Announced on 19 August 2021, Singapore will launch its inaugural travel lane with Germany from September 8 2021 onward. This allows fully vaccinated Singapore residents to travel to Germany and back without having to serve stay-home notice (SHN). Despite the need to undergo four Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, this news comes as a huge relief for many landlocked scuba divers as this will be the first time Singaporeans are able to go for quarantine-free holidays since March last year.
What does this mean for the local diving community?
Scuba divers who have been looking to travel overseas to dive can now do so leisurely. Albeit restricted only to Germany, therein lies a variety of diving spots that are popular amongst scuba diving tourists.
What are some of the popular diving spots around Germany?
The lake runs at about 32 meters deep, making this a casual spot for divers of all levels. Scuba divers may find a variety of marine life here, ranging from freshwater eels to crayfishes.
Divers who are interested in visiting the site may charter a flight to Leipzig. From the airport, divers may prefer to rent a car as the lake is much more accessible by public transport.
Otherwise known as “chalk-lake” in German, Kreidesee is an old, flooded opencast chalk mine located near Warstade, which is about 80 kilometres outside of Hamburg in Northern Germany. The entire mine was flooded in the 1970s when mining ceased. Surrounding factory buildings were torn down while some were dumped into the lake.
This 33-hectare lake allows for diving up to 60 meters deep. However as diving conditions are cold and waters are deep, scuba divers need to be qualified and required to possess appropriate diving equipment.
For Singaporeans planning to travel there, you can take a direct flight to Hamburg either via KLM or Singapore Airlines. Upon arrival, scuba divers can take a 1.5 hour bus ride from Hamburg Airport to Hemmoor, located 15 minutes away from Warstade by foot.
Known as the sunken village of Nordhuisia, the site is refurbished for scuba divers looking to explore the underwater buildings, viewing homes, graveyards and churches. The village is made from eco-friendly materials that sought to provide homes to the marine life there as well as provide scuba divers with a rather intriguing world to explore.
Scuba divers can expect to find a variety of marine life such as crabs, eels and sturgeons. The maximum depth is 31 meters with good visibility, making this a dive friendly spot for beginning scuba divers as well.
Located in Nordhausan, Singaporean divers may book a flight to Leipzig. Upon arrival, scuba divers may hop on board a 3 hour train from Leipzig Hbf (tief) to Nordhausen.
The lake is also considered one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in Germany and is situated 75km south of Munich, bordering Jachenau. With clear blue waters and stunning underwater rock formations, this site is definitely a must go for divers of all levels.
Singaporean scuba divers can book a flight directly to Munich and upon reaching at the airport, divers may find it easier to rent a car and drive as the lake is much more accessible by private transport.
Bodensee Lake Constance
Located at about 395 meters about sea level in the Alps, Bodensee Lake Constance is considered the third largest lake in Central Europe. The lake sits on the border of Germany, Austria and Switzerland and is home to some of the most magnificent landscapes.
It is divided into 3 zones: Obersee Upper Lake, Untersee Lower Lake and Seerhein Rhine River Linkage section. The lake stretches at more that 60 kilometres long and is about 14 kilometres wide. The deepest end reaches up to almost 250 meters in depth and it is home to a variety of dive spots, depending on which divers prefer.
Divers planning to visit may charter a flight to Zürich. Upon arrival, divers can rent a car and drive to the lake as it is much more accessible by private transport.
With the opening of borders for quarantine-free travel, it is important to still check on the availability of the sites ahead of your diving trip. Singaporeans may want to check in with the respective dive groups who plan trips to the desired destinations as well.