Orca's Cove is a very popular Ketchikan shore excursion, specially designed for people looking for a true wilderness experience. Orca's Cove is a serene wilderness location, far from the bustle of town and the busy cruise ship docks. For a more personal experience, our group size is limited to six guests per trip (or private groups of up to 12), and this Ketchikan tour is not sold on board cruise ships.
The old-growth forest presses right down to the shoreline, and the intertidal zone of over 20 feet is home to a colorful array of creatures. Several bald eagle nests are active in the area, and we often have the opportunity to observe these remarkable birds in their homes. By its very nature, we never know what wildlife we will see on any particular day - that's part of the excitement. Humpback whales, orcas, porpoises, seals and sea lions all inhabit these waters. Along the shore we may see river otters, minks, deer, and occasionally black bears. Our guides are trained naturalists who will enthusiastically share their love of the land with you.
This Ketchikan cruise tour is at a relaxed pace, covering approximately four miles during the 2 and a half hours of paddling. The goal is to enjoy the wilderness and explore the shoreline, not to set any speed records. There are many opportunities for photographing the exceptional scenery and wildlife.
On this excursion in Ketchikan, you will travel by boat to remote Orca's Cove. Along the way you will pass Ketchikan Creek, Saxman Totem Park and all the surrounding islands from the water and have a great chances to see marine wildlife. Upon arrival at the cove, you will meet your guides and become familiar with kayaking. After a basic lesson, you will take off paddling, wandering amongst numerous islands, immersing yourself in the surroundings, and keeping a lookout for wildlife. After paddling, you will enjoy a snack of the finest locally caught and smoked silver salmon, along with hot drinks, before returning to town by boat.
Please Note: All participants must be able to step into a 55" spray-skirt tube and pull it up to the chest. Guests who are unable to fit in the kayaks will not be refunded. Trips fill very quickly due to the small group size, so please book early to avoid disappointment. Dry bags are provided to protect your camera or video recorder. We ask that you dress in warm, comfortable layers. Paddling jackets and rain pants are provided, along with spray skirts on the kayaks to help keep you dry. Triple kayaks for families with younger children, and especially-adapted kayaks for guests over 6' 3" may be availabile upon request.
Reviewer: Theresa Bergman
My favorite excursion of our Alaska trip!! Maximum group size is 6 and the most amazing scenery. Calm water, up close to the shore where we saw sea urchins, sea stars of all colors, eagles, sea cucumbers and more. Seals popped up to check us out multiple times, fish jumped out of the water, even saw a hump back whale on the boat ride over to the cove. Absolutely amazing scenery and you feel like your group is the only one out there. Love love the smoked salmon snack at the end. Ordered a case once I got home. Thank you for a great time Rebekka!!!
We were met right on time in front of our ship and taken to the dock. The guides were very friendly and informative and the scenery was awesome! The kayaks were two-person kayaks and were very easy to maneuver. Afterwards, we enjoyed some smoked salmon (best I've ever had!) before heading back. I would definitely recommend this trip.
Reviewer: Nigel Espley
This was our first shore excursion of the cruise and we were blessed with beautiful sunny weather. Not only that, but it was just the two of us with our guide, Angela. She was so patient and informative. During the transfer from Ketchikan to Orca's Cove we saw a mother and calf whale make their dive. Other than that the wildlife was not exactly abundant, apart from a seal and a couple of sea-lions, but the scenery was gorgeous and the clear waters made viewing of starfish, sea cucumbers, etc, a pleasure. The exercise was not too strenuous but a light snack of smoked salmon at the end was welcome. A very pleasant few hours - over all too soon.
Reviewer: Barbara B. Johnson
This was the best excursion we had on our cruise. Our guide was friendly and helpful, very knowledgeable and genuinely interested in his guests. The scenery was beautiful and we were able to see a lot of wildlife up close & personal. And the salmon treat at the end was the perfect way to end.
Reviewer: Serena Nyikes
What fun! My family enjoyed our time on this excursion. We held all sorts of sea creatures including sea cucumbers and moon jellyfish. My 9 yrs. old couldn't get enough.