Top 10 Kayak Tours Across Canada
Whether you’re a kayaking newbie or a paddling pro, these day tours will help you get in touch with some of Canada’s most beautiful scenery.
Eagle Tour – Yukon
Canada’s north is the birthplace of the kayak. While multi-day trips showcase the best of its treasures, a beginner-friendly starter trip is offered by Up North Adventures out of Whitehorse. Kayak down the historic Yukon River to where it meets the Takhini River then get shuttled back to town in a four-hour round trip that includes snacks and refreshments.
Kayak Among the Icebergs – Newfoundland
Whale- and iceberg-watching are two top activities in Canada’s easternmost province; why not combine them with a paddle in the Atlantic Ocean? Stan Cook Sea Kayak Adventures runs fully guided single- and multi-day tours from May through October that are suitable for beginners – they’ll even bring a boat along so you can get back to shore in your allotted time even if you’ve lingered too long on the water.
Kayak and Wine Tour – Penticton, B.C.
The Okanagan Valley in south-central British Columbia is known for its spectacular scenery and for its wine industry – so why not combine the two into a single outing? Penticton-based Hoodoo Adventures offers a selection of kayaking tours with the wine lover in mind. Start with the basic kayak wine tour -paddle up Okanagan Lake from Penticton into Naramata then taste local wines before being driven back into town – or diversify by adding a fruit and cheese picnic or beach or vineyard painting class.
First Nations Interpretive Paddle – Sunshine Coast, B.C.
Just up the coast from Vancouver and easily accessible by ferry or plane, British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast is the perfect place to get on the water. Aboriginal-owned Talaysay Tours has a wide selection of kayaking tours to help you do just that, including its most popular outing, the half-day First Nations Cultural Interpretive Paddle, departing from the town of Sechelt. The local Shíshálh tribe has lived in this area for millennia; your guide will explain their history and stories as you kayak along their shores.
Kayak With Belugas – Manitoba
Churchill, Manitoba, is a must-visit destination for wildlife lovers who want to see polar bears up close. It’s also a hot spot for beluga whales, and one of the best ways visitors can see these ocean mammals is from a kayak, which brings you close to the water’s surface and, therefore, closer to the whales. Sea North Tours will take kayakers out on the Churchill River accompanied by a guide in a Zodiac; expect to have curious belugas coming by to see what you’re up to.
Kayak the Ottawa River – Ontario
About 90 minutes from Ottawa, Wilderness Tours Adventure Resort is a four-season getaway whose activities include whitewater rafting, bungee jumping, mountain biking and horseback riding. While whitewater kayak lessons are available for those looking for an adrenaline rush, visitors in search of a more sedate tour should sign up for the guided “sea” kayaking day trip (“sea” just denotes a stable, touring-oriented vessel) on the Ottawa River, joined by a guide who will explain the history, flora and fauna of the area and serve up a tasty lunch.
Winter Kayaking – La Malbaie, Quebec
While most kayaking operators pack up shop not long after Labour Day, the intrepid Katabatik Tours, based in the Maritime Quebec town of La Malbaie, open a second season from February through April for winter kayaking in the St Lawrence River. Expect to see floating ice and ice-covered cliffs and plenty of aquatic birds; not only will the company provide you with a double kayak, but they’ll also set you up with warm clothing, a dry suit, snacks and warm beverages.
Saint John River – Fredericton
New Brunswick’s capital is surrounded by natural beauty. Get a first-hand look with a kayaking tour on the Saint John River, which flows from Maine through New Brunswick and Fredericton and into the Bay of Fundy. Second Nature Outdoors will shuttle you to a drop-off point about a three-hour paddle away from downtown; make your way back into town on your own or hire a guide to help you refine your strokes and give insight into the region.
Harbour Passage – P.E.I.
No visit to Prince Edward Island is complete without getting out on the water. Work up an appetite for Cows ice cream and lobster dinners with a sea kayaking tour from Outside Expeditions. For newbies, the three-hour Harbour Passage tour takes you along the north shore’s 30-foot sandstone cliffs; more experienced paddlers might want to sample the six-hour Sealwatch Tour through the mouth of the Brudenell River, where playful seals love to congregate.
Halifax Harbour – Nova Scotia
The Halifax Harbour has always been known as a working port, not a recreational waterway. But now, kayakers can sign up for a tour with Kayak Halifax to explore the harbour and its islands and get a new perspective on the city. Half- or full-day tours during the day or at sunset depart from downtown and take you along the shore, across to nearby Georges Island or a bit farther to McNabs Island, a provincial park that’s uninhabited – except for the wildlife.