The coastal waters of Northern British Columbia offer some of the most highly rated cold water dive sites on the planet. This is wilderness diving at its best, where plankton rich waters nourish thousands of species. Often compared with the abundant waters of the Red Sea, the optimum season ranges from October to March when the waters are exceptionally clear and visibility can extend beyond 100 feet.

Charter Diving with Oceanwild

The dive sites that Oceanwild prefers on British Columbia's North Coast have been selected because of the diversity of their diving environments. Each offers remarkable underwater topography and stunning marine life. The color palette is different from what is found elsewhere in the world, with vivid colours reminiscent of the psychedelic sixties. You will find ledges so thickly encrusted that you won't be able to see the rock beneath. And, be prepared for some surprising finds, such as rare scaled crabs, cup-sized barnacles, Arctic cookie stars, and even pink finger corals tipped with leopard nudibranchiae. These are such prolific sites that even the most experienced divers surface with photos of discoveries they can't identify. While it is possible to encounter dolphins and seals, it is more common to see octopi, giant wolf eels, kelp greenlings, quillback rock fish [name fish species and possible marine mammals].

SCUBA Diving (8 hours)

$175/person (min 4/max 6)
Dive sites have been selected to reveal the range of remarkable sights and species. You will experience the colour and texture of North Pacific waters in an amazing array of soft red and pink corals, yellow sponges and feathery plumose anemones. A myriad of invertebrates, many unique and some even rare, encrust the ledges and you will observe surfaces so thickly covered that you won‘t be able to see the rock itself. Watch giant octopus, wolf eel sightings, sea stars, crab and clouds of rockfish, to name a few. The overwhelming abundance and diversity of life is sure to leave you in awe as you identify and enjoy many species found nowhere else.

Following is the general itinerary for each of our adventure dives [1]. Because these sites are seldom accessed, they are pristine and some border virgin territory. Because our selected dive sites are remote, boat running time is 45-60 minutes each way, we offer three dives per tour: two in the morning and one in the afternoon. Our dive guide accompanies every group and each dive includes three tanks of air.

Bring snacks, lunch and hot beverages along with a warm hat, gloves and boots to wear on the boat. We suggest waterproof pants and recommend dressing in layers for maximum comfort.

[1] Dives in Watts Narrows and within Prince Rupert Harbour differ from the format described in this section.

More information on Charter Diving.
Need Scuba diving gear? See rental gear and rates.
Not a certified diver yet? See our section on learning to dive.

HARBOUR DIVE(4 hours)

$70/person (min 4/max 6)
Inner harbour dives appeal to divers interested in practicing and improving their skills and exploring Prince Rupert Harbour. Because running time is minimal, this package is offered with flexible departures. The waters surrounding Prince Rupert have been home to people for up the past 10,000 years, and the harbour has a history of modern commerce reaching back more than a century. In addition to observing marine creatures, you may also see the impacts and relics of civilization.

Includes dive guide, 2 dives and 2 tanks of air.

The dive season

Keep in mind, this is the North Pacific region and the best diving is during winter months when the waters are clear and visibility approaches 30m/100 ft. While the North Coast is known for its overcast days, the area typically experiences the least amount of rainfall between December and April and as the days begin to lengthen after late December there are often brilliant days when the seas are absolutely flat. Nonetheless, weather patterns can roll in and disrupt plans. Depending on direction and force, most excursions do operate although wind can force the delay or cancellation all marine activity. You may find it prudent to add a day or two to your itinerary to ensure there is adequate time to complete all of the dives you have in mind.

Where to stay

Depending on where and how long you want to dive, you may choose from three types of accommodation, First, you can base your diving vacation from deluxe accommodations in Prince Rupert; second, you may choose to stay at your wilderness dive site overnight on Oceanwild's live aboard; or you can stay at Oceanwild's rustic floating wilderness accommodations anchored in a sheltered bay near the mouth of Work Channel, northeast of Prince Rupert. For details on getting to Prince Rupert and for suggested full particulars on accommodations in Prince Rupert, see the Getting There section elsewhere on the site.

What to bring

As for diving equipment, you are encouraged to bring your personal gear, though you can rent everything necessary at Oceanwild's dive shop. For maximum comfort, we recommend you dress in layers and bring a waterproof jacket and pants. A warm hat and gloves are an absolute must.

Air fills and rental gear is not included, but is available at the dive shop. See our rental rates page for more information. Nitrox gear available. Lunches are available upon request. Divers are required to care for their own gear and personal items.