Nova Scotia

Imagine diving among pristine wrecks, preserved by a cold water environment, never before discovered. Picture in your mind unfished marine life, curious about the new divers among them exploring the wrecks; this is the picture of diving in Nova Scotia. Eastern Canada boasts one of the world's greatest concentrations of wrecks, 4500 alone along Nova Scotia's 7500 KM coastline, with a nautical history dating back hundreds of years.

Diving in this area tends to be done mainly in dry suits or semi-dry suits. However, people do dive in wetsuits. For diving in drysuits through Atlantic Dive Tours Ltd, we request that everybody has completed the appropriate courses and has experience of this diving.

Because of the nature of diving and adventure holidays in Canada, and because Atlantic Dive Tours Ltd prides itself on providing holidays tailored to the clients wishes, the brochure only outlines the holidays on offer here. Simply contact the Atlantic Dive Tours office, and we will be happy to discuss your requirements, and provide you with a quotation for the cost. Almost any activity is available, we will always do our best to make sure that all requests are met.

Nova Scotia

Discover the magical mysteries of the eastern coast. Nova Scotia boasts a long sea history, involving some of the worlds most famous sea disasters. Most notably, Halifax played a major role in the rescue of the passengers from the Titanic, providing rescue boats, co-ordinating the rescue effort and providing a resting place for many of the victims. The graves of the victims can still be visited in Halifax today. Other events include the sinking of the SS Atlantic in June 1873 with the loss of 562 people, and the devastating explosion in Halifax harbour in December 1917 when the ammunition ship Mont Blanc exploded with 2,000 fatalities and 325 acres of Halifax destroyed. The dramatic history of Nova Scotia can be seen at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, an adventure not to be missed. See the dramatic Titanic display featuring items from the wreck, a truly memorable experience.

Nova Scotia has long been one of the best-kept secrets in the dive travel industry. Dive the many wrecks of Halifax with Terry Dwyer and the staff of Diversions Dive Tours Canada branch - Splash Watersports. Experience a personal touch of our world famous Down East hospitality. Enjoy wreck diving Canadian style, with abundant wrecks preserved by cold water almost everywhere you look. After experiencing the thrill of the magical wrecks of Halifax, before venturing further afield to the Saguenay. This 1953, 366-foot naval destroyer was sunk in 1994 to create a new artificial reef. The ship lies in approximately 25 metres, and provides superb diving for advanced and wreck divers, and already has abundant marine life taking up residence. With visibility regularly at 15 plus metres the Saguenay is a dive not to be missed. With many internal areas completely accessible for divers to explore, it is easy to imagine this ship in its day's of frontline action. After the dive, view the ships logs, diaries and photographs in the Fisherman's Memorial Museum in the rural picturesque setting of Lunenburg.

For the more adventurous diver, try St Paul's Island, "The Graveyard of the Gulf". This week-long expedition is designed for experienced divers, providing challenging conditions both on land and in the water. This remote, deserted Island has claimed thousands of lives, over 350 shipwrecks have occurred over the years, and provides incomparable diving. Situated 13 miles northeast of Cape North, Nova Scotia and subject to dramatic weather changes, this expedition can only be done in July, August or September of each year. This trip is ideal for individuals, clubs or groups of divers set for adventure, sleeping in tents, living on a deserted island and strenuous diving make this a trip not for the faint hearted. Visibility regularly hits 30 metres with new wrecks being discovered almost daily on each visit making St.Paul's Island very rewarding and popular with underwater photographers and videographer's. The marine life is without comparison, is unfished and plentiful. Watch the whales, porpoises and eagles off the island every day, while exploring the long since abandoned tracks and trails of the island. Become part of an expedition team, experience new discoveries every day, and experience the true spirit of adventure, its all part of a "once in a lifetime" experience.

Canada is one of the few spectacular diving destinations left in the world where you will be sure to get the absolute best value for your diving dollar!

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of diving are available in Nova Scotia?

With out question wreck diving is the number one reason divers come to Nova Scotia however marine life and underwater videography / photography would follow as a close second and third. The average depth of the shipwrecks is 20 to 30 meters and the average underwater visibility is between 15 and 20 meters. Combine this with an outrageous exchange rate in your favor (2.6 Canadian dollars for 1 Pound Sterling or 1.6 Canadian Dollars for 1 U.S. Dollar), most products, services, meals, clothing and other amenities are dirt cheap. Mix in Nova Scotia’s world famous down east hospitality and you have what many discriminating divers feel is the number one dive destination in Canada. 

When is the best time to visit Nova Scotia and experience some great diving?

Anytime from May through to October, however June, July, August, and September are high season months and the best optimum months to experience the best visibility, and warmest water temperature, the season starts to wind down towards the end of October.

What is the average underwater visibility and water temperature?

May - Average visibility is 20 meters and average water temperature is 12 Celsius

June - Average visibility is 20 meters and average water temperature is 14 Celsius

July - Average visibility is 15 to 20 meters and average water temperature is 16 Celsius

August - Visibility is 15 to 20 meters and average water temperature is 18 Celsius

September - Visibility is 15 to 20 meters and average water temperature is 18 Celsius

October - Average visibility is 15 meters and average water temperature is 11 Celsius F

What’s the diving like at St. Paul Island?

The diving on St. Paul Island is arguably the best on the entire east coast of Canada and it is the main reason diver’s travel to Nova Scotia. St. Paul Island is approximately 22 nautical miles off shore (3 hours one way by boat) and while the island is only 3 miles long and 1 mile across at its widest point there are over 350 recorded shipwrecks and over 1000 people buried on the island in unmarked graves. For these reasons and many others, it is referred to as the “Graveyard of the Gulf”. The remains of many different types of wrecks from the 1700’s, 1800’s and early 1900’s can be dived on and explored on St. Paul Island and there’s still lots to see. Because of its location, St. Paul Island has not yet been fully explored and every year a new wreck is located. With average visibility in access of 30 meters year round, marine life that is lush and vibrant – it’s hard to beat.

Is NITROX available?

Yes – more details and prices are available on request, tours can arrange to have pre mixed NITROX and or other gases available.

What is the average cost to go diving including taxes

First off please keep in mind that most dive boats in Nova Scotia are only set up to accommodate 8 to 10 divers, so anymore than that will require a second boat. Now, there are two ways to go diving in Nova Scotia, pay per person per dive or pay a half day or a full day rate for the skipper and the boat. Depending on where in Nova Scotia you want to dive the prices can vary greatly. For example a half day inshore charter for a 2 tank dive can range anywhere from $ 500.00 Canadian (200 Pounds Sterling or 25 Pounds Sterling per person), while a full day charter to St. Paul Island can run as much as $ 1200.00 Canadian Dollars or about 500 Pounds Sterling or 58 Pounds Sterling per person, plus or minus.Based on a minimum of 8 divers, the average cost per person for a 2 tank boat dive (taxes included): Halifax Harbour & Approaches or historic Louisbourg Harbour & Approaches average cost would be $ 65.00 Canadian (taxes in) or about 25 Pounds Sterling. Further up the cost at Cape North average cost per person would be $ 100.00 Canadian taxes in or 38 pounds and a day of diving on the remote and mysterious St. Paul Island will average $ 150.00 Canadian (taxes in) or 58 Pounds Sterling– Please keep in mind that St. Paul Island is 3 hours off shore, very remote and very weather dependant. A boat venturing out here has 2 crew members and a zodiac chase boat. A full day out here can include two deep dives or 3 shallow dives. It is with out question the “Jewel in the Crown” of Nova Scotia’s best kept diving secret.