Military museums are not uncommon, but Aqaba has built what might be the most unusual of them all: an underwater military museum. The war machines were sunk in a depth range of 15 to 28 meters, stationed along the coral reefs imitating a tactical battle formation, creating an exciting underwater adventure, intriguing divers and snorkelers to discover more and more of the dive site and have a unique experience.The dive site is located just off the coast of Aqaba, South Beach in the Red Sea in an area popular with divers. The museum objects are decommissioned vehicles donated by the Royal Jordanian Army. The museum is currently made up of 21 military relics and expected to grow as more equipment becomes available.
The military hardware includes a U.K.-built Chieftain main battle tank (known as Khalid Shir in Jordan) with 120-millimetre tank gun, and an unarmed FV104 Samaritan tracked military ambulance. U.S.-made M42 Duster anti-aircraft gun with twin 40-millimetre Bofors guns, FV701 Ferret armored car, and a South African Ratel (Honey Badger) 6×6 wheeled infantry fighting vehicle are also a great addition to the “battlefield”. The most important piece of the collection: a Royal Jordanian Air Force AH-1F Cobra attack helicopter was built by Bell Helicopter in the U.S.
The site has an easy shore entry with the gently sloping sandy area.After crossing this narrow sandy stripe and heading from the only live Porites coral pinnacle present at 5 meters, you will reach a dense sea-grass bed, where a mixture of Halophila stipulacea and Halodule uninervis species can be found.
The site is home to a large population of Garden Eels, living in a vast expanse of seagrass slope stretching from just 6 to16 meters depth. The flat and sandy area gradually slopes to 24 meters where the bare reef starts, together with the military vehicles carefully placed here to avoid any damage to the scattered small coral patches across this particular zone. A well-developed coral garden starts further down, at about 30 meters which makes an unforgettable dive for more advanced divers.
All hazardous materials have been removed from the vehicles, which will slowly turn into reefs to benefit the environment. The new attraction already brings more species to the site and scuba divers seeking new thrills to Aqaba. It is hoped the museum will also help alleviate the burden of increased tourism on local, healthy coral reefs.
Field gun M1 155mm, American-made in 1939, it was used in the Second World War. Weight 13.8 tons, shell weight 45kg, shooting range 23km, the crew of 14 soldiers. This gun was put to use in the Jordan Armed Forces in 1962 and it participated in 1967 War, Al Karama battle in 1968, and also, in the Attrition War 1968-1970.
The Ratel is a South African infantry fighting vehicle. Production started in 1976, and it was the first wheeled infantry fighting vehicle to enter service worldwide. The Ratel was a simple, economical design which helped reduce the significant logistical commitment necessary to keep heavier combat vehicles operational in undeveloped regions. Weight of 18 tons and can carry 12 soldiers, armed with varied weapons from 90, 23 to 23mm guns. The RATEL entered the Jordanian Armed Forces service in 2002.
FERRET is a British-made reconnaissance armoured car which entered the service in 1952. It was used by many countries, especially in the Middle East region. Weight 3.7 tons, equipped mainly with a 7.62 mm caliber machine gun. The crew consisted of two soldiers. The vehicle entered in the Jordanian Armed Forces service in 1963 and remained in service until 1985.
American-made since 1952. Armored, tracked vehicle with dual-barrel anti-aircraft 40mm caliber guns. The crew consisted of four soldiers. M42 was in Jordanian Armed Forces service from 1965 to 1998 and participated in the 1967 War, Al Karama Battle, and also, in the War of Attrition.
British-made in 1966 and widely used in Gulf Wars 1980-1991. The Chieftain was an evolutionary development of the successful cruiser line of tanks that had emerged at the end of the Second World War. Weight 55 tons, the crew of four soldiers. It carries an L11A5 120 mm rifled gun and two, 7.62 mm caliber machine guns. The tank entered the Jordanian Armed Forces service in 1982 and ended in 2000 under the name KHALID Tank.
Recovery vehicle, Chieftain Brand, a British-made in 1967 to work with Chieftain Tanks in the field, used in recovery operations of damaged or technically broken down tanks. Weight 50 tons, the crew consisted of five soldiers. The vehicle started service in the Jordanian Armed Forces together with the Chieftain tanks in 1982.
Samaritan is a British made armoured ambulance based on FV101 light tank with a capacity of up to 6 injured soldiers. It used to operate in battlefields along with the other armoured vehicles. Weight 8.7 tons, with the crew of two soldiers. As an ambulance, this vehicle does not carry any weapons according to the International Laws.
The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle, introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and was withdrawn in 1994. Weight 8 tons and crew of three soldiers. Its primary weapon was a 76 mm caliber gun.
Developed from the Huey transport helicopter, the Cobra was the first purpose-built helicopter gunship to enter military service. It was the backbone of U.S. Army attack aviation from its combat debut in South Vietnam during 1967 until replaced by the AH-64 Apache in the 1980s and ’90s. Several versions of the Cobra continue to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of many nations including The Royal Jordanian Air Force which has at least one squadron of Cobras currently in service.
The iconic Willys MB, commonly known as “Jeep” was a highly successful off-road capable, light, military utility vehicle, built-in large numbers to a standardized design, from 1941 to 1945, for the Allied forces in World War II. There were more than one million Jeeps produced in various versions and used for several military purposes as the over one tone vehicle was also capable of carrying different types of weapons. Jeeps continued service in different armies across the globe to the late ’90s, playing a significant role in different wars.
Great organization and great guides!Organization of the trip is great, little time for Petra.Compliments!
Mohammad brings a sense of history to every tour while showing you things you've run right by countless times without stopping to look (up, down, over, around). Touring with Mohammad... read more is like spending time with the greatest ambassador for Jordan and your newest, most favorite friend )) Highly appreciate and recommend !
It was only Aqaba in our plans for the one day on our cruise. But we wanted to see both Petra and Wadi Rum on that day. The tours organised... read more by the ship required us to choose one or the other, so we contacted Wonders Travel and Tourism. Yaseen offers us a perfect plan. and we did the both Petra and Wadi Rum !!!
It was a long day, but it was worth it! The service provided was excellent and I would strongly recommend Wonders to anyone visiting Aqaba.
We thoroughly enjoyed the experience,
The day went so quick but we seen and learned so much . Bus driver Reda was very friendly and helpful. our guide had so... read more much knowledge and was super helpful and explained everything in great detail. Petra it self was amazing - Thoroughly recommend you do this trip with wonders when you are in Aqaba. Thanks again Helga and Mark.
I really liked the team of Wonder tours, they tell me everything about their programs, I'd chosen Wadi Rum and Petra, and honestly I felt so many unforgettable emotions... read more and feelings, amazing views, interesting programs, excellent guide. I want to say a huge Thank you guys! I'm going to come back to Jordan because I had no time to see the other places, and of course I will use service of Wonder Tours Really recommend
My wife and I loved this! We were fetched right on front of our hotel by our tour guide Mohammad. I liked his calm demeanour. Never asked us for a... read more review on TA. He was so wonderful and knew so much of the history, followed up with several personal anecdotes and knew how to keep the group captivated and involved. Petra is 150% incredible beauty and definitely worth exploring! I'd love to be able to go back. It was definitely worth it and something you should do if you love history. Fantastic experience, highly recommend !
We had an amazing day. Our booking procedure was very easy, just email and full payment in US Dollars on Arrival. All our questions were answered promptly and courtesly.... read more We found our Tour representative immediately we disembarked our ship. He was very friendly and well organised and we were then taken to our driver for the day. Our driver was very helpful and spoke very good english. He made sure we were happy with the time frame to do what we wanted.
Our lunch provided in Petra was very very good, with great variety. Our guide for Petra was very well informed and we enjoyed the newly opened museum at Petra.
Wadi Rum by Jeep was also very interesting scenery and quite exhilerating.
One of the best tours we have ever done and Wonders Travel and Tourism so very easy to deal with. Highly recommended.
Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. A lot of time in the minibus but worth it to visit Petra. Our guide was very knowledgeable and was happy to answer all our questions... read more on Petra and Jordan as well as the tour.
I can recommend the Tour to anyone who is in Aqaba.
We did a day tour of Petra with Mohammad from celebrity concellation. He was extremely knowledgeable and answered all our questions about Petra and Jordan in general.
We appreciated... read more that he gave us some time at the major sites to explore on our own if we wished.
Prior to the tour, I made all the arrangements through Yasin. He was very helpful and provided quick responses.
We highly recommend Wonders Travel and Tourism for your trip to Petra and Wadi Rum .
We always wanted to visit Jordan and it was difficult choice to pick the right operator. A travel agency in my town recommended Wonders Travel and Tourism, we couldn't be... read more happier with that choice. Wonders are very profficinals, always on time and the girls in office are very friendly, but the best part of the trip was when i met our guide Mohammad - he is our friend now ))
Muhammad was extremely efficient, professional and always trying to make us happy...
We Highly recommend Wonders Travel and Tourism.
I purchased Petra tour and the 3in1 tour from this agency in Tala bay. First of all, the agency is located in the resort, which is extremely big advantage to... read more visit and be informed deeply about tours. they have another office in the center of Aqaba. What's more, the staff who introduced the tours for me were pretty kind, they feel me so comfortable.
By the way, the prices are also really reasonable according to other agencies in Aqaba.
In a nutshell, good quality tours, reasonable prices and caring staff... When you come to Aqaba, you should definitely have a look this agency! I recommend .
I would never thought i would write review as most time i never was impressed. Wonders Travel and Tourism changed my mind. i was amazed their professionalism, quick response (Yaseen... read more is amazing) they will customize every caprize you ask for in private tour.
We travelled with my husband late January 2022, and had a wonderful guide Mahmud, driver name Anas - very professional.
We visited the old & new city Amman, then Dead sea, Jarash, Petra and Wadi Rum. Mahmud provided great details into the history of the areas and took care of us. when we booked the tour, we wanted to make a special trip - traveling to Joran was definitely a trip of a lifetime! Thank you so much for the hospitality. I highly recommend Wonders Travel and Tourism! Thanks!
What a treat our tour to Petra was. Great guide and driver.
Very professional and knowledgeable. Very happy with the overall process and tour.
The meal was delicious too.... read more What a bargain compared to other companies.
This is one of the modern wonders of the world. It is a must visit attraction in Jordan.I went on a daytrip to Petra and I wish I had more... read more time to spend there. You can not see even 10% of it all in one day. I've been reading and studing a lot about Petra , but with our guide “Mohammad” you'll deffenetly learn more, as his family - use to live there .
Petra was really out of this world. It was unbelievable. No words can describe the amazing accomplishments of the Nabateans. You need a lot of time though to explore.
The pick up went smooth, it took 2 and half hours to get there, but listing to our guide will shorten time much, after 2 hours with the guide we another 2,5 hours free time, after that we met other participants at the restaurant and had lunch, which exeeded our excpectations.
What an amazing trip! highly recommend.
Contacted Mr. Yaseen 3 months before arrival, he replied to all my questions quickly so we booked our excursion with Wonders TT.
Our ship "NAUTICA" docked half an hour earlier,... read more luckly our guide was waiting for us at the pier in front of the cruise.
We went to Petra and the Wadi. Everything went smoothly and ontime! Long day but very enjoyable. Guide Mohammad was flexible as to lunch and personal variances. Joked down to Petra. Walk fairly easy.
So the guide was excellent and the vehicle too, the lunch very tasty and evething ontime. They earn 5 ! Would highly recommend the tour.
I've recently had a stay arranged in Jordan/Aqaba by Wonders Travel and I can strongly recommend this tour operator. Everything went smoothly and according to my wishes & expectations. Next... read more time they'll definitely be my choice again. Thumbs up!
Wonders Travel and Tourism had came with a fantastic itinerary and magical experience for us. Varvara created the amazing program. Muhammad must be the best tour guide in Jordan, he... read more was born in Petra - Wadi Musa (no matter how much you study Petra, he will give you more information), We spent 8 days, which definitely was not enough seeing this amazing country with him. With a fantastic plan added special features along the way making it truly one of our best vacations ever. Of course the driver was excellent and patient with all of our wanderings and pictures. Our guide was s fluent in English and taught us a bunch of Arabic ))
Thank you Wonders Travel and Tourism for making our first trip to Jordan so memorable! We will be back for a longer stay soon! I definitely recommend them!
We were visiting Jordan for the day while onboard Jewel of the Seas, my husband was unable to go due to the walking conditions so I was wondering how I'd... read more manage to get a tour on my own. Yaseen from wonder tourism was fantastic with very prompt replies to any queries I had and I was able to join others in a mini bus. The tour was very well organised, we were picked up at the port, taken to the office to pay then on to Petra with a toilet/shopping stop on the way. Petra is amazing and our guide(sorry can't remember your name) was very informative and interesting. A fantastic buffet lunch of local dishes was also included, some of our group were scared to try things and ended up eating pasta, but I had a bit of all the dishes and they were very tasty. I think the tours to Petra seem expensive, but they include entrance to Petra which is expensive on its own. Highly recommended tour
We arranged this tour with Mr. Yaseen M. and he responded very promptly,
We booked a full day tour from Aqaba to Petra. Pick up at 8.00 AM from the... read more port, and returned on time at 5.00PM.
Very comfortable Coaster with 12 persons with an English speaking tour guide and a driver.
This Petra trip was very well organized from beginning to end, including the entrance fees and delicious Buffet Lunch.
Petra was an amazing place to visit, very magical, was one of the highlight of our 21 days cruise.
Very enjoyable and Highly Recommended Tour. Thank you!!