Trip Reviews: Antarctic Diving

"Antarctica is truly awesome. You don't take a trip to Antarctica, Antarctica takes you. I saw everything I came to see and more. Ice bergs, penguins, humpback whales and leopard seals. Even a leopard seal eating a penguin under an ice berg all with the hugeness of unspoiled Antarctica in the background! Nothing prepares you for experiences like this."

Tony Baskeyfield, Antarctica & Weddell Sea Diving Expedition

"I wanted to let you know that the Antarctica trip was absolutely amazing. Having been yourself, you will understand how hard it is to express the shear majesty of the place….. I was very impressed with the diversity of the marine life and it was much more colourful than I had expected. We were also really lucky as we saw a leopard seal kill a penguin and eat it in front of us! Diving down the side of the icebergs was also an experience I will never forget.
Many thanks for all of your help in preparing for the trip. I am sure I asked far too many questions and I am not sure if I am more impressed with your knowledge or your patience! Everything ran very smoothly from beginning to end and when I am going to go on my next diving adventure I will give you a ring."   
Dr T Beard, Antarctica & Weddell Sea Diving Expedition

"Aqua-Firma is undoubtedly the best company I have travelled with.   Communications during the planning stages are excellent.  Ask any question, however trivial and you will get a swift and effective reply and you always feel your query, is welcome - so much so that you quickly feel you are dealing with personal friends.   The holiday itself lives up to, and beyond, any expectations in arrangements, logistics, and in the case of the Antarctica Diving & Photographic Expedition - beyond your wildest dreams."  

Linda Ashmore, National BSAC Instructor

"Unbelievable scenery and I feel very privileged to have been here. Great group of people, the crew have worked so hard and nothing has been too much for the expedition staff. Both land and dive excursions have been 'slick', very well organised and executed.  It has been an unforgettable experience. Icebergs have been jaw-dropping and the penguins as cute as on the telly!  The staff have been very knowledgeable, always willing to lend a hand and give advice, going out of their way to make it happen."

Judith Bewell

"I have travelled within the seven continents, experiencing 5 star holidays, 2 star self-drive B&B holidays, luxury liveaboard diving holidays and each holiday has been special, whether it is because of the people I have met, the places I have visited or the adventure I may have had.  But nothing can compare to Aqua-Firmas Antarctic Diving and photography Expedition.

From booking to the end the expedition has been so well organised yet flexible enough to suit everyone. I am so glad I included the Iguazu falls experience. I wouldn't have missed it for the World.  I understand why Eleanor Roosevelt said, 'poor Niagara', After visiting Iguazu falls. I had already had the time of my life and hadn't even arrived at Ushuaia, gateway to Antarctica.

Then the expedition starts- and it is an expedition in its truest sense.  There isn't anything to prepare you for walking amongst penguin colonies, diving with leopard seals or diving around icebergs and there are no words for the spectacular scenery.  The crew all of them, have ensured our safe and enjoyable adventure on every level. I feel blessed to have been a part of this voyage and I am only saddened it is ending. Thank you to Charlotte of Aqua-Firma for the most amazing adventure I am sure I will ever have."

Stacy Valentine, RN BA (Hons) PGD

"Our experts gave enthusiastic and entertaining lectures on marine life and marine ecology; on one occasion I called the BAS expert over to have a look at the depth sounder on the bridge. It had jumped from over 500 metres to 40 metres. He called everyone to look and said we were passing over a shoal (or was it a school) of krill. We continued to do so for the next 40 minutes, a distance of about 8 miles!
...We found our first Leopard Seal. This seal was an awesome creature, over 3m long and with a head as big as a cow, and with teeth the size of, well, a leopard. It seemed to enjoy our presence as it swam round and through our group... Later as we passed through the narrow iceberg infested Lemaire Channel toward Pleneau Island our Italian lady dressed herself in flimsy red dress and high heels to be photographed a la Titanic.

Pleneau was our furthest south location and here we saw 6 Leopard Seals around one berg!

We had a BBQ outside on the quarter deck in -5C. As a special treat, two minke whales swam by 200m away and then the caution necessary to dive bergs was well illustrated. A 20m above water berg only a hundred metres away, slowly tumbled, a large piece broke off and over it went again. Talk about spectacular!

I will never forget the hues of blue in the icebergs in Antarctica, the awesome spirit of the place as the sun came up at the far end of a fiord below a 500m cloud base with ice cap on either side, and the number of sea mammals the krill supported was incredible. A must do at least once in a lifetime venue. My admiration of people like Amundsen, Scott, Wilson, and Shackleton grew exponentially as I saw the conditions they had endured, and my visit was in the summer!"

Mike Wilson, National BSAC Advanced Instructor

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