Diving for all levels
Portland Boat Diving
Portland has long been a divers paradise for boat diving to local as well as deeper Channel wrecks, drifts and reefs. The island’s dive boat fleet operates out of two locations: Portland Marina and Castletown, each only minutes away from Underwater Explorers.
Portland dive operators offer daily shuttles to popular dive sites for individuals and buddy pairs as well as day charters where you can book the whole boat for a day or more. Depths of sites visited from Portland address all levels of experience ranging from 10 to 60+ metres. There are a vast amount of wrecks easily accessible from Portland as well as some wonderful underwater nature trails and drift dives. Portland harbour itself allows for sheltered diving in almost all conditions but for serious storms.
Portland Marina is just around the corner from Underwater Explorers and hosts diving hard boats offering dive shuttles, day and weekend charters. The daily in-and-out trips to a multitude of dive sites both in and outside of Portland Harbour are provided for by hard boat operators at the Marina as well as RIB operators in Castletown. On a shuttle day boats may go out up to 4 times, bringing you back to shore in between dives, giving you the chance to decide on what dives you want to do: 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 sites to Portland harbour.
Portland dive shuttles are ideal for individuals, small groups and schools whether you are diving weekends or week days. Day trips are generally a two-dive day out at sea, where the boat leaves in the morning and returns late afternoon. All dives outside of the harbour sites are tide-dependent and boats will depart at advertised ropes off times in order to catch slack so early arrival is strongly advised.
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 if conditions are favourable mid week, so it’s always 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.
In 2020 MV Salutay is also offering all inclusive boat-based accommodation and two days of diving from Sea Leopard.
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.
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 and rinsing stations.
And don’t forget, we’re only a minute distance from both sites and a great place to drop in whether you want to just browse and see products, do shopping, rent kit or? get fills.