We had a fantastic day with Outri, one of the co-owners of Natura Viva. Outri was our guide for the "Helsinki by Kayak" tour. The scenery was spectacular, with rocky islands filled with pines and many species of birds and sea life. We had some brief paddling instruction for those new to kayaking and then we headed out. The equipment is all top quality and well maintained. We stopped on a deserted island, where we climbed a short distance to enjoy the views of the surrounding islands and to enjoy a nice lunch, provided by our guide. As a special treat, we were provided with Finnish berry juice made from Lapland arctic berries, served in local Finnish glassware. Three swans just below our lunch spot decided to take off in flight, amazing to watch.
Note regarding our choice and the cost: We arrived in Helsinki on a cruise. The younger members of our family needed a break from all the churches, palces, and art musums of our 3 day stay in St. Petersberg. The thoughtfulness of Outri, the pleasure of the kayaking, the lunch and the scenery were all top notch. This was a perfect antidote for the whole family to enjoy a day in the beautiful outdoors. (I would give Outri 6 stars if I could.)
Our ship was offering a kayak trip for $199 US dollars. Instead, we booked this kayak trip ourselves, online with Natura Viva at a cost of about $87 (65 €). Their van picked us up in town, a short walk from our ship, and we were dropped off at the outdoor market adjacent to the ship terminal. If you have Internet or email access, this is a terrific tour offered by a family owned company and you cannot go wrong with their outstanding itinerary.
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