When you sign up for a voyage to the Antarctic with Aurora Expeditions, you aren’t just confined to seeing the incredible scenery from the decks of the Polar Pioneer. Unlike a regular cruise, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in your surroundings in a truly thrilling way.

In addition to our shore landings, you can dive into the glacial waters of the Antarctic and glimpse the majestic underwater world, from dazzling icebergs to a whole array of marine wildlife. Whether you’re snorkelling or scuba diving, you’ll be in safe hands with our experienced guides. Not only will they ensure you have an enjoyable and safe experience, they also respect the environment by not disturbing local wildlife as per IAATO guidelines.

Here’s how you can take part, as well as what to look out for under the sea.

Making a splash in Antarctica

For those with scuba diver’s certification and dry-suit experience, you can take your underwater experience to the next level with polar scuba diving. Our specialist guides will accompany intrepid divers on an experience unlike any other. Strap on your snorkel and fins and venture out into secluded bays – a world seen by very few humans. If you haven’t got diving experience but still want to experience Antarctica’s waters first-hand, polar snorkelling is the perfect fit for you.

Whether you’re snorkelling or scuba diving, here’s a taste of what you might spot underwater in Antarctica.



Perhaps one of the most entertaining sights to witness as you float in the water is undoubtedly the local penguin population. On our Antarctic Expeditions, we often see species such as the Rockhopper, Magellanic and Gentoo. You can learn more about Antarctica’s different penguins with our helpful infographic here.

Smaller critters


In addition to penguins, you’re likely spot other smaller marine life, from sea snails, crabs, starfish and sea butterflies, to sea hedgehogs, lobsters and spider crabs. Antarctic waters are also home to algae walls and soft corals.

On past expeditions, snorkellers have also reported sighting nudibranch and isopods, as well as jellyfish and shrimp. You can try polar snorkelling for yourself on our Spirit of Antarctica tour, as well as our 11-day Antarctic Explorer or the wonderful Across the Antarctic Circle cruise.



These giant masses of ice can be found floating throughout Antarctic waters, but you’ll only ever glimpse a fraction of their true size from above the water. It is estimated we only see an eighth of an iceberg’s full mass above sea level, with the vast majority of the ice underwater. While the exact proportions vary from one iceberg to another, it’s guaranteed that you’ll be in for a surprise once you take a look under the water!

You can witness these ice giants underwater when you opt for polar scuba diving on our Antarctic Explorer voyage as well as on the Across the Antarctic Circle tour.



We sometimes have the chance to also dive or snorkel with some of the seals that inhabit the waters of Antarctica, including the powerful leopard seal. Characterised by a spotted throat and chest, these seals are designed for speed, and are some of the fiercest hunters in Antarctica. Keep an ear out for its call – the leopard seal’s low frequency call is quite powerful and distinctive in the icy water.

If you’re interested in either polar snorkelling or scuba diving on your upcoming voyage to Antarctica, be sure to talk to our knowledgeable team at the time of booking – spaces are limited, so be sure to get in quick to avoid missing out on this incredible experience.


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