The Salem Express was build in 1964 in the French shipyards of La Seyne. The 100 meter-(300 foot-) long ferry sank just an hour away from her destination, Safaga Port.
The ship was loaded with pilgrims returning from Mecca. It's reported that over 470 passengers lost their lives and only 180 survived. Due to the number of fatalities, this is one of the most controversial wrecks in Egypt.
Many have raised the question of whether or not it should be open for scuba diving, given its history. Some view it as a tomb and choose to respect the site by not diving it. Those who do venture here are advised to treat the site with uttermost respect.
Many of the personal items of the passengers are still on the wreck. While penetration is possible, it can only be done by experienced divers that must leave the wreck as found - without touching or disturbing anything.
The dive site is a shallow one, the ship resting at a depth of 30 meters (98 feet), with its top part at 12 meters (39 feet).
There's a bit of hard coral growing on The Salem Express but not much fauna circulating it. There are only a few groupers, surgeonfish, and crocodilefish around.
The site can be dived all year round. There's usually a light current and a visibility of 20 meters (65 feet).