5 Polar Expeditions
Planning to take a plunge into the icy waters of the Poles? Here are five vessel operators that can take you on the diving trip of a lifetime
Based in the Netherlands, Waterproof Expeditions offers dive and snorkel expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. You can also opt to take a PADI Polar Diver Specialty Course. Expeditions to the Antarctic embark from Punta Arenas, Chile or Ushuaia, Argentina, while trips to the North Pole start in Oslo, Norway. Waterproof Expeditions’ other cold-water dive destinations are Alaska and British Columbia, Russia’s White Sea and various points in Norway.
Dutch operator Oceanwide Expeditions organises polar diving expeditions to Spitsbergen and the Antarctic. Their “Basecamp Plancius” trips are particularly action-packed, with options for kayaking, hiking, zodiac cruising and a Leica Akademie photo workshop. To join an Oceanwide diving expedition you’ll need to have completed at least 20 dry suit dives, an international diving certificate, a diver’s logbook and a doctor’s certificate.
For a surcharge, Sydney-based Aurora Expeditions offers scuba diving or snorkelling on select expeditions to the Antarctic. Voyages across the Antarctic Circle start and end in Punta Arenas, Chile, while expeditions to the Weddell Sea start in Punta Arenas and end in Ushuaia, Argentina. Aurora Expeditions requires divers to have recent diving experience and proof of 20 logged dry suit dives.
Based in Moscow, Polar Expeditions runs ice diving expeditions to the North Pole, which embark from Longyear in Spitsbergen. Divers who wish to join these expeditions must have completed at least 100 dives, which should include at least 40 dry suit dives and 20 ice dives.
For a taste of the Canadian Artic – specifically Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut in the north – you can book a four-day dive weekend with local company Arctic Kingdom. Departing from Ottawa, Canada, this Iqaluit getaway also gives you the chance to visit local museums and learn about Inuit culture.