The gateway to the North Pole, Svalbard (Spitsbergen) links northern Norway to the Arctic. This should be your destination of choice if you love cold water and big animals.
If you’re in search of adventure and cold water diving, head to the Svalbard Islands off Norway’s northern coast. Here, the waters don’t freeze but remain frigid. Luckily, this doesn’t stop marine life from visiting. You might see blue whales, narwhals, humpback whales, white belugas and orcas. Seals and walruses are common, and you’ll hopefully spot polar bears from a distance. Environments include lush kelp forests and roving icebergs. While you could potentially dive in Svalbard under your own steam, the only supporting infrastructure this far north is on a liveaboard. Typical itineraries in the region last 7 to 11 nights, and the best time to dive in Svalbard is from May to September.