Antarctica really is the world’s last true wilderness.
Surrounded by a broad and rugged ocean, the continent has remained untouched by humans for as long as it has existed. To explore its icy shores is to realize this and to hear the crackle of ice, the howl of a fur seal or the chorus of penguins to witness just how peaceful the Antarctic can be. While our inflatable boats will be sure to let you soak this in, by far the best way to really absorb the sights and sounds of Antarctica up close is by kayak.
Lower to the water than an inflatable boat and with nobody but you at the helm, this is the chance to captain your own tiny Antarctic vessel, to explore the icebergs with so few people around you, to share a paddlecraft with a friend or loved one and to truly open all your senses to this unique continent.
Experience the Excitement and Serenity of the Polar Regions
Kayaking in Antarctica.
What can you expect from kayaking?
Adding kayaking to your Antarctic adventure means that you will be part of a small team that breaks off from the main group and paddles together as often as possible. You will have a different experience from your fellow passengers: while they will split their excursions between Zodiac cruises and shore landings, as kayakers, you will head out for a long paddle and a shorter shore landing.
What will you see?
Kayaking is a beautiful way to be close to Antarctic nature. When you kayak, you can reach down and touch the water. You can seize the ice floating past and watch penguins, seals and whales glide through the water just inches from you.
Incredible scenery is guaranteed – rugged shorelines with snow-capped mountains in the background, pristine untouched shorelines, icebergs that can turn the water beneath you a brilliant blue. The quiet nature of kayaking also makes it an excellent opportunity to encounter wildlife.
What equipment is provided?
Kayaking in a cold climate through icebergs and alongside whales requires some equipment that the average weekend paddler might not be used to. On top of a kayak, we’ll kit you out with:
- A drysuit
- A paddle selected for expedition use
- “Pogies” – neoprene gloves to keep your hands warm and dry
- Booties – to protect your drysuit and to keep your feet warm in the kayak!
As your kayak excursions can last up to several hours, we also recommend you bring along:
- A drybag to keep your belongings safe and dry
- A beanie or toque
- Thin gloves
- A small waterbottle
- A waterproof camera (on a tether) or GroPro
Our Kayak Guides
Frequently asked Questions.
The most challenging part of sea kayaking is usually getting into the kayak itself. After you have mastered that, you will learn how to keep a rhythm going through the icy water. Antarctic sea kayaking does require some previous kayaking experience as you need to be comfortable doing a wet exit. Conditions can also be unpredictable so be prepared for changes to weather and sea conditions.
The ability to do a kayak roll isn’t required but you should be able to demonstrate that you’re comfortable in a sea kayak. A moderate level of fitness is required as kayaking can be demanding on your arms/core and you should also have a good sense of balance.
Dependent on the specific voyage; group sizes for kayaking vary between 8 and 16 people. For both safety as well as enhancement of the experience, we like to keep the group small enough that everyone can enjoy the peace and sounds of the Antarctic and we bet that by the end of your voyage, your fellow kayakers will be lifelong friends.
As with almost all aspects of operations in the Antarctic, kayaking is an activity subject to wind, weather and ice conditions. At the beginning of each excursion, our expert kayak guides will assess these conditions and inform the group whether it is safe to paddle. All of this means that on a ten day voyage, it’s quite typical to kayak approximately 4 – 5 times.
Emergency situations like this are discussed in detail during the mandatory orientation meeting.
However our kayaking guides are experts and often have years of experience in Antarctic waters, they are well-trained to assist should this unlikely event occur. Assistance will also be offered by the additional zodiac that tails the group.
We encourage clients to be involved in as many additional activities as possible, however as some of these activities are operated simultaneously or take priority due to weather and ground conditions, clients will have to choose their preference of available activities for the allotted times.
Kayaking varies in cost dependent on the duration of your voyage. These costs vary from US$790 to US$1299, please refer to the Ocean Endeavour Live Availability & Pricing Sheet for specific details.