Kayaking with whales is a “Bucket List” item for many outdoors enthusiasts. Floating on tranquil tide at eye level with a spy-hopping whale is an unforgettable experience. There is something special about meeting this intelligent, wild creature in its home habitat. Kayaks allow for a more intimate setting than commercial whale watching cruises, as you can observe the whales’ behavior without the sound of a motor or flocks of other guests jostling to a boat railing for a look. Additionally, the eco-minded will enjoy the low impact of carbon-neutral kayaks on the ocean habitat of these gentle giants. Best of all, Sea Kayak Adventures offers a number of tours to kayak with whales in a variety of the world’s most beautiful wilderness areas. Where would you like to go?

Orcas: Kayak off Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada: 

Johnstone Strait, on the northern end of Vancouver Island, hosts a special population of salmon-eating orcas.  This narrow channel features over 200 of these beautiful “killer whales” as they follow the summer salmon runs from mid-July through mid-September. Sea Kayak Adventures offers 4- and 6-day tours through the heart of orca country during peak whale season.  Read more about kayaking with orcas here

Humpback Whales: Kayak off Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada:

Humpback whales made a remarkable recovery into the waters if the Pacific Northwest, where they were hunted to extinction by the late 1960s.  Each summer these whales migrate to the straits around Vancouver Island from their winter breeding waters in Hawaii. Sea Kayak Adventures offers two types of trips to kayak with humpback whales in June and July: lodge-based tours at God’s Pocket Resort, and a brand new for 2012 Humpback Whale Kayak Odyssey camping tour in Johnstone Strait.

Southern Right Whales: Kayak off of Patagonia’s Peninsula Valdes in Argentina

Southern right whales are gregarious and acrobatic, prone to aerial feats and frequent behavioral displays – even close to shore!  These whales were so named because their slow speed and natural curiosity towards boats made them the “right” whale to hunt – almost to extinction. Though numbers remain low, in the southern right whale we find another remarkable recovery story.  These whales travel from their Antarctic home waters up to their breeding grounds in Peninsula Valdes’ sheltered lagoons every September through December (spring in the southern hemisphere). Sea Kayak Adventures offers 8- and 12- day itineraries to kayak with these unusual whales.

Blue & Fin Whales: Kayak in the Sea of Cortez, Baja, Mexico

Blue whales are the largest animals ever known to have existed, with lengths of up to 100’ and weights of over 180 tons. These peaceful baleen whales and their close cousins, fin whales, swim up into the deep waters of the Sea of Cortez. This is one of the few places on earth where they are reliably spotted, as their limited numbers and global range make for rare sightings.  These whales are most often seen December through April, though sightings are possible on any of our Baja kayak tours.

Gray Whales: Kayak Combo-tour in Magdalena Bay, Baja, Mexico:

Gray whales have the longest migration of any mammal, swimming down the Pacific coast all the way from Alaska to the southern part of the Baja peninsula. Here they congregate in the Magdalena Bay lagoons to give birth from late January through mid-March. While kayaking with whales in this bay is prohibited, Sea Kayak Adventures offers combination tours that include multi-day kayak trips in the Sea of Cortez coupled with gray whale watching day excursions or even a stay at our exclusive gray whale base camp (where you can often see whales right from shore!).  Whale watching is done from a small panga with just a handful of other guests, and respectful, expert drivers to create an eco-centered, unforgettable experience. Moreover, these friendly, curious whales often come right up to the boat to see our guests! We have a number of different combinations of kayaking and whale watching tours – just click on the “Availability” tab for details.

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kayaking with orcas

Is It Safe to Kayak With Orcas in British Columbia?

Is It Safe to Kayak With Orcas in British Columbia?

The scientific name for orca whales, Orcinus orca, literally translates to “Demon of the Deep.” In English, they are most commonly known as killer whales. Both names suggest that they are dangerous animals, to be feared, and kept at a safe distance.