Exceptional underwater visibility makes Shetland perfect scuba diving country.

Some of the most spectacular views in the islands are below the waves – submerged cliffs, stacks and caves of long-drowned shorelines. Shetland's profusion of underwater wildlife is truly astonishing too, and one of the richest marine environments around the British Isles.

Shetland’s coastline extends to 2,702 kilometres (1,697 miles) and it is estimated that it offers 405 geos (coves), 351 caves, 246 bays and firths, 205 skerries, 190 stacks, 158 natural arches and at least seven subterranean passages. There’s plenty to keep the keenest scuba enthusiast busy for a lifetime!

The variety of diving experiences is a big draw. Shetland has everything from historic wrecks (like the 18th century Queen of Sweden and WWI steamship Gwladmena – both in Lerwick Harbour) to modern trawlers and the 1993 wreck of the huge tanker Braer. There’s also sea cliffs and gullies, teeming with colours and life, and offshore pinnacles and reefs.

Diving charters in Shetland

Year-round diving

The shape of Shetland means that you can dive on almost any day of the year, as there's always somewhere sheltered, with deep water close inshore.

The long hours of summer daylight are an added bonus, allowing you to pack more diving time into a week's stay than would be possible further south.

The water is chilly, but nothing like as cold as most other places on this latitude. In late summer the sea temperature gets up to around 13°-14°C, dropping to 5°C or 6°C in midwinter.

Diving licences

Please note that some wreck sites, including those of the Kennemerland and Wrangels Palais, are designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. To dive on a protected site, you need a licence from Historic Scotland.

Coastguard information

Shetland Coastguard provide a weather advisory service and radio cover for dive boats. Be sure to contact them on +44 (0)1595 692976 or VHF Ch. 16 before every dive.