Paddleboarding the Seventh Continent

On the coast of Cuverville Island. Credit: Rylie Hunter

It's not often an everyday traveler feels like a true pioneer. But as I set off into the 30-degree waters off the coast of Antarctica, it occurs to me that I am one of fewer than 100 people to explore one of the world's most remote environments via SUP. That's thanks to Quark Expeditions, which last year debuted an SUP program as part of an 11-day Antarctic voyage. A dry suit and thick gloves and booties keep the body heat in, and despite a fierce wind, I soon hit my stride. As icy and desolate as this place is, it teems with life: birds gliding above, penguins cavorting onshore, seals sunbathing on ice. After a few hours, the current takes us back to the ship, where I down a hot chocolate with a shot of Baileys and — feeling like the world's most pampered arctic explorer — head to the heated outdoor pool and sauna.