Photo Credit: Sunny Cove Kayaking

Alaska Kayaking Tours

Climbing into a kayak takes your water exploration to a whole new level—namely, eye level. Do a saltwater paddle and you'll quietly slice through the waves as you approach a rookery of puffins or a raft of sea otters. Paddle on a lake and you might see wildlife along the shore or bald eagles perched in the trees.

Kayaking may require a little more effort than rafting, but if you've never lifted a paddle before, don't worry. Here's what you should know:

Alaska Sea Kayaking Tours  (:48)

You Can Do it For Three Hours, or Five Days

The typical trip is just a half-day, and will start with a quick primer on paddling technique and safety. Some trips include a stop for hiking or a lunch ashore. Other trips last all day, geared toward more athletic paddlers, or even last for days, with overnight camping or lodging on a private boat from a mothership trip. Or take a small ship cruise where you'll launch kayaks right from the boat!

Or tuck into a yurt with unlimited access to kayaking. There are two outside of Seward, Alaska. The first is Orca Island Cabins which boasts 7 yurts located on a private island in picturesque Humpy Cove, each with a private deck and bath. The other is Shearwater Cove, where you'll find two yurts tucked into a picturesque cove.

On Sea Kayaking Trips, You'll See Marine Wildlife—Up Close

Unlike rafting trips, where you're more likely to see land-based animals ashore, sea kayaking tours offer marine life views: sea lions, otters, seals—maybe even whales—and, of course, fish just below the surface. You'll typically stay pretty close to shore, too, so you might also see goats or bears. Sea kayaking excursions also offer a nice alternative to day cruises, as kayaking lets you go where cruise ships cannot. Kayaks also lack the loud engines that larger boats are equipped with, and moving quietly allows you to get closer to marine birds and mammals.

It's Not Super Strenuous

If you can handle a good walk, you can handle sea kayaking. Experienced guides will coach you on safety and the basic techniques While there is some strength and flexibility involved (the latter mostly for getting in and out of the kayak), there's a good reason that most operators use stable, two-seater kayaks. If you're a beginner, you can share the paddling work, and have more time for enjoying the views.

You're Away From the Crowds

Most Alaska kayaking outfitters pair a maximum of six paddlers with a guide - and as few as two. You may feel as if you've got the water all to yourselves.

Typical Price Range

As little as $65 for a half day, or $400 for a full day if it involves a remote drop-off; most are about $100 to $150.

Where to Go

Almost any port city along a cruise itinerary will offer some kayaking options, but Seward and Homer make especially good sea kayaking choices—for the variety of options, the abundant wildlife, and as a great place to stay for a few days, too.

Homer View All

Kayaking in Kachemak Bay

Season: May 9 - Sep 6 $140+ 4.5 to 8.5 hours

Explore a qui­et coast­line just a few miles from Homer, where you’ll kayak through the pro­tect­ed waters of Tut­ka Bay in search of amaz­ing views, wildlife and adven­ture! Your guide leads the way on a half-day or full-day tour, glid­ing past dense woods, rugged shore­line and hid­den coves. Add on fish­ing for the fresh­est in Alaskan salmon or rockfish!

$229+ per person Half to Full-Day

Enjoy remote Alas­ka at its best. Go with this small, fam­i­ly-owned com­pa­ny in Homer for a mag­i­cal kayak­ing expe­ri­ence and a gor­geous hike to an ice­berg-stud­ded glac­i­er lake! 

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Valdez View All

Prince William Sound • Large Glaciers • Day Trips & Overnight Trips

Season: May 15 - Sept 20 $89+ day tours, $579+ multi-day trips 3 hrs - 7 days

Through­out the decades, Anadyr has care­ful­ly tai­lored its trips to offer an option for just about any­one. Nev­er kayaked before? Try the Valdez Glac­i­er Tour for a relax­ing pad­dle on a lake with an easy hike to the glac­i­er. You’ll explore ice­bergs and even kayak into a glacial cave. Got a six year old that can’t wait to get out there? At 3 – 4 hours, the Duck Flats tour offers a mix of wildlife (sea lions and otters are com­mon) and Valdez history.  ...more

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Anchorage View All

Drive an Hour or take a Train South for your Kayak Tour

Season: May 15 - Sept 15 $375, Full Day 8 hrs - Full Day

Lazy Otter offers guid­ed kayak tours and trans­porta­tion to seclud­ed areas of Prince William Sound. The calm waters have a gor­geous back­drop of the Chugach Moun­tains’ ser­rat­ed peaks. Keep an eye out for the crea­tures that walk the shores and swim in the sea: orcas, hump­back whales, sea lions, puffins, seals, sea otters, eagles, goats, and bears. 

Season: June 13 - August 26
From $4,850+
5 days/4 nights or 6 days/5 nights
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier, Cordova
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery

Per­fect for the adven­tur­ous trav­el­er, the Hike and Kayak voy­age sees all the same sites as on our Clas­sic voy­age, but with more excur­sions. Kayak among ice­bergs, hike through moun­tain mead­ows, and take in the scenery on this unique trip. Activ­i­ties can be cus­tomized to suit the inter­ests and activ­i­ty lev­el of those on board.

Season: June 1 - Sept 15 $399+

Enjoy a mag­i­cal morn­ing or evening kayak­ing the calm waters of Spencer Lake, in the awe-inspir­ing pres­ence of a jagged ter­mi­nus glac­i­er. Your time on the water is sand­wiched between two train rides that offer up some of Alaska’s most scenic rail miles. It’s a full day of unfor­get­table expe­ri­ences in our country’s sec­ond largest nation­al for­est – the Chugach.

Season: May 15 – Sep 30 $50+ 2+ hrs

Grab a pad­dle and set off in a kayak across the glac­i­er-fed turquoise waters of Eklut­na Lake with expe­ri­enced tour com­pa­ny Life­time Adven­tures. You’ll have the option of rent­ing a kayak or enjoy­ing a guid­ed tour around the lake in a sin­gle or dou­ble kayak — no expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary! Com­bi­na­tion tours that include bik­ing or hik­ing are also available.

Season: Mid May– Early September $30+ day rentals 1+ day rentals

Whether it’s kayak­ing, canoe­ing, or pad­dle­board­ing, you’ll find top-flight equip­ment for rent at AK Paddlesports

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Whittier View All

Prince William Sound • Largest Concentration of Tidewater Glaciers

Season: May 15 - Sept 15 $375, Full Day 8 hrs - Full Day

Lazy Otter offers guid­ed kayak tours and trans­porta­tion to seclud­ed areas of Prince William Sound. The calm waters have a gor­geous back­drop of the Chugach Moun­tains’ ser­rat­ed peaks. Keep an eye out for the crea­tures that walk the shores and swim in the sea: orcas, hump­back whales, sea lions, puffins, seals, sea otters, eagles, goats, and bears. 

Season: June 13 - August 26
From $4,850+
5 days/4 nights or 6 days/5 nights
Ports of Call: Anchorage, Whittier, Cordova
Cruise Ship Type: Small Ship Cruises
Ship Name: Discovery

Per­fect for the adven­tur­ous trav­el­er, the Hike and Kayak voy­age sees all the same sites as on our Clas­sic voy­age, but with more excur­sions. Kayak among ice­bergs, hike through moun­tain mead­ows, and take in the scenery on this unique trip. Activ­i­ties can be cus­tomized to suit the inter­ests and activ­i­ty lev­el of those on board.

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Talkeetna View All

Guided Lake Tours • Rentals

Season: Memorial Weekend - Labor Day Weekend Call for Rental Rates 2+ hrs

This tour oper­a­tor offers guid­ed kayak­ing tours and kayak, canoe, and stand up pad­dle board rentals at X Lake in Tal­keet­na Lakes Park. Denali South­side will pro­vide you with every­thing you need to enjoy your tour or rental, includ­ing the high­est-qual­i­ty gear. While on the water, look for trum­peter swans, loons, riv­er otters, beavers and moose. On clear days, you’ll get stun­ning views of Mt. Denali and the Alas­ka Range.

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Girdwood View All

Kayaking at Spencer Glacier • Tours depart from Girdwood & Anchorage

Season: June 1 - Sept 15 $399+

Enjoy a mag­i­cal morn­ing or evening kayak­ing the calm waters of Spencer Lake, in the awe-inspir­ing pres­ence of a jagged ter­mi­nus glac­i­er. Your time on the water is sand­wiched between two train rides that offer up some of Alaska’s most scenic rail miles. It’s a full day of unfor­get­table expe­ri­ences in our country’s sec­ond largest nation­al for­est – the Chugach.

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Juneau View All

Mendenhall Glacier • Wetlands • Smuggler's Cove

$419+ per person 6 hrs

Take a scenic cruise and kayak through gor­geous sur­round­ings as mag­nif­i­cent whales pierce the sur­face of the water on this six-hour expe­di­tion from Juneau. Your des­ti­na­tion is the Chan­nel Islands, the whales’ annu­al feed­ing ground — and your guides will assess where the most whale activ­i­ty has been happening.

$139 3.5 hours

Glac­i­erview Sea Kayak­ing with Alas­ka Trav­el Adven­tures offers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to kayak through Auke Bay while enjoy­ing views of Menden­hall Glac­i­er. You’ll also have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to see wildlife like whales, sea lions, seals, and bald eagles. Kayak­ing offers a much more inti­mate and qui­et expe­ri­ence than oth­er boat tours; at the same time, it is per­fect for trav­el­ers who want an adven­ture. And even if you’ve nev­er pad­dled a kayak before, a  ...more

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Eagle River View All

Guided Tours & Rentals Available

Season: May 15 – Sep 30 $50+ 2+ hrs

Grab a pad­dle and set off in a kayak across the glac­i­er-fed turquoise waters of Eklut­na Lake with expe­ri­enced tour com­pa­ny Life­time Adven­tures. You’ll have the option of rent­ing a kayak or enjoy­ing a guid­ed tour around the lake in a sin­gle or dou­ble kayak — no expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary! Com­bi­na­tion tours that include bik­ing or hik­ing are also available.

Season: Mid May– Early September $30+ day rentals 1+ day rentals

Whether it’s kayak­ing, canoe­ing, or pad­dle­board­ing, you’ll find top-flight equip­ment for rent at AK Paddlesports

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Haines & Skagway View All

Easy Lake Paddles • Sea Kayaking in the Lynn Canal

Season: May - September $135+ 4 hrs - 8 days

Guid­ed sea kayak­ing in Alaska’s South­east opens up the mag­i­cal world of water-based tour­ing. Glide through a marine envi­ron­ment with gor­geous views in every direc­tion, and many oppor­tu­ni­ties to spot wildlife – from eagles and salmon to bears, whales and sea lions. Options include day tours for busy sched­ules and mul­ti-day immer­sions, all under the expert guid­ance of nat­u­ral­ists who help you under­stand the com­plex work­ings of a unique and amazing  ...more

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Moose Pass View All

Paddle the turquoise waters

Season: May 19 -Sept 10 3+ hrs

Scenic vis­tas, glacial lakes, and Gold Rush his­to­ry come togeth­er in the Moose Pass area, just north of Seward, mak­ing it an ide­al spot to kayak, pack­raft, and hike. Trav­el with the experts of Moose Pass Adven­tures and you’ll expe­ri­ence this mag­i­cal area on a day tour or overnight get­away to a back­coun­try yurt with an inti­mate group with expe­ri­enced, pas­sion­ate guides.

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Seward & Kenai Fjords View All

Resurrection Bay • Glaciers • Wildlife

Season: May 11 to Sep 07 $109+ Half day to full day excursions

For a clos­er, qui­eter, and more peace­ful ver­sion of the Alaskan glac­i­er and wildlife cruise, trav­el by sea kayak. Pad­dle the shore­line of Res­ur­rec­tion Bay, where encoun­ters with sea otters, seabirds, and spawn­ing salmon are com­mon. Choose from a vari­ety of three-hour excur­sions or take a full-day trip.

Season: May 1 – 3rd week of September $199+ 3-10 hrs

Take a bou­tique, small-group kayak­ing trip with expe­ri­enced guides at Liq­uid Adven­tures and get close to glac­i­ers in kayaks or pad­dle­boards while look­ing for whales and oth­er marine mam­mals. You can even com­bine your adven­ture with a jet­boat, heli­copter, or wildlife cruise. There’s noth­ing quite like it in all of Alaska!

Season: May 19 - Sept 7 $125+ 4 hrs - 7 days

Mem­bers of 1% For The Plan­et, Kayak Adven­tures World­wide strives to ful­fill their mis­sion to inspire an active stew­ard­ship of our nat­ur­al world. Through small group sea kayak tours in Res­ur­rec­tion Bay and Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park, they focus on safe­ty, edu­ca­tion, and con­nect­ing guests with the unique and frag­ile ecosys­tems you’ll visit.

Season: May 1 - 3rd week of September $435+ 8-10 hrs

Get up close to the Alaskan glac­i­ers and wildlife you came to expe­ri­ence by tak­ing a cruise into Kenai Fjords Nation­al Park on a cus­tom-built cata­ma­ran out of Seward. The dif­fer­ence from oth­er cruis­es, is that you’ll then get off the boat and into a kayak, pad­dle around ice­bergs, and watch for wildlife from your own vessel.

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Sitka View All

Wilderness Sea Kayaking in the Sitka Sound

Season: Late April-early October $189 per person 3 hrs

Begin in down­town Sit­ka, where you’ll take a motor­ized, rigid-hull inflat­able on a 15- to 20-minute ride across beau­ti­ful Sit­ka Sound, with the mas­sive vol­cano Mt. Edge­cumbe pro­vid­ing a dra­mat­ic back­drop. Look for marine wildlife on your way to a unique float house in a small, pro­tect­ed bay where you’ll kayak across shim­mer­ing water.

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Ketchikan View All

Ocean Kayaking • Great Shore Excursion during a Cruise

Season: April 1 - Sept 30 $190+ per person 3+ hrs

Expe­ri­ence kayak­ing in Alas­ka the way it should be — away from the crowds — with these unique Ketchikan pad­dling tours that make you feel like a true explor­er. Your small group (usu­al­ly just 4 peo­ple) will board the company’s com­fort­able boat and set off from the Ketchikan cruise-ship dock, leav­ing the big ships and the crowds behind. Choose from a 3‑hour tour, or 5‑hour kayak and hike tour.

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