Panama City, FL

Panama City, FL

Yes! They're for Certified Divers Too!

All divers are welcome on our Panama City trips! Advanced, Master, and Rescue divers will even enjoy a night dive or additional shore dives for their certifications!  We always have a great time and our divers accomplish a lot during these weekends.

Offshore Wreck Night dives are available for Saturday night.
Vortex Springs dive is optional on Friday.

Have a blast with a great dive group from Underwater Adventures! It’s a great experience builder and a convenient destination close to home.

What’s the visibility like?

Visibility averages 40-70 feet!

What wrecks do you dive?

Dive offshore wrecks such as: the Red Sea, Black Bart,  USS Strength, and more!

What kind of wildlife will I see?

Typical animal sightings:

Goliath grouper
Hawksbill turtles
Bottlenose Dolphin
Sharks
Red Snapper and Amberjack
Plenty of colorful reef fish

How deep are the wrecks?

Most of the wrecks we dive are between 60′ – 70′ deep. Night dives tend to be a bit deeper and are for more advanced divers.

Do I have to find a hotel?

Underwater Adventures partners with the La Quinta Inn and Suites that is only minutes from the dive shop. You can book a room through us, or feel free to stay at the hotel of your choosing. Just remember, the La Quinta doesn’t kick UA members out of the Hot Tub after 10:00PM!

Vortex Springs… is it really that cold?

The water at Vortex Springs stays 68° year round which can be a bit chilly. We suggest a 5mm wet suit for your dives in the springs!

There are only 26 spaces per weekend available for, so please book yours early to secure your spot. To reserve your place on a certification dive trip, you must put down a deposit of at least $100.

Certified Divers -  $260 for Saturday & Sunday 2-tank dives in Panama City, or $310 for Friday (Vortex Spring), Saturday and Sunday.

Non-Certified Student Divers - If you are diving this as a student, there are additional instruction fees. The trip cost is $450 for the Basic Openwater Checkout.

Night dives and Nitrox are available for additional fees. Payments must be made in CASH or CHECK only please.

We will make one snorkel dive (unless already certified), two scuba dives in the freshwater springs and four dives in the Gulf of Mexico making for a total of seven dives. Although the minimum is only five dives, we feel the additional dives give our students valuable additional experience as well as accommodate for sick days and/or unexpected events during the trip. You can think of the spring as a intermediate between the pool and the ocean, since it’s like a freshwater pool with fish and rocks! Then, on Saturday, you’ll be ready for the transition to the ocean aboard one of the Panama City Dive Center Vessels. After demonstrating proficiency in the required skills, you’ll be able to demonstrate independence as a buddy team on Sunday as you execute and plan your dives with your instructor.

You are responsible for trying on, reserving, picking up, paying for, keeping track of, cleaning, and returning all equipment needed, including 3 tanks from Underwater Adventures. That is part of a certified diver's responsibilities! Please also make sure you bring enough weights for the trip, since we don’t carry many extra with us. You can pick up your rental equipment and tanks at Underwater Adventures during business hours Wednesday or Thursday the week of your trip. If you have special circumstances and need to make special arrangements for gear and transportation, please let us know ahead of time.

We offer a full gear weekend rental package for students at $95 each. This includes BCD, regulator, and wet suit. Computers are optional, but definitely encouraged! Student divers should only use scuba equipment from Underwater Adventures unless you have used the gear during your Openwater class and it was determined to fit well and be fully functional.

All divers must have their own mask, snorkel, fins, boots, logbook, dive tables, dive watch or computer, weights, BCD with power inflator, regulator, 3 tanks (or more, depending on certification), and wet suit. Accessories to make your trip more enjoyable include: sea sickness meds (better to have than find out the hard way!), sunscreen, towels, mask defogger, and a dive light. Water is available at the springs and boat, but it’s a good idea to bring snacks and Powerade! We like to have fun and sometimes we even throw BBQs after a good day of diving too!

After completing the required dives, your instructor will work with the group to review and debrief while you complete your logbooks. We will order your certification card and it is usually available the following week at the store. We can also fill out a temporary certification card if you think you may need it before you get your permanent card. All gear is due back at Underwater Adventures by Tuesday the following week.

Panama City Checkout Dive Trips

October November December January February March
  • 10/20/2017 10/22/2017
  • 11/17/2017 11/19/2017
  • 03/23/2018 03/25/2018
April May June July August September
  • 04/27/2018 04/29/2018
  • 05/18/2018 05/20/2018
  • 06/15/2018 06/17/2018
  • 07/20/2018 07/22/2018
  • 08/24/2018 08/26/2018
  • 09/21/2018 09/23/2018

The following is a general timeline of events. They are subject to change, therefore please verify with Underwater Adventures prior to trip!

Friday - Vortex Springs

9:00 AM: Instructors and upper level students arrive at the springs and begin preparations.
10:00 AM: Students should arrive by this time and sign into the dive shop, receiving a bracelet. Join the group for briefings and begin diving
2:00 PM: Conclude first day of diving, debrief, lunch, and travel to Panama City to check into hotels and drop of tanks for fills.

Saturday and Sunday - Panama City Beach

6:00 AM: Sign in at the dive shop, and pick up tanks if we instruct you to. After you sign the roster at Panama City Dive Center, drive less than a mile to the boat dock.
6:30 AM: The dive boat leaves the dock, please don’t be late.
12:00 PM: Diving concludes for the day.
5:00 PM: Boat leaves for night dive (advanced students and certified divers only)

From Baton Rouge to Vortex Springs From Baton Rouge to Panama City Dive Center From Vortex to Panama City Dive Center The dive shop, Panama City Dive Center, is located on the beach at the intersection of Front Beach Rd and Thomas Drive. To get to the boat from the dive shop, follow Thomas Drive approximately 1 mile north. Take the first right after the bridge (@ Capt. Anderson’s restaurant) and then turn right into the big parking lot. The boats are located at the far right corner of the marina.

Vortex Springs
1517 Vortex Springs Ln.
Ponce de Leon, FL 32455
Panama City Dive Center
4823 Thomas Dr.
Panama City, FL 32408
La Quinta Inn & Suites
7115 Coastal Palms Blvd.
Panama City Beach, FL 32408