Newfoundland Sea Kayak Tours
Sea kayaking in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador has become very popular during the past decade, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better location for both short- and expedition-style tours than the Bay of Exploits on our province’s Northeast coast.
Located within the much larger Notre Dame Bay, the Bay of Exploits offers some very sheltered paddling among its many islands, or for the more adventuresome paddlers, there’s the beauty of the exposed Northeast coast of Newfoundland. Icebergs, whales, dolphins, seabirds, nesting raptors, intertidal zone marine life, spectacular scenery and our culture are all things you can see and learn about when you paddle with us. If icebergs are at the top of your priority list, please contact us to discuss the right timing for your tour.
Long before the arrival of European settlers, the Beothuk Indians inhabited this land and paddled the waters of the Bay of Exploits in their birch bark canoes. The coast was a summer destination for them, and it provided fish, eggs and other food sources critical for their survival. European settlement of the region began about 500 years ago. After discovering the rich resources of the area, serious conflicts developed between the native population and the European settlers. As a result of years of confrontation and European diseases, such as tuberculosis, the Beothuk population became extinct. Although, there is much debate to this very day on that belief. Learn more about the native Beothuk population and their fascinating but tragic story as you paddle these waters.
For inexperienced ocean kayakers, it is best you have a guide accompany you. This bay is truly home turf for us here at Adventures Newfoundland. A lifetime of working in this environment has given us extensive knowledge of its geography, weather patterns and how certain winds affect the areas we paddle, as well as the history and culture that we are sure will fascinate you. We will certainly work hard to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time. We have a number of tour choices to choose from depending on your interest, so take some time to decide which one is right for you.
Please note that we do not set dates for our tours but try to schedule them to fit your vacation schedule.
Just call us with as much advance notice as possible and we will do our best to accommodate you. For our 2020 season, we will be running most of our tours from Lawrence’s Harbor which is located about a half hour drive north of Botwood on Route 352. We will probably be out and about somewhere on the bay, so please call or send an email to arrange your tour.
Guided Kayak Tours
Half to Full Day Guided Tour Choices
Our half to full day tours are ideal for those traveling the province who wish to take in a variety of activities. Each tour begins with a basic introduction to the sea kayak, then your guide will take you on a scenic coastal exploration, usually to a local point of interest. Tour destinations are dependent on the predicted wind direction and velocity for the day. For a really unique and fun experience, take a look at our full day value added tour. Please note that all prices are subject to 15% HST.
Value Added Day Tour
This unique experience begins at Fortune Harbour, located at the headlands of the beautiful Bay of Exploits. Your day will start with the basics of sea kayaking and will include instruction on safety and rescue techniques. Single and double kayaks are available. Each participant will get a map of Fortune Harbour and will learn how to navigate by a term called, “Piloting.” As you enjoy paddling and taking in the sites of the area, you will also learn the basics of the dying art of navigating with a map and compass. During our breaks along the shoreline, you will learn how a compass works together with your map, including taking a bearing and how to follow one. There will be a true test of your newly acquired skills when you are asked as a group to lead your guide to a location where we will harvest wild blue mussels. Now we like mussels a lot, so we will make sure you find the spot if you go astray! Then, we feast on one of the finest treats of the sea as an appetizer to a traditional shore lunch. After a well-deserved rest, we continue paddling to see what else this beautiful area has to offer. This is truly a day that you won’t soon forget!
*Group and family discounts are available
2-4 Day Tours
If you are not ready to commit to an expedition tour but still wish to experience a touch of rugged coastal beauty combined with camping, our two- to four-day tours may be for you. Departing from our Lawrence’s Harbour base camp or the community of Fortune Harbour, we will take you on a journey beginning in sheltered waters, then out to the rugged headlands forming the Bay of Exploits. Camp in sheltered coves, feast on traditional meals and eat fresh wild mussels harvested by your guides. Bald eagles and osprey are abundant, and you may even catch a glimpse of a minke or humpback whale feeding nearby.
Please note that two and three-day tours can be organized to fit your vacation schedule but please contact us at least 30 days in advance.
Two day tour……………$399.00/ person
Three day tour……………$925.00/ person
Four day tour…………$1,200.00/person
*Group and family discounts are available
7 Day Expedition Tour
Nestled comfortably within Notre Dame Bay, along NL’s Northeast coast, is the Bay of Exploits. Stretching from Twillingate to Northern Head and as far south as Botwood, the bay is the final destination for the waters of the mighty Exploits, NL’s largest river. With nearly 1000 square km and over 30 islands, it presents some of the finest sea kayaking that NL has to offer. Join Adventures Newfoundland on a 7-day, 6-night expedition that will take you on a trip of a lifetime. The Bay of Exploits is awash with natural and cultural history, and who better to learn it from than local guides who call this place home. Much more than just a sightseeing tour, our story of resettlement, our dialect, our traditional cuisine, and our stories will captivate you from beginning to end. For the first time on our expedition tours, we are including a one-night stay in our Light Keepers Inn located at Surgeon Cove Head on historic Exploits Island. This tour is packed with activities and is truly a week of experiential tourism at its finest. Take a look at some of our activities:
- Hike to a remote lighthouse on Exploits Island and spend the night at our Light Keeper’s Inn. Experience what it must have been like to be a light keeper in a major shipping lane along a rugged coastline. Take a hot shower, enjoy our traditional cuisine and get pampered by our staff.
- Participate in our recreational cod fishery and enjoy a meal of one of the North Atlantic’s finest offerings. Learn how significant this fishery was to the growth of NL, from the salt cod trade to its total collapse in the 1990s.
- Harvest and feast on wild blue mussels.
- Paddle the same waters and learn about the plight of NL’s indigenous but now (believed to be) extinct Beothuk Indians. The Bay of Exploits is well known for the tragic story of their demise.
- Visit what were once thriving fishing villages on remote islands and learn about our famous “resettlement” program first implement by the Smallwood government in the 1960s.
- There’s an excellent chance of whale viewing!
- And of course, as mentioned above, immerse yourselves in our dialect, our cuisine and our stories.
We hope to have sparked your interest! Feel free to contact us for more information or to sign up.
Cost of trip: $2,195.00 per person plus 15% sales tax
Included in our price:
- Kayaks and required equipment
- All group camping gear including tents
- All food
- Thermal protection clothing in the form of wetsuits and paddle jackets
- One night’s accommodation on the evening before departure and one night’s accommodation on the evening of the take out.
- Transportation (if required) from Gander airport to the first night’s accommodation/launch site and from the last nights’ accommodation/take out to Gander airport
what to bring
What Is Included
- All kayaking equipment and safety gear, including kayaks, paddles, spray skirts, bilge pumps, personal flotation device (life jacket) with signaling device and a buoyant heaving line
- Dry bags
- Wetsuit depending on water temperature
What You Bring
- Some sort of shoes that you don’t mind getting wet like sandals or crocs.
- Sunglasses and hat.
- Camera but make sure it’s waterproofed somehow. Zip Lock bags won’t do!
- Rain/wind jacket and some extra clothes in case of cooler temperatures.
What Is Included
- Kayaks, paddles, sprayskirts, PFDs, signaling device and buoyant heaving line as required by Coast Guard
- Farmer John wetsuits for thermal protection
- Group camping equipment, including tents, cookware, stoves, plates, bowls, cutlery and tarps for shelters
- All food and some snacks
- First Aid Kit
- Guides carry emergency communication equipment such as cell phones, VHF radios and Garmin Inreach Units
What to Bring
While our summers usually provide us with favorable weather, our summer months can sometimes bring cool and damp conditions more in line with spring.
When packing clothes, it is very important to remember that cotton garments may provide some warmth when dry but are absolutely useless when damp and are very slow drying. Leave them home and look for polyester quick drying clothing!
- Wet suit
- Dry top or paddle jacket of some sort. Wet suits provide thermal protection to lower body but do little to protect the upper body.
- Water shoes such as sandals, crocs or neoprene boots. Neopren socks are nice for warmth during cooler temperatures.
- Neoprene gloves for paddling
- Poly underwear, top and bottom
- Long sleeve shirts (2)
- Short sleeve shirt (2)
- Fleece sweater
- Quick drying pants (2) (the kind that converts to shorts are nice)
- Wool hat and gloves (in case of cool evenings)
- Lightweight rain/wind pants
- Waterproof dry bags for your clothing etc. A number of small dry bags pack better than one large one. Five and 10-litre bags are good, but you will probably need a 15-litre bag for your sleeping bag.
- Sun hat
- Sun glasses
- Waterproof hiking boots or rubber boots
- Good quality sleeping bag (must be compact and able to stuff inside the hatch of a kayak in a 15-litre bag)
- Sleeping pad (Thermarest)
- Personal toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, etc)
- Baby wipes (valuable when conserving fresh water)
- Sun screen and lip protection
- Insect repellant
- Water bottle
- Personal medication
- Campsite sitting pad
- Flashlight with spare batteries (head lamps are excellent)
- Day pack for hikes
- Reading material
- Camera (waterproof case is a must)
- Multi tool (leatherman)
- Binoculars (small)
- Wine or beverage of choice (for evenings only), bagged wine packs well in a kayak
- Pillow slip