Exploration of great lakes navel history, from shipwrecks to lost villages beneath the ice.
The 1000 Islands is without question the world’s best fresh water ship wreck diving site, and Arctic Kingdom is proud to offer a world-premiere opportunity to access the region via airboat. From picturesque islands, clear water, to literally hundreds of shipwrecks to choose from, the 1000 Island Region offers everything for anyone looking for an excellent cold water dive destination.
Under the ice, the visibility is crystal clear. From lost villages, to well-preserved shipwrecked schooners and incredible wall dives, explore the world’s best, most pristine fresh water dive location.
- Ice dive from an air boat – a world’s first and only offering
- Dive amongst the most varied ice conditions available outside of the arctic circle
- Dive in the St. Lawrence River when the water visibility is at it’s best
- Historical, pristine, fresh-water wrecks
- Dive the “Lost Villages” – submerged locks, hydroelectric stations and more
- Pass by 100′s of picturesque islands – the most famous of which is Dark Island with the Singer Castle
- Multilevel dives from 10 to 33 meters under or near varied ice conditions
DISCOVERY CHANNEL CANADA – AIRBOAT ICE DIVING
Located along the eastern stretch of the St. Lawrence Seaway System, The 1000 Island Region is the the gateway of exploration and commerce from the Atlantic to Lake Superior. Nearly four thousand kilometers long, the seaway is is the longest inland waterway at in the world. Since the first explorers arrived from England and France, over 400 years ago, the mighty St. Lawrence River has claimed hundreds of schooners, barges, paddle wheelers and freight carriers. Shoals ripping hulls open, war time battles, ships purposely scuttled to prevent them getting in the hands of the enemy, to careless captain, rookie pilots, old age, storms and on board fires, fog, rain, wind and ice have all claimed their fair share of these wooden and steel vessels. The history of the St. Lawrence is preserved in its depths providing vast opportunities for exploration below the ice, when visibility is at it’s best to see history up close.
The St. Lawrence River is the only way for ocean freighter ships to reach the Great Lakes, transporting freight to a host of cities, including Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Toronto. To allow larger freighters through the river, it was necessary to raise the water level and to do so a lot of infrastructure along the old water level was lost.On Inundation Day, July 1, 1958, seventy thousand people watched as 30 tons of explosives were detonated, releasing 180 billion gallons of water through a cofferdam on the St. Lawrence River. The lives of local people were changed, and six villages and three hamlets were lost forever underneath the waters of newly created Lake St. Lawrence.
Among the impressive underwater sights, from sidewalks to old railbeds, there is also the old canal system with complete locks as well as a hydro electric station submerged below the surface.
Ice Diving by Airboat
Ice diving the St. Lawrence has not been offered until now. As it is a flowing river, with open water flowing between areas where the ice is solid – neither snowmobiles nor traditional boats could safely access the area. Arctic Kingdom is offering ice diving from an airboat – a vehicle that can travel both above the ice and through the water undeterred. This offers unprecedented access to the best freshwater wrecks at the time of year when visibility is at its best. Under the ice, the visibility is crystal clear. From lost villages to well-preserved shipwrecked schooners and incredible wall dives, explore the world’s best, most pristine fresh water dive location.
Day 1 – Arrival in Ottawa
Day 2 – Travel to ice dive facility – introductory ice dive
Day 3-5 – Daily Sorties via airboat to ice dive sites
Day 6 – Travel to Ottawa airport for flight home
Ice Reliability, Accessibility and Safety
Arctic Kingdom has led expeditions to the Arctic’s most remote and demanding regions, providing training and support for film crews, scientists, and documentary photographers throughout the circumpolar regions. With decades of experience on and beneath the Arctic ice, we are able to provide training that replicates the Arctic diving experience in a region much closer to home.
The Arctic is home to a variety of conditions, from drifting pack ice to massive icebergs and huge pressure cracks. Traditional ice dive courses in the southern regions can only offer ice diving through a hole in a still water lake. Though sufficient to teach basic skills, this hole-in the-ice experience cannot compare with the variety and beauty to be found diving beneath the Arctic Ocean.
In Ontario’s Thousand Islands, we have chosen a location with ice conditions similar to the Arctic, offering a wide range of training scenarios. Using our state-of-the-art airboat, you will able to experience ice that has never been accessed before, safely and reliably.