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Diving in Antarctica: The Ultimate Underwater Experience

by Oceanwide Expeditions Blog

If you love scuba diving and enjoy a truly unique adventure, polar diving (specifically Antarctic diving) may be your next favorite thing.

Regions: Antarctica

Highlights: Polar Diving

If you love scuba diving and enjoy a truly unique adventure, polar diving (specifically Antarctic diving) may be your next favorite thing. 

Avid divers often flock to literal hotspots like the Caribbean, South Africa, and the Great Coral Reef, but far fewer divers consider polar diving in Antarctica. But they should, because in Antarctica can be found a strikingly different type of terrain and marine life - to say nothing of all the seals, penguins, and other Antarctic seabirds you might see above water.

While some scuba divers may be turned off by the cold weather and lack of modern aids in Antarctica, such as decompression chambers, those who want something off the beaten track will be dazzled by the exotic wildlife and raw beauty of an Antarctic diving trip

What will I see while diving in the Antarctic?

Ice diving is an unparalleled experience you can enjoy on an Antarctica diving trip. The areas where we dive are also filled with a unique variety of colorful marine life, like penguins and leopard leopard seals, which cannot be seen anywhere else. 

We cannot guarantee what wildlife you will see, of course, but the odds are high that you will see these creatures at some point during your trip.

Sea butterflies, kelp walls, and sea hedgehogs are among the more common animals spotted while diving in Antarctica. People with good underwater photography gear may also be able to capture images of everything from giant isopods to jellyfish.

But while the diversity is incredible in the Antarctic, we do ask that our diving passengers have a certain level of experience for their own safety.

Will I be permitted to dive?

Most of the common dive spots in the world do not require any special dive skills beyond those taught in basic scuba diving classes. Not so in the polar regions. We cannot offer our Antarctic diving trips to divers with fewer than 30 dry suit (cold water) dives.

Scuba divers must verify their dive experience with a dive log and diving certificate that is internationally recognized. We apologize that we are unable to take divers who do not meet these requirements, but these regulations are for everyone’s safety and comfort.

Is diving in Antarctica worth the trip?

The allure of seeing new marine life is no doubt compelling for many divers, but some still wonder if it is worth going all the way to Antarctica. Fair question.

Drew Richardson, CEO and president of the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, is considered one of the most active divers in the world. When Men’s Journal asked him about his most memorable dives, he said Antarctica was on his top three list and that, “There is no baseline of comparison.” 

More importantly, our passengers have always come back glowing (and not just from the cold) after our dives. We consider that proof that Antarctica is more than worth the trip.

Are deep or trick dives possible?

Due to the potential safety hazards, our dive guides do not permit any deep dives or trick diving. The typical maximum depth for Antarctic diving is 20 meters (65 feet). This will give you the ability to still see a lot of marine life. Keep in mind that the light can be very minimal underneath the Antarctic waters, so diving deeper without specialized equipment does not often yield good results. 

Booking an Antarctica diving adventure

Whether you want to go diving in Antarctica or head the other way for some far-north Arctic diving, we can offer both amazing experiences in a variety of stunning locations. Please note there is a fee for booking the diving supplement, and we cannot make any guarantees about the type of weather or wildlife you may encounter above or below the waves.

But you will have the chance to enjoy one of the rarest outdoor activities in the world, seeing up close a marine world few divers get to witness much less experience in person.

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