Kayaking is one of the most amazing and unforgettable ways to explore the remote Antarctic and Arctic coastlines. There is nothing quite like paddling between the pristine waters and icebergs enjoying views of the landscape and observing powerful animals in their natural habitat while the only sound you can hear is crystal clear water dripping from your paddles. Words are insufficient to describe that feeling!
Kayaking in the fantastic Polar Regions adds greatly to the whole experience of being in an unspoiled wilderness. In this way, such an adventure is an opportunity not to be missed! Moreover, for today, the sea kayak programs to the Arctic (Spitsbergen, Greenland, and Franz Josef Land) and Antarctica (Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula) are available for almost all adventure-minded travellers. Thus, anyone who with at least basic paddling experience has a chance to enjoy the stunning polar views just from the surface of glass-like waters in the extreme South or North.
General kayak information you should know:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- Physical fitness and good health are essential
- Basic kayak experience is required
- Kayaking depends on weather and ice conditions
- Around 3 to 5 kayak outings are possible per voyage
- Maximum number of kayakers is usually 14 per outing
- You will be on the water for between one and three hours
- Essential kayak equipment is available for free on board
- Accompanying kayak guides are experts in their field
As you can see, in order to take part in the organised sea kayaking tour, you’ll need to have basic sea kayak experience and sufficient physical fitness. However, the truth is that even beginners with paddling ability can do it! The main thing you should do is to feel comfortable in the sea kayak. However, kayaking in the very cold water does still involve some potential risks, including swimming failure, cold shock, and hypothermia. So be careful and think twice! What’s more, it is better to take sea kayaking lessons before such an extreme adventure or, at least, rent a sea kayak occasionally to practice your skills in moderate sea and weather conditions.
Gear and clothing you should bring with you:
- Waterproof, windproof, and breathable jacket and pants (forget about jeans and T-shirts!)
- Thermal underwear top to bottom
- Fleece jacket or vest to wear over your thermals
- Thick socks
- Waterproof, durable, and well-fitting gloves (no leather gloves!)
- Warm fleece hat
- Sunblock / sunscreen
- Good sunglasses
- Waterproof bag for camera and other equipment
In general, make sure you have equipment and clothing suitable for the worst weather. Conditions in the Polar Regions may change rapidly, so it’s better to be prepared for everything! Anyway, once you feel ready for such an adventure, select the most appropriate voyage and try unforgettable sea kayaking in the extreme South or North! Incredible experience of a lifetime is guaranteed!