Ice diving in Antarctica or the Arctic is ideal for adventurous divers looking for a challenge and exceptional marine life at true wilderness areas. You can spot numerous whales, penguins, seals and polar bear, plus swim with orcas. All whilst diving in areas few other people ever get to see. Read on for our guide to ice diving and why you don’t want to miss it.
Antarctica is one of the world’s most remote and fascinating destinations, offering exceptional wildlife watching and diverse diving, including ice diving, zodiac diving, shore and wall diving.
Go Antarctica liveaboard diving and you can explore iconic destinations such as the Falkland Islands, South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula.
South Georgia liveaboard diving offers the opportunity to experience ice diving in areas that have never been dived before by other people.
There is an abundance of marine life in the waters surrounding Antarctica, including seals, penguins, and around 15 species of whales.
At this biodiversity hotspot you have the chance to see sea lions whilst diving and possibly even swim with leopard seals, fur seals and penguins.
There are plenty of fish to find whilst exploring sea caves and bright blue underwater ice-formations, plus starfish, giant isopods, and jellyfish.
The water temperature when ice diving is typically 0°C (32 °F).
A minimum of 30 logged dives, plus experience in cold water diving and dry suit diving.
The ice-class Plancius and Ortelius both offer Antarctica liveaboard diving safaris.
Arctic liveaboard diving will take you to remote areas in search of polar bears, whales, reindeers and more. All whilst experiencing the majesty and colours of the Northern Lights.
Most Arctic diving occurs around Spitsbergen, in the northern islands of Norway, where you can go ice diving, boat-based diving and wreck diving.
A Scoresby Sund liveaboard in Greenland provides the chance to dive the world’s largest fjord system, covering 38,000 square kilometers and reaching depths of up to 1,450 meters.
You can even go freediving or snorkelling with orcas off Tromsø in Norway.
Spitsbergen has plenty of small marine life to find but the larger species are the real highlight.
You can swim with sea lions and cruise the wildlife-rich Hinlopen Strait, where you can spot bearded seals, walruses, reindeer, Arctic foxes and an array of bird species.
Spitsbergen’s waters are regularly visited by minke, fin, humpback and blue whales.
Scoresby Sund is rich in birdlife and Arctic fish such as char, Greenland halibut, wolf fish, sea scorpions and greenland sharks.
This fjord is also home to ringed, hooded, harbour, bearded, and harp seals. Walrus, narwhals, polar bears, and beluga whales can also be seen in the area.
It’s safe to say you want to take your camera with you wherever you choose to cruise and dive in the Arctic.
Arctic waters range from 5°C (41 °F) to 0°C (32 °F), with Scoresby Sund dropping to -1°C (30.2°F).
For Arctic diving, a minimum of 30 logged dives, plus experience in cold water diving and dry suit diving.
You can snorkel with orcas at Tromsø without any prior dive experience.
The Plancius offers Arctic liveaboard diving, plus Scoresby Sund visits during certain Arctic itineraries.
The Sula offers Tromsø diving safaris dedicated to swimming with orcas.
This article was written by divers and writers at LiveAboard.com.