Before you book your next scuba diving adventure, take a virtual field trip there first. While virtual reality scuba diving will never be as good as the real thing, free VR videos offer a sneak preview of what diving is like in different locations. 

Virtual Reality Scuba Diving – Try Before You Fly

Watch manta rays dance in Raja Ampat, visit a ship cemetery in Truk Lagoon, explore an oil rig in California, or experience a tiger shark dive in The Bahamas. When you’re ready to book, contact your local dive shop or connect with PADI Travel®.

3 Ways to Experience Virtual Reality Scuba Diving

  • Use a VR headset, such as an Oculus
  • Buy inexpensive cardboard glasses that turn your phone into a VR viewer
  • Watch on a laptop or tablet and use your finger or mouse to change the point of view
A man wears a VR headset while in a swimming pool
Don’t try this at home! 😆
VR scuba diving will never replace actual scuba diving.

The Best VR Scuba Diving Videos

The list of virtual reality scuba diving videos below is a best-of list – as of August 2023. New underwater VR videos are being added all the time, so if you don’t see the destination you’re interested in, search YouTube and

Adventures in the Americas

American Samoa

Enjoy 360-degree views of different dive sites in the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

The Bahamas

Are you ready for a tiger shark encounter in the Bahamas?


Get an underwater tour of two shipwrecks from different eras on top of each other.


Explore Buddy Reef’s coral nursery.

British Columbia, Canada

Visit Freshwater Lakes in Vancouver Island or dive with octopuses and eels in 3D.

The Great Lakes (Canada and the United States)

Lake Ontario and Thunder Bay are home to numerous wrecks. Thanks to the magic of VR technology, you can experience Shipwreck Alley in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the St. Peter Wreck Dive without a dry suit!

Malpelo Island, Colombia

Experience what it’s like to dive among thousands of fish.

Gardens of the Queen, Cuba

Enjoy a virtual dive with a turtle and sharks in Cuba. 

Guadalupe Island, Mexico

Here’s a taste of what it’s like to be in the water cage diving with a great white shark

Want more? Watch this (non-VR) behind-the-scenes video of what it’s like to be on a great white shark liveaboard trip.

Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico

Always dreamed of diving with giant manta rays? Here’s what it’s like to dive with giant manta rays in Mexico – in 3D! For more manta magnificence, scroll down to our links below for Indonesia.

California, United States

On this virtual underwater adventure, you can visit a kelp forest in the Channel Islands and enjoy a sea lion encounter. Curious about diving a decommissioned oil rig? National Geographic has a virtual oil rig dive. Learn more about oil rig diving here.

Florida Keys, United States

Ever wanted to try coral restoration? Make a virtual dive at a coral garden and outplanting in the Florida Keys.

Flower Garden Banks, United States,

Experience 360-degree views of the Flower Garden Banks in the Gulf of Mexico, USA

Hawaiian Islands 

Hear beautiful, haunting whale song in the background as a local expert gives you an underwater tour of the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary in Hawai’i.

Extraordinary Egypt

With nine major scuba diving destinations, the diving opportunities in Egypt can feel overwhelming. Should you set a course for Ras Muhammad and visit the SS Thistlegorm (considered one of the world’s best wreck dives)? Or enjoy the resorts and underwater life in Marsa Alam? A VR test dive can help you decide.

Enchanting Europe

Experience diving a clear mountain lake in Austria or a thriving kelp forest in Norway without donning a dry suit or a hood.

To explore historically significant dive sites in the Mediterranean, download MeDryDive, a free mobile app for Android and Apple devices. There are currently four VR scuba diving experiences, but more will be added over time. As of this writing, you can explore:

Mesmerizing Maldives and Oceania

The Maldives

Get a taste of what the Maldives have to offer above and below the sea thanks to AirPano.

Raja Ampat, Indonesia

This remote and beautiful archipelago has some of the most beautiful and pristine diving in the world. Make a virtual dive with manta rays and drop in on Jellyfish Bay.

Chuuk, Micronesia

The remote country of Chuuk (sometimes called Truk) is home to one of the largest ship cemeteries in the world. AirPano provides a 360-degree tour with historical narration.

New Zealand

Visit the HMNZS Canterbury (Bay of Islands) and the MS Mikhail Lermontov (Marlborough Sounds) from the comfort of your couch.

Palau, Micronesia

I don’t usually feel claustrophobic, but I did when I surfaced in chandelier cave. Taking a test dive can help you decide if you want to make this dive or not. 

For an overview of diving in Palau – complete with critter IDs – check out this VR scuba diving video from The Hydrous with narration by marine biologist Dr. Erika Woolsey.

Ready to Book a Dive Trip?

After you’ve toured the world virtually, connect with your local dive shop or PADI Travel to book your next scuba diving adventure. Whether you know the destination you’d like to visit or need help narrowing it down, an experienced expert can help you find the best dive resort or liveaboard for your budget.

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