Stand-up Paddleboarding, popularly known as SUPing, originated in Hawaii. Quark Expeditions is the first company to bring this watersport all the way to Antarctica.
SUPing combines the immersive experience of kayaking but in a standing position. Participants, if they prefer, can kneel, sit or even lie down and stare up at the azure Antarctic sky. Because of their wide base and tail fins, SUP boards are quite stable, enabling participants – after a bit of practice – to stop staring at their feet and admire the surrounding scenery. Imagine seeing Gentoo penguins gliding below you, or making eye contact with a Weddell seal lying on a piece of ice as you paddle by.
Guests receive on-ship and on-water instruction from a qualified SUP guide. In addition, a safety driver (in a Zodiac) stays within range to offer assistance.
Duration: 1 to 1½ hours.
Guide to client ratio: 1 SUP guide and 1 Zodiac safety driver for 10 participants
Is SUP Experience Necessary?
Previous experience isn’t necessary but comfortability with water is an asset. SUP’ing adventures are offered in protected bays and channels during calm weather conditions.
- Neoprene Booties
- Waterproof gloves
- PFD – Personal Flotation Device
Other recommended gear/clothing
- Base and mid-layers (drysuits keep you dry, but not warm)
- Thin fleece or wool liner glove to wear under rubber gloves (optional)
- Waterproof and sweatproof sunscreen and lip balm (minimum SPF 30)
- Brimmed hat as well as a warm hat
- Camera (either waterproof or in a waterproof case or 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Flightseeing aboard Ultramarine
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
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.