Sometimes instead of sipping on a margarita watching the wave’s crash against the white sand and the sun setting below the horizon, travelers need an epic adventure. The ocean just happens to be full of them and whether you are in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, Alaska, Australia or even Antarctica; there is truly an adventure for any adrenaline loving enthusiast. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to come face to face with a killer whale? Or what about surfing in frigid waters where no one has ever surfed before? What await travelers who want more than just typical vacations are these 12 extreme ocean adventures.
12. Dive the Blue Holes, Belize
The Blue Hole descends over 400 feet and only experienced divers can sink into this world famous sinkhole in one awesome ocean adventure that you will never forget. Divers will descend along the wall down to 130 feet where you will find an array of limestone formations and bizarre stalactites. There are no colorful fish or coral down in these depths but you may be privy to a hammerhead shark or two that like to hang around as well as rays and barracudas. There is nothing quite like the silence that surrounds you when you are 130 feet deep, surrounded by the stalactites of the collapsed prehistoric cavern and this is a dive that should otherwise be known as one extreme ocean adventures. If you are not a diver, you can still experience the surface of the Blue Hole by snorkeling, while the experience may not be as eerie, it is certainly breathtaking and beautiful.
11. Ocean Kayaking, World Wide
If you are looking to play in the surf, explore hidden sea caves and navigate through complex ocean rock gardens, sea kayaking is the extreme ocean adventure for you. Sea kayaking is often the most fun on the Pacific Coast throughout Canada and the United States as the mighty ocean gives you big swells, incredible wildlife and reputable guides and companies. This is one sport where experience doesn’t matter as long as you can listen to instructions and lift a paddle, you are good to go. For the more experienced though, plan on battling it out with the waves as you paddle to secret waterfalls, beaches and more. If warm weather and calmer waters are more your style head to Fiji where you can snorkel or fish right from your kayak.
10. Snorkel in Antarctica
The crystal clear waters of Antarctica beg to be discovered, not just from the surface but from below. Luckily for those extreme sports enthusiasts who don’t mind getting suited up for some extremely cold water, there are a number of different companies offering the chance to snorkel in these incredible waters. Prepare to witness wildlife and scenery like you have never seen before, such as neighboring seals and penguins that jump in and out of the water with amazing speeds. Witness marine life such as crustaceans, isopods, starfish and nudibranchs, creatures you could never witness by staying above ground. Companies offer the latest and greatest in terms of gear and you won’t have to worry about being cold in these icy waters. Think off-shore islands, secluded bays and abandoned shipwrecks in this extreme ocean adventure.
9. Jetpack, Mexico
If you have ever dreamt about flying, this extreme ocean adventure is for you. Jetpack is the new and exhilarating sport that gives you an awesome adrenaline rush. Basically a water-propelled jetpack is strapped to your back and off you go flying through the skies. Extreme sports enthusiasts will have to be over 18 to try their hand at this sport, although 16 and 17-year-old’s can go with written consent from a guardian. Imagine flying high above the water, with only your hands controlling where you will go and how fast. As an added sport, flyboarding is now becoming just as popular. A board is strapped to your feet and your arms are strapped onto hand jets which propel you into the air. By shifting your weight on the board and using the jets you can count on having one heck of a ride.
8. Surfing at Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania, Australia
Known to any and all surfers as one of the places to surf before you die, Shipsterns Bluff in Tasmania should by on every list of extreme ocean adventures. The bluff is actually a right reef break off the coast of Tasmania and produces ultra powerful waves. Getting here is made only possibly by boat or a multi-hour trek through the rugged Tasman National Park. What makes this location so scary is the dangerously sharp coral reef on the bottom of the ocean, the white pointer sharks in the vicinity and the fact that the hospital is so far away. Conditions have to be just right to surf this wave as Shipstern breaks properly only on the largest southwest winter swells and the wave is often made unsurfable by prevailing winds from the northwest. Pro Australian surfer took a horrifying spill and shattered his board, thus cementing this wave as a world-class wave of ferocity.
7. Open-Water Kiteboarding, British Virgin Islands
Winter months are the best time to tackle this extreme water sport and heading to the British Virgin Islands is the best place to do just so. That’s in big part to the warm weather, strong winds and warm water. Kiteboarding is the ultimate action sport, combining windsurfing, wakeboarding and surfing with the aerial possibilities of paragliding. BVI Kite Jam is an awesome week long event that is held in the British Virgin Islands every year and is open to amateurs, professionals and spectators. This event is packed full of Freestyle, Sliders, Big Air, Wave riding and long distance racing. It takes place all in some of the windiest and most spectacular locations in the world such as the North Sound, Necker Island, Anegada and Eustatia Sound. If you have any sort of athletic experience, this ultimate extreme ocean experience is sure something to try.
6. Snorkeling With Humpback Whales, Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
Swimming with any massive sea animal is always an exciting, extreme adventure but snorkeling with the magnificent humpback whales is something not everyone gets a chance to experience. The best place to do so is Silver Bank, part of the Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic and it is one of the few places where swimming with them is officially sanctioned, permitted and regulated. Swimming with these gentle giants involve more of a floating, less of a swimming experience as participants are encourage to float on the surface of the water and let the whales come to you. These playful creatures often put on a great surface show for visitors and this is one epic adventure you won’t want to miss out on.
5. Swim with Great White Sharks, South Africa
South Africa was the first country to protect the great white shark in 1991, and therefore it is the perfect place to dive with these scary beasts of the ocean. Rest assured you will be safely inside a protective cage and no experience is necessary to go down into one of these cages. There are a total of eight operators who can operate in South Africa and all are reputable, as well as certified. A round trip normally takes 3-4 hours and starts off with a safety briefing, followed by the boat trip out to find the sharks. A legal chum is thrown into the water to attract the sharks and then the cages are lowered down. Most of the companies see sharks 99% of the time and there is nothing more exciting than coming face to face with one of these magnificent beasts.
4. Offshore Odysseys, Worldwide
These people are passionate about exploring some of the remaining untouched places in the world and are on an epic adventure to seek out the worlds most remote and dynamic kite surfing and surfing locations, and you can join them. In the water right now is the Cabrinha Quest and this vessel is currently exploring the great Pacific Ocean. Travelers who want to join this trip must fill out an application, a lengthy one at that and pay a hefty membership fee. What that gets you is 10 days aboard the vessel, whichever one you choose and an incredible experience. You must be a thrill seeker to join and want to experience such activities as spearfishing, free diving in coral gardens, surfing, kite surfing and more. If you want to go where no one has gone before, this is the perfect company to team up with.
3. Marine Conservation Expeditions, World Wide
If you have thought about being an active advocate for ocean and marine conservation but haven’t known quite how to do it, Marine Conservation Expeditions has the answer for you. This incredible company offers adventurers the chance of a lifetime to have one incredible vacation while making a meaningful contribution to marine conservation. Past expeditions have included Belize where travelers go to dive incredible coral reefs, take aerial shots of the Blue Hole, swim with whale sharks and support the local economy by dining on amazing fresh seafood. The expedition to Costa Rica in 2014 involved blue whale feeding, conservation of the huge leatherback turtles and more. Travelers who are interested in this extreme adventure must fill out an online application form and go through a selection process in order to qualify. We promise the end result is definitely worth it.
2. Surf in Alaska
First thoughts that come to our mind is brrrrrrr, surfing in Alaska must be very very cold! Indeed the water here is frigid but with the right equipment, this can be a surfers dream come true. Imagine coasting into a fiord, snow capped mountains surrounding you, hanging glaciers all around and sea lions just hanging out on the rocks, looking like they have never seen a human before. Truth is told they may not have because the companies that run these adventures are constantly finding new and exciting surf spots. Guests of these expeditions should expect days to go by without ever seeing another boat and catching some pretty huge waves. A mind-blowing experience complete with incredible scenery, awesome food and a couple of great guides awaits you when you join an Alaskan surf adventure.
1. Free Dive with Orca Whales, Norway
There doesn’t seem to be a more exhilarating and extreme ocean adventure than to free dive with orca whales or as they are sometimes referred to, killer whales. If you want to have this incredible experience you have to travel to Norway to do so. This orca expedition fills up fast, years in advance so you will want to plan your visit sooner than later. Guests will spend five days chasing orcas in the Fiords of northern Norway and be treated to six night’s accommodations aboard the vessel plus all meals. Coming so close to the orca whales underwater is certainly not faint for the heart but rest assured these whales are actually more scared of you. Guests will dive in small groups to avoid scaring the whales and sightings are never guaranteed. If you though diving with tropical fish and hammerhead sharks were exciting, make sure to try out this epic adventure.