Diving and Kayaking in Antarctica


The combination of sunlight, seawater and the unusual formations of Antarctica’s ice floes create brilliant underwater hues, offering divers an unforgettable experience. Divers can expect to encounter a fascinating array of marine wildlife, such as kelp walls, sea-snails, ice fish, shrubby horsetails, sea hedgehogs, crab, sea butterflies, jellyfish, sponges and starfish, plus many fish species, enormous colonies of penguins, seals and maybe even a whale. The glaciers, gigantic icebergs and spectacular ice walls make a unique backdrop for these excursions, making no two dives alike.

Excursions range from shallow ice diving near or under the ice floes (approximately 30 feet) to shore dives of 30 to 60 feet. Diving occurs off the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia Island as well as in the krill-rich waters of the Falkland Islands that attract many species of marine life. In Antarctica you can dive with seals and penguins. By snorkeling close to the zodiaks, divers can also try to observe these creatures from below the surface. The ice is always in motion here, offering different views of colors and marine wildlife. Although the captain and crew know their destinations well, each excursion may or may not exceed the expectations of individual divers, because of these ever-changing conditions. The ships’ dive masters do their utmost to offer the best experience with each dive.

We provide a limited number of departures for travelers who wish to make diving excursions part of their Antarctica cruise. These trips may be selected as part of a scheduled itinerary or be added as a tour extension before or after the passenger’s Antarctica expedition. Our diving excursions are overseen by experienced guides who are familiar with Antarctic waters and wildlife. Antarctica cruise itineraries are always dependent on weather and ice conditions. If the pack-ice or drift-ice changes locations, the ship may need to adjust its sailing schedule accordingly, making it impossible to enter certain bays or fjords. Divers accustomed to fixed itineraries and scheduled dives may find this situation frustrating since moving ice can cause a difference of hundreds of miles from the intended dive sites.

For sea kayakers, every day in the Antarctic Peninsula holds new wonders, from close-up sightings of whales, penguins and seals to serene paddles through narrow fjords bordered by enormous icebergs. Kayaking in Antarctica is the ultimate paddling adventure, providing an even more exhilarating perspective than the views enjoyed from Zodiacs or on-shore. Dwarfed by the landscape’s immensity, the only sounds one hears are penguins splashing, glaciers high in the mountains crashing and the crackling of brash ice. Optional Antarctic sea kayaking excursions are offered on small-ship expedition cruises, generally once or twice a day as weather and water conditions permit along the Antarctica Peninsula. Kayakers are well attended by their expert guide, with the duration of each excursion is determined by the weather and paddler’s comfort.