International Divers. If you want to be pampered, check in with one of the oldest centers in the area, which has other centers in the Sofitel Hotel and in two hotels in Hurghada. Managed by a team of professional divers who have been here for almost 20 years, International Divers owns its own boats, which means that even if you are the only diver booked, your excursion will not be canceled. The company also picks you up from your hotel and drops you off there at the end of the day. Or you can return to the dive center for a comfortable chat and coffee with the dive guides and instructors. White House, Peace Rd., Na'ama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai, 11321. 069/360–0865. www.diversintl.com..
Ocean College Dive Centre. This company offers excellent instruction but also offers a live-aboard diving option if you'd rather concentrate on enjoying the ocean depths than hit the bars in downtown Sharm. Other Ocean College centers can be found at the Ocean Club Hotel and the Na'ama Bay Hotel. Hilton Waterfalls Hotel, Ras Um El-Sid, Hadaba, Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai. 069/366–4305. www.ocean-college.com.
Red Sea Waterworld. This five-star PADI dive center works in collaboration with the National Geographic dive educator program. In addition to individual courses, it offers family dive training, including kid-friendly hours and supervision on boats so that parents don't have to worry if their children don't dive or don't stay down as long as they do. Hyatt Regency Hotel, Gardens Bay, Na'ama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai. 069/362–0315. www.redseawaterworld.com.
SUBEX. The Swiss-run company has an international reputation for being tightly run (if a bit stringent) and well-equipped with staff, facilities, and gear. Guided dives go out with a maximum of four people, you must take a guide with you if you have fewer than 30 dives, and all divers have to go on an orientation dive to determine experience levels. There are good programs for junior divers. Maritim Jolie Ville Resort and Casino, Na'ama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, South Sinai. 069/360–0122. www.subex.org.