Sea Kayaking and Whale Watching in Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia
This popular lodge-based kayak tour is ideal for those who love kayaking by day and a comfortable bed and hot shower at night.
Jacques Cousteau rated God's Pocket Provincial Park the best cold water SCUBA dive spot in the world due to its phenomenal marine diversity. Though we stay above water with stable sea kayaks, this island wilderness offers stunning scenery and flourishing marine life. The area's beauty is complemented by the God's Pocket Resort that welcomes us with lovely accommodations and superb food prepared daily from scratch by the onsite chef.
Your kayaking and whale watching adventure starts with a stunning boat cruise from Port Hardy BC Canada on northern Vancouver Island past rugged mountains, forested islands, and the wildlife rich waters of Queen Charlotte Strait, before arriving at God's Pocket Resort. The lodge earned its name from the seafaring explorers of ages past. Buffered by barrier islands, a small cove on Hurst Island offered the last sanctuary from stormy seas before the open waters of the Pacific ocean. Sequestered in this sheltered bay, sailors felt as if they were safely tucked away in the protection of God's own pocket. After the lodge emerged, tradition held that sailors taking shelter in the cove could always count on a home-cooked pastry from the lodge's charming caretakers.
Bring this tradition to life during calm summer seas with a kayak exploration of these breathtaking islands. The moment you step onto the dock, you'll appreciate the charm of this quaint island resort, which remains the only building in God's Pocket Provincial Park. Its seven rooms provide comfort, private baths, all the amenities of home and spectacular ocean views. And of course, the lodge's on-site chef will prepare your meals from scratch each day, including an unending supply of baked goods for your kayak voyages.
After an instruction in the basics of sea kayaking, you will spend your days paddling the sheltered waterways surrounding the many islands that make up the park while watching for humpback whales, orca, porpoises, seals, sea lions, sea otters and bald eagles. Paddle by the world-famous Browning Wall at low tide and marvel at the explosion of invertebrate sea life.
At the end of the day, you'll return to the resort to enjoy a hot shower in your room and freshly-prepared meals. Watch the sunset and relax by a campfire on a waterside deck, then sleep blissfully in a comfortable bed. If you have a particularly dark night, join your guides to paddle through the ocean's glowing bioluminescence! You can take a day off from this active adventure anytime to relax on the dock with a book, or follow one of the many hiking trails into the island's lush rain forest. Don't forget to greet the resort's resident octopus and river otters in the cove out front!
Images & Videos
Arrive in Port Hardy & Explore the Town
Travel to Port Hardy, a working waterfront fishing village a quick taxi ride away from the Port Hardy airport. Check in to a local Inn of your choice and head out to explore this sweet Northern Vancouver Island town on your own for the night. Enjoy some local cuisine and settle in to your hotel for your overnight in anticipation of your adventure to Hurst Island.
Water Taxi to Hurst Island, Orientation, Sea Kayaking
Wake up to the sounds of the quintessential Island port town. Enjoy breakfast and coffee before checking out of your hotel to meet you guides and fellow travel mates at the Government Docks at 9:00 AM for a brief introduction before boarding your water taxi for Hurst Island. You'll have a chance to make quick introductions and receive your wetsuit booties before the boat heads out to God’s Pocket Resort. The 45 minute ride is a thrilling introduction to the Queen Charlotte Strait; keep your eye on the horizon for whales or other marine mammals as you begin your wilderness adventure.
Upon your arrival at the lodge, you'll have a chance to settle into your unique lodging for the week. Once you get settled, you will meet back up with your group for an orientation meeting, followed by your first delicious God’s Pocket meal made by your very own chef! After lunch, your guides will present an introduction to kayaking and safety tips before helping you launch. You'll have a chance to practice your technique with your guides' expert assistance before beginning your first paddling excursion. After your first exploration of the Queen Charlotte Strait by kayak you will return to your home for the week at God’s Pocket to a happy hour hors d'oeuvres and wine celebration before a welcome dinner in the dining hall. Join your guides for a natural history lesson, games, and good conversation around a toasty campfire before retiring into your comfortable bed.
Sea Kayak, Whale Watch, Hike and Relax
Relax into the rhythm of wilderness adventure! Once the scents of a freshly cooked breakfast entice you to the dining hall, you can enjoy heaping portions of your favorite steaming breakfasts. Depending on the weather, you'll either go for a hike or head down to the dock for your foray on the water. Mornings begin with a filling breakfast as the sun warms the waters of the cove. You'll spend about 4-5 hours per day paddling these intriguing seas, with the occasional floating rest stop as whales or other marine mammals break the surface with their thrilling antics. You might visit the world-famous Browning Wall, marveling at the explosion of invertebrate life visible at low tide, or break for lunch on bleached-white madden beaches, exploring the relics of ancient civilizations. During your lengthy lunch break, relax on the beach with a gourmet picnic prepared by the lodge's chef, complete with delectable baked goods. Some beaches also offer hikes into the thick rainforest blanketing the islands, for a chance to stretch your legs and learn about the natural history of the area.
Most days focus on kayak exploration of the area, but some days might include a shorter paddle partnered with a longer hike at the lodge, whale watching, or a midnight paddle to view the ocean's glowing bioluminescence.
If you need a break from kayaking, you have the option to spend the day at the lodge instead of paddling. Just relax with a good book, hike one of the many island trails, or investigate the library of board games, nature films, and local ecology books. Don't forget to watch for the resident octopus in the bay!
Return to Port Hardy
After a final breakfast at God's Pocket, you’ll have time to gather up your belongings and say your goodbyes to beautiful Hurst Island and your loving hosts before boarding the boat back to Port Hardy. You'll depart the lodge and arrive in to Port Hardy around 10:30 am. You are free to depart at your leisure if you are traveling by car. If you are catching a flight, we recommend booking your return flight for 12:000 pm or later from Port Hardy to Vancouver International airport.
Dates & Rates
|Dates||Adult (USD)||Child (USD)|
|Jul 08, 2024 to Jul 13, 2024 |
Lowest Tier Price
|Jul 15, 2024 to Jul 20, 2024 |
Lowest Tier Price
|Jul 22, 2024 to Jul 27, 2024 |
Lowest Tier Price
|Aug 18, 2024 to Aug 23, 2024 |
Sunday Departure - Lowest Tier Price
6-7 Guests - $3890 per person
8 - 13 Guests - $3490 per person
6-7 Guests - $4195 per person
8 - 12 Guests - $3990 per person
Single Supplement Charge: Due to limited availability at God's Pocket, we prefer to match up solo travelers of the same gender to share rooms. However, we often can accommodate guests in single rooms for an additional charge of 50% of the Trip Cost. Please inquire at the time of booking.
This trip is in Tandem Kayaks only.
Please Note: Our trip minimum at God's Pocket is 6 guests, however we are sometimes able to confirm a tour at 5 guests with a surcharge. Please inquire with our Adventure Consultants for more details.
*our lodge-based tours are all run using high-quality plastic-polymer kayaks.
- All meals while on tour
- Optional provided wine with dinner
- Transportation to and from the launch site
- Kayaking instruction
- All kayaking and lodging for the duration of the adventure
- Dry bags for your gear
- Neoprene booties
- Service of our certificied professional Guides
- Full service of our Adventure Consultants
TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE:
- Transportation to and from Port Hardy
- Hotel before and after the tour
- Meals before or after the tour
- Special drinks or alcohol (excluding wine)
- Canadian Sales Tax
- Gratuity for guides and lodge staff
- Items of a personal nature
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.
We may initially invoice you at the higher tier price, and refund the difference depending on the final group size. Trip costs quoted are based on foreign exchange rates current at the time of this printing. We reserve the right to raise the trip fee if there are exceptional cost increases beyond our control.
FAQ & More
The resort includes 8 cabins: 6 rooms with 2 beds, and 2 rooms with 1 queen bed each, with breathtaking views of the ocean. Each room has comfortable beds and a bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower. Daily housekeeping is provided. The resort also has a larger common room - we call the Clubhouse - for reading, hanging out, or playing games.
Three meals are provided each day, all prepared by the lodge's resident chef, served family style in the dining hall. Dinners feature locally caught seafood (try the smoked salmon), fresh baked goods and regional wines. Baked goods and hot drinks are available any time of day if you need a little something. We make every effort to accommodate vegetarians, food preferences and allergies.
If any of you have any dietary restrictions, please alert us, so we can pass those on to the lodge chef. We do ask that folks with strict vegan or gluten-free diets to bring their own supplements and substitutions (such as rice noodles, etc) or special drinks since the shopping is limited in very rural northern Vancouver Island. We provide 2 glasses of wine per night, so if you need/desire more or different alcoholic beverages, you can plan accordingly and either bring your own, or shop on the Saturday before your trip - NOTE that liquor stores in BC are closed on Sundays and prior to our meeting time on Mondays, so you will not be able to buy before your tour with us if you arrive on a Sunday. The lodge provides unlimited teas, coffee, hot cocoa and lemonade. Feel free to bring your own sodas or diet sodas in addition if you prefer.
Occasionally guests will ask us about bringing their own kayaks to the lodge-based trip. We cannot allow these, due to liability reasons, and due to the guides' focus needing to be on the group as a whole, as our representatives in the field. It is still a guided trip, with everyone needing to kayak at all times with the group and our sea kayak guides as per our itinerary.
Please note that at times lodge managers/owners have had a well-behaved dog at the lodge. We ask that guests do not bring their pets to the lodge. It is a wilderness environment and pets are never allowed in our kayaks due to potential liability issues. We are happy to answer any questions at all about this.
That’s the beauty of this trip! You don’t have to go kayaking every day. There are plenty of hiking trails on the island or you can relax for the day with a good book.
If this is your first adventure tour, and you are naturally a little apprehensive about going solo, we will support you each step of the way. We get a mixture of singles, couples, families and friends. Our tour costs are based on double occupancy on any included lodging nights. Solo travelers who would like their own room can pay a single supplement (see "Dates & Rates" above for the single supplement price for this tour), or can be matched up with another solo traveler of the same gender if one is available and willing to share. If we are unable to pair you with another solo traveler, we must apply the single supplement charge to cover our lodging costs.
Single Kayaks are available for $100 supplement.
We have single kayaks available to reserve and use throughout the trip (for an additional cost of $100) for paddlers who have previous ocean paddling experience. If you would like to reserve a single kayak for your trip you will need to contact our Adventure Consultants to add this to your reservation and provide a summary of your ocean paddling experience.
Because this is a lodge-based trip, you can bring your luggage with you. Upon signing up, you'll get an informative trip handbook that includes a detailed packing list of clothing and other recommended items for your kayaking trip.
Our tours are fully-catered, fully-guided, and fully supplied. Besides your stay at the lodge, kayak use, and supplies, your kayak tour includes skilled professional guide services from highly-trained and certified, charismatic, guides. All meals from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the last day are prepared for you from the on-site chef, as well.
Pre- and post-trip accommodations and meals, airfare and gratuities.
Please see our full Terms & Conditions HERE.
You will not have cell phone coverage at God's pocket resort.
There is limited WiFi that will allow you to check emails, send the occasional WhatsApp.