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“A great experience with a knowledgable guide”

Aquaterra Adventures
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“A great experience with a knowledgable guide”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2011

We decided upon Aquaterra Adventures after visiting 2 other sea kayaking tour companies in Bar Harbor. I was afraid to kayak in a cold ocean so we were looking for a shorter tour with a great safety record. Aquaterra was the only company with 2 hr tours and availability for the day and was recommended by one of the other companies with longer tours.

Our guide was Andy, a local 6th grade science teacher. Our tour group consisted of only 5 members and her. She was incredibly knowledgable and patient with each of us, all beginner kayakers. It took around 30 minutes to explain how to kayak properly and to make sure we were equipped safely. As we toured, she explained the geological history of the area and answered the questions that each of us had.

The tour was not incredibly extensive, a reasonable paddle along the coast of Bar Harbor Island and around Sheep Porcupine Island. We saw many birds and a bald eagle's nest but no other wildlife. Andy explained that she had seen harbor seals that week, but of course, the spotting of these animals always up to chance. If you are interested in marine animal spotting, she explained that the longer tours on the opposite side of the island provided more opportunity.

Overall, it was a great experience. Andy helped alleviate my fears that began the experience and helped us create a wonderful vacation memory for around $75 for the two of us!

Visited July 2011
1 Thank Loverofoutdoors
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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134 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
60 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“The Discovery Tour is great for small(er) children.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 13, 2011

We booked the Discovery Tour with Aquaterra after a lot of research and frustration. My 9 year old son is 4'3". Many of the outfitters would not take him due to height restrictions. Aquaterra has this Discovery Tour during low tide in the harbor that will take smaller (size not age) children on a tandem kayak with their families. It did seem that a lot of time was taken getting prepared before actually launching the kayak into the water, but I felt we had enough time on the water. Since this tour includes children, we did not go very far or very deep. There were two families of four on the tour - for a total of eight people with two guides. We spent time dragging the bottom with hot dogs and catching crabs. I would definately book something more strenuous and more interesting if I could, but the kayaking was the "best" part of my son's trip (his words), and we did the tour that would allow him. I would definately reccommend this for a family like our with a shorter child that really wants to kayak, but if you meet the height restrictions for other tours - do them. Just one final note - They do not have lockers for valuables, just "cubbies" (like kindergarten) and they do not reccomend expensive cameras or equipment on the kayaks.

Visited June 2011
2 Thank auroraarielella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milbridge, Maine
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Most Amazing Experience!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 18, 2011

I kayak a lot on area lakes, but there is nothing like what they offer here, experienced staff and convenient location makes it the best tour I have ever been on.

Visited September 2010
Thank goodnews_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Princeton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Choose another kayak tour”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2010

The two-hour harbor tour is only one hour on the water as they take forever to equip and instruct everyone and launch the boats. Our guide spent most of the time cracking (not funny) jokes and praising his company and trashing the competition, instead of focusing on what we were seeing, which wasn't much since he was very focused on keeping us away from any shoreline.

2 Thank adventuretraveler64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericton, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Beautiful scenery, great paddle, friendly guide”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2010

When looking on TripAdvisor for a kayak excursion, my wife and I had originally called Acadia Park Kayak Tours because of its high ratings and praise. They were all booked up, but their main guide Brecian personally recommended Aquaterra Adventures as an alternative.

We ended up choosing the 3 hour (2-5pm) Porcupine Islands tour, which worked out to a little under 2.5 hours worth of paddling. Aquaterra provided us with a good sturdy kayak with rudder, paddles, spray skirt, aqua shoes, PFD, and the boat contained a small dry compartment for any small extras you wish to bring. I stored my digital camera inside a dry bag that I bought at their shop and then put it in this compartment. I'm not sure if I would recommend this though as the compartment is a little tough to get quickly in and out of. Attempt at your own risk I guess, and if you are hesitant, they do sell waterproof cameras in the shop.

As for the tour itself, it started out with our guide Mark giving the 8 of us (3 tandem kayaks, 2 singles) a few safety tips. Then it was straight into the water. No shuttle bus is needed as they have a dock right on the water, unlike some other tour outfits. Our guide was extremely friendly and helpful, and he made the paddle very enjoyable and laid back. He made a good effort to make everybody feel welcome. If I had one criticism though, it would have been nice to hear a little more about the islands. He did seem able to answer our few questions, though it would have been nice to have been offered a few more nuggets of island knowledge.

The paddle itself was fun (especially when the waves got a little choppy) and the scenery was beautiful. We probably had our sights set a little high for wildlife sightings, but we did get to see a lot of birds, as well as a seal as he popped up his head for some air. My recommendation is to set your expectations low and ignore the advertisements of any tour outfit concerning wildlife sightings, as it's going to be hit and miss no matter where you go. Such is nature.

All in all it was a great way to see Bar Harbor from a different perspective, and the Porcupine Islands from up close. We would definitely recommend a kayak excursion to anybody, and Aquaterra is a very good outfit.

3 Thank wmarcello
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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