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“Great kayak trip”

Southeast Sea Kayaks
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Ketchikan Kayaking Tour
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Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking
Ranked #5 of 94 Tours in Ketchikan
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ketchikan's local kayak company. Sea kayak tours of Ketchikan, Orcas Cove and kayak/hike at Icehouse Cove. Small groups and fun, friendly guides. First time kayakers welcome!
Useful Information: Lockers / storage, Activities for older children
California Hot Springs, California
1 review
“Great kayak trip”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We just had a wonderful kayak trip to Orcas Cove with Southeast Sea Kayaks while on our cruise. Went the way it was planned. Met us off our ship on the dock on time and we were back the time as planned. Adrienne our guide was awesome. We saw lots of salmon jumping and bald eagles and sea life. We were lucky to have a warm sunny day and get some exercise too. This was our favorite excursion and was especially nice they only take 6 people out. Ketchikan was our favorite port and we will return for fishing and to kayak again with Southeast Sea Kayaks. Also ordered a case of their smoked salmon so we could share with family & friends since it was so tasty on our trip

Visited August 2013
Thank KatDe111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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477 reviews from our community

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English first
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
1 review
“Fun outing”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

We had a limited time to spend in Ketchikan, so we were happy to find a 2.5 hour kayaking through Southeast Sea Kayaks.

Brendan met us at the liquid sunshine gauge, and brought the group back to the boat where we geared up. Our guide was Brendan, who was knowledgeable and friendly and fun.

He took us on an easy trip in a simple loop around the area. It was beautiful and scenic. We riddled Brendan with questions about the local history, economy and social life, and he was knowledgeable about it all.

If you are looking for an active kayaking adventure, this option is too short. But if you want a relaxed trip around the area, it's perfect.

Visited August 2013
Thank Jennifer F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cary, NC
Level 6 Contributor
131 reviews
61 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 789 helpful votes
“Our only excursion that was truly disappointing to all of us”
Reviewed August 17, 2013

We found Southeast Sea Kayaking on Trip Advisor and were truly psyched about the excursion. We have our own kayaks at home and thought it would be a great way to get into the Alaskan wildlife. We booked the shorter tour as it was all our port time would allow. The liquid sunshine gauge is a little hard to see as its plain light blue back faced our cruise ship, but it is right by the visitor center, just a couple minute's walk from our docking spot. We arrived a couple of minutes early and our guide found us soon afterwards. Our other party members were running late, so the guide borrowed our cell phone to call them and the office as he didn't have his phone with him. Once we were all there, it was an easy 5 minute walk to the small boat that serves as the company's office.

We were outfitted with a spray skirt (which was really suspenders and a vinyl skirt that hooks on the top of the kayak--unnecessary on our lovely 80 degree sunny day!) and life vest. Our larger items were stored in a bucket onboard and we were given "dry bags" to store our cameras or other items we wished to take with us. We were offered sunscreen, which was thoughtful. Our guide, Brendan, a young college student, did a fine job of explaining paddling and getting us in our boats.

We paddled up Creek Street and saw the salmon in the water. It was interesting to learn the 5 types of salmon and to see the buildings of Ketchikan. We paddled past our cruise ship and crossed the fishing boat lane to a small island within view. Our guide said we would continue on around another small island, but then we just sat for photos and looking at a bald eagle. Then we just sat and sat. This part was all fine but we really expected to go on and do more. The other couple in our group seemed pretty disappointed in the extent of the tour as well. We just paddled back across the channel after a 20 minute or so pause sitting and looking at the mountain Brendan had hiked the day before. Everyone in the group seemed pretty experienced and interested in going. We were like "just head off and we'll follow!" But we didn't paddle much of our tour time. We returned to the dock and retrieved our belongings. Although it was a warm day so the promised hot cocoa that we had talked about in our e-mails to the company didn't seem appropriate, we were surprised not to be offered a glass of water or any of the promised smoked salmon (which is my husband's favorite--I had planned to buy a few cans). We did buy a cool Southeast Sea baseball cap and walked the couple minutes back to town and sampled salmon in a local shop.

Southeast was cheaper than the cruise kayak provider (esp. since our kids qualified for a discounted rate). Also, family who took the cruise kayaking excursion said it was not very good either and involved a half hour bus ride each way, so they had no time to explore Ketchikan. We actually loved our zip lining in Skagway and our whale watching and dog sledding/helicopter tour in Juneau (see my reviews on these) and thought kayaking would be amazing too. We were just sorry that for such a large cost, that we didn't really leave with any fun or exciting memories. It's sad to think that kayaking here at home in our local lake is more fun. It just seemed like our guide was having an off day or just not as enthusiastic as we'd heard in other reviews. He seemed nice enough, but it was the end of the summer and maybe he left his enthusiasm at home with his cell phone.

Visited August 2013
Thank CaryPlanner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ketchikankayaker, Owner at Southeast Sea Kayaks, responded to this review, August 30, 2013
Thank you so much for your comments. We always appreciate feedback as we are constantly looking for ways to improve our tours. We are sorry that you did not enjoy Brendan as a guide. We love Brendan, he is a wonderful guide and incredibly knowledgeable about the area but his style is definitely laid-back Alaskan. He is a 3rd generation Ketchikanian with a true appreciation for Southeast Alaska so he will always stops to look at eagles & wildlife or just appreciate the view. It is important to point out that this review is for the 2.5 hour Ketchikan Kayaking tour, which, at $89 adults/$59 kids is an amazing deal especially for a tour with just 6 people. If you come on the Ketchikan Kayaking tour and expect a smoked salmon snack or hot cocoa, you will be disappointed: those are part of our 4 hour Orcas Cove tour. When our guests email us we will describe both tours. We recommend Ketchikan Kayaking for those looking for a shorter and more budget friendly tour option or for people with children under 8 years old. Orcas Cove is our wilderness experience for kayakers of any experience level who would like to really get out of town. On either tour, we have just 6 paddlers in the group, so please let your guide know what you want out of the tour. Whether you want to paddle hard and burn off some calories or take it at a relaxed pace and get great pictures; if you let your guide know, they will do their best to make it happen!
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Sarasota, Florida
1 review
“Not what I expected”
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Booked this tour privately before going on the cruise. Did not see any Orca or other wildlife except for one bald eagle, pink starfish (it was low tide) and a 10 years old eagle nest. The fact that it was mid-day might be the cause. It was my first experience kayaking in the Pacific and for this reason, I do not regret the trip. However, two unfortunate events happened: first, although the company denies it, we were at the meeting place on time (11:50) but no one was there. We finally called at 11:59 and they came to pick us up. Instead of recognizing an opportunity to improve, the staff including the owner accused us of not being there.... Our tour guide stated that when this happens, they do pick up when people call... I concluded they left the meeting place with the first group who simply showed up earlier than us. Secondly, I have been kayaking for years but my friend who is 72 years old has not. I was conducting the tandem and taking lots of pictures. We were about 100 feet behind the 2 other kayaks who were also stopping frequently to point out things to see. At one point, our young guide called us and tied our kayak to pull us. I was terribly offended and asked her why?? She stated that it was company policy so to be back on time. I did not accept that and we did manage to follow closely by no longer taking pictures. Ironically, she stopped for comments many times after that and we also had to wait for our turn before getting back on the boat. I suggested to her that next time the guide simply remind the group that we need to hurry up and ask if anyone needs help instead of assuming that older people cannot keep up. Otherwise, staff was very friendly and the advantages are that the group is limited to 3 tandem kayaks and that you are brought to the launching area by boat vs. bus.

Visited July 2013
Thank KayakBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ketchikankayaker, Owner at Southeast Sea Kayaks, responded to this review, August 18, 2013
We are so sorry that this tour was not what you expected and that we didn't manage to meet up at the Rain Gauge. It does get busy around the meeting point in the middle of the day so in this case we somehow missed each other. We ask guests to look for the guide holding the yellow kayak paddle and also to turn on their cell phones as we call the cell phone number on the booking when we have not found our guests so that we can give them directions if needed. There is not a better time of day for wildlife out at Orcas Cove as we are mostly seeing marine mammals and bears and they can appear at any time. Unfortunately, wildlife is impossible to guarantee but what we always have is beautiful scenery and peaceful, serene paddling. It is our company policy to bring all of our tours back on time so that people can enjoy their smoked salmon on board the mother-ship and be back to the dock in time for their cruise ship all-aboards. Occasionally this means that our guides will help out paddlers (of all ages) with a tow so that we can be certain of being on time.
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Dublin, OH
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great family fun!”
Reviewed August 13, 2013

My family went kayaking as part of an excursion while cruising in Ketchikan. It included me, my husband, our kids, (12 and 9) and my parents. Elizabeth was our guide. She was on time and easy to find right off of our ship. She was very calm and patient with our group. We had a grat time seeing a quieter side of Ketchikan, away from all the shops. It was nice to get a little exercise in also. Elizabeth answered all of our questions and knew a lot about the area. Thanks for a great time!

Visited July 2013
Thank sitmarley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ketchikankayaker, Owner at Southeast Sea Kayaks, responded to this review, August 13, 2013
Thank you so much for reviewing. We are delighted that your family enjoyed the Ketchikan Kayaking with Elisabeth. We love taking out families and, like many of our guides, Elisabeth has a background in outdoor education so she really enjoys paddling with kids. We love showing off our beautiful town and getting people out on the water to experience sea kayaking. Thank you for kayaking with us, we are so glad that you had fun.
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