Follow The Ice

Follow The Ice

May 1 - 10 is the time when Lake Baikal ice enters the phase of very quick melting. Southern part of the lake gets rid of the ice first and some 10 days later the rest of the Baikal becomes free of its winter crust. However, northern bays of the lake stay frozen up to the middle of June. The safari boat follows the melting ice north. This is ideal time for photographers. High-contrast landscapes. Mountain peaks white with snow and shores full of colour. Bright green taiga. The sun and ice floe around the safari boat. The floating ice is the place for Baikal seals to sunbathe too. Every day we will see the wild shores of Baikal and walk many, many places far from civilization.

The priority is photography and unity with nature. We will plan the route based on the likelihood of shooting a seal at close distance, watching bears, and taking a walk in quiet, beautiful places. For lovers of active hiking - every day there will be an opportunity to climb "the highest mountain".

Dates & Price

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Season - May' 1 - 25. 
Route - Listvyanka - Olkhon - Nothern Baikal (to where the ice situation will allow).

Duration: 7 days/ 6 nights 

Dates for 2022: 15.05 - 21.05.2022 

7 days / 101 500 rub.*
diving is possible for an additional fee - 15000 rub.
Available on request: twinset, side mount, nitrox, trimix.

Other diving - safari
Book for other dates

Service: accommodation in a double cabin, meals - FB, tea, coffee - no limits, complimentary drinks, diving - (15-liter steel tanks, 12-liter tanks are available on request), weights, briefings, trekkings, landing.

Additional: transfer "Irkutsk - Listvyanka - Irkutsk", fees of the national park for visiting the Ushkany Islands or other protected areas, equipment rental, baths (sauna) on the shore, dinner and a hotel in Irkutsk on the last day of the safari, tips, and other personal expenses.


Route length: 500 km ( "Ushkany" route - 700 km)
Moments*: Great Baikal Trail trekking,  stilted trees in the Peschanaya Bay, petroglyphs, islands and landscapes of the Small Sea, Olkhon Island from the Eastern side, Ushkany Islands - the main rookery of the Baikal seal, Chivyrkuisky Bay, Brown Bear Coast.

* The safari route depends on the ice conditions. Usually, we can always reach Olkhon. The possibility of going to the more northern part of Lake Baikal is being considered during a safari. Diving sites and landings are not fixed, depending on weather conditions and general wishes of the participants of diving-safaris.

Day 1. 07.30 - transfer "Irkutsk - Listvyanka" (70 km, 1-1.5 hours). Check-in is available from 9.00 a..m. Breakfast. General briefing. Filling diving forms, checking certificates. Leaving the port - no later than 12.00. Start diving-safari. In during the day - 1-2 dives, 3rd dive - night (optional).  Landing, trekking.

Day 2 - Day 6. In during the day - 2-3 dives, night dive (optional). Every day - landing, trekking. 
 Also, in during safari - ship sauna.   

Day 7. In during the day - 2 dives, landing, trekking. Finish diving-safari (arrival to Listvyanka) ~ 17.00 -19.00. Transfer to Irkutsk.

The schedule (time and sequence) of diving and landing is not fixed. It will be determined by the dive guide based on the weather conditions and the wishes of the group. The actual schedule for the next day is announced the day before, during dinner.

Expedition style

Spring - Summer  - Autumn - Winter. We choose the best, show the unique.

› Guiding expeditions personally by the owners of the diving center. No pre-written plan or fixed dive sites. We choose diving sites based on the current weather conditions, qualifications and wishes of the group.
› In case of a storm, we promptly change the route. Perfect knowledge of bays, anchorages and moorings. 2,200 km of coastline. The seaworthiness of the ship is a wave up to 3 meters, comfort at an external temperature - up to -40 ° С. Professional team. 2 crew set. Night crossings are available every day. Moving in any weather.
› We have experience in diving in any Baikal conditions.

How are our safaris different from others?

§ EXCLUSIVE PROGRAMMES. Our experience - 32 years (since 1988) of annual Baikal Diving Safaries. We dive a lot, variously, all over Baikal. We like hiking, find beautiful bays, secret paths, and peaks that an ordinary tourist does not climb. All programs are designed with seasonality and "be in the right place at the right time". Seeing nerpa, watching bears, diving with baby seals, unique shooting, exploring the microcosm of Baikal, glide in the abyss along the grand walls, diving in the  canyons/grottos, look for artefacts of railway wrecks - choose one of our programmes or let us tailor a safari in accord with your preferences. We love exclusive routes and new adventures!

§ WE DIVE A LOT! We do as many dives as possible. In summer programs - 3-5 dives per day, in winter - 2. If you are focused on diving - then we are your best choice! If you’d rather dived a bit less - there are other activities planned for you.

§ DIVE SITES. Unique authoring database of dive sites (today we have more than 275 completely explored sites). Even if the group consists of OWDs and just one tech diver (or vice versa) - we will select the dive sites interesting and appropriate for everyone. 

§ VARIETY. A lot to see, a lot to dive, to explore the shores, tekking and hiking. A good option for the non-divers. Every day - land activities: hiking, barbecues on the shore, fishing, jeep trips or just relaxation. 

§ LENGTH OF THE ROUTE. The length of our routes is probably second only to polar cruises to the Arctic and Antarctic. 4-5 day programs have a "total mileage" of 300 - 400 km. A weekly safari - up to 1000 km, and "Baikal Around the World" - 1500 km! A wide variety of Baikal landscapes, diving in different dive regions.

IMPORTANT!!! Any diving safari is an EXPEDITON.  The routes pass through interesting and least visited places. In most places, there are no roads and - cellular service. The nearest help-evacuation - it can take at least a day. Diving at Baikal is not the easiest (great depths, cold water), and the weather conditions can be very harsh.

Our team will do everything to make your stay on the ship, shore program and dives as comfortable and safe as possible. To make the expedition successful and comfortable for everyone, we ask you to carefully read the rules of participation in the expedition.
1. Dives are organized regardless of wind, waves, surface temperature. Each diver independently decides on the difficulty of diving for him and his participation in diving. Read more about diving conditions.
2. Land program. Some trekking and hiking can be very long (15 km, 6 - 8 hours), pass through steep and uneven terrain, swampy areas, and include ascents. Each member of the expedition independently decides on the complexity of trekking and participation in it.

All activities of the Diving Expedition are designed for self-sufficient and trained participants.

Diving conditions

Water temperature +0.5 +2°С
Visibility - 5 - 15 m
Current - unlikely, practically no 
Diving - 2-3 dives / day

Air temperature: from + 5 ° С + 30 ° С. It is hot on the shore, cold on the water. It is especially cold when the wind blows from the water. On the beach, while walking, shorts and a T-shirt are the most suitable clothes. Despite the hot sun, we recommend a warm down jacket and a hat for a comfortable stay on the ship. And also a swimsuit for calm days.

Wind and storm* -  May is the quietest month in terms of wind and storm conditions.
*Do not follow each other. A large wave (up to 3 meters) is possible with a complete absence of wind and a strong wind (100-120 km / h) with a small wave. A sudden start and an equally sudden end is a feature of the Baikal winds. The situation changes in a few minutes. At the beginning of the dive - complete calm, after 30 minutes - the ship is hardly kept at anchor. This requires good physical shape and self-support from each diver. Sometimes entering and exiting the water is done in difficult storm conditions.

Recommended equipment - dry suit, dry gloves, 2 regulators (for extremly cold water, mark 0-4°C), 3 layers undergarment: thermal underwear, special diving underwear maximum den (Arctic 4 Element, Body Tec2 Waterproof or similar) + undersuit max den (BZ400 Santi, Wezzle Extreme or similar), 2 pairs of wool socks. 

Recommended сertification Level - Dry Suit Diver + AOWD
For diving during a safari - the certificate of the diver is MANDATORY! If you do not have a certificate, diving is NOT possible.

All dives -  from the ship, without the use a speed boats. Entry into the water is done from a dive deck. Return to the ship - by the ladder.

Diving from the anchor. Diving is done on the route "from the ship, returning to the ship." During the dive, the ship is anchored at the dive site. The distance from the anchorage to the start of the dive site is 10 - 70 meters.

Drift - diving. It is done in places where anchorage is not possible. For safety, the dive boat cannot come close to the dive site to drop on and pick up the group.From the ship to the start of the dive site it is necessary to swim on the surface of 10 - 100 m (also return to the ship). This type of diving requires a lot of concentration from the group and can only be organized for very experienced divers.

Briefings. Before each dive, information about the dive site, recommended route and depth will be provided. Some dive sites have pictures. Read more about Baikal dive sites here.

Recommended dive time - not less than 40-50 minutes. Baikal - it is LANDSCAPE diving.  Great walls, rifts, terraces and canyons that go into the abyss. It starts from 3 meter and goes up to 170+m. If you see a wall from 3 m to 30 m, then we call it a "small step". Perhaps the only place in the world where you will find so many panoramic views. 

Dive guides*. Baikal dive sites have very simple navigation. In our safaris, we give divers a lot of freedom. Depth is limited to diving certification. Dive time is UNLIMITED. Based on many years of experience - we do NOT guiding. On some dive sites, it may be suggested to follow our instructor, for passing on a particularly difficult route..

*Our instructors always dive during a diving safari. They explore new "corners" of the dive site, new depths, clean the bottom from trash and fishnet. If your goals and level of training is suitable for a dive you can always join him.