Our favourite places to go diving in December

The holidays are upon us, and what better thing to do to escape the hustle and bustle of this busy season than to go diving! December may be a chilly time to dive in the northern hemisphere, but the summer is just getting started down south. Whether you are looking to escape the reality of your snowy landscape or set out on a unique adventure, there are some fantastic opportunities to help you wrap up your year. 

Let’s explore some of the best destinations worldwide for diving in December.

Norway

Although Norway diving in December is the definition of cold, once-in-a-lifetime experiences await both in and out of the water. Spend your days bundled up in the warmth of a dry suit while diving alongside some of nature’s most amazing beasts – orca whales. Every October through February, pods of orcas migrate to Norway to feed on herring that fill its fjords. Before Christmas is the best time to encounter these beautiful mammals.

Norway is just as magical in the evening as it is during the day. After a thrilling day of diving, spend your evenings enjoying Norway’s famous natural phenomenon, the Northern Lights. Winter’s long, dark evenings offer the perfect opportunity to witness this spectacular display of green, blue, and purple lights dancing across the night sky. Learn more about diving during the season of Orcas and Aurora here.

Micronesia

Micronesia is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something a little on the warmer side this holiday season. Although excellent all year round, diving in December falls within Micronesia’s peak travel season thanks to dry weather and warm water temperatures. No matter the season, however, Micronesia always offers some of the world’s best wreck diving and unique macro species.

You have many resorts to choose from on the main island of Chuuk; however, to get the most out of diving Micronesia’s many islands, choosing a liveaboard may be the way to go. With over 200 aircraft and 60 ships from WWII resting beneath the water throughout this region, there is plenty of diving. Diving in December is one of the most popular times of the year, so try booking your Micronesia vacation as far out as possible. Check out the extensive list of Micronesia destinations here.

Mozambique

Want something a little more off the beaten path for the holidays? Look no further than the African nation of Mozambique. Although Mozambique has had a tumultuous past, it has seen a long period of peace within its borders and an improving economy. Add to that a pristine coastline, swaying palm trees, and clear water, and you have a fantastic December diving destination.

Mozambique is home to several marine national parks within the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Discover picture-perfect beaches throughout the Bazaruto Archipelago in the south and fantastic natural beauty in the Quirimbas Archipelago in the north. No matter which area you choose, diving in Mozambique offers unique encounters with reef sharks patrolling gigantic coral gardens and underwater cliffs that drop off further than the eye can see. Learn more about diving in Mozambique here.

Belize

Although located in the northern hemisphere, thanks to Belize’s close proximity to the equator, diving here in the middle of winter is still enjoyable. In fact, the winter months are even better than the hot days of summer, thanks to the dry season and lack of hurricanes. Every winter month in Belize is fantastic; however, diving in December brings unique encounters with some special groupers.

Every year surrounding the full moons of December and January, thousands of Nassau groupers gather near Belize’s Glover’s Reef to spawn. This is one of the only spots in the world where you can witness this amazing phenomenon. Due to the reef’s more remote location, we recommend booking a liveaboard trip for maximum enjoyment. Along with this spectacular scene, you will also enjoy pristine coral reefs covered in marine life, barracuda galore, sea turtles, tons of sharks, and possible whale shark sightings. Learn more about diving Belize here.

California’s Kelp Beds

California’s kelp beds offer divers an experience like nowhere else in the world. Watching the sun’s rays beam through the water between long strands of kelp is breathtaking. Although diving in December here leans toward the chilly side, it is when California’s coastal waters are at their clearest. All you will need is a nice dry suit, and you’ll be good to go.

Marine life in California is abundant and diverse, with species from the largest animals like whales, sharks, and sea lions, to the smallest sea creatures like colorful nudibranchs. California offers many possible diving adventures. Hundreds of fantastic shore dives and great boat diving can be found in this state. Southern California is most famous for its shore dives, while multiple-day liveaboard charters can take you to more remote locations like the Channel Islands, the Coronado Islands, and Catalina Island. Lean more about diving in California here.

Does your company close over the holidays? If so, diving in December is a perfect choice for your next dive vacation. From cold kelp forests to warm coral reefs, there is an abundance of destinations to choose from during the 12th month of the year. 

To explore more dive sites around the world, visit SSI’s MyDiveGuide today.