It’s one thing to go snorkelling in the warm, idyllic waters of the South Pacific islands, but at the other end of the comfort spectrum, quite another to try the same activity in the comparatively freezing waters of the Arctic Circle. But indeed, it can be done.
Certainly intended for the adventurous, the bone-rattling activity Polar Snorkelling is now part of Arctic voyage operator Aurora Expeditions’ sailings in Spitsbergen, Norway and Greenland during the upcoming Northern Hemisphere summer season. The optional activity aims to deliver a new and unique perspective on the variety of wildlife on show both above and below the surface of the freezing water. There, they will have the opportunity to view creatures such as sea anemones and sea urchins to nudibranchs, crabs and polar cod.
Some basic snorkelling experience is required in order to take on the activity, not to mention having a thick skin to take on the personal challenge. It will allow travellers a chance to get up close to floating icebergs and to view them both above and below the water line.
Polar Snorkelling has been added to the Aurora Expeditions Polar Dive program, which is run by the company’s partner and cold-water diving firm Waterproof Expeditions during each season cruising in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Guests are provided with all the equipment they need including a Waterproof Dry Suit, hoods, gloves, boots as well as fins, masks and snorkels. Prior to heading out, snorkellers are given a full briefing on safety guidelines and best practice to ensure everybody comes back in top shape.
Aurora Expeditions sails in the Arctic Circle from July to September each year and offers a range of itineraries priced from AUD$6,380 per person twin share. Polar Snorkelling is an optional activity which does carry an additional charge starting from US$975 per person for those who opt to take it on. But for bragging rights, it seems like a small price to pay.