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“A little expensive and not ideal if experienced”

Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures
Ranked #1 of 35 Tours in Sitka
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures is an Alaskan family-owned business. We employ a select group of exceptional guides who proudly specialize in small-group and private adventures. Join us for a sea kayak adventure to explore the very heart of one of the most spectacular marine wilderness environments in the world. We offer a range of services to match any schedule ability and preference - guided day trips, multi-day expeditions, outfitting and water taxi. Let's go paddling!
Reviewed September 11, 2013

While these guys are really nice and offer a decent little guided trip, they wont rent to you even if you're experienced. If I wanted to paddle, I had to take a guided trip. It was apparent that I had more experience than the girl who was my guide and the group had some really slow paddlers that kept us from getting very far away from town. We did see some eagles pretty close up and the shoreline was pretty, but I could see houses/town just about everywhere we went. Very nice folks though, but pretty expensive considering I signed up for a 3hr boat tour that took us to see a lot of wildlife for just a little bit more money.

1  Thank pugetsoundwarrior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
sitkasound, Owner at Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded September 15, 2013

I know this is not a terrible review, but as owner of Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures, I am feeling compelled to reply to a few statements in this review that are misleading or unintentionally inaccurate.

It is apparent that this guest would have preferred renting a sea kayak to do a solo paddle - as opposed to a guide-led trip - of the area. The customer states that "they don't rent to you even if you are experienced". That is not true: we are happy to rent kayaks to folks who can clearly explain the process for executing a self-rescue in deep water, in the event of a capsize. The water is quite cold here and it is possible to get into trouble (and not been seen by anyone about) even very close to town. The safety of our customers, and even our potential customers, comes ahead of all else.

Additionally, I cannot understand how this customer could claim to be more experienced than our guide, as all our guides have extensive training and local knowledge. In addition to being experts at all common paddle skills, they must demonstrate proficiency at performing several versions of assisted-rescue and self-rescue before they are allowed to lead guests on tour. Occasionally, people inquiring about renting sea kayaks are disappointed to learn that we will not bend on our rental policy. Though we really don't want folks to be unhappy with us, we are not willing to let them engage in a potentially unsafe activity.

Lastly, I just wanted to add that it was not "slow paddlers that kept us from getting very far from town". This guest opted to join a departure of our shortest-duration paddle trip, the 2.5-hr Harbor & Islands Guided Paddle. Unlike some of our longer guided trips, the Harbor & Islands does stay fairly close to Sitka, where guests typically explore the inner barrier islands that shelter Sitka from the open Pacific. because of the lesser amount of time spent on the water, and the shorter distances paddled, participants on this tour do not typically see as many species of wildlife that would be sighted on one of our longer paddle trips. That said, on the Harbor & Islands trip, it is not uncommon to sight humpback whales, sea lions, porpoise, sea otters, harbor seals, a variety of birds and intertidal animals. The wildness of Sitka Sound extends right in to the harbor, and we have seen every species of wildlife that lives here, sometimes within just a few minutes paddling from our launch ramp. It is an exceptional trip for folks who have a limited amount of free time, and for those that are new to sea kayaking.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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385 - 389 of 497 reviews

Reviewed September 9, 2013

I, like nearly every reviewer did this as a shore excursion from a cruise. Great time! There is wildlife in the bay--harbour seals and otters, loads of birds.

Thank Linnea B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 8, 2013

This was my favorite shore excursion ever! When our cruise ship arrived at Sitka, we tendered in to the dock. The Big Blue Bus was right where they said it would be and we were quickly greeted and made to feel welcome. It turned out that the hubs and I were the only two on the tour (talk about personal service), so we were suited up with rain gear and life vests, introduced to Seth (our leader and guide for the day) and headed out. First let me say that the weather in Sitka that day was wonderful...the sun was shining, no wind and the water was like glass. We paddled over to the bridge, and then made a bee-line across the channel in between boats. We paddled from small island to small island, viewing the sea life, spotting eagles, sea otters, salmon fisherman pulling in their nets. It was indescribably beautiful! Seth kept an eye on us and made sure we were doing okay. We stopped once between two islands and were treated to a gigantic homemade chocolate chip cookie. We spent a good long time kayaking and made it quite a ways from the cruise ship and harbor. We pulled the kayaks up on a small beach, and Seth allowed us to beach comb while he prepared lunch. Once lunch was over, Seth texted the head office (blue bus?) and a skip arrived in a few minutes, loaded our kayaks on top and we headed back. All in all, we were treated so great and saw so much. If you want to try sea kayaking in Alaska, this is the company I recommend!

Thank rimrock59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2013

My partner and I booked a cruise to Alaska and had the fortunate experience of kayaking with Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures. Although we had been kayaking before, it was in the warm calm Caribbean, and not the Pacific! When we arrived we were made to feel right at home, and the staff was very professional in explaining the procedure and safety of the kayaks and the equipment. Our guide was Conner who was excellent in explaining the local geology and marine wildlife. We were quite lucky and witnessed sea lions, sea otters, harbor seals, bald eagles, and salmon. The beauty and serene peacefulness of our kayak trip was phenomenal. We also got to watch fishing boats and nets, and that was pretty awesome too. The expertise and confidence of our guide made us feel confident in our skills, and everyone in the kayaking trip had a great time, and we all returned dry! If we ever return to Sitka again, and I somehow think we will, we will definitely book another adventure with Sitka Sound Ocean Adventures.

Thank OriginalHipster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

I had the great fortune of booking a kayaking trip with SSOA in July 2013. My guide was Nelia and I can't speak highly enough of their professionalism. From the moment I arrived I was invited onto the bus (their office) and explained exactly what was expected from me and what I could expect from them. They explained the form that I was asked to complete, explained and shown the gear that I would be required to wear and how the event would unfold for me. I was introduced to my guide Nelia (an absolutely lovely young woman) and we were underway. The scenery was amazing and Nelia took time to explain various things to me. I did not bring my camera (which was a huge mistake) as I thought it would get wet. Nelia took photos for me and I received them via email shortly after. I even received Nanna's home-made cookie and a bottle of water as well. I would recommend SSOA to any age group. Thank you Nelia and SSOA for a FANTISTIC experience.

Thank betty b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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