Most travellers head to Antarctica for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of getting up close to some of the natural world’s most unique and striking wildlife. If you choose to go kayaking through the ice-clogged waters of the Antarctic, you’ll have the chance to paddle around the edge of glaciers or past icebergs of white, green and blue.

And what better way to see seals and penguins hunting in the icy water or even a Minke whale breaching high in the air than kayaking at the same level as them?

What to expect

For a kayaking excursion, you’ll be split into small groups and get into Zodiacs (with the kayaks being brought behind you). Each kayaking expedition generally runs for between two and four hours, depending on the weather. The weather will also impact the number of kayaking opportunities you will have throughout the voyage. It’s essential you have some previous experience kayaking, so you are comfortable doing a wet exit.

Booking in advance

Kayaking can be booked up until the beginning of your trip, but places are limited so we recommend booking sooner rather than later. Simply ask our team when you book and they’ll be able to assist you.

Group capacity and kayak information

Each group excursion involves up to 16 travellers. The kayaks are chosen for their stability and the brands we use vary depending on which ship you are travelling on.

Clothing and equipment

All equipment, guides and a dry suit are provided for every traveller who has booked kayaking. If you bring your own suit, it must be checked by the kayaking guide before the activity begins to ensure it is safe. You will be guided as to what to wear under your dry suit before the first excursion.

Safety precautions

You will be guided by a minimum of one cold-water kayak instructor per group and a safety Zodiac will always be close by. All kayakers will be provided with detailed information before the first excursion and will need to carefully follow their guide’s instructions. For your own safety, you will need to verify that your travel and medical insurance covers kayaking and sign a waiver before embarking. The minimum age for participants is 16 years.

Day paddle excursions

Not convinced the full kayaking experience is for you? Some of our voyages also offer the opportunity to take part in a single kayaking excursion, using inflatable ‘sit on top’ kayaks. No previous kayaking experience is necessary to participate in a day paddle excursion.

Participants will be provided with a dry suit and floatation device and will be accompanied by an experienced guide and safety Zodiac. To guarantee a place, we recommend you pre-book this experience, but there may be the opportunity to book onboard if weather conditions allow for additional kayak opportunities.

View our full range of Antarctica expeditions