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Poland flag Scuba Diving Poland




81 Dive Sites 22 Dive Shops 1 Dive Logs

Part 1: Overview of Scuba Diving in Poland

Poland is a Central European country that is bordered by Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, and Kaliningrad Oblast. The Baltic Sea borders the northwest of the country, and this is the most convenient place for divers to be based when visiting. The coastline extends from the Bay of Pomerania to the Gulf of Gdańsk.

Famed for amazing wreck diving, the Baltic Sea has an immense amount of shipwrecks for divers to explore. Adverse weather conditions and a long history of war operations in the area has left an underwater legacy of submarines, war freighters, and cruisers. Older 17th century wooden wrecks are well preserved too, largely due to the low levels of salinity and oxygen, at depth.

Many wrecks are still left unexplored, with relatively little known about them. Sonar technology and the development of technical diving has led to more being discovered recently. A major area for shipwreck dive sites is from the Gulf of Gdańsk, following the coast westwards towards Leba.

There are plenty of penetrable wrecks within average recreational diving limits of 20-30 meters. Novice divers have the opportunity to dive shallower sites that range between 4-18 meters. Deeper, advanced wreck dives are at depths of 40-70 meters; these are perfect for technical and rebreather divers, and those that are highly experienced.

The best diving conditions are from March to October, when the temperate climate is warmest, and the visibility is clearest. Air temperatures range from 18-30 Celsius in the summer, dropping to as low as -6 Celsius in the winter. Water temperatures range from 15 Celsius down to 1 Celsius; ice diving is popular in the winter months.

Poland has the second highest number of lakes and reservoirs in Europe, just behind Finland. This provides another area for recreational scuba diving throughout the country. Tank Pogoria III is located in Valley Dabrowska (eastern part of the Silesian Upland). Divers can expect to see pike, perch, eels, catfish, and zebra mussels, to name a few species. Dive centers use these lakes and reservoirs for certification training and fun diving. Yachting and wind surfing are other popular watersports that are offered.

Poland's main tourism, aside from scuba diving, is focused on historical and cultural city sightseeing, mountain hiking and climbing, and rural sightseeing. Stunning forests cover much of the country. The Masurian Lake District, the Białowieża Forest, the Karkonosze, Table Mountains, Tatras, Pieniny, and Bieszczady Mountains are all interesting areas for visitors who like active outdoor holidays.

 

Part 2: Dive Sites, Marine Life & Environment in Poland

The Baltic Sea has laid claim to hundreds of ocean-going vessels, and the Polish coastline is abundant with wreck diving sites. Be advised that some of these sites have restricted access, as they are war graves. The freighters Wilhelm GustloffGeneral von Steuben, and Goya transported German refugees during World War II; sadly, they were targeted and sunk by Russian submarines. The best option is to dive with one of the many local dive operators, who will know the wreck sites.

There are plenty of penetrable wrecks within average recreational diving limits of 20-30 meters. Novice divers have the opportunity to dive shallower sites that range between 4-18 meters. Deeper, advanced wreck dives are at depths of 40-70 meters; these are perfect for technical and rebreather divers, and those that are highly experienced.

The wreck of the Groźny lies on the seabed at 18.5 meters, with the shallowest section at 10 meters. She was originally built as a warship by the Soviets, until she was taken and used as an anti-submarine vessel by the Polish People's Republic Navy from 1957-1971. The Groźny was then deliberately sunk as a military divers training site. She has a well-preserved 52-meter long hull and superstructure and sits upright at a slight tilt. Divers can see into the engine room and swim through a narrow corridor. Good for intermediate level divers.

The Delphin was first launched in 1942, in New York, and served during 1942-1957 for the Polish Navy. She was used as a minesweeper and then purpose-sunk for training military divers. A good beginners dive, she sits between 12-21 meters, and is free of nets with little current flowing around her. A 42-meter wooden bottomed boat, she remains intact, with the metal superstructure stripped of any equipment. This makes her a safe wreck to penetrate, and divers can explore the hold, captain's bridge, corridors, and hull. The hull is tilting to the port (left) side.

The Terra was a power-driven oil tanker, built in 1935 in Rendsburg. With a length of 74 meters, she is a very interesting wreck and a worthwhile dive. Sitting at a maximum depth of 44 meters, the Terra is an advanced dive that only experienced divers should attempt; strong currents can occur. She was sunk in 1944, when hit by two torpedos in the starboard side by Soviet submarine Lembit (S-4).

The Franken is a great technical dive. She was a 177-meter long oil tanker, that had started to be built in 1937, but not finished until 1942, due to the start of WWII. She supplied the battleship Prinz the Eugen in the Baltic Sea with torpedoes and minesweepers. Soviet bombers sank her in 1945, and she now rests between 47-72 meters.

 

Part 3: Dive Shops, Airports & Logistics of Diving in Poland

Scuba diving in Poland is a popular sport; this is reflected by the amount of local diving clubs throughout the country. PADI, SSI, GUE, CMAS, IANTD, and ITDA are the main training agencies that are represented. Technical and rebreather training is available, as well as recreational certification courses from beginner through to professional levels.

Guided diving is offered by many of the dive operators and schools; this is either coastal diving, or in the lakes and reservoirs. It is recommended that visitors contact their chosen dive operator before travelling, to make sure that all diving expectations and requirements can be met. Enriched Air Nitrox is available at most dive centers, but it is advisable to check.

Baltic Quest (RIB Ride) offers RIB diving excursions that visit diving sites from the Bay of Gdańsk to Leba. They use a custom built RIB - the Parker 900 - which has a comfortable ladder and rear platform for ease of access. Baltic Quest operates from Gdynia Marina, and focuses on beginners through to intermediate divers. Equipment hire is available, and your dives can be filmed on HD. Scuba diving training is offered by the team of instructors from the following organizations: PADI, IANTD, CMAS or GUE.

When in Warsaw, check out CN Pijawka. They are a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center, and offer the full range of PADI and DAN certification courses. Established in 1997, they have now trained thousands of safe and happy recreational divers in Poland. Technical training and diving is available, from Tec 40 to Tec Trimix 65. They offer dive trips to many of the sites in Poland, rent equipment, and have a well-stocked retail shop.

Gdynia Dive is a PADI 5 Star Gold Palm Resort in Gdynia. Founded in 2007, by Special Forces Navy Officer Piotr Niewiński, the team focuses on excelling in professionalism and safety. They have an on-site swimming pool, allowing plenty of quality training time during certification courses. A range of specialty courses are available, as well as equipment hire and Nitrox. Languages spoken are Polish, English, Russian and Spanish. Gdynia Dive have daily boat diving trips in the Baltic Sea (suitable for Open Water level and above), and fun shore diving on the lakes around the Tricity area (Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Sopot). Their boat has an elevator exit for easy access.

Poland has 17 airports, with international carriers flying into cities such as Kraków (KRK), Warsaw (WAW), and Gdańsk (GDN). Direct flights are offered from the UK and other EU countries. Domestic flights within the country are available.

 

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