Southern Sea Ventures [60]

Sea kayaking adventures from the tropics to the Mediterranean to the Ice

Southern Sea Ventures, based in Sydney, is a specialist sea kayak holiday operator, offering a diverse range of adventures around the globe.

Our warm water destinations include Fiji, Turkey, Panama, Australia’s Hinchinbrook Island and Tonga. Our ice-strengthened mothership, Polar Pioneer, supports our Antarctic, Arctic (Svalbard), Greenland, Amazon River and Scottish Isles kayak adventures. Fleets of single and double sea kayaks allow us intimate access to beautiful and rugged coastlines, secluded tropical islands, rainforests and unforgettable polar landscapes and to experience the history and culture of the areas we visit.

Fiji, Yasawa Islands

After a boat transfer from Lautoka to our base in the Blue Lagoon, we spend six days paddling a loop among four of Fiji’s northern Yasawa Islands. We spend two nights as honoured guests in a traditional Fiji village and then paddle to a secluded uninhabited island to camp for two nights. We take in spectacular sunsets, limestone caves, white sandy beaches, swaying coconut palms, and snorkel among exquisite coral reefs.

Fiji – Private Groups

We can organise Yasawa trips for private groups, with the itinerary tailored to suit participants’ level of experience. More experienced groups can opt for more paddling time. Alternatively, this is an ideal place to introduce a novice to the joys of kayak touring.

Turkey, Mediterranean Coast

This 13-day adventure offers a sea kayaking paradise with a smorgasbord of history and culture, and suits kayakers with some previous experience. Using plastic kayaks (mostly singles), our first 7 days are a self-contained paddle from Köycegiz Lake to Göcek Bay. Camping on remote beaches, paddling beneath Lycian tombs carved into sheer rock faces, hiking up rugged hills, visiting hot springs and exploring ancient ruins, we experience a wild and natural area of Turkey. At Göcek, we board a comfortable gulet (traditional motor sailor) for a cruise to Kemer, with onboard kayaks for optional paddles, and take in ancient cities, historic sites and delightful harbour towns.

Panama, San Blas Archipelago

This 9-day Caribbean kayaking adventure explores Panama’s San Blas archipelago. With special permissions from local chiefs, we’re privileged to kayak among the archipelago’s 350 islands and sand cays, and to be welcomed into indigenous Kuna communities where tourism is strictly controlled and traditional culture remains strong. Paddling our single kayaks through this area of outstanding biodiversity, we’ll camp on deserted islands, snorkel over some of the Caribbean’s most diverse coral reefs, and explore Panama’s vast undisturbed rainforest jungle that is home to monkeys, toucans, birds of prey, giant otters and tapirs.

Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland, Australia

Hinchinbrook Island’s mystique lies in its solitude and breathtaking beauty. Towering peaks rise 1100 meters above unspoiled golden beaches. Over 7-days, we explore this magical wilderness, paddling past temperate rainforest, granite cliffs and countless sandy bays, and allowing time for photography, beachcombing and excursions to refreshing waterfalls.

Tonga, Vava’u Group and Ha’apai

Vava’u’s cluster of 50 hilly coral islands with palm-fringed shorelines is separated by protected waterways teeming with life, and is home to some of the friendliest people in the Kingdom of Tonga. It is an ideal place to combine a kayaking adventure with visiting traditional villages, camping on uninhabited islands, whale watching, sailing, biking, snorkelling and diving. The more remote and relaxed Ha’apai archipelago is way off the tourist path. Here, we paddle among pristine coral atolls, snorkel, explore colourful lagoons, and visit traditional villages.

Mothership Kayaking onboard Polar Pioneer

Our Antarctic, High Arctic, Greenland, Amazon River and Scottish Islands trips take place aboard the comfortable 54-passenger expedition ship, Polar Pioneer, home to our fleet of sturdy plastic kayaks. Her enthusiastic Russian crew are among the world’s most experienced ice navigators. Onboard lectures by naturalists and historians unlock the mysteries of the areas we visit.

Around 10 passengers may select to kayak, accompanied by an experienced guide. Waterproof dry-suits are provided for polar paddling. These small-ship expedition cruises are not fully programmed tours, and each trip enjoys new and exciting experiences.

Our mothership fills extraordinarily fast, particularly for Antarctica, so it’s wise to plan over a year in advance.

Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica is simply the most humbling and powerful place on earth. Every day holds new wonders, from face to face encounters with whales, penguins and seals to serene paddles among brash ice and through narrow fjords dwarfed by enormous icebergs. These 11 and 12 day voyages depart from Ushuaia in southern Argentina. You’ll have the option to kayak every day that conditions permit – or even twice a day – while you are in the Peninsula.

High Arctic, Svalbard (Spitsbergen)

Life explodes during the brief Arctic summer, and sea kayaks are a superb way to see walrus, reindeer, and millions of migratory birds. Departing from Longyearbyen, our 11 day circumnavigation of Spitsbergen takes us within 600 miles of the North Pole, well into the realm of the polar bear. Making the most of our 24 hours of daylight, we paddle through narrow ice-choked fjords beneath towering mountains, hike over flower-speckled tundra, explore a fossil-rich polar desert, and visit 16th and 17th century whaling remnants.

Greenland, Spitsbergen & Iceland

Greenland is home of the original qajaq, a whalebone and sealskin contraption developed as an Inuit hunting boat. So it is appropriate that we explore by kayak during this 14 day expedition voyage to the world’s largest fjords. After 2-3 days in northwestern Spitsbergen, we cross to Greenland. Here, we’ll paddle in Scoresby Sound where massive icebergs are born, visit remote Inuit communities, and watch for musk oxen, reindeer, arctic fox, polar bears, walrus, whales and narwhale.

Scottish Isles

From the Orkney and Shetland islands up north, to windswept specks like Foula and St Kilda, and to the Hebrides and Skye in the west, Scotland’s rugged islands and intricate waterways are a paradise for sea kayakers. On our 11 day voyage between Aberdeen and Oban, and with long summer days, we’ll spend as much time kayaking as possible. We’ll also visit World Heritage Neolithic sites, remote crofting communities, picturesque villages and ancient castles. We’ll paddle beneath rugged cliffs of some of the world’s largest seabird colonies, where gannets, terns and puffins fill the air, or sit quietly as seals play nearby in waters patrolled by whales and dolphins.

Fact Box

Southern Sea Ventures offers a wide range of sea kayak holidays and is constantly adding new destinations. Its warm water Fiji, Tonga and Hinchinbrook trips suit beginners and experienced paddlers alike. For Antarctica, High Arctic, Greenland, Scottish Isles, Panama and Turkey, previous paddling experience is required. Trip costs include kayaking equipment, most camping equipment and most meals.

See www.southernseaventures.com or contact trips@southernseaventures.com or +61 2 8901 3287.

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