San Juan Island's Original Sea Kayak Outfitters & Guides Since 1980

Whales Ho! Half Day Tour

We have been paddling with whales longer than any other company in the San Juan Islands! That experience is priceless! 

Our fun, professional and informative guides will make your adventure safe and educational. Our quality, double sea kayaks and equipment add to your comfort and safety and include carbon-fiber Werner paddles, ThermaRest seat cushions, dry bags and rain ponchos! Most importantly, this adventure gives you a chance to float with orcas! We do our best to put you in a front row seat while observing all sea kayak whale-watching guidelines.

This trip packs a lot into a short time! Launching from San Juan County Park into our federally designated Whale Sanctuary on the west side of San Juan Island, we spend a few hours paddling pristine coastline and enjoying spectacular views of the Olympic Mountain range and Vancouver Island, Canada. Besides killer whales, we also keep our eyes peeled for humpback whales, minke whales, Dall’s and harbor porpoise, river otters, harbor seals, and Stellar sea lions. Bald eagles soar overhead and sea birds forage along the eddy lines.

Our thorough and professional instruction on the beach will allow you to be safe and efficient sea kayakers. Paddling is everything, so we pride ourselves in helping you become the best you can be.

These trips depart three times daily, so sign up now for a chance to spend some quality time in whale country! Reservations recommended!

NO EXPERIENCE IS NECESSARY!

Trip Facts

Cost: $89 per person plus sales tax.  A 50% deposit is due at time of booking with the balance charged 45 days prior to departure date.  If you are registering within 45 days of your trip date, full payment is required.  Thank you.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Islands Explored: 2
Minimum Age: 14 (With limited space for 10-13 year olds in a triple kayak. Call us before booking. 360-378-4436)
Departure: 9 AM, 2 PM or 5:30 PM
Duration/Distance: 
 4 hrs (kiosk to return); 4 miles.  Participants must be in moderate of better physical condition and able to paddle for sustained periods of time.
Runs daily from April 15 thru Oct 2.

  • Orca whales
  • Humpback whales
  • Minke whales
  • Dall’s and harbor porpoise
  • Stellar and California sea lions
  • Harbor seals
  • River otters
  • Bald eagles
  • Peregrine falcons
  • Many sea bird species
  • Quality sea kayaks (Seascape II’s by NW Kayaks)
  • Werner carbon-fiber paddles
  • NRS or Extrasport PFD’s
  • Snap Dragon Design spray skirts
  • ThermaRest seat cushions
  • Complimentary dry bags
  • Rain ponchos
  • Services of a friendly, experienced. knowledgeable guide
  • Transportation to launch site and return
  • Thorough and professional instruction at the beach
  • One sun hat with wide brim/visor
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Water shoes (Teva -like sandals, Chacos, aqua socks, wetsuit booties, Crocs, old tennis shoes)
  • Warm weather t-shirts and shorts with a light jacket
  • Cool weather clothing: fleece jacket, polypropylene or Capilene tops; nylon or stretch pants
  • Rain gear: coat with hood or rain poncho. If you don’t have your own, we can supply you with a rain poncho
  • One quart or liter bottle full of water per person (we will carry water for refills)
  • Snacks to share with group
  • Camera and binoculars

Meet at kiosk(275 A St.) 15 minutes prior to your tour start time.
Depart for San Juan County Park
Instruction on beach
Paddle into west side designated Whale Sanctuary
Return to beach
Drive back to kiosk

  • We have been leading sea kayak tours since 1980! Our knowledge of tides, winds and whales is unmatched!
  • We use only quality, state-of-the-art, fiberglass sea kayaks and gear! No wet, slow and uncomfortable plastic boats or heavy, plastic paddles are used on our tours!
  • Just a five minute ride to our beach. Paddle more and drive less!
  • Our carbon footprint is the least in the industry!
  • Affordable price and a scrumptious lunch is included!
  • Fun, friendly and professional guides (average age 31 years!)

With notice 7 days or more prior to trip date a full refund minus a $25 cancellation fee. With less than 7 days entire payment is retained.

Route Map & Photos

Click to Enlarge

Acknowledgments

All photos in our website have been contributed by past guests. Thanks to all who have shared their experience! And special thanks to guest Philip Robinson for his fun pics.

Contact Info

San Juan Kayak Expeditions
Tim and Sally Thomsen, Owners/Operators since 1980
PO Box 2041
Friday Harbor, WA, USA 98250
(360) 378-4436
sanjuankayak@rockisland.com
Open 7 days a week for questions & reservations.

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