Antarctica is a magical place – glistening snow, mesmerising icebergs, adorable penguins and a land so remote it feels like you just may well be on another planet. Kayaking the Antarctic waters is an unforgettable experience and like no where else on earth really.
I recently returned from a 10 day voyage to the Antarctica Peninsula with G Adventures. As part of the trip, I opted for the additional extra which was kayaking. The cost of this kayaking was AUD $999 per person (at the time I booked).
So here’s why, despite the cost, it is worth spending the extra money to take the kayaking option. You have already spent so much, it really is only a little more to fully experience all that Antarctica has to offer.
Seven Reasons why you should kayak in Antarctica
1. Small groups – G Adventures limit the kayaking option to just 20 people. They do not allow extras to join, even if they regular kayakers do not wish to participate, meaning 20 is the maximum number of kayakers at one time.
2. Get up close and personal to nature – the thrill of seeing a penguin jump out of the water in front of a kayak can not be beaten, or paddling past an iceberg to see a lazy seal sunning itself. These are experiences that you won’t get on shore and possibly not even on the zodiac cruises.
3. Kayakers go out first – the kayak group is the first group to hit the water and almost always the last to return to the ship – giving you the maximum amount of time experiencing all that Antarctica has to offer.
5. Minimal people on shore – as the kayak was always conducted first, by the time the kayak group landed on shore almost all the other people had returned to the boat. Yes, this meant a reduced time on shore however the experience of kayaking in this environment far outweighed this.
6. It’s fun – The kayaking is conducted at such a leisurely pace that it really is fun and nice to participate in an activity that I wouldn’t ordinarily do at home.
7. Get a workout – If you are like me and can’t resist a good dessert you will eat a lot of food on this trip! Even though there is a gym on board, it feels nice to get outdoors and do some gentle exercise.
On board I heard many different people mention they thought it was only for one excursion or didn’t realise they needed to book in advance.
Here are things you need to know
1. G Adventures will offer the kayaking option at the same time as the zodiacs, every time (weather permitting of course – Kayaking doesn’t run if the with is over 20 knots, zodiacs don’t operate if wind is over 30 knots).
2. The Kayaking is not limited to one session. If the weather cooperates there will be many opportunities to kayak.
3. You must book, pay and sign a waiver in advance of your trip to participate in this optional extra.
4. If you choose the kayaking option you do not have to kayak everytime. If you do not feel like kayaking you have the option of joining the regular zodiac trip on that outing.
5. They recommend you have been in a kayak before. You DO NOT need to know how to do an eskimo roll or be super experienced at kayaking. I have rarely kayaked previously and felt comfortable doing it.
Note: Each company operates the optional extras differently – this is specific to G Adventures.
Kayaking is a wonderful way to experience all that Antarctica has to offer. If you are travelling to Antarctica – make sure you check out the options available to you.