Underwater adventures often go hand in hand (or fin to fin) with incredible wildlife. Whether you’re swimming with jelly fish or staying local and saying hello to Cornish sharks, you’re bound to be awed by mother nature. But we’re putting a polar spin on this adventures with a polar voyage to snorkel in Antarctica. Snorkel in the icy seas with a few penguins, seals and whales for company.
What?! Snorkelling in the Antarctica, you say? Yes, plunge into a distinctively non-balmy water temperature of 0°C to -5.5°C. Due to the temperature, your time in the water is limited to half an hour to 45 minutes. But, in that time you will be transported into a snowy underwater kingdom by the hidden beauty hiding beneath the surface.
You will navigate the crystal clear waters and watch the penguins jumping in and out. And explore the unseen beauty of the icebergs as you watch the sea lions from a safe distance.
But be sure to keep a respectful five metres at all times as you’ll be on eye level with the delightfully adorable chinstrap penguins. Or you may see the emperor penguins come waddling in. Standing up to 1.1 metres tall, these big boys cut an impressive figure across the ice.
Rather it’s the leopard seals who you have to be more wary of. Their curiosity toward your presence in their watery home can take a more sinister tone very quickly, so your guides are vigilant for any untoward attention.
Taking the plunge here, you will need specialist protection in the form of Waterproof Expeditions expert gear. We’re talking three layered drysuits, extra protected gloves, as well as specially designed hood, fins, masks and snorkels. And that’s just the outer layers. Underneath you’ll need your own woolly clothes to make sure your core temperature doesn’t plummet to a dangerously low degree.
When choosing a departure time for your Antarctica adventure, it’s worth considering what animals you desperately want to see. You’ll be able to spot whales feeding and baby penguins from December to January.
And you’ll see penguin chicks attempting their first swims if you delay your trip to February to March. A penguin swimming class sounds possibly the most adorable thing. Another reason to choose this time is the number of patrolling Orca whales. Maybe these killers of the seas may grant you an audience.
But it’s not just wildlife you’ll be sharing the sea with. Almost certain to leave you speechless is Deception Island. You’ll experience the eerie sensation of snorkelling through huge whale bones, thanks to the legacy from the 20th century whaling industry.
The gigantic icebergs dominate your eye line, with their beautiful and deadly curves and edges. You can admire their shifting architecture while nnorkelling with caution around these floating monsters. And you can actually check out their huge foundations that’s usually hidden from above board.
Snorkelling is possible every day, weather permitting of course. This is as an additional activity to your polar excursion on board the Polar Pioneer. You’ll be one of 54 passengers to sail across this huge continent.
Aurora Expeditions were actually the first company to start snorkelling in Antarctica so you can be sure to be in safe and experienced hands.
Put on your flippers and look beneath the surface for a whole new perspective on this amazing polar region. We’ll grin and bear the freezing waters to be able to swim with these beautiful creatures in their home environment.
What you need to know:
We can’t possibly refuse the invitation to share the seas with the majestic creatures of Antarctica. Especially with the thought of being there for penguin swimming classes. Prices start from £5477 per person, and the snorkelling is an extra £643.