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Ketchikan Ocean Wilderness Expedition

18 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.

Refund Policy:

  • You may cancel for any reason up to seven (7) days prior to the date of the tour for a full refund.
  • Please see our Refund Policy Page for complete details.

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


18 total



On Jun 2024

This was the best excursion of our trip! From reservation to check in to the actual crew on the boat, everyone was so knowledgeable and kind. They clearly love their jobs and Alaska and were full of interesting information and expertise. They had everything you needed to stay warm and dry. Experiencing this part of Alaska up close and personal in this zodiac was AMAZING. We saw all kinds of wildlife and the setting was just like something out of a movie. I can't recommend it enough. Easy to get to from the ship and super easy to book.

Richard G

On Jun 2024

Great excursion. Staff was excellent. Naturalist was very knowledgeable and interesting. Captain Eric great driver, safety was an obvious must. I would book this excursion again. Added bonus: plenty of wildlife!

Eddie W

On May 2024

Loved the attention to detail and knowledge of marine life and area.

David R

On May 2024

We enjoyed this trip immensely. We have been fortunate enough to visit Ketchikan several times. We have completed six excursions prior to this one. This trip was the best of them. We traveled through the intertidal zone and saw many star fish and several eagles nests, one of which was active. We also spent a lot of time watching humpback whales. The captain and naturalist were not only informative but great and kind people. We are going back to Alaska next year and we will do this trip again.

Deborah W

On May 2024

The tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly and we got to see the spray and tail of a whale. They also showed us purple sea stars and reddish orange sea stars and urchins and other sea life as well. We saw sea lions and seals and several bald eagles. It was a little cold but since it was May that was expected.


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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