Scuba Diving in Antarctica

Scuba diving in Antarctica is not for beginners as it’s both technical and challenging. It is only offered on limited departures and has strict criteria for those looking to sign-up.

While you don’t need to be a qualified ice diver, you will need to prove you have extensive diving experience in cold water of +4° Celsius or below, and are well versed in using a dry suit.

If you’re not qualified to dive but still love the idea of swimming with penguins and icebergs, why not consider snorkelling in Antarctica, which is fun and a lot less technical?

Scuba Diving in Antarctica

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What our customers think of Scuba Diving in Antarctica

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Fantastic advice from Alex. Using a polar specialist with an understanding of diving was a good decision and much better than the recommendations from Australian dive travel agents. Very impressed by the dive team's professionalism. Diving an iceberg, with penguins and seals, and being one of the few in the world to dive within the Antarctic Circle were all big highlights.

Travelled: March 2017

Erika - Australia

Antarctica did not disappoint and it exceeded my expectations! My favourite moment - finding a chunk of 30,000-year-old "Black Ice" and getting to taste it; then later on, it was the ice used in our cocktails! Read the full review

Travelled: February 2019

Kristen Hilt - United States Of America

John was a real star. The right ship, the right voyage. Read the full review

Travelled: February 2019

Andy & Wemmie Worner - Australia

The penguins were so fun to just watch as they carried on their regular activities- building nests or heading down to the water. The landscapes and wildlife were magnificent. We saw 3 species of penguins and several types of seals and also whales. The people on our ship came from various countries and we enjoyed getting to know them. Read the full review

Travelled: December 2018

Susan Herron - United States Of America

Most magical moments: 1) going ashore at Cuverville Island, and walking among the penguins, which showed no signs of fear of humans and 2) climbing the hill above Neko Harbor, and seeing ice-covered mountains all around, and reflections on the water, which was perfectly calm. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2018

Vincent Micelotta - United States Of America

Everything was perfectly organized by Swoop. Fast, precise and very much in details. I can also say I had perfect advice which ship took for my Antarctica adventure. Great communication at all times. Would highly recommend. Read the full review

Travelled: November 2018

Rafal Wilk - Ireland


Scuba Diving

How does scuba diving in Antarctica work?

Scuba diving in Antarctica

Before departure you will need to show an internationally accepted diving certificate, diver's logbook and a statement from your doctor (not older than two years) stating that you are physically healthy to practice scuba diving. This may seem a little excessive, but so far from a proper hospital and medical care, safety is of the utmost priority.

The voyage will start with a check-dive so all divers can get used to the cold water and try out their equipment and the number of weights they need. Before each dive, there will be a briefing about the location of the site, the weather and ice conditions and the procedure of the dive.

The dive sites will vary from shallow ice diving, diving along a wall, from a beach or from the zodiac. The maximum depth is around 60 feet/ 20 meters.

The dives will be done on a 'buddy system' basis. There will not be a dive guide in the water to accompany and lead the divers. The guides will stay on the surface for the divers' safety and they will check you "out" and "in" after each dive. The divers are expected to be experienced enough to read their compass, depth gauges and look after each other in order to have a safe dive.

Each diver will be expected to prepare his/her own equipment well in advance prior to each dive. The diver will have to carry his own equipment in and out of the zodiac and sometimes up and down the gangway.

The aim will be 1-2 different dives per day, but this will be influenced by local ice and weather conditions. You’ve also got the choice to join the rest of the group on a landing instead of diving, if you prefer. To operate, a minimum of 6-8 divers are typically needed to have signed up. The maximum number of divers varies between different ships from 15 - 24.

What will be provided?

The following items will be provided for you on-board: compressor, scuba tanks & weights

Important personal clothing and gear you must bring with you:

  • Dry suit with hood, thick and warm underwater garments, and dry gloves
  • 2 separate freeze protected regulators
  • Pressure gauge, and a stabilizing jacket or some kind of BC with quick release
  • Depth gauge, watch or computer, compass, knife & torch
  • Mask, fins and snorkel & weight belt

You'll also be expected to bring your own spare parts for your regulators and dry suit in case of leakage or damage.

Voyages with Scuba Diving

Special Offers:Swoop has access to the widest range of offers and can help you find the right trip, cabin, & price.

With three medium-sized expedition ships and regular departure dates throughout the season, this well priced voyage is a popular option. Across striking landscapes and icy seas your company will include penguins, seals, whales and skuas. For the adventurous, optional kayaking…

  • 10-13 Days
  • $10,100

By including optional kayaking and diving, these late season voyages offer the chance to maximise your polar crossing experience by exploring Antarctica both on and under the water. Travelling at that time provides excellent photographic and whale watching conditions, alongside…

  • 12, 13 or 14 Days
  • $10,000

With a good choice of departure dates through the season across three medium-sized ships, this 19-23 day trip stands out for its value for money and the broad range of cabin categories available, including Quads, which are…

  • 19 - 22 Days
  • $13,550

Spend 6 full days exploring Antarctica with the Polar Circle at 66 degrees south as your most southerly objective, on board one of the most exciting new vessels. Limited to only 132 passengers with spacious cabins, state-of-the-art technology and optional…

  • 12-15 Days
  • $16,195

Explore the White Continent onboard one of the newest additions to the Polar fleet, a state-of-the-art expedition vessel combining adventure with comfort. Limited to only 132 passengers, there’s also a wide range of optional adventure activities on this classic Antarctic…

  • 11-15 Days
  • $12,795
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Customer Tips

Swoop Customer - Erika, Australia

Divers be prepared to dive in very cold water...follow the advice: Suggest dry gloves or mitts (not 5-fingered gloves). Practice diving in full Antarctic dive kit before going - allowing for weight, being able to undo clips with thick gloves - and be fit.

Erika, Australia Customer

What does scuba diving cost?

Scuba diving in Antarctica carries an additional cost as it involves experienced dive guides and specialist equipment.

Prices vary, but expect to pay between USD$500 to $1000 per person, depending on your choice of ship and duration of the voyage.

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Swoop says

​​The combination of sunlight and extraordinary ice formations, which create an ever-changing spectrum of colours, is an experience no diver will ever forget.​

Scuba Diving in Antarctica: FAQs

More Adventure Activities in Antarctica

Kayaking in Antarctica

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Imagine the swish of water as it passes your hull or the clack of brash ice against your paddle blade. Skim past penguin rookeries and seals sleeping on passing ice floes.

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Paddleboarding in Antarctica

Paddleboarding in Antarctica

Paddleboarding has taken the adventure world by storm and is one of the fastest growing sport activities, so why not in Antarctica? Boarding past icebergs and playful penguins is a…

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Antarctic Adventure Activities

Simply getting to Antarctica is a big enough adventure for many, but for those who really want to maximise their Antarctic experience there are some outstanding adventure activities to consider. Many of the Antarctic voyages we offer provide these as optional adventure add-ons.

More about Adventure Activities

Ready to plan your Antarctic adventure?



We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.



Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.



We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.

With over 150 years of Antarctic experience between us, we can help guide you to exactly the right trip for you.