Scuba Diving

Most divers began making bucket lists as soon as they became hooked on the sport without needing a movie to get them started. The Galapagos usually ranks high on the list because of the vast array of species one may encounter. A location many divers may not have considered is the ice floes of Antarctica, a diving experience like no other. Here the sunlight, sea and ice formations combine to create brilliant underwater hues, so no two dives are alike. Among the wide array of species likely to be observed when diving in Antarctica are large colonies of penguins and perhaps a whale.


While there are many places to dive in the world, it makes sense to prioritize those that are the most fragile and regulated. The same is true for locations where opportunities to dive are limited and interest among divers is growing. The Galapagos Islands is one of those places. The Galapagos National Park Service designates visitor sites both on land and at marine locations. A 27,000-square mile marine reserve surrounds the archipelago. Of the over 62 marine sites, diving is allowed at only some. To protect the wildlife, the list of permissible Galapagos dive sites has dwindled to fewer and fewer spots in recent years. Popularity can do that to a place. Regulation of Antarctica’s waters is governed by an international board representing 29 nations, several of which maintain scientific research stations on the continent. With that kind of oversight, wildlife protection will continue to trump tourist desires.


Diving in the Galapagos isn’t for beginners. Though you would anticipate warm waters because of the archipelago’s location on the equator, the water in diving areas is cold. Currents are tricky, and at some locations and certain times of year, visibility is lower than other prime diving destinations. Nonetheless, the profusion of fascinating species that divers may encounter, including whale and hammerhead sharks, rays such as manta and golden, eels, seals, sea lions, turtles, barracudas and sun fish, to name but a few, makes the experience here unforgettable. For travelers who want to make diving the centerpiece of their travel to the Galapagos, our luxury-class vessel, the 16-passenger Galapagos Sky is the best bet. Its diving-intensive itinerary includes visits to such remote islands as Darwin and Wolf. For the more casual diver, some other vessels offer diving excursions, and on our land-based Galapagos Multisport Itineraries, half or full-day excursions from Santa Cruz Island may be substituted for other activities. Diving tour extensions may also be added to any of our Galapagos tours.


Diving excursions on Antarctica tours are led by experienced dive masters, familiar with Antarctic waters and wildlife. Outings range from shallow dives to as deep as 60 feet. The waters around the Antarctic Peninsula and the sub-Antarctic islands attract many species to feed. Changing ice and weather conditions can affect what one sees on any one dive as well as the schedule. Diving in the Antarctica is intended for experienced divers who are acquainted with cold water diving conditions and are in good health.

Trips to the Galapagos and Antarctica that offer diving are popular. Only a few Galapagos vessels make scuba diving the focus of their itineraries. On the Antarctica ships that offer diving, it is only one of several activities including kayaking, camping and hiking. Diving in Antarctica is more weather-dependent than elsewhere. Because dive departures and vessels are limited, arrangements need to be booked early. To discuss your diving options in the Galapagos or Antarctica, give us a call.

View our Scuba Diving trip and tour options below:
6, 7, & 10 Days $5,435
Wildlife & Birding, Snorkeling, Luxury Eco Hotel
10 Days $7,290
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
6, 7 & 10 Days $1,995
Wildlife, Birding, Penguins, Hiking, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking
12 - 21 Days $9855
Camping, Kayaking, South Georgia, Polar Circle, Citizen Science
10 Days $7,495
Wildlife, SCUBA Diving, Hammerhead Sharks, Whale Sharks, Wolf & Darwin Islands
Machu Picchu, Galapagos Islands, Mountain Biking, Snorkeling, Hiking, Galapagos Wildlife, More....
Lima and Cusco, Peru, Machu Picchu and Inca Trail, Galapagos Islands , Hiking, Rafting & More......
One-of-a-kind Accommodations, Galapagos, Cloud Forest, Andes, Wildlife & Birding