Jacques Cousteau once proclaimed the waters of British Columbia the best temperate water diving in the world, second only to the Red Sea. The waters around Nanaimo provide many different opportunities for divers and snorkelers.
Nanaimo is world renown for its fantastic artificial reef dives based on the three vessels sunk in the nearby waters. Novice, to advanced divers will benefit from the varying levels of difficulty of the reefs.
The first ship was sunk on June 14th 1997, and is the destroyer escort HMCS Saskatchewan. Active worldwide during the cold war, the HMCS Saskatchewan was decommissioned in 1994.
The second, and largest ship to explore in the Nanaimo waters is the 441 foot Victory Ship HMCS Cape Breaton. This ship previously served in the South Pacific with the British Navy during WWII under the name of HMS Flamborough Head. This artificial reef is for advanced divers.
The final ship available to explore in the Nanaimo waters is the Rivtow Lion deep sea rescue tug. Launched in 1940, the Rivtow Lion served with the Royal Navy in the North Atlantic during WWII. After being retired from the Navy she served as an ocean going tug based out of BC until being retired, and then sunk on February 6, 2005. The Rivtow Lion is located in shallower waters, and is considered a perfect novice dive spot.
As one of Nanaimo’s only seafront accommodation, the Waterfront Suites and Marina welcomes divers of all skill levels. Base yourself out of an ocean front room with a full kitchenette and skip the traffic on your way to explore some of the best diving in the world!