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The Ultimate Diving Experience Awaits in Antarctica

by Holly Chavez Blog

If diving is something that you love, then you are probably constantly looking for new experiences that can take your hobby to the next level. While some people go to places such as South Africa to dive with the sharks, there is truly nothing else on earth that compares to diving in Antarctica.
Antarctic Peninsula

Regions: Antarctica

Highlights: Polar Diving

The Ultimate Diving Experience Awaits in Antarctica

If diving is something that you love, then you are probably constantly looking for new experiences that can take your hobby to the next level. While some people go to places such as South Africa to dive with the sharks, there is truly nothing else on earth that compares to diving in Antarctica. After all, you will be exposed to a very different type of marine life. Additionally, you will need to forego some of the modern techniques that make diving accessible to a wide group of people such as decompression chambers and warm water temperatures.

For some people, the lack of modern conveniences might be a turnoff, but avid divers who love exploring every aspect of the world’s natural beauty will be able to create a highly memorable once-in-a-lifetime trip by taking advantage of Oceanwide Expeditions’ polar diving excursions. 

What Will I See While Diving in the Antarctic?

The Antarctic waters give you the ability to ice dive, and this is something that many seasoned divers enjoy. The areas that we utilize for diving are also filled with a unique variety of colorful marine life that is unlike anywhere else on the planet. For many of our cruise and expedition participants, the most exciting part about the trip is getting to dive with penguins and Leopard seals. Of course, we cannot guarantee which marine life will make an appearance during your dive, but the odds are high that you will see these creatures at some point during your trip.

The typical marine life that is seen underneath the water in Antarctica includes sea butterflies, kelp walls and sea-hedgehogs. People with hardy, professional underwater photography gear may be able to capture images of everything from giant isopods to jellyfish, and this can definitely provide frame-worthy mementos from the trip.

The diversity is incredible in the Antarctic. Our Antarctica trips take you to one of the toughest places that you can dive in the world. Specific criteria are in place to ensure that our dive participants stay as safe and comfortable as possible.

Will I Be Permitted to Dive?

Many places that offer diving opportunities are able to accommodate a diverse list of skill levels, ranging from novices to experts. Unfortunately, we do not have this luxury when taking people to the Antarctic region for ice diving. Regardless of whether you want to snorkel or dive, you will need to be experienced and have written clearance from your physician before we will allow you into the water.

For our diving expeditions, we consider a minimum of 20 dry suit and cold water dives to be the baseline for meeting our experience requirements. You will need to be able to verify this data with a dive log and a diving certificate that is internationally recognized. We apologize that we are unable to take people who do not meet these requirements on a dive, but we do this for everyone’s safety and comfort.

Is Antarctic Diving Worth the Trip?

The allure of seeing new marine life is very compelling, but some people still wonder if it actually makes sense to go all the way to Antarctica for a dive. Drew Richardson, who is the CEO and president of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, is considered to be one of the most active divers in the world. When Men’s Journal asked Richardson about his most memorable dives, he mentioned Antarctica. In fact, this region was on his top three list, and Richardson referred to the Antarctic water as “an incredible experience,” and went on to say that “there is no baseline of comparison.” In other words, diving in Antarctica is well worth it for anyone who strives to keep their life as interesting as possible.

Are Deep or Trick Dives Possible?

Due to the potential safety hazards of doing anything unusual, Oceanwide Expeditions does not permit any deep or trick diving. A team of Russian research divers set a record in 2014 by going 97 meters (318 feet) below the surface, but this is not the type of dive that you should expect or plan for during your excursion. Interestingly, the Russian divers explored an old volcano while on the seabed, and they also compiled information to help improve Antarctic diving techniques.

The typical maximum dive depth for people who go into the Antarctic water is 20 meters (65.6 feet), and this will still give you the ability to see a lot of marine life. Keep in mind that the light can be very minimal underneath the water’s surface in Antarctica, so diving further down without specialized equipment does not actually make much sense if you want to see or photograph anything. Fortunately, we can all still enjoy a video of what the sea floor looks like thanks to the Icefin robot’s recent trip that took the remotely operated vehicle to a depth of almost 500 meters (1,640 feet).  

Booking a Diving Expedition in Antarctica

Whether you want to dive in Antarctica or prefer to dive in the Arctic, Oceanwide Expeditions can provide you with the opportunity to add diving to your trip. Please note that there is an additional fee for diving, and we cannot make any guarantees about the type of weather or marine life that you will encounter. However, we have been offering expedition cruises for more than 26 years, and we are passionate about offering the best possible Antarctic voyages and Arctic voyages to suit a wide variety of interests. This makes it possible for us to offer some of the most memorable expedition cruises throughout these regions, and the diving excursions are a popular choice.  

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