Positioning yourself in the seat of a kayak is one of the most intimate ways travelers can connect with the polar regions—at water level, up close, where you can touch and feel every polar sensation imaginable. The Sea Kayak Program enables a small group of like-minded individuals to forge bonds as they explore fjords, glacial faces or mazes of sea ice.
Quark Expeditions Sea Kayak Program is a voyage-length program available in Antarctica, in which kayakers (those who have minimal experience as well as seasoned paddlers) will enjoy the polar regions from a unique perspective.
Conditions and logistics permitting, your kayak guide(s) will endeavor to have you paddling as often as possible throughout the voyage. Typically, sea kayakers are shuttled by Zodiac from the ship to an ideal starting point, where the kayak excursion begins. Guests return to the ship by Zodiac at the end of their paddling experience. Some kayak excursions are designed so guests can go ashore and explore.
In addition to the kayak guides, a safety driver in a Zodiac will always stay nearby to offer assistance if required. Excursions typically last one and a half to three hours.
Note: Due to its popularity and limited space, if you want to ensure a space in the Sea Kayak program, please register when you book your expedition. While the program routinely fills up well before the voyage, if there are vacant spaces when you board the vessel you may sign up. Quark Expedition guides attempt to lead guests on as many sea kayak excursions as possible, but the number of excursions will depend on weather and sea conditions as well as logistical factors. Be prepared to paddle in a double or single kayak depending on availability.
Is Kayaking Experience Necessary?
The Sea Kayak program was developed to accommodate kayakers with a range of experience. Please don’t hesitate to consult with our polar travel advisors if you have any questions.
- Sea kayaks (single or double)
- Insulated rubber gloves and pogies*
- PFD (personal flotation device)
- Neoprene booties
- 10L dry bag
- Water bottle (provided in rooms upon embarkation)
Other recommended gear/clothing
- Thermal base layer top and bottom (synthetic or wool, no cotton)
- Thin fleece 200 weight top or wool sweater
- Fleece pants
- Liner socks
- Thick wool socks
- Thin fleece or wool liner glove to wear under rubber gloves (if you wish)
- Warm hat
- Waterproof and sweatproof sunscreen
- Camera (either waterproof, in exterior waterproof housing, or stored in a drybag)
- Waterproof backpack or a drybag
More Adventure Options
Positioning yourself in the seat of a kayak is one of the most intimate ways travelers can connect with the polar regions—at water level, up close, where you can touch and feel every polar sensation imaginable.
Zodiacs are used for transferring you ashore, transporting your luggage when necessary and for taking you ocean-level cruising among icebergs, whales and seabirds. During the expedition, you will visit remote and isolated sites that are accessible only by Zodiac.
Hiking in the polar regions differs from your typical trail experience. Here, in a tree-less terrain, you are the tallest figure on the landscape as you walk over spongy tundra, crusty snow or sandy beaches in remotes parts of the Arctic and Antarctica.
The Polar Plunge is scheduled once during each voyage. Throughout the journey, the Expedition Leader and Captain constantly monitor conditions in order to choose the optimal time and location. The Polar Plunge sometimes takes place onshore or, in many cases, from the gangway or Zodiac.
Imagine for a moment, staring at the stars in the indigo glow of an Antarctic night as you bed down for the night outside in the elements.
Let us take you on an active adventure high up in the Antarctic Peninsula. You’ll be part of an intimate group of adventurers to board one of Ultramarine's two twin-engine helicopters for a trekking excursion in an area only safely accessed by air.
Exclusive Heli-Landing (Patagonia)
Imagine setting foot in an area of Patagonia that can only be safely accessed by helicopter. With a small group of fellow passengers and expert guides, you’ll board one of Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters to soar off to an exclusive site where no ships can navigate.
Imagine setting foot in an area of the Antarctic that can only be safely accessed by helicopter. With a small group of fellow passengers and expert guides, you’ll board one of Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters to soar off to an exclusive polar site where no ships can navigate.
Every sweep of the paddle as your craft glides through the pristine polar waters creates an incredible soundtrack: the jostle of glacial ice, the lapping of waves against the rocky shore, the perpetual drip from your paddle, the call of seabirds, and the occasional splash as wildlife break the su