Kayak with Whales

Kayak with Whales: Exploring the Inside Passage
Sea kayak Canada's west coast and fabled Inside Passage. View killer whales, dolphins, seals, and eagles. Professional guides, premium quality equipment and gourmet meals provided. Camping, lodge and yacht-based adventures.

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Details of Kayak with Whales, Port McNeill, British Columbia Kayaking & Canoeing Details for Kayak with Whales

Active Adventure

Guided sea kayak adventures depart from Port McNeill on Vancouver Island's northeast end. These 6-day vacations are in the heart of orca territory in the fabled Inside Passage of British Columbia. Available in September are lodge-based trips in this area for those who like to end the day with a soak in the outdoor hot tub before returning to a private room overlooking the islands of the Inside Passage. Farewell Harbour lodge is the base for the adventures, the only 4-star lodge in the area.

Wild Orca Adventure trips are for those who like the idea of a kayaking adventure, but really want to focus in on the whale experience. The primary focus of these trips is to encounter whales in the wild. Wild Orca Adventure 3-day trips include 3 days of kayaking, and Wild Orca Adventure 5-day trips include 4 days of kayaking, along with one day on a first-class whale watching vessel.

Our Island Explorer adventures feature paddling among magnificent islands in a rarely traveled area. You'll kayak in areas abundant with wildlife and native history, but not other kayakers!

If you value mobility, extra comfort, and the opportunity to explore more territory in a week than by kayak alone, a Spirit Bear Voyage is your ticket to a relaxing wilderness vacation. Sea kayak adventures based from the 40 foot 'Spirit Bear' depart from Port McNeill, BC and are 5-10 days in length. Along with a professional guide and skipper, your group of up to four spends your vacation in the home waters of killer whales, porpoises and seals. These expeditions explore the heart of the Inside Passage, then diverge into the Great Bear Rainforest, where you may have the opportunity to view bears along the mainland coast.

No experience is necessary on any Northern Lights trips. Professional naturalist guides, gourmet meals, and premium quality equipment are provided on all trips.

Typical Day

We typically spend four to six hours paddling each day. Your guides will wake you in the morning with hot coffee, tea, cocoa, and breakfast. The guides will pack the kayaks with the day's lunch ingredients while guests return to their tents and prepare for the day. Together, the group will chart their route and depart in the kayaks. Plenty of stops are taken during day trips to stretch, snack, and exlpore beaches. Lunch is prepared at mid-day; if you are near a trail some group members may choose to take a leisurely hike to a viewpoint while others relax in the afternoon sun.

Then it's back into the kayaks for two to three hours of afternoon paddling. Guides check in regularly on weather reports and with whale researchers in the area to see where the orcas were last seen. It is very common to encounter the magnificent killer whales on our Inside Passage, Wild Orca Adventure, Farewell Harbour, and Spirit Bear trips. Your guides will use a hydrophone so you can hear the orcas communicating with one another as they pass by.

When you return to camp in the evening, dinner is prepared by two of your guides while the third guide is on hand to answer questions and provide entertainment. Your guides will answer questions about the wildlife you encountered while paddling that day, tell stories about their time in the area, and relay native legends and cultural history. A gourmet dinner is served on the beach, followed by a campfire and dessert. For many, a moonlight paddle is an excellent way to end the day. Your guides will lead those who are interested into the sheltered water just in front of camp where you will experience the phenomenal biolumenescent glow in the water. A sky full of stars overhead, the quiet ripple of the water as your paddle glides alongside you. . . All before climbing into bed to rest for another day in the wilderness.

Age range, type of group

Inside Passage, Island Explorer, Wild Orca Adventure and Farewell Harbour - minimum age of 14 years old. Groups are mixed in age and composition: single people, couples, and groups. Spirit Bear Voyages - no mimimum age. Spirit Bear trips are chartered by groups of up to four. Usually family and friends make up these groups; great for families with children.

Sleeping and meals

Inside Passage, Wild Orca Adventure and Island Explorer adventures are camping trips. Northern Lights provides your tent, sleeping pad, and pillow; you bring your own sleeping bag. Spirit Bear Voyages are boat-based. Accommodations are on-board the 40' 'Spirit Bear'. Each night you will anchor in a new location. Farewell Harbour trips are based at the four-star Farewell Harbour Resort. Private rooms with views, bathrooms, and wood stoves. All meals are provided and prepared by Northern Lights on all trips. We use only fresh ingredients - nothing dehydrated, ever!


All our trips have an age limit of 14 years old, except Spirit Bear Voyages, which have no minimum age.

Rates & Availability

$745 - $1999 per person, depending on trip and duration.

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