You may already be a snorkeler and thinking about learning to scuba dive, or it might be you are simply comparing snorkelling vs scuba diving to help you decide which one to start as a hobby.
The similarities between snorkeling and scuba diving
- Both require a mask, snorkel and fins.*
- Both require some form of exposure suit like a wetsuit, depending on the water temperature.
- They similarly allow you to see and enjoy the underwater world.
- They can both be done in the sea or in lakes.
- PADI, BSAC, SSI and NAUI all teach snorkeling and scuba diving.
- Both burn calories.
- They are both fun hobby sports.
* Not all scuba divers use a snorkel, but I always take one on every dive. The reason why I do so, is made clear in this article about how to conserve air on a dive. These 22 pro diver tips are particularly important if you are a big person like I am, but see tip number four in relation to a snorkel, although I recommend you read the whole article if you plan on becoming a scuba diver.
The best way to do more snorkeling or diving is to book yourself on a scuba diving liveaboard. You can check the latest and best deals on liveaboards using the following window:
Snorkelling and scuba diving combined
If you get certified to scuba dive, and if you are already a snorkeler, you can combine them both on any dive trip you make. You can snorkel in-between diving wherever you travel and enjoy both hobbies.
Snorkelling vs scuba diving in Maldives
On a trip to the Maldives you can similarly enjoy both snorkelling and scuba diving alike. If your trip is on a Maldives resort you can snorkel and dive the house reef as well as take trips on day boats to scuba dive other dives sites in the Maldives.
But if your dive trip is on a Maldives liveaboard, you will dive more dives than you would on a resort holiday, but you can also snorkel from a liveaboard in between the dives too.
To read more about this, please visit this article about snorkelling vs scuba diving in the Maldives. This includes a few videos of resorts with great house reefs.
Is snorkeling and scuba diving the same?
Snorkelling and scuba diving are not the same, as snorkelling is experienced swimming on or near the surface whilst breathing air through a snorkel, whereas scuba diving is experience completely underwater whilst breathing gas from a scuba tank or from a rebreather.
As a snorkeler your perspective is seen from the surface with the occasional dive down whilst holding your breath, whereas as a scuba diver your perspective is seen completely underwater, which is limited by time normally by how long your gas lasts.
What is similar to scuba diving?
The closest thing to scuba diving is SNUBA, which is a cross between snorkelling and scuba diving. With SNUBA you breath with a regulator similar to scuba diving, but the regulator is connected to an air supply that floats at the surface, instead of to heavy diving tanks.
Scuba diving vs snorkeling for non swimmers
You cannot learn to scuba dive as a non-swimmer, as you need to be able to swim 200 metres in a pool to start your diver certification, whereas with snorkeling you can in theory snorkel as a non-swimmer, but it’s not recommended for your own personal safety.
Learn to swim before you try snorkeling in case you get in to trouble in a current, as people do drown snorkeling.
For example, if you are going on a trip to the Maldives and you are a non-swimmer, I suggest you learn to swim before you go. This way you can safely enjoy the underwater delights of the house-reef at your resort as a snorkeler.
Not only that, if you can swim you could also learn to scuba dive too and enjoy the amazing underwater world in the Maldives as a scuba diver.
But depending on where you live and what scuba diving is near you, I suggest you learn to scuba dive before you fly to The Maldives. That way you are not spending your holiday learning dive theories like Boyle’s Law and taking diving exams.
With learning to scuba dive in mind, take a look at the following Maldives liveaboards that dive the atolls and reefs of the Maldives:
This list of Maldives liveaboards is in descending customer rating order, followed by Scuba Diving Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating, see below), so the liveaboards with the highest customer rating and the best SDE lux rating will be at the top of the list. If you want to change the list order, use the “Sort by” dropdown below.
|Discover Liveaboard||Customer Rating||SDE Lux Rating %||Flexible Booking||Dive Courses||Dietary Requirements||Nitrox||Gear Rental|
|Review: MV Scubaspa Yang; Book: MV Scubaspa Yang||9.6||87%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review: MV Emperor Explorer; Book: MV Emperor Explorer||9.6||63%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review: MV Theia; Book: MV Theia||9.5||85%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review: MY Princess Dhonkamana; Book: MY Princess Dhonkamana||9.5||79%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review: MV Scubaspa Ying; Book: MV Scubaspa Ying||9.4||87%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review: MV Sachika; Book: MV Sachika||9.4||83%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review: MV Emperor Serenity; Book: MV Emperor Serenity||9.4||60%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review: MV Soleil 2; Book: MV Soleil 2||9.3||96%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review: MV Emperor Atoll; Book: MV Emperor Atoll||9.3||77%||YES||YES||YES||YES||YES|
|Review: MV Azalea; Book: MV Azalea||9.3||77%||NO||YES||YES||YES||YES|
The Scuba Diving Earth Luxury Rating (SDE Lux Rating) is explained on each liveaboard review when you click the “Discover Liveaboard” link, and is my own Liveaboard Luxury Rating I’ve assigned to all liveaboards. Choosing between liveaboards is helped by customer scores, and if you get stuck choosing between two or three liveaboards, where each one has a high customer score out of 10, you can use the SDE Luxury Rating to help narrow down your choice.
Think about it like using Booking.com when searching for the best hotel. Booking.com also use a customer score where each customer rates hotels out of 10. This is similar to the liveaboard customer rating, which is also rated out of 10. But let’s say you only like to stay in hotels rated 8 and above on Booking.com, but you also want the hotel to have WIFI or parking, or to have a swimming pool etc. The features each hotel has is usually secondary to the score out of 10.
I hope you enjoyed this article about what are the similarities between snorkeling and scuba diving
I’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your adventures of diving and snorkeling, in the comments below. But in particular if you’ve been on the Master liveaboard. Please also share your photos. Either from your underwater cameras or videos from your waterproof go-pro’s!
If this article hasn’t answered all of your questions. If you have more questions either about snorkeling or scuba diving (or specifically about what are the similarities between snorkeling and scuba diving), please comment below with your questions.
There will also be many more articles about scuba and scuba diving safety tips (and on snorkeling too) for you to read and learn about this fabulous sport.
Have fun and be safe!