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“Work out some of the kinks”

Door County Kayak Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: DOOR COUNTY KAYAK TOURS is an Eco-Tourism Family Owned Company for over 15 years in the beautiful Peninsula of Door County. Our tours are launched in different areas of the Peninsula and they all have certified guides and an on-site photographer ready to capture the paddler within you. Our main office is located South of Juddville Rd in Fish Creek where you can rent Kayak/Paddle Boards, but T-shirts and schedule your next Paddling Tour. This location also is our meeting point for the Eagle Bluff Tour. Please visit our site for more information on our Cave Tours and Booking Availability. Whether you are solo participant, a large group of 12, a family of 5, seniors or honeymooners, we have the right paddle for you! JOIN US TODAY AND BOOK NOW!
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Reviewed August 27, 2008

My husband and I booked a trip with Door County Kayak Tours in July for August 24, 2008. We were told that we would visit Cave Point if weather permitted. We arrived on Sunday to find out that it was too windy and that we would be visiting another bay on Lake Michigan paddling from an estuary. We were both disappointed, but wanted to be safe so we agreed to the tour. The following problems occurred on the trip. First, the guide did not take "formal" attendance and kept on talking about the "12" people on the trip. This confused both my husband and myself since we were counting 14 pairs on the bus. After arriving, the guide started to count the pairs only to find out that there were two more people than she expected. She called The Outpost in front of everyone to discuss the problem, realizing that someone else had added two people the last minute. If she would have taken attendance BEFORE leaving, this embarrassing situation could have been avoided. Their answer to the problem of too many people was to have them take the 1:30 tour and take the bus back to wait. After attending that problem, we were told to pick a boat. (My husband and I were both under the impression that we could decide if we wanted a tandem or single kayak, but all that they offered was a tandem.) We picked a boat, and guess what? The boat had a rudder with a cut steering cable. We were told that it wasn't a big deal and that we could still steer manually. We are experienced kayakers and know that once you get to a fourteen foot boat and beyond, have fun trying to steer straight. We made our way out to the bay to find Lake Michigan the calmest we had ever seen it. We were very upset not to be at Cave Point with the calmness f the lake. We even stopped by Cave Point after leaving to check out how "unmanageable" it was only to find people happily swimming in the coves. (This can only be done in calm water.) Anyway,we made the best of the situation by having to paddle frantically trying to straighten the boat with our "canoe" paddling, but were very disappointed in the overall experience. After returning to the bus, the kayak trailer fell off while trying to back out of the parking. This was a typical ending to our disappointing trip. I would have to say that the part that bothered us the most was that when we returned, we were charged the full amount without an apology for having a kayak that did not steer and was not in proper working order. We noticed that they kept the kayak on the trailer for the next tour when someone else will have to "deal with" a broken rudder. I believe that this business has much potential if they can work out the kinks, but for now we can not recommend this business to our friends.

4  Thank peej45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DoorCountyKayakTours, Owner at Door County Kayak Tours, responded to this reviewResponded September 26, 2008

Thank you for the review.

That was a tough week for our business, 3/4 of our guides/staff/reservationists/drivers had just left for college as well as the season being in full swing. We were short staffed and the guides left working were on their last leg, I will do my best next year to not be short staffed during this time.

Our reservationist is usually the attendance taker, and was absent that day, though the guide should have caught that there were too many people on the tour before she left.

I apologize for the poor experience you had with the kayak, it is an ongoing maintenance issue with kayaks and we sometimes wish we had designed the kayaks ourselves so they would not break and be fixed easier. I commend you on your ability to steer the kayak with your paddle, you have now graduated from novice to beginner. On tours I lead, I try to have my group not use the rudder, it offers a more purist "kayak" experience as the original Inuits did not have rudders on their kayaks. Though rudders do help from time to time.

As for our signature tour location, the caves, we try to go the caves as much as possible, Safety is our number one concern. When the wind forcast calls for wind and waves, we have to go somewhere more sheltered such as Moonlight bay (Cana Island Lighthouse), Eagle Bluff or Door Bluff Headlands Park. As happens from time to time and as you found out on your specific tour, the wind did not pick up to the expected strength it was forcasted to, but if it did, the wind and waves would create an unsafe situation (rip tide, 4-6 ft waves) and we would be found negligent if anyone got hurt.

Once again, safety is our number one concern.

You are also correct that we have some kinks to work out, we are a growing business and strive to make your vacation memories enjoyable and as safe as possible. Please give me a call to make it up to you and give us another chance next year, we won't disappoint.

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Reviews (197)
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193 - 197 of 197 reviews

Reviewed July 9, 2008

We had a great afternoon going out with our guide. We have never been in a Kayak, the guide made sure we all felt comfortable before taking off. The trip was to cave point county park. The water, views all outstanding! The trip was not too long or too short. The transportation, the equipment, the guide, all first rate

Just beware that the pictures that the guide is taking during your tour are for sale. $4.50 for a 4x5 photo print out from a HP deskjet. That just struck me as wrong. Oh but a better deal, you could take all the photos from the tour on a picture CD for only $99. You don't see that part in the brochure. OK they are taking photos for you, they do deserve to make a profit. Looking back, all of the photos that the guide took, seemed to make the experience a photo shot and not so much a guided tour of DC. BTW the tour guide did take some very nice photos, we bought 3.

1  Thank bigfamilyguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DoorCountyKayakTours, Guide at Door County Kayak Tours, responded to this reviewResponded August 9, 2008

We are glad to here that so many of you enjoy the Cave Tour. Saying that all of our tours along the peninsula have amazing sights or an element of adventure.

As for each days specific paddle location, it is dependent on the weather. Wind direction can change instantly, which is why we do not choose the location for the paddle until right before the tour. It is not that we “don’t want to tell you” we just can’t control the weather (we are still working on that)!

If you only want to go to the caves you may show up for a tour and see if we are headed that way. The disadvantage to this is that our tours do fill at least a couple of days in advance. All of our locations are beautiful and I suggest taking a chance on a different location, I am positive you will enjoy it!

Photos and packages are a new adventure for us this year. The pricing and photo packages are available on our website and are now mentioned on our new brochures. We are currently trying to pay off the expenses of the equipment and have yet to make any profit. Our current photo prices are located on our website.

We are a commercial tourism business who tries to accommodate and provide everything you need to have a good time. Give us a call and we look forward to taking you out on a tour. –Door County Kayak Tours

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Reviewed July 7, 2008

My Daughter(16) and I (52),had a great time. Although we were novices, we were given expert instructions. Tours are chosen based on weather so we did a 7 mile tour on the Green Bay side from Murphy park to Judville. It was great. You have to be willing to paddle and you should not be afraid of a little hard work. We will do this one again and again.

3  Thank 10mandad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2008

My boyfriend and I went on a kayak tour in June, 2008.

First of all, the website is very informative and lists the times and prices of the tours clearly. I believe the tours run around $50 a person. Even though the website states the tours are 3-4 hours long, time spent actually paddling is more like 2 hours, as you have to take a short bus ride to the shore and learn how to paddle briefly, etc.

The kayak place is located in a series of buildings that have food and items for sale, so if you don't have time to eat before getting there, you can grab something once you arrive. We made a reservation in advance, but I don't think it's really necessary. I think they said they only expected a few people to show up and got 17 instead, but they just added a few more guides.

The guides were awesome. The place is run by young, 20-somethingers who really love the outdoors and are very professional and friendly. Our guides were Erin, Michelle, and Sara, who were all super nice and encouraging, especially Sara.

There are a few different paths/tours that the kayak tours go, depending on the weather. The cave tour is the most popular tour, but unfortunately it was a little windy the day we went so we weren't able to do that one. The tour we went on was actually a little boring, we just went up the coast and that was it, but we still enjoyed it because we were out on the water and everyone was friendly and having fun.

They've also added kites to the tour, which is nice for the young kids to hold onto or people who are tired of rowing. All the kayaks held two people.

If you have a flexible schedule, my recommendation would be to call in the morning and find out if they're doing a cave tour. My impression was that they sorta don't want to tell you so that you'll come no matter what, but make sure to press to find out. If they aren't , and you can't go another day, I still think you'd enjoy taking the tour.

Also, they have a photographer that comes along to take pictures so you don't have to bring your camera. I thought this was awesome and was all prepared to order some pics--until I saw that each one cost $8!!! So don't get too excited about this.

2  Thank Kitties102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2008

My girlfriend and I had an awesome paddle this last summer with Dave (owner of the kayak tours). We toured the caves at cave point one day and had a beautiful, pristine sunset paddle on the other side of Horseshoe island in Peninsula State Park. Relaxed, fun atmosphere. We'll be back again this summer.

4  Thank KiteNomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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