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“What a blast!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ocean Raft Adventures

Ocean Raft Adventures
105 B Monastery St, Sitka, AK
907 966-2301
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Ranked #12 of 27 Activities in Sitka
Type: Water sports, Adventure
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Explore the volcanic coastline of St Lazaria and Kruzof Islands aboard specially designed ocean rafts. These small boat tours prove that bigger isn't always better and sometimes less is definitely more. We provide you with special outdoor gear so you will be comfortable on the raft. Your Ocean Raft Adventure begins and ends at our outfitting shop at 105 B Monastery St. where you will be outfitted for the trip. The secure open air seating makes for a fun ride and gets you out into nature where you can appreciate the the unique volcanic geography and abundant wildlife that lives in these special places. On the volcano coast tour you are likely encounters Grey and Humpback whales, Sea Otters, Puffins, and a multitude of other sea birds. The sea cliffs and caves of St Lazaria island are prime nesting habitat for many different species of sea birds the ocean raft is the perfect way to explore the island without disturbing the nesting birds. This excursion is 3 hours long with approximately 2 hours spent on the ocean raft. On this excursion you should expect to be bounced around on the boat it is not appropriate for people who have problems with back neck or joints, Recent surgeries that are not completely healed or late term pregnancies. Even tho the ride can be bumpy people rarely suffer from motion sickness on these excursions due to the special open air seating.
Hudson, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“What a blast!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

We had a great time on our Ocean Raft tour. We were picked up right when we got off the ships tender and taken to be suited up in our exposure suits. (the weather was great so the suits were a little warm) At the boat Riley gave a good safety review and we were off. The boat has a nice fast smooth ride and Riley was more than happy to jump some wakes and do some hard high speed turns to entertain our teen boys. Plenty of wildlife, eagles, otters, puffins, starfish, and of course whales! Because this is such a small boat they are able to get right next to shore and places other larger boats cant go. This is a definate must in Sitka but book early if you are on a cruise as they can accomodate only so many people a day. We give this four thumbs up and would definately do it again.

Visited August 2013
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13 reviews from our community

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Mississippi
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Perfect for small groups!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

If you want to see whales, eagles, sea otters, and possibly puffins and seals...and aren't afraid of fast speeds, jumping wakes of boats, and overall excitement....book this trip!

We were fitted with waterproof suits, hoods, and eye protection, and getting wet was not a problem. Perhaps a few drops from the front of the boat might splatter a rider, but not enough to make you feel wet. The suit was plenty warm as well.

The driver took us out close to whales, otters, and circled an island that is a bird sanctuary, where we were able to see many different kinds of birds as well as starfish on the rocks along the shore.

All too soon, it was time to go back. I would have gladly done this excursion again!

Visited September 2013
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Pullman, Washington, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Best thing in Sitka so far!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

My wife and I just finished a cruise and really loved this excursion. The meeting at the dock, the fitting of the survival suits and the boat ride were perfect in every way. The photo opportunities were amazing. Everyone involved with this company was very knowledgeable. I highly recommend this excursion. Our boat captain was Ryan and the person who met us and helped with the suits was Dick. Do yourself a favor and book this trip! My wife and I are already planning a flight back to Sitka just for this trip and photography.

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grain Valley, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“NOT a Thrill!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

We were SOLD this excursion in Nov. 2012 by the Alaskan Ferry sales person as the best thing to do in Sitka. What a bust! The description sent to us is barely recognizable to what we experienced. We spent four days to and from Sitka on ferries and in hotels to experience a Ho Hum ride through the trees to a pasture and back. The ride was too fast to view anything that might be in the trees, over a gravel road that was not "Thrilling". With NO photographer! We saw more wildlife the night we returned to Haines than on this entire ride. Christian the guide was very nice up to the point he lied to us about the ride "Never" having gone to the volcano as advertised. I wish I had my tip back. I see the website has been changed now to eliminate references to the volcano. Not much good to those of us who booked and PAID in advance. This "Adventure" was a complete waste and put a pawl over our entire trip. SHAME on the owners, and on Alaska Ferries!

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenneth R, Manager at Ocean Raft Adventures, responded to this review, June 19, 2013
Hello

I'm very sorry you didn't enjoy your tour with us we do our best to please all of our valued customers obviously in your case we failed. the excursion that you purchased is called the Ultimate Adventure Combo because it combines two soft adventure tours into one. This tour partners two brands Ocean Raft Adventures and Alaska ATV Tours it is unfortunate that this review ended up on the ocean raft adventures page because it seems most of your dissatisfaction was with the route of the ATV Tour. We stopped going to the top of the volcanic cone(Cinder Cone) at the end of last season because the road is washed out and unsafe. Christian was not lying he was attempting to explain that we never did go up Mt Edgecumbe Volcano this is true there are no roads up Mt Edgecumbe. The southern portion of Kruzof Island is formed by volcanic activity and is called the Mt Edgecumbe volcanic field. There are several volcanic vents in the Mt Edgecumbe volcanic field one of which called Cinder Cone. There is a road up to the top of Cinder Cone and around the crater there is also a small lake in the center of the crater. This is where we used to take guests on the adventure combo up until the end of last season when fall rains washed out the road. we have never told anyone that we would take them by OHV to the top of Mt Edgecumbe and the smallest amount of research would have revealed that such a promise was false. Also we have always stated that sometimes we take alternate routes if the weather is bad or road conditions impassable(snow, mudslides,and such) this has occurred on numerous occasions and we have had few complaints(sometimes if there was low clouds we would take people to the meadow to look for bears instead because the view from the top was obscured by clouds). We did not propose the Adventure Combo tour to our re sellers for the 2013 season because of the changes however Alaska Ferries wanted to continue selling this tour because they were getting great reviews from guests last year who liked the combination of Ocean Rafting and OHV riding. We informed them that we were no longer going up the Cinder Cone but that we could continue to run the Adventure combo of Ocean Rafting and OHV riding with an alternate OHV route. So when your booking came through we had no reason to suspect that you were looking at an old description. As a result of your review we are working with Alaska Ferries to contact others who may have booked this tour under the old description to try and prevent this from happening again. It would have been nice to catch this before before you went on tour (your disappointment upsets me greatly we depend on happy customers to stay in business). In the future you may want to do yourself and the tour operator a favor and check in directly with the tour operators to be informed of any changes to the description that may have taken place in the interim between booking and travel(a lot can change in 6 months especially on an Alaska nature tour). We are a small tour company we do our best to provide accurate descriptions of our tour products however sometimes changes take time to spread across different media and re sellers. As far as the wildlife goes I'm not sure what you did or didn't see on the trip. Wildlife is just that wild sometimes it is right there for you to see and sometimes it is not. Wildlife sightings are very common on these tours (Iris Meadows is arguably the best known place in the Sitka area to view Brown Bears in the wild) but we never have and never will guarantee wildlife sightings. This is a nature tour not a zoo or animal park and we still have to buy the gas and pay the crew regardless if the bears are in the pasture or not. Typically our minimum for running this tour is 4 people participating however we have been regularly consenting to take 2 as we did in your case so we can provide work for our guides and boat captains and we don't have to cancel peoples much anticipated travel experiences for lack of participation. In hindsight it seems that in this case that would have been the preferred alternative. It hurts when our best attempts at being accommodating and sharing a great experience with someone are described as ho hum. The forest, meadows and estuary (pasture?) are a big part of the tour and most of our guests enjoy them but apparently you did not, this is not something that we can control but I suspect that you would have enjoyed them more had it been what you were expecting. It is definitely a fine balance between going fast enough to be fun and get you out to the best places and slow enough to be safe obviously no speed would work for you as faster would have seen less and slower would have been more ho hum. Interpretive stops were made at scenic locations in the forest and meadow areas to look for wildlife and view forest trees and plants. Your guide Christian shared information with you about the area and did his best to show you a good time I'm sure he earned the tip you gave him. Tipping is a customary way of showing appreciation for a job well done and we appreciate the generosity of our guests but tipping is not required if you did not enjoy the experience you should not have tipped. Christian has worked with us for many years and has received many commendations for doing an excellent job. I am not ashamed of this tour or my guide Christian who has taken thousands of people on tour and kept them safe and shown them a good time. I sincerely believe that if you had appropriate expectations you would have enjoyed the trip. Thank you for your comments your case is a hard lesson learned for us how we must be extremely diligent to inform our guests of any changes to tour descriptions and to that end we will attempt to do better. I wish you well and hope you have better experiences on future travels.

Best Regards
Kenneth Rear
Member Manager
Ocean Raft Adventures
Alaska ATV Tours
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Sitka, Alaska, United States
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Local Returning Customer”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2013

As a lifelong Sitkan, this has to be my favorite (or tied with the Alaska ATV Tour), and I've been fortunate to have experienced it with family and friends several times. Our skipper has always been Gary, and he is very knowledgeable of the local area and history. The trips to the bird sanctuary are always fantastic, and the views are never the same. There are places he showed us that as a local, I had no idea existed (the caves are awesome). I will continue to encourage my acquaintances to make this a must do as it is a blast even in the pouring rain! Hard to wipe the smiles off our faces for a long time!!! Thank you for an awesome experience!!!

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kenneth R, Owner at Ocean Raft Adventures, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
Hello Valorie

Thank you for the nice review. It is nice to know that we can impress the locals too. We are so surrounded with beautiful places here Sitka sometimes I feel like we are a little bit spoiled but there really is always more to explore. Thank you for your patronage and support.

Best Regards
Ken
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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