Top Cold Water Scuba Dive Destinations

Tatiana Belova / iStock /

Tatiana Belova / iStock /

Divers, who seek a bone-chilling adventure, head toward cooler waters in search of a different dive experience. From wildlife to wreck dives, these top cold-water dives are for the coldest experiences on the planet.

It’s no secret that Antarctic waters are cold and frigid, even in the summer. This hotspot for cold water divers features arctic iceberg and wildlife views. BigAnimals Expeditions offers one-of-a-kind voyages combining diving and photographing.

Kronprinz Wilhelm, Scotland
Located in the Scapa Flow, Kronprinz Wilhem is one of three 600-foot long battleships in found amidst the coral reefs in Scotland. This wreck is ideal for technical divers seeking a challenge and adventure. The wreck lays between 12 to 38 meters, and if you’re lucky enough you’ll see gun remains intact and partially buried.

Northern Arch, Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand
This archipelago site is filled with big-fish sites as divers explore the underwater flora and fauna, including the popular stingray under the archway and large schools of fish. With 50-foot visibility, divers sink up to 130 feet under the ocean’s surface, but only when conditions are good.

Olkhon Island, Russia
During the winter months, Lake Baikal becomes a diving spectacle for those to explore underwater ice caves and magnificent icebergs. Like Antarctica, this polar region is icy cold and home to cold-water animals, including the only freshwater seal, the nerpa.

Sardine Run, South Africa
South Africa is warm on land, but cooler underwater. These cold waters are home to some of the largest Great White populations, which also means a feeding frenzy during June and July months. The sardine run is a tightly packed school of fish circling through the ocean with diving seagulls, whales, sharks and dolphins plunging to find food.

Spitsbergen, Norway
For those who think Norway is cold and dark (which is definitely true), take a gander under the water’s surface—there you’ll find brilliant and bright

life under the water. This polar experience is unlike any other where divers swim past icebergs, through sea kelp fields and amidst beds of sea stars, anemones and vibrant coral.

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