Best Alaska Kayak Tours

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Published: Jan 01, 2021
Last Updated: Nov 30, 2023

Sea kayaking tours in Alaska allows you to get close to marine wildlife, including seals, sea otters, and fish. You’ll see birds soaring in the sky and sometimes even spot bears or goats on land as you paddle along Alaska’s shores.These leisurely, small group tours often travel to areas that other boats and cruise ships can’t access, offering a unique perspective of Alaska’s nature and wildlife. 

Read on for our picks for the best Alaska kayaking:

1. Ketchkian Sea Kayak Eco-Tour

Duration: 4 hours (2 hours of paddle time)

Port: Ketchikan

Ketchikan Kayaking

On this kayaking tour, you can enjoy a much quieter, local vibe. Our guides (no more than six paddlers for every guide!) will paddle along with you as you travel through the protected ocean waterways of Clover Pass. This route will have you circumnavigating 2 to 3 small islands that feature an immense array of inter-tidal life, a bald eagles nest, and resident sea lions and seals. There is also a potential to encounter many types of migratory birds, Sitka deer, Pacific porpoises, humpback whales and even Orcas. 


2. Ketchikan Paddles & Propellers Boat & Kayak Tour

Duration: 2.5 hours (almost 2 hours of paddle time)

Port: Ketchikan

ketchikan city kayaking

Explore the wilds of Alaska by water as you paddle off the shores of the Tongass National Forest near Ketchikan. Enjoy a 45 minute boat tour and then 1.5 hours of paddling to watch for sea stars, jellyfish, bald eagles, and the occasional humpback whale.


3. Sitka Scenic Kayaking Adventure

Duration: 3 hours (90 minute paddle time)

Port: Sitka

sitka harbor kayak

Leisurely paddle through Sitka’s sheltered waterways, harbors, and coves, full of wildlife above and below the water. A guide will share stories and tell you about the sights as you go.


4. Skagway Chilkoot Lake Wildlife Kayak Tour to Haines

Duration: 6.5 hours

Port: Skagway

Chilkoot Lake Kayaking

On this kayaking trip, you’ll get the chance to paddle through the pristine lake in Chilkoot State Park. The scenery is spectacular. Huge waterfalls spill off of the cliffs surrounding the lake, lush green forests crowd the shoreline, and the wildlife abounds.


5. Juneau Kayaking Tour & Mendenhall Glacier Viewing 

Duration: 1.75 hours of padde time

Port: Juneau

Mendenhall Glacier View

If you are looking for a kayak trip that is unique to Alaska- this is the excursion for you! Hop on your kayak, and enjoy gliding through the calm waters surrounding the Mendenhall Glacier. Just 6 miles away from the glacier, you will be able to witness the true size and beauty that the Mendenhall Glacier is known for. While on the water, you may spot harbor seas, sea lions, porpoise, and perhaps even a whale!

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