Liveaboard Diving in Arctic
A whole other world waits beneath the surface of these iceberg filled waters.
Liveaboards in the Arctic offer an exceptional chance to experience stunning scenery, interesting wildlife, a different way of life, and striking natural phenomena. If you’ve ever dreamt of spotting a polar bear in the wild, an Arctic expedition cruise could be just what you are looking for. Always wanted to see the northern lights? Head to the Arctic! There are so many incredible attractions and activities you can enjoy on a trip to the Arctic, including fantastic polar diving.
A diving holiday to the Arctic lets you explore an underwater world that very few people get the chance to see. Staying on your liveaboard also means that you can move easily from place to place without the hassle of constantly packing and unpacking your travel gear; you’ll return to the same comfortable cabin for a good night’s sleep at the end of each action- and adventure-filled day.
Several countries claim territories in the Arctic region, including Russia, Canada, the USA, Denmark, and Norway. The area has large reserves of oil and natural gas.
Liveaboard Dive Trips In the Arctic
Exploring the Arctic on a liveaboard cruise provides a cosy living environment and base on your trip, as well as letting you reach areas that may not be possible otherwise. Diving from your liveaboard vessel means that you can experience some of the area’s finest dive sites, as well as being able to travel to more remote destinations that just couldn’t be accessed on a shorter trip. You can dive with people who share your interests and with whom you have already established a bond and forged camaraderie with. People who enjoy underwater photography will be in their element when they join an Arctic diving adventure.
You can see an assortment of aquatic life, including various species of fish. You may have the opportunity to dive with seals too. Whale-watching trips are popular. Other creatures to look out for (though you cannot dive when they are in the area) are polar bears and walruses. See if you can spot a rare Arctic fox slinking through the snowy and icy landscapes, or reindeers sauntering across the terrain. Keen bird watchers will also be pleased.
Wildlife and underwater landscapes are not the only things to expect from a polar diving trip in the Arctic; there may also be the possibility of exploring wrecks. Dives may take place from beaches and bays or from a zodiac boat.
Dive holidays to the Arctic are available for seven or nine nights. Each itinerary includes a varied selection of activities, including riding in zodiac boats, hiking, and shore excursions. Trips may include places of historic or natural interest, local settlements, cultural attractions, museums, and more.
Dive Sites & Areas of the Arctic
Most diving around the Arctic occurs near Spitsbergen, which is located in the northern islands of Norway. Depending on your chosen itinerary, you may visit the old mining town of Longyearbyen with its Polar Museum, the scenic Raudfjord with its impressive glaciers, the huge Monaco Glacier, and Hinlopen Strait with its abundant wildlife.
Other possibilities include the 14th of July Glacier, the research base of Ny Ålesund, the cliffs of Alkefjellet that are teeming with birdlife, Barentsøya Island, Hornsund, with its spectacular fjords, and Ahlstrandhalvøya, where you can see forlorn piles of whale skeletons. Alternatively, your trip may include the Måne Glacier, Danmarks Ø with its abandoned settlement, the picturesque and wildlife-rich Cape Hofmann Halvø, Sydkap and Ittoqqortoormiit.
Some itineraries also offer scuba diving in Scoresby Sund, Greenland, the largest & deepest Fjord system in the world. Here is a great place to see different species of whales & huge icebergs.
When To Go
The best time to take expedition cruises in the Arctic is from April to September. The peak tourism months are between June and August. The summer months sees the midnight sun, while the winter months offer the best opportunities to see the magical northern lights (Aurora Borealis) dancing in the sky in all their colourful glory.
April is a terrific month for admiring untouched, raw landscapes, with fresh snow and new icebergs. You might also see humpback whales swimming through the icy waters. As the icebergs start to melt in the following months, look out for the caribou migration, narwhals, and diverse sea birds.
July in the Arctic is one of the best times to see polar bears closer to the coast. It’s also a top time for seeing beluga whales and sea birds. The warmer summer months, although still cold, offer the best conditions for diving in the Arctic.
Tips For Travellers
Your packing list for your Arctic liveaboard cruise should include clothes that are appropriate for cold conditions and that can be worn in layers. You will also need good quality diving gear for cold conditions, including a dry suit, gloves, and boots. Freeze-protected regulators, a stabilizing jacket, a knife, a torch, a compass, a computer / watch / gauge, a pressure gauge, a mask, fins, and a weight belt should also be taken. Weights are available to borrow from the ship.
Don’t forget your camera! An underwater camera is also recommended to capture snaps of your underwater adventures in the Arctic region. Binoculars can be useful for viewing distant wildlife above the water.
How To Get There & Ports Of Departure
Most Arctic cruises depart from Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen, or Akureyri in the north of Iceland. Svalbard Airport, Longyear (LYR) and Akureyri International Airport (AEY) serve each destination respectively.
People who wish to scuba dive in the Arctic whilst on a liveaboard adventure will need to have some prior diving experience; an Arctic trip is not suitable for beginners. Ideally, you should have at least 30 dives under your belt, including some in cold waters.
There are no decompression chambers in the polar regions, and diving can be risky. Experienced divers will, however, know the risks and act accordingly. Keep in mind that medical facilities can be a few hours away, sometimes longer.
Ensure that your regular travel vaccinations are up to date and that you pack enough supplies of any prescription medication you will need throughout your trip.
Trips range in price from around 3100 USD (seven-night trip) to 4900 USD (a nine-night trip on a different route). Additional fees may apply for admission to certain attractions, meals on shore, and tips.
Contact us today. Our reservations team will help to book your next adventure cruise to the Arctic.