Diving offers a unique glimpse into an underwater world, and the real adrenalin seekers look to dive in icy waters, as you get to experience diverse marine life in a spectacular arena. Of course, you will need to gain some hands-on experience before making an ice dive booking, and when you have, here are some of the best places in the world to ice dive.
The Canadian Great Lakes
The perfect location to get some hands-on ice diving experience, and while there are some years that are almost ice-free, this is a great location for novice ice divers. You can combine ice diving with wreck diving, as there are many famous wrecks on the Great Lakes, with the best time in February or March, when the ice is manageable.
This has to be the number 1 venue for serious ice divers, and with professional scuba diving Antarctica expedition tours from an established ice diving tour operator, you are assured that safety is always a priority. Ice diving is obviously very dangerous, which is why you need to follow the instructions of the guide divers that accompany you on all dives. The tour operator accepts divers and non-divers alike, as there is plenty to see and do above the waterline, so if your partner doesn’t dive, they can still have a great time looking at the penguins, seals, walrus and killer whales that are found in the serene waters of Antarctica.
Summit Lake, Alaska, United States
Another firm favourite of almost every experienced ice diver, and this lake freezes over as early as October and the ice remains until the following May. The waters are usually much clearer than most other ice dive sites, which is great if you are into underwater photography. For those non-divers, there are special bear-watching tours run by experienced guides. Imagine watching two huge male grizzlies eye each other up? They do fight for mating rights, and the guide ensures you don’t get too close, although you would have bear spray on your clip belt, just in case.
You can really enjoy a hard core winter expedition that includes camping on iced lakes and some of the best ice diving there is! Sea eagles and seals can be seen in great numbers, and at the end of an ice diving day, you can relax in the hot spa waters, and January to March is the best time to experience ice diving in Japan.
There are thousands of unexplored ice coves, and with a professional expedition, all divers get to experience the magic of diving around huge mountains of sheer ice walls that come straight out of the water. You would be briefed regarding safety and must always listen for that tell-tale crack that comes just before a ridge slides off the main berg. You are always tethered to your dive guide and he or she would use hand signals to communicate, which ensures you are safe.
Ice diving is obviously very dangerous and with the right instruction and guided diving, you too can experience the magic of the underwater ice world.