Ever heard of Paddleboarding? Paddle Boarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world. And “stand up paddle boarding is catching on aboard small ship cruises.
Originating in Polynesia, the sport has been popular in the South Pacific and Hawaii. The sport has begun to catch on in a perceivably unlikely location — Alaska. While Alaska may not be considered a natural location for this water sport, it’s perfect for the bays and coves that small ship cruises explore, due to the flatwater found in these areas. Another destinations where the sport is picking up steam is Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, where sea kayaks have been popular for years. And of course, you’ll find plenty of paddleboard enthusiasts off the coast of Hawaii.
Paddle boards are shaped similar to surfboards, but are much wider and more stable. Paddleboarders stand on top of the paddleboard and propel themselves with a long, canoe-like paddle. The size of the board provides great stability and flotation. For those uneasy with the thought of trying kayaking during a small ship cruise excursion might want to consider stand-up paddle boarding as a great alternative.
According to InnerSea Discoveries expedition leader Kristin Roth, “Paddleboarding is an amazing opportunity to independently challenge yourself to try something new, but at your own pace and level. It is a great way to connect with solitude in the wilderness and the closest thing to walking on water that we’ve found!”
American Safari Cruises offers two to four paddleboards for guests, free to use, on each of it luxury yachts. InnerSea Discoveries provides up to nine paddleboards on each of their adventure “un-cruises.” A brief safety orientation is included as part of their activity safety orientation. One on one coaching and instruction is then provided to those who need special attention. However, most small ship cruise guests gain the most skill by just doing it.
Those who do wish to try paddle boarding should be comfortable in the water. While there is always the possibility of someone falling in the water, it actually rarely happens. An obvious factor is the individual fitness level of the guest, and the “in-the-moment-nature” aspects that cannot be controlled (boat wake, etc). All guests wear a lifejacket and are attached to the paddleboard by a leash.
Here are some of the itineraries that offer paddle boarding as an activity during their itineraries.
- Discoverer’s Glacier Country – 8 Day / 7 Night Alaska Inside Passage cruise aboard a luxury yacht with American Safari Cruises. Save $200 per person on 2012 adventure cruises aboard Safari Endeavour when you book by November 30, 2011.
- The Famed Inside Passage – 15 Day /14 Night sailing the full length of the West Coast of North America’s Inside Passage without the open ocean with American Safari Cruises. Save $200 per person on 2012 adventure cruises aboard Safari Endeavour when you book by November 30, 2011.
- Wilderness Passages of Discovery – 15 Day / 14 Night adventure un-cruising the 900 nautical miles between Seattle and Juneau, you will be exhilarated by snow-capped mountains, wildlife and birds, waterfalls, tree-lined narrow passageways and surprises at every turn with InnerSea Discoveries.
- Alaska Inside Passage: Eastern Coves – 8 Day /7 Night un-cruise from Juneau to Ketchikan. Explore the back passages and narrow waterways of the most remote areas of Southeast Alaska’s Inside Passage.
- Alaska Inside Passage: Western Coves – 8 Day / 7 Night Ketchikan to Juneau un-cruise is focused on taking you into the Alaska Inside Passage isolated waterways and secret passages where bigger cruise ships can’t travel.
- Alaska Inside Passage: Ultimate Adventure – Can’t decide on either Eastern or Western Voces itineraries? Do both in this 15 day / 14 night combination sailing roundtrip Juneau.
- Northern Passages & Glacier Bay – 8 Day / 7 Night un-cruise exploration of Glacier Bay National Park and remote wildernesses. Hike into wildlife-rich forests, standing atop a glacier, kayaking and riding a skiff along a dramatic fjord, learning about the Tlingit culture, and whale watching.
- Hawaiian Seascapes – 8 Day / 7 Night cruise, see and experience the Maui County group of islands (Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i) and the Big Island from a different perspective than that of a high-end resort or a big cruise ship.
- Hawaii’s Traditional Shores – During this 11 day/10 night Hawaii yacht cruise, you will see and experience the Maui County group of islands (Maui, Moloka’i, Lana’i) and the Big Island from a different perspective than that of a high-end resort or a big cruise ship.
- Aquarium of the World – This 8 Day / 7 Night exploration of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, where you’ll encounter flora and fauna found nowhere else in the world. In this World Heritage biosphere reserve, experience pods of dolphins numbering in the thousands and view many whale species including the largest living being on earth — the blue whale. Receive a $200 per person travel credit on select departures if you book by November 30, 2011.
Contact Sunstone Tours & Cruises toll-free at 1-888-815-5428 for more information on any of these small ship cruise adventures or to book the cruise adventure of a lifetime.