Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking

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    The gorgeous cove is surrounded by old-growth rainforest and glaciated Alaskan peaks
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    Your expert guide will give you an instructional overview before leading the way into the wild
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    Besides providing access to naturally stunning areas, Orcas Cove Kayaking is great fun!
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    Orcas Cove Kayaking is a perfect family-friendly adventure!
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    Keep your eyes peeled for eagles turning overhead as you paddle out into the wild!
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    Enjoy yummy snacks en-route to your grand adventure!
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    A scenic and secluded area, Orcas Cove is truly a peaceful setting. What’s more, it’s home to numerous species of Alaska wildlife!
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    With high-end boats and all the equipment one could need, Orcas Cove Kayaking is an excursion that will have you prepared for whatever your group finds out in the elements.
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    Calm waters, sprawling Alaskan skies, and wildlife galore. What more could one ask for?
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    Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife even en-route to the dropoff point!
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    Don’t forget those cameras! Orcas Cove kayaking is the source of countless Kodak moments
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    Your top-of-the-line sea kayak is perfect for sneaking up on Alaskan wildlife
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    Besides being excellent paddle guides, the Orcas Cove kayak leaders are seasoned naturalist ready to answer your questions about local biology and geology.
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    It’s not just orcas that visit this cove! Keep your eyes peeled for stunningly massive humpbacks!
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    Seals, sea lions, and countless other Alaskan species call this area home
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    Keep your eyes peeled for orcas as you explore this stunning area! Not all guests will see whales, but from time to time paddles find themselves face to face with these awe-inspiring giants!
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    It’s not just the wildlife that makes the Tongass Rainforest fascinating: Keep your eyes peeled, too, for the subtle depictions that native residents left on coastal rocks many years ago!
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    Don’t forget to look below the water line! Starfish and lots of other tidal creatures call this area home
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    It’s hard to beat the glorious views to be found in Orcas Cove
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    Your transport to the cove is itself a great medium for whale watching!
Head out of town, and get off the beaten path on the Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking adventure. A 20-minute boat ride takes you out of Ketchikan and to Orcas Cove, a serene wilderness location characterized by small islands, diverse intertidal zones and coastlines overflowing with old growth forest. A wonderful area for a kayaking excursion, this one's for you if you're looking to experience raw Alaska first-hand!

What to expect and what not to expect with this Ketchikan shore excursion

You won't find this tour option available on the cruise line - this is a local offering in small groups of only 6 guests per outing that ventures off the beaten path to some of the surrounding islands of Ketchikan. After meeting the tour rep near the cruise docks, a short walk takes you to the docks to jump aboard the boat for an approximate 20-minute ride that provides a great overview of the area itself. Cruise part of Ketchikan Creek, Saxman Totem Park and Mountain Point on the way out to Orcas Cove, the launching point for this 2-hour paddle. A quick gear fitting and orientation from your trusty guides equips you for the next part of your journey.

  • Conveniently within walking distance of the cruise docks
  • 4 hours duration
  • Fantastic wildlife opportunities
  • Smoked salmon picnic & hot drinks provided
  • Small-group setting with only 6 guests per tour

Hit the water for a leisurely paddle along this protected shoreline. Along the way, your naturalist guide provides excellent narration, shedding insight on the ecology of this wilderness landscape and pointing out all sorts of wildlife. Opportunities for seeing humpback whales, porpoises, seals and sea lions are part of this experience, and keep an eye on the shoreline as well for possible deer, mink, river otters and sometimes even black bears. Wildlife isn't guaranteed, but it's an area that is certainly conducive to these types of backcountry encounters.

The strokes become second nature as you soak in the peaceful sounds of paddle on water, and the relaxed pace of the tour gives you plenty of time for pictures, asking questions and simply enjoying the Alaskan outdoors. As you return to the launch point, a locally smoked salmon snack and hot drinks are waiting aboard. Degear, enjoy the company of your fellow tour-goers as you enjoy some tasty Alaskan treats in this lovely setting. Eventually return back to downtown Ketchikan, refreshed after this pleasant sea kayaking getaway.

If you're looking for a bit shorter kayak trip or are a bit more price-conscious, you may try this one:

Minimum Ages, Cancellations, Accessibility, Etc.

KETCHIKAN TOURS DETAILS:

  • Minimum Age: This moderate activity is suitable for children ages 6 and older.
  • Accessibility: No previous kayaking experience is necessary and you'll be equipped with all the gear and info you need for this gentle activity. To safely participate, guests must be able to fit into a spray skirt that is 55 inches around the chest and stomach area and be able to sit in a kayak seat that is 18 inches wide. Specially adapted kayaks are available for guests over 6’3”. Please let us know if one is required for your group.
  • Cancellation Policy: In the event your cruise ship is late, delayed, or doesn't make it into port we always issue a full refund for the tour. Changes or cancellations are allowed up to 14 days prior to the tour departure with absolutely no penalty. Including 'Flex Cancel' allows cancellations and refunds up to 24-hours before the tour. Any cancellations made within 14 days of the tour departure (or within 24-hours with Flex Cancel) are nonrefundable.
  • What to Wear: Alaskan weather can be variable so it's recommended to plan accordingly. Dress warmly and in layers, so that you can take off an extra layer when the sun is out or throw on an extra layer if it's a bit chilly. All necessary kayaking gear and equipment will be provided for you including outerwear and a dry bag for cameras.
For availability and timing, complete the information on the sidebar
  • Adult Rate: $169.00
  • Child Rate: $139.00 (ages 6-12)
  • + 6.5% sales tax
You've got questions, we've got answers
Q:How long is this excursion, and is transportation included?
The total duration of this activity is about 2.5 hours with about 1.5 hours on the water. The meeting location will be just next to the Ketchikan Visitor's Bureau, which is conveniently situated very close to the cruise docks. A representative will meet you there, and the kayak base is just a short walk away. Of course, you'll receive detailed meeting instructions and planning information in a confirmation email upon booking.
Q:Do I need previous experience? Is kayaking safe?
This tour is a great entry-level kayaking tour and perfect for first-timers or those with experience. The kayaks used for this tour are large, 2-person kayaks that are quite stable. Alaska's Inside Passage is scattered with nearby islands which provide calmer, bay-like conditions for the paddle (this isn't on the open ocean). First time jitters are common, but the small-group setting means you'll have lots of personal attention from the accompanying guide.
Q:What should I wear and how to prepare for this tour?
You should not need to bring any special clothing or shoes for kayaking. We provide paddle jackets and pants for our guests and have poggies to keep your hands warm on cold days. Even in the summer, we wear 2 layers on most days. Please wear 1 or 2 layers under your coat (on chilly days) as it is best to have a layer or 2 under our paddle jacket. Fleece, wool and technical fabrics are ideal, but jeans or sweatpants and a sweatshirt will work just fine. On cold or rainy days, it is a good idea to pack a warm hat, gloves and an extra layer to put on after you kayak. A baseball cap is helpful on both sunny and rainy days. Despite Ketchikan’s reputation for rain, there are many days when sunglasses and sunscreen are needed on the water. Sneakers, sport sandals or rubber boots are the best shoes for kayaking: your feet will not get wet. Hiking boots can be too bulky to fit in the kayak and make it difficult to use the rudders.
Q:Can I bring a camera?
Absolutely! There are dry bags of several different sizes to accommodate cameras, binoculars and any other items you would like to bring on the kayaks with you. Waterproof cameras are great but don't be afraid to bring a good digital SLR camera and put it in one of our dry bags. There are plenty of opportunities for photography and you don't want to miss an amazing shot.
Q:Can Grandma come along too?
You are never too old to paddle a kayak. Our oldest participant to date was age 90 and going strong. We use double kayaks to pair people up to make strong paddling teams. Just be aware that kayaking does require some physical exertion, and for the Orcas Cove trip, we have to "climb" aboard the mother ship. Please call or email us if you have any questions or concerns.
Q:What if it rains? Do the trips get canceled?
Ketchikan is in the heart of a temperate rainforest, and we would never do anything if we stopped for the rain. Please do not let the possibility of rain deter you from booking. Southeast Alaska is at its most beautiful on misty rainy days. You'll receive quality paddling jackets, waterproof pants and spray skirts to keep everyone as dry as possible. And don't forget that the wildlife doesn't care about the rain. Of a greater concern to kayakers is strong wind, and if the conditions are unsafe, we will cancel trips with a full refund.
Q:Is there a weight limit for the kayaks?
Over the years, we have seen all shapes and sizes! We do not have a set weight limit as the ability to participate depends on size rather than weight. To fit into our kayaks, you must be able to step into a 55" spray- skirt tube and pull it up to your chest: if your girth is greater than 55", you will not be able to participate safely. If you are not sure whether you will be able to participate, please call us for more information.
Q:What if our ship is delayed or doesn't make it into port? Refund?
It's very rare that a ship is delayed into port, but in those cases, we will try our best to work with you to reschedule the tour to a later time. If that is not a possibility or your ship doesn't make it into port, we will of course refund the full cost of the tour.
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