Diving in Antarctica

Dive the Antarctic

Scuba diving beside towering iceburgs, along giant glaciers and sweeping ice walls is an incredibly thrilling experience. Explore new dive sites and visit places no one has ever dived before, the Southern Ocean is ripe for discovery and a divers dream come true! The Antarctic Peninsular has a fascinating variety of marine life, such as beautiful sea stars, some with dozens of arms, sea spiders, giant sea lice, nudibranch, jellyfish, colourful sponges, soft corals, anemones, sea urchins, unusual fish and of course krill. We also hope to meet penguins and seals underwater and maybe even whales!

If you wish to scuba dive please advise us at the time of booking, as places are limited. Scuba Diving is offered on the 16th February 2010 Across the Antarctic Circle departure. Please note that certification is required. For the cost please refer to the Across the Antarctic Circle pricing page.

Certification Requirements
Dry suit diving ice is necessary. All divers must be a trained, certified scuba divers with proof of certification beyond entry level, i.e. Advanced Diver certification or equivalent rating, issued by a recognised scuba training organisation. In addition to this, it is extremely important that adequate training and experience is gained in dry suit diving, and in the use of other new and unfamiliar equipment to be used in Antarctica. To ensure your safety and enjoyment and to avoid any unnecessary problems on the trip, recent diving experience and proof of a minimum of 20 logged dives using a dry suit must be provided prior to joining the expedition.

Diving
We plan to offer experienced dry suit divers at least one dive per day while we are around the Antarctic coastline, so there'll be plenty of time to join the rest of our group for other activities. Large Zodiacs with powerful outboard motors, transport us comfortably to our intended dive locations. We do not cater for no-limit diving because we believe Antarctica has so much more to offer. We do not have access to a recompression chamber in Antarctica therefore we cannot accept risky ventures from any of our divers and all dives are limited to a maximum depth of 20 meters/66 feet. Diving under fixed sea-ice is not permitted, unless assessed as safe by the divemaster.

We’ll start our diving with an easy "check-out" dive so all divers can acclimatise to the cold water and to the special Antarctic diving conditions. Before every dive there will be a detailed briefing and general diving procedures will be discussed with the group at the beginning of the trip. The Polar Pioneer has a very large deck that is perfect for preparation of equipment for our dives.

We expect the dives to vary from shallow shore diving to offshore diving from Zodiacs, diving around icebergs and ice floes. The combination of sunlight, sea water and the often extraordinary formations of ice create an overwhelming, ever changing colour spectrum, with a fantastic variety of shades and brilliance. Snorkelling or diving along an iceberg is truly unforgettable.

Although we have a well planned itinerary, it is very likely that final destinations will be different than expected. If you are used to fixed itineraries and definite destinations this may not be the voyage for you. Moving ice may cause us to end up hundreds of kilometres from our intended destination. But we can promise you an exciting adventure that breaks new ground. Fascinating experiences in the world of ice - glaciers, gigantic icebergs and spectacular icewalls characterise a scuba diving voyage to Antarctica. Seals, whales and colonies of thousands of penguins are simply breathtaking. No two days are alike - surprises and unforgettable experiences await you.

Divemaster/Dive-Guide
Our experienced Divemaster on board the Polar Pioneer is Henrik Lovendahl. An assistant dive guide may accompany him and we have a marine biologist on board. If you have any questions with regards to the required equipment or the diving procedures, please contact us and we can put you in touch with Henrik.

Medical Facilities Onboard we have a medical doctor and a clinic equipped to treat most minor illnesses and injuries and has basic resuscitation facilities. There is no recompression chamber on the ship and should one be required evacuation back to South America may need to be arranged.

Safety First! Scuba diving in Antarctica is no more dangerous than normal scuba diving as long as you stick to one basic but very important rule: Safety First.

Equipment
Diving is an equipment intensive activity. Diving in Antarctica requires an extensive amount of additional equipment because of the cold weather and water, and a higher level of diving experience because of the remote location involved. Diving is no fun if you are cold and uncomfortable. It is therefore extremely important that, prior to coming on the trip, you have acquired all the appropriate equipment needed for diving in Antarctica, and that adequate training and experience is gained in the use of new and unfamiliar equipment. Please find below some of the main equipment you will need to bring, a full list will be provided upon booking.

Equipment needed includes ....
• A dry Suit
• Insulating undergarments
• Dry suit accessories: hood, three finger mitts/special dry gloves
• Two sets of regulators suitable for extreme cold-water/ice diving
• 2 face masks - with spare strap
• Snorkel and fins - with spare strap
• BDC - with low pressure inflator
• Quick release weight belt

Dive the Antarctic is available on the following trips



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