Kayaking Terms

Terms and Conditions for Kayaking


Kayakers must be at least 16 years old with decent command of the English language, and must be able to swim. Kayakers under 18 must be accompanied on outings by their legal guardian.


Published kayaking rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and are per person. Immersive Kayaking rates are per voyage. Discover Kayaking rates are per outing.


A non-refundable 20% deposit is required to confirm space on our kayaking program. Final payment is due with final voyage payment, 120 days prior to departure.


    If the kayak program you’re interested in is already full, we’re happy to waitlist you – please notify us or your agent. Upon embarkation, all confirmed and waitlisted kayakers will be briefed on expected conditions and procedures. If any spaces open up, our expedition team will clear passengers from the waitlist, based on the date waitlisted. If kayaking spaces become available, an onboard waitlist will be collected, and a lottery process will determine any additions.

    Anyone added to kayaking after embarkation must pay the program fee prior to participation.

    Location and Frequency

    Your expedition guides select paddling sites for their protected waters, wildlife, and scenery. We cannot guarantee specific locations. Kayaking opportunities depend on expedition logistics, and on weather and ice conditions, which are changeable, and over which we have no control. All excursions are weather dependent, and your safety is our first priority.

    Typical length of a paddle excursion is anywhere from 1-3 hours. We will have an experienced kayak guide(s) on the vessel who will lead the trips and will safely guide you in the kayaks.  A safety Zodiac will keep a safe but unobtrusive distance.

    Most times we will be paddling near the Zodiac landing and shore excursion site. At all times we will travel at a safe distance from ice shelves and icebergs, keep a respectful distance away from wildlife and conduct all operations in accordance with IAATO guidelines and any recommendations from the Government of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.  It is important to understand and follow the guides’ instructions at all times. Kayaks may be embarked from shore or from a Zodiac, depending on sea and wind conditions and onshore terrain.

    Immersive Kayaking – Immersive kayakers will have the opportunity to paddle at most landing and excursion sites, weather and sea conditions permitting.

    Discover Kayaking – Discover kayakers kayak once per voyage.

    Please note: on Falklands, S Georgia voyages, we normally do not kayak in the Falklands. With just two days there, we choose to focus on a few fantastic landing sites.

    Equipment & Safety

    We provide the following equipment:

    • Tandem High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) sea kayaks with rudders – stable, tough and perfect for paddling around ice
    • Dry Suits
    • Spray skirts
    • Paddles
    • Pogies (mitts) and neoprene gloves to be worn inside the pogies
    • Neoprene boots
    • Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
    • Small dry bag for personal items

    To safely take part in this program you must be appropriately dressed. In Antarctica and South Georgia, the weather conditions can change rapidly, with little or no warning. It is therefore important that you are adequately dressed for the worst possible conditions. We will provide you with a personal flotation device (PFD), a dry suit, and pogies (gloves). Prior to each paddle we will check this equipment, and we will ask you to carry out a safety check to ensure that all equipment you use is in good condition and that you understand its use. You must confirm to the kayak guide that you have checked your equipment properly and that it is in good condition.

    During your kayaking excursions, you will be accompanied by a kayak guide(s). Throughout your paddle, there will be a Zodiac in constant communication with the group, which will assist if needed. For the safety of yourself and the other participants in the kayaking excursions, there will be a limited number of paddlers. Our kayak guides reserve the right for reasons of safety to restrict the number of people participating in our excursions at any time.

    About You

    To take part in any Polar Latitudes kayak program, participants must be at least 16 years of age. Previous kayaking experience is recommended. We also require that you can swim. You will have a PFD and appropriate gear and equipment, but swimming experience is necessary to minimize any problems should you need to make a wet exit. We recommend, regardless of your experience, that before leaving for your expedition, you re-familiarize yourself with the basics of getting in and out of a kayak. For the safety of yourself and the other kayakers, the kayak guide may for any reason ask you to undertake a practical test to determine your experience level.

    If you are totally inexperienced, we will make every effort to do a short “basics” instruction and have you paddle safely in a sheltered area. However, please note that participation in general, and on specific outings, is completely up to the kayak guide team and the Expedition Leader. As always, your safety is our top priority.

    Your Health

    When you book the kayak program, and immediately prior to starting your kayaking excursion, please declare any pre-existing medical condition or illness, or poor state of health. Before starting your expedition, visit a doctor for a personal medical examination to ensure that you are fully able to participate in the kayaking program. If you are recovering from any breathing illness or have recently had any major illness or surgery, you may be placing yourself and others at risk. If so, we would strongly advise you not take part in the program.


    As you will be kayaking in cold and icy conditions, there will be risk of personal injury.  You must accept that element of risk.  All passengers are required to have medical and evacuation insurance. Please check your policy to ensure that kayaking is not explicitly excluded; some insurance policies require extra coverage for adventure activities.


    In the interests of your safety and comfort, and that of the other participants, it is very important that you listen to, understand, and comply with any and all instructions given.  You must also attend the pre-excursion description and safety briefings.  Instructions will be given in English. You must have a good command of the English language, so that you are able to fully understand instructions. If at any time you are not sure that you have fully understood instructions, for your own safety please advise your guides immediately. If you must be withdrawn from the program onboard, there will be no refund, so please contact your agent immediately if you are not sure you are qualified to participate.


    If you are booked on the Immersive Kayaking program and you are not provided the opportunity to kayak at least twice during the voyage, due to weather or conditions, we will issue a full refund of the program fee.

    If you are booked on the Discover Kayaking program, and you are not provided the opportunity to kayak due to weather or other conditions, we will issue a full refund of the program fee.

    If you decide not to participate in the kayaking program once you are on board, if you decline to participate during any offered outing and then are unable to get into another outing, or if you need to be withdrawn from the program for safety reasons (i.e. language or health challenges) you will not be refunded.

    Updated February 2024.  Kayaking terms subject to change.