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Antarctica: a dive adventure of unparalleled beauty to challenge your body and mind

By Scuba Diving Partner | Published On August 29, 2022
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Antarctica: a dive adventure of unparalleled beauty to challenge your body and mind

Aurora Expeditions

Antarctica at sunset

Steven Boyd

Finning through the rib cage of a submerged whale skeleton where it lays intact on the ocean’s floor. Ogling the golf ball-like texture of an iceberg’s underside as you hover, neutrally buoyant, beneath its unfathomable heft. And surface intervals spent with penguins and seals or snorkeling among humpback whales and their calves.

These are a few of the mind blowing moments you may experience during a scuba diving adventure in Antarctica with Aurora Expeditions.

For more than 30 years, the pioneer in small ship expeditions has immersed intrepid travelers within the wonders of the White Continent aboard intimate and rugged ships carrying an average of just 132 passengers.

Aurora Expeditions

Minke Whale and the Greg Mortimer, Antarctic Peninsula

Scott Portelli

And for divers looking to pair an expedition cruise to witness Antarctica’s many topside wonders with expert-guided scuba diving adventures into an epic frozen underwater realm, there’s no better basecamp.

Aurora Expeditions first guided scuba divers to the Antarctic Peninsula in 1998. Since then, the company has welcomed hundreds of experienced divers aboard its custom-built expedition ships specifically designed to support water-based explorations and intrepid diving in some of the world’s most harsh environments.

Aurora Expeditions

Grounded iceberg Antarctica

Edwin Sargeant

And while scuba diving in Antarctica comes with serious bragging rights, it also requires serious experience.

To safely dive Antarctica’s extremely cold conditions, it’s essential to be a confident diver with recent drysuit experience (at least five drysuit dives within the last 12 months) prior to joining a dive expedition.

With the exception of tanks and weights, which are provided onboard, divers are required to bring all of their own equipment (twin-valve setups, with two independent primary regulators and ice-capable first stages to safeguard against icing and failure, are standard).

On an expedition this remote, being intimately familiar with your gear and how it works is essential. As a precautionary measure, all dives are capped at depths of 60 feet (most dives only last about 40 minutes since the water is so cold that numbness can set into fingers and toes).

Aurora Expeditions

On an expedition this remote, being intimately familiar with your gear and how it works is essential. Courtesy of Edwin Sargeant

Courtesy of Edwin Sargeant

Important logistics aside, all the preparation to arrive in this singular spot is undoubtedly worth it.

Beneath the ocean’s surface, the White Continent is a colorful and dynamic wonderland of shifting seascapes and walls carpeted in colorful sponges and soft corals that can rival the vividness of a coral reef. The cold waters flicker with life, from crabs and sea snails to salps, jellyfish, sea butterflies and more.

True marvels await when Aurora Expeditions’ dive guides lead you to iconic sites chosen from their many years of expertise in the region for a view under the ocean’s surface that very few humans ever get to see.

Aurora Expeditions

Abandoned whaling station, Antarctica

Matt Horspool

One past dive site is Deception Island, once home to a whaling station and the area still contains remnants of the historic industry, both on land and in the water, with whale bones plentiful along the cliffs at the entrance to the bay. The colors of the coral, the water and the ice are something that almost defies description.

Other remote dive sites Aurora Expeditions has visited in the past include a historic whaling ship, the Governor in Foyn Harbour, which was deliberately run aground in 1915 by its captain to save the ship’s crew and where you can swim among whale oil barrels within the ship’s partially-submerged remains.

Aurora Expeditions

Shipwreck Antarctica

Edwin Sargeant

For the kind of diving that challenges your mind and body while leaving you exhilarated and inspired to learn more about the mysteries the world’s oceans hold, there is no adventure quite like one to Antarctica. And Aurora Expeditions can take you there.

For more details about diving Antarctica, the Arctic and beyond: