iceberg snorkeling at Columbia Glacier
Similar to polar snorkeling in Antartica and the Artic, this iceberg snorkeling tour is reserved for those willing to brave a little colder water for epic shots of floating and grounded ice that have recently calved from the mighty blue behemoth, Columbia Glacier. But guests should know that this adventure is dangerous and ice can move or even flip without any visual indication ahead of time.
Some interesting facts about the area is Columbia Glacier descends from an ice field 3,050 meters (10,000 feet) above sea level, down the flanks of the Chugach Mountains leading into Prince William Sound. It is also one of the most rapidly changing glaciers in the world and the largest tidewater glacier in Alaska.
The Columbia is a large glacier flowing directly into the sea. When British explorers first surveyed it in 1794, its nose—or terminus—extended south to the northern edge of Heather Island, a small island near the mouth of Columbia Bay. The glacier held that position until 1980, when it began a rapid retreat that continues today. Since that time it has moved over 10 miles and has been in catastrophic retreat, often calving tremendous icebergs into the bay.
In Columbia Bay there is a calm area where kayaking tour groups will spend traversing slow moving and grounded icebergs, which is where we also partake snorkeling with them. There are numerous icebergs to choose from and we'll look for the safest one to swim with, as these bergs tend to roll with little, to no notice. We don’t approach any iceberg and carefully pick the most stable one that we’re able to gain access to through the ice pack. We will give you a safety briefing on how to approach and navigate along one. Floating flat icebergs are not as top heavy and grounded icebergs flip less often, but snorkelers inevitably have the decision to get in or not to swim with an iceberg.
We don’t allow diving with icebergs without extended training, experience and numerous logged coldwater, dry suit dives.
diving in alaska
Alaska enjoys some of the best cold-water diving in the world! During spring diving, our typical water temperatures range from cold days at 36 to warmer days late spring at 55 degree's. Visibility at this time can reach 30-50 feet. Although our tempertures become comfortable in the summer for 7mm wetsuits, we recommend dry suits for all our divers during this time period.
These trips occur during the spring season during the month of May when there is an explosion of food as the snow melts and the temperture starts to rise. The tour revolves around 3 dives each day (weather dependant) with unique activities scheduled during the week. Whale activity is also very common during this month and guests have the best opportunity to see amazing whale breaches in route to diving spots. This is a tour that combines the best of what Alaska has to offer above and below the waterline.
Scuba diving in a coldwater environment will surprisingly yield the same experiences often found in well known warm water destination's like the gold coast of Australia. But the nutrient reach waters surrounding alaska provide fertile grounds for rich invertrbrate life, colorful coral and large marine life. This diverse underwater ecosytem is largely unexplored like its southern Alaska and British Columbia counterparts and some exploratory dives will be conducted to continue to add unique dive spots to our ever-building list of dive locations around the Prince William Sound area.
During your stay, there will also be additional activities and adventures that will enhance the overall trip from just a diving destination to a complete Alaska experience from top to bottom. We are the first to offer these adventures to the world and have a passion for what we do, who we share it with and the awe inspiring place that we call Alaska and home!
32' Viking Dive Boat
The Viking is great for small groups and is considered a wet cabin allowing divers to enjoy accessing the heated cabin while waiting for the next dive. It is a 32' catamaran with dual Honda 150 outboard's. The cabin is equipped with full electronics, bathroom, heat and seating for up to 7 comfortably. AED & Oxygen medical kit, Life-raft, first aid and all emergency equipment stored inside vessels cabin. Captain is CPR and first aid certified. Divers will have tanks filled with lodge's on shore dive compressor. We end the day at 2pm in order to ensure enough time is given to fill scuba tanks. During dive sessions, we use the "buddy system" and do not offer "in water" dive guides, but do give you a detailed briefing so that you can confidently navigate the site with a buddy. If your group would like to request a dive guide, one can be provided for an additional cost but must be booked at the same time you book your stay.
Expedition package itinerary
These trips are extremely unique! Contact us today for any additional questions and see how we can put together a one-of-a-kind adventure for your next expedition into the wilderness.