RSS Feed

Related Articles

Related Categories

White Sea ice diving and belugas

30th September 2010 Print
White Sea diving and beluga whales

Polar dive experts Waterproof Expeditions and award-winning professional underwater photographer Franco Banfi have joined forces to offer a unique nine-day ice diving expedition to the White Sea, 11-19 March 2011.

One of the best places in the world for sea-ice diving, the White Sea is also a year-round destination for watching, snorkelling and diving with beluga whales. Part of northern Russia's inland sea, the White Sea belongs to the Arctic Basin and is the only sea in Europe to freeze every year.

The underwater world of the White Sea boasts a magnificent sea life and excellent scenery with fantastic ice formations, caverns and fissures; an exquisite environment with soft corals, sponges, starfish, hermit crabs, sea urchins and sea anemones. Above water there is an opportunity to catch sight of the incredibly colourful aurora borealis.

The adventure begins with a husky dog sledge safari in Ruka before driving through the Finnish/Russian wilderness to the comfortable Arctic Lodge on the shores of the frozen sea, complete with exquisite Russian food and a traditional Russian banya (steam bath).

The Arctic Circle is known as the ice diving capital of the world and the instructors at the Arctic Lodge have many years' experience of diving in severe Arctic conditions. For diving Waterproof Expeditions use a mobile ice camp with comfortable warm wooden huts fully stocked with all the necessary equipment and accessories. For those divers who are not yet qualified ice divers, the PADI Ice Diving Course can be taken during the programme for a cost of Euro 165.

The belugas are in the White Sea all year round - Waterproof Expeditions will be there in March 2011 when guests can watch, snorkel and dive with them a couple of times a day.

Two male belugas and, more recently, a female have been introduced to a natural habitat (an enclosure divided from the open sea by a net) not far from the Dive Centre. This is a joint project between the Arctic Circle Dive Centre and the Utrish Dolphinarium, owned by the A. N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, part of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The plan is to introduce more females and to expand the territory where beluga whales will thrive.

Ice Diving in the White Sea is a nine-day programme accompanied by professional underwater photographer, Franco Banfi. The trip starts and ends in Kuusamo, Finland - 11-19 March 2011.

Prices from 3.275 Euro include two nights hotel accommodation in Ruka, full day husky dog sledge safari, transfers to/from Arctic Lodge, 6 nights at the Arctic Lodge with full board, ice diving programme with two dives per day, diving with beluga whales and photography coaching by Franco Banfi. International flights are not included. For non-qualified ice divers the PADI ice-diving course and certificate costs Euro 165.

For more information, visit:

Franco Banfi's website is:

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

White Sea diving and beluga whales