Antarctica Diving

In the cold deep south, sits Antarctica, there are multiple unique opportunities for the thrill seeking, warm blooded divers to experience the marine life which is unique to these environmental conditions. Dive amongst the icebergs and penguins, or admire the playful seals between the kelp forests for a real experience into what this area has to offer.

Diving in Antarctica

Diving in Antarctica continent is, simply said, a unique experience. The dive areas which lie in the southernmost region of our planet may have the coldest waters, but the marine life which resides here will warm up any divers.

The reality is, the conditions here can be extreme in the sense that water temperatures can fall to extreme lows, around 2 degrees Celsius to 4 degrees Celsius, the visibility can really decrease in the summer months as the plankton starts thriving and the outside weather can get windy, cold and snowy. However, for divers who have experience with cold water diving, with the correct equipment, with enthusiastic guides and determination, this would be a truly unique experience as so much of this region is still unexplored.

Most of the diving in this region is done from Liveaboards due to them being difficult to access. But places such as Ushuia do have dive centres. Verdansky and Palmer Station are research stations which are the bases for divers if they dive here.

Cold waters attract some very unique marine life, but also some of the regulars. One of the really unique experiences is diving while Penguins zip past while hunting for fish; this happens mostly at the Verdanksy and Palmer Stations. Seals also love the cold water here so in most of the diving areas here divers may encounter some playful seals. The underwater flora here includes impressive kelp forests and algae gardens. What makes up most of the colours are Anemones, Sea Cucumbers, Nudibranchs, Sea Stars and Sea Sponges. Ushuaia even has shipwrecks to explore. It may be cold, but there is still an incredible versatility here. 

Best places to dive

The Falkland Islands

The Falkland Islands is an archipelago of around 770 islands in the South Atlantic Ocean. This is definitely a destination for thrill seekers as it’s difficult to access with turbulent and freezing conditions, but this does not deter from the abundance of wildlife and underwater life. There are approximately 14 species of marine mammals, including Dolphins, Sea Lions and Seals and divers can explore the Kelp Forests and huge Algae Formations. Other species include Crabs, Lobsters and Jellyfish. There are also wrecks to explore.

South Georgia

South Georgia is part of the Sandwich Islands in the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean. This extremely remote area is still very unexplored which means every dive is an adventure. In the warmest months, February and March, there is a good chance of spotting whales. The types of diving include polar diving and/or ice diving and divers will be surrounded by an abundance of wildlife above and below the water including Seals, Nudibranchs, Penguins, Whales and beautiful underwater flora. 

Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of mainland Antarctica. This location provides divers with an opportunity to dive amongst icebergs. This is a common breeding ground for multiple species of seals, which provides extra excitement.

Ushuaia, on the southern tip of Argentina, is a mecca for thrilling dives. There is a variety of marine including large Crabs, Lobsters and Seals which all live in and around the impressive algae gardens, inside the tunnels and on the plateaus.  Another spectacle are the numerous shipwrecks here.

Detaille Island is in the arctic circle and is teeming with underwater life. This island can only be reached by passing the polar circle which is a unique experience that not many get the opportunity to have. Species include Starfish, colourful Anemones and a variety of Sea Cucumbers.

Verdansky Station is a Ukranian research station. Divers can dive while the Penguins zip past them on all sides while they can also enjoy the colours of the Rainbow Sponges, Sea Stars, Anemones and many Nudibranchs. 

Palmer Station is an American research station which has limited access but has diving possibilities under the ice, divers will encounter penguins here and larger predatory species including Leopard Seals.