Sea kayaking and whale watching adventure
Join us for this easy but exciting kayaking and camping adventure at Point Adolphus, where underwater land formations and strong tidal currents create Alaska’s most active whale feeding area. You’ll start with a scenic cruise aboard a charter boat from Gustavus to our deluxe camp at Point Adolphus, then, after a thorough kayak lesson, test your paddling skills in the calm waters.
Days are spent kayaking and watching for orcas, sea lions, eagles, sea birds, and humpback whales (we’re one of the few companies to offer the opportunity to see whales up close from a kayak!), hiking the beaches, or exploring the old-growth rainforest of Chichagof Island. And if you like to fish, bring your fishing pole, buy a license, and see if you can catch a trout or salmon (if they are running) for dinner!
At night, enjoy scrumptious dinners, then fall asleep under the canopy of the Tongass National Forest, the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, while listening to the blows of whales just offshore. A charter boat returns you to Gustavus.
Easy to moderate sea kayaking, beach walks, and short hikes (no previous kayaking experience required)
- Paddle the shores of Chichagof Island, with its incredible opportunities for up-close marine mammal viewing (we're one of the few companies offering kayaking with the whales)
- Enjoy scenic roundtrip boat charters to and from Point Adolphus (with more chances to spot orcas and humpback whales!)
- Bird watching includes bald eagles, loons, and marbled murrelets
- Hikes to lush rainforests and tide pools containing abundant sea life
Duration: 3 days Start Location: Gustavus End Location: GustavusDownload Detailed Itinerary
Day 1 : Point Adolphus
NOTE: You will need to arrive in Gustavus on the day prior to day one.
On day one, we will meet in Gustavus for an early morning pre-trip meeting. We depart from the Gustavus dock, where we board a charter boat for the ride across Icy Strait. Start watching for whales! We'll unload off the stunning coastline near Point Adolphus on Chichagof Island, in the heart of the Tongass National Forest.
Day 2 : Chichagof Island
We will be based in our wilderness camp for two nights. During the day we will paddle the coastline of Chichagof Island watching for whales, sea lions, porpoise, orca, and sea birds. There may be time for beach combing and forest walks. Our paddling distance will be tailored to the group.
Day 3 : Gustavus
After a hearty breakfast, we pack up camp and have the opportunity for a last paddle. After lunch, we meet the charter boat for a final cruise across Icy Strait, arriving back in Gustavus by the mid-afternoon.
DATES: Best time to go: June - August Departures: No group departures scheduled. Private departures are available on the dates of your choice, pending availablity. Call us for details.
Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.
Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.
Wade Panzich, Alaska Discovery Kayak and River Guide: Wade has lived in Alaska for 7 years, 4 of these working for Alaska Discovery. During the fall, Wade travels the globe searching for the perfect wave. Winters are spent teaching snowboarding in Alaska. Spring and summer finds Wade kayaking and rafting beautiful southeast AK. He has also spent time on the water in the western U.S., Central and South America. All seasons he is an avid backpacker and an aspiring mountain man. Wade’s got some good stories to tell, from hitchhiking across the country to tropical subsistence living, a trip with him will never be dull.
Shelli Ogilvy, Alaska Discovery Kayak Guide: Shelli was born and raised in Alaska. She grew up in Gustavus with Glacier Bay as her backyard. She has been guiding for Alaska Discovery as a wilderness leader since 1997. She has a deep love for this place and ecosystem, finding peace and joy through sharing the experience of the wilderness. When not guiding, Shelli tries to find time to paint and work on her cabin. She currently spends her winters in New Mexico skiing and eating green chilies.
Tom Schwartz started guiding canoe, skiing and sea kayak trips in Southeast Alaska in 1997 with a non-profit organization for youth in Juneau. He joined the Alaska Discovery team in 2003 guiding trips to Berner's Bay, Pack Creek and Glacier Bay. His experience as a fine dining chef has inspired him to create excellent food in amazing places. Keep an eye out for a wilderness cookbook!
Keith Thompson, Alaska Discovery Kayak Guide: Originally from Pennsylvania, Keith left a job in medical research to pursue his love for travel and the outdoors. He's been involved in a rock and ice climbing business, worked as a bike guide, and traveled extensively throughout North and Central America, and Southeast Asia. In 1999, his travels led him to Alaska where he fell in love with his surroundings. Keith writes, "I found the pristine Alaskan wilderness an inspiration and guiding a way of sharing and learning about this special place." (Bonus: Keith is also a massage therapist.)
Jeff Sloss, Alaska Discovery Kayak, Canoe, & River Guide: Jeff has been a lead guide for Alaska Discovery for over 20 years. He has helped set the high standards of quality and commitment that makes us a great company. Whenever we think of exploring a new area we turn to Jeff to make it happen. In the winter, Jeff teaches skiing and snowboarding in Juneau, works on film projects, and helps raise his two daughters. Jeff is an active conservationist and has lobbied Congress to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Jeff carries a deep love for Alaska onto all of his trips. Jeff writes, "Among the high points of this career are experiencing some of the world's finest places, and meeting new people as well as enjoying the company of returning guests that share an appreciation of this Great Land."
Born and raised in coastal Alaska, Solan works as a kayak guide, a kayak ranger, a boat builder, and a marine mammal emergency responder. He received a degree in Philosophy which led him directly to a career working outdoors in the cold regions of the earth. As a kayak guide he divides his time between Antarctica and Alaska. A highlight of his career, Solan was the co-leader of one of the first commercially guided overnight sea kayak expeditions in Antarctica. In his spare time Solan is a collector of bones, books, and vinyl records. He co-directs a small film production company and is a tireless student of the banjo.