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Ketchikan Ocean Wilderness Expedition

11 reviews

Excursion Overview

Experience the joy of discovery on a rugged Zodiac expedition

Climb aboard a rugged Zodiac expedition craft and explore the deep mysterious waters of the island-studded sea passages that surround Ketchikan. Your experienced captain and an expert naturalist will take you in search of wildlife. Their considerable local knowledge of the area is just the key to unlocking the secrets of this biologically rich ecosystem.

You will feel the ocean breeze on your face and taste the salty sea air as you skim across the waves. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife in the area as you navigate narrow channels, next to rocky coastlines, emerald forested islands, and black sandy beaches.

Experience the joy of exploration as you encounter one of the natural wonders of the world. The waters of Southeast Alaska are subject to huge tidal swings, and the tides can rise and fall over 20 feet in just six hours! The large volume of water swirls against underwater canyons and mountains, propelling deep nutrient-laden water to the surface.

Sea stars, urchins, tunicates, and sponges cling to the intertidal zone of steep fjord walls. Tiny Marbled Murrelets, playful Steller Sea Lions, and the gargantuan Humpback Whale make their living fishing for dense schools of Pacific herring that take refuge in thick forests of kelp. Our prolific runs of salmon carry home the ocean's nutrients, in their very own bodies, to their natal streams. This final act of sacrifice for their young feeds a rainforest of Western Hemlock, Cedar, and towering Sitka Spruces. This creates the perfect habitat for bears, wolves, Sitka blacktail deer, and the majestic North American Bald Eagle. There is no better way to experience this than one of our quiet seaworthy and expertly piloted Zodiac craft.

Things You Need to Know


  • A light snack and hot tea or locally roasted coffee
  • Rain Gear
  • Waterproof overboots
  • Life jacket


  • Minimum age: 5 years old

Duration: 2.5 hours (Roundtrip from downtown Ketchikan.)

  • 15-30 minutes - outfitting prior to departure time
  • 2 hours searching for wildlife in the waters surrounding Ketchikan

Meeting Instructions:

  • This tour meets in downtown Ketchikan. Fully detailed instructions are included on your finalized ticket vouchers.

ADA Accessibility of Tour:

  • This tour is not wheelchair or limited mobility accessible.

Frequently Asked Questions

To ensure everyone's safety and comfort, the Zodiac is limited to 12 passengers.

Zodiac is a popular brand of boat for water activities. The boats are relatively small, heavy duty inflatable rafts equipped with motors. Please browse the tour photos to see images of the Zodiac crafts that are used.

This will vary based on wind direction and tide. The water tends to be choppier in narrow areas close to town, and is typically calmer out on the open ocean. However, this can change significantly throughout the day. Our guides strictly monitor weather conditions to ensure the safety of all guests.

Then you'll get wet! Ketchikan receives 261% more rainfall than the national average, making it one of the rainiest cities in the U.S. This tour runs rain or shine. If conditions are unsafe due to severe inclement weather, the tour will be cancelled with a full refund provided.

We provide rain gear, waterproof boots that slip over your shoes, and a life jacket. We would highly suggest wearing a few layers of clothing and close-toed, comfortable shoes. If you get too warm, we will have a dry bag that outerwear can be placed in.

This area is abundant with wildlife! You may see salmon, mink, otters, harbor seals, dall's porpoise, stellar sea lions, killer whales (orca), and humpback whales. The area is also a habitat for bears, Sitka blacktail deer, red squirrels, marten, and wolves.

We recommend you bring sunglasses, your camera, a pair of binoculars if you have them (our crew is happy to share theirs if you don't), and any personal items you do not want to be separated from for a few hours. Items can be placed in the dry bag if necessary.

Locally roasted hot coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and a light snack are provided.

Participants must be at least 5 years of age. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about accessibility.


Guest Reviews


11 total


Elizabeth R

On Sep 2023

My favorite tour ever! The wonders we got to see were absolutely incredible! The guides are fantastic and great people, very knowledgeable and professional. Would love to do this again, HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

Karen S

On Aug 2023

Perfect weather, great hosts, went the extra mile to have us see orca and humpback whales

John T

On Jun 2023

Outstanding. We would give ten stars if we could. Lovely people who really wanted to give us a good experience. Very knowledgeable and interesting, they explained the entire ecosystem and showed us close up the flora and fauna essential to the area.Seeing the environment from sea level was amazing. We saw a humpback whale dive just across the water from the boat. Way better than seeing it from a bigger boat. The hot chocolate and snacks were a nice touch, they even had gluten free for my wife without prior knowledge of her diet. Exceptional attention to detail. Without doubt an absolute must do in Alaska

Tanya J

On Jun 2023

This zodiac excursion ticked all the boxes-- small and personalized, friendly and knowledgeable tour guide and captain. Delaney and Eric made sure everyone followed safety procedures and had the opportunity to experience some of Ketchikan's incredible ocean creatures and all the best views. We got to see a mom and a calf several times, along with sea otters and others. It was a great time for this family ranging from age 6 -65! Kudos to the crew for making sure our adventure was unforgettable!

Robert M

On May 2023

This was such a wild experience! My boyfriend chose this excursion and I wasn't sure what to expect. We were lucky enough to be the only two people to purchase the excursion for that time, so we got a totally private tour. Our guides were very friendly and knowledgeable, and we saw the first Orcas of the season! Awesome, up-close experience with wildlife.


Best Price Guarantee!


Duration: 2.5 hours

Best Price Guarantee!

Duration: 2.5 hours

Adult (13+): $185.00

Child (5-12): $135.00

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