Ice Diving at the White Sea
On a winter trip to the White Sea you'll get to know that marine ice diving is an absolutely special thing:
- Fantastic underwater ice formations: ice-hummocks, caverns and fissures;
- Soft corals under the frozen surface of the sea;
- Fantastic visibility: 15–50m;
- Sea anemone "flowerbeds", rare "Gorgon’s head" brittle stars, numerous starfish, and seaweed forests;
- Sea urchins, crabs, hermit crabs, shrimps;
- Underwater cliffs and rifts and their inhabitants: cod, wolf-fish, sea bass, flounder, cottids, european eelpout, butterfish;
- Dives on the well-known 'Sea Anemones Rock' dive site in the vicinity of the Cross ('Krestoviye') Islands;
- Dives on the 'Coral Pinnacle' dive site ('Banochka');
- Wreck-diving: dives to the ship-wrecks 'Nautchniy' and 'MRB'.
Please, read the Ice Diving Prerequisites, set by our dive centre rules, before making a decision about participating in the program.
In addition to diving you may take the opportunity to:
- Witness the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights);
- Watch seals and sea birds;
- Visit our reindeer farm and sled dog breeding kennel;
- Ski and ride snowmobiles;
- Experience Ice-Snorkeling using a dry suit;
- Lectures on biology and geology of the White Sea;
An excursion with a picnic to the Panfilova Varakka hill, where pegmatites, quartz and mica used to be quarried. The mining of minarels ended a long time ago and the quarry became a man-made canyon, but the slopes are still full of quartz, muscovites (mica), and white sodium feldspar. Streams, flowing down the slopes of the quarry in summer, turn into icefalls in winter. There is a wooden geodesic tower - triangular - on the top of the hill. One can watch superb sea views from the hilltop.
Winter Lake Fishing Trip (ice fishing) - a trip to the lake by car or in a snowmobile-driven sleigh. Learning to drill fishing ice holes. Fishing under the ice. All necessary equipment provided. A picnic on a lofty and picturesque island in the middle of the lake, including fish soup cooked on a campfire.
Excursions to the White Sea Biology Station of the Moscow State University and to the village of Chyornaya Rechka.
Note: Excursions are not included into the diving program and are to be paid extra.
The prices of excursions are given in the price list of our Excursion centre.
Provisional program schedule:;
Day 1 – Transfer from the railway station or the airport to "The Arctic Circle" Dive Centre and Lodge (Nilmoguba village, Karelia, Russia). Check in the hotel at the dive centre. Briefing, welcome meals and getting acquainted. Sightseeing walk around the Dive Centre and the Lodge premises. Assembling and preparation of diving equipment. Pre-dive briefing and a check dive next to the dive centre pier.
The first day of a diving program gives a possibility to check and practice your dry suit diving skills and buoyancy control. For non qualified Ice divers alternatively the opportunity to take the ice diving specialty course conducted over 2 days from the first day of diving program.
A hearty dinner and Russian bath (Banya) in the evening.
Days 2-6 – 5 days of Ice diving programme (2 dives per day for qualified ice divers). Farewell dinner and departure from the Dive Centre late in the evening on Day 6.
The program schedule may be changed according to the weather and other conditions
Itineraries can be tailor made on request;
The number of days in the program can be changed upon request;
Overnight stays in Kuusamo can be arranged;
The price of participation in the ice diving program for the coming season is given in the Dive Centre price-list.
Due to the varying currency rates the Arctic Circle Dive Centre reserves the right to change the prices at any time.