sections require technical diving experience.

3. Fujikawa Maru, Truk Lagoon, Micronesia

Truk Lagoon, known for its plethora of World War II wrecks, is home to the Fujikawa Maru. The Fujikawa Maru was a Japanese cargo ship sunk by American forces during World War II in 1944 is now enveloped in coral and marine life. It offers a spectacular dive with well-preserved artefacts and machinery. The lagoon itself is a diving hotspot with numerous other wrecks to explore.

  • Depth: 15-36 meters (49-118 feet).
  • Exploration: Relatively accessible to most divers. The cargo holds and engine room offer fascinating exploratory opportunities, with preserved artefacts and abundant marine life.

4. SS Yongala, Queensland, Australia

The SS Yongala off the coast of Queensland is a thriving artificial reef, having been underwater since 1911. The SS Yongala, a passenger and freight steamer, sank during a cyclone en route from Melbourne to Cairns. No survivors were found, making it one of Australia’s worst maritime disasters. The ship is encrusted in corals and is a hub for diverse marine life, including manta rays, sea snakes, and groupers. The sheer abundance of life makes this site a must-visit for divers.

  • Depth: Sits between 14-28 meters (46-92 feet).
  • Exploration: Suitable for intermediate to advanced divers. Strong currents can be a challenge, but the wreck is known for its incredible array of marine life and is largely intact.

5. Bianca C, Grenada, Caribbean

Known as the ‘Titanic of the Caribbean’, the Bianca C is a luxury liner that sank in 1961 after an explosion in the engine room, leading to its final resting place off the coast of Grenada. It’s one of the largest wreck dives accessible in the Caribbean, offering divers the chance to explore the grandeur of a classic cruise liner amidst vibrant marine life.

  • Depth: Ranges from 30 meters (100 feet) to more than 50 meters (165 feet).
  • Exploration: Due to its depth, this dive is recommended for advanced divers. The size of the wreck offers extensive exploration opportunities, including the swimming pool and deck areas.

6. HMS Royal Oak, Scapa Flow, Scotland

The HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow is a dive steeped in history. The Royal Navy battleship, was tragically sunk in 1939 by a German submarine in Scapa Flow, resulting in the loss of 835 lives, and its wreck is now a protected war grave. Diving here is a journey through a historic naval wreck and a somber reminder of the war.

  • Depth: Lies in shallow water, around 30 meters (100 feet).
  • Exploration: This site is a war grave and therefore protected. Diving is possible but requires a permit, and divers are expected to treat the site with respect. Penetration diving is not allowed.

7. Zenobia, Cyprus

The Zenobia, a Swedish roll-on/roll-off ferry, is a celebrated dive site in Cyprus. She sank on her maiden voyage in 1980, due to a computer malfunction, resulting in one of the Mediterranean’s most famous wrecks. The site offers an accessible dive for all levels, with trucks still chained to the ferry decks, creating an eerie and fascinating scene.

  • Depth: 16-42 meters (52-138 feet).
  • Exploration: Accessible to all levels of divers, from beginners to advanced. The ferry is large with an accessible cargo deck, offering an exciting exploration experience.

8. HMS Scylla, Cornwall, UK

HMS Scylla, a Royal Navy frigate, was intentionally scuttled in 2004 in Whitsand Bay, Cornwall, to create an artificial reef, after decades of service including the Cod Wars.

  • Depth: Sits between 12-24 meters (39-79 feet).
  • Exploration: It’s suitable for intermediate divers, offering exploration of its decks and structures. Marine life has rapidly colonised the wreck, making it a vibrant underwater ecosystem.

9. MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, Cayman Brac, Caribbean

The MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, a Russian warship in Cayman Brac, offers a unique Cold War-era dive. It’s one of the few Soviet ships accessible to divers in the Western Hemisphere and is home to a vibrant array of marine life.

  • Depth: 9-30 meters (30-100 feet).
  • Exploration: Suitable for a range of diver levels. The wreck is largely intact and offers various areas to explore, including gun turrets and the bridge.

10. The Umbria, Red Sea, Sudan

The Umbria, an Italian cargo ship, is one of the most accessible and well-preserved World War II wrecks in the world. It was scuttled by its own crew in 1940 to prevent the cargo from falling into British hands, just before Italy entered the war.

  • Depth: The Umbria lies in relatively shallow waters, with depths ranging from 5 to 38 meters (16 to 125 feet), making it accessible to divers of varying skill levels.
  • Exploration: The wreck is famous for its largely intact structure and the cargo it still holds, including hundreds of bombs and vehicles. The relatively shallow depth allows for good light penetration, enhancing the experience of exploring its holds and decks.
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Co-founder and Chief Adventurer

I am Max, the co-founder and CEO of adventuro. We are on a mission to help you get into the sports you have always wanted to try, or develop in the sports you love, exploring new skills and locations. We do this by partnering with the best instructors, guides, and activity centres to get a great spread from beginner all the way to instructor training.

For too long, it has been way to confusing to find your next steps, or even to know where to start when getting into adventure sports. I am an experienced and/or qualified paraglider, skydiver, scuba diver, freediver, power boat driver, snowboarder, kitesurfer, kayaker, mountain biker, surfer, dirt biker, wakeboarder, and sailor.

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