Portland has long been a divers paradise for boat and shore diving. The island’s dive boat fleet operates out of two primary locations: Portland Marina and Castletown. They offer day charters (where you can book the whole boat for a day or more as a club or group) as well as daily shuttles (for individuals and buddy pairs) to tens of dive sites. Depths of sites around Portland address all levels of experience ranging from 10 to 60+ metres. There are a vast amount of of wrecks accessible from Portland as well as some wonderful underwater nature trails and drift dive marks. Read underneath for more information & contact details on Portland dive shuttles and charters.
* Underwater Explorers is at the edge of the Marina on the main causeway to Castletown - only a couple of minutes away from where the dive boats operate. We're just across from dry suit manufacturer O’Three. We are open every day including weekends and bank holidays for all your needs from air and gas fills to equipment, cylinder and wet/dry suit rental - or shopping. We do not book for or operate dive boats, you need to contact the operators directly.
Daily in-and-out trips to a multitude of dive sites both in and outside of Portland Harbour are offered by hard boat operators at the Marina and RIB operators in Castletown. On a shuttle day boats may go out up to 4 times, bringing you back to shore in between dives.
You can book for all or any of the dives going out - or just do one dive if you like. Fees are paid per person on a per-trip basis directly to boat operators (we have no affiliation) and generally depend on the distance of dive site to Portland.
Portland dive shuttles are ideal for individuals, small groups and schools whether you are diving weekends or week days.
Check out hard boat (Skindeep/Skindeeper & Scimitar) shuttle dates and availability at Portland Dive Charters and/or Scimitar Bookings. Minimum numbers tend to vary by season, day of the week and advanced bookings. However, most hard boats will commit to go out with a minimum of 6 passengers and sometimes even 4 so it's well worth contacting the skippers directly.
If you are a club and can't make up the numbers to charter a boat, skippers may take smaller group bookings and advertise the trip to get more divers on board.
For weekend or week day daily RIB diving shuttles visit Dive Beyond who runs two powerful RIBS from Castletown, Portland (just down the road and right on the seaside with their own jetty). Dive Beyond is also Portland's only PADI 5 Star IDC (centre). They can often also cater for buddy pairs, single divers who require buddies and welcome divers who are doing their first UK or boat dives.
If you have any questions or want to book something specific contact Dive Beyond directly.
When you come back from a dive, or in between shuttles, both the Marina and Castletown offer various facilities ranging from toilets to on-site cafe, showers to rinsing stations. And don't forget, we're only a minute distance from both sites and great place to drop in whether you want to browse, shop, rent kit or just get fills. Both the Marina and Castletown also offer fills. You can see our 2016 air and gas prices Here.
* Ribs have easy access ladders to get in. Hard boats have lifts. All dive boats are boarded via pontoon or jetty. Rib entry is generally a back roll while hard boat entry is a giant stride. Both Ribs and Hard Boats cater for single tank, twinset and CCR divers. An average Portland harbour shuttle dive is about 50-60 minutes max in water time and quarter of an hour to the dive site itself. Both the Marina and Dive Beyond facilities in Castletown have toilets. All hard boats also have toilets.
** Prices start from £15 to closer harbour sites ranging up to £30-35 for sites that are at a distance. Usual shuttle trips are 1 to 2 dives a day but you can do up to 3-4 dives if the boats are going out. Any further questions feel free to contact us any day on 01305 824 555 or email us on info(at)underwaterexplorers.co.uk - replace (at) with @.
Quality Time Training: This year in addition to a RIB and Rodman Fast Fisher, Quality Time Training will also be running diving hard boat Huntress out of Portland Marina over certain dates from March through November and a list of their shuttle trips (and charters) can be obtained from Bob Eliot. You can contact Quality Time Training (07790 902610 / Bob) at Portland Marina directly for available dates he has for Huntress (which will only be running out of Portland on select dates).
For groups and clubs based on a daily fixed fee for hiring the whole boat (together with skipper and crew of course!) dive charters are available throughout the year with hard boats operating out of Portland Marina. All hard boats have diver lifts.
Check out charter dates and availability at Portland Dive Charters (for Skindeep/Skindeeper) and/or Scimitar Bookings for Scimitar. You can also contact Quality Time Training (07790 902610 / Bob) at Portland Marina for available dates he has for Huntress (which will only be running out of Portland on select dates).
Dive site examples:
Harbour wrecks like the Countess of Erne, Spaniard, Dredger are in the 10-18m range. Popular wrecks like the M2, Aeolian Sky, Alex Von Opstel, Binnendijk as well as drift dives around Lulworth are in the 20-32m range. The deeper popular wrecks such as the Buccaneer and the Salsette are in the 35-45m range.