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Wonderfull Kayak trip around basecamp. On our 1st day we already saw orcas and humpback whales from... read more

Reviewed October 24, 2018
Ivar1970
,
Kapellen, Belgium
Outstanding company with focus on safety and enjoyment - loved it

We nearly booked a tour with another company but so glad we went with Kingfisher. We also booked... read more

Reviewed October 5, 2018
NewcastleKiwigirl
,
Newcastle, Australia
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Reviewed September 20, 2016

I would not recommend this kayak trip because the company did not put us in an area that " two days of the six day tour does spend time in areas where we are less likely to see them" (company owner's quote). It was the afternoon of the fourth day that we got into the area that the head guide said the orcas were. When the guide was questioned at the end of the trip about not starting out in the area that she said the orcas were she changed her story and said that the orcas are everywhere and this is the itinerary. When you book a six day trip and really only spend a day and a half in the area where the orcas are better known to be and the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve is located is disappointing. Yes. The company can use the excuse that they cannot guarantee we will see orcas which I understand. But they should do everything they can to try and do the best they can to do it.
The guides and kayak and camping equipment were very good. The food was very good to excellent. Had a great time kayaking with the group that was on this tour. But I was very disappointed and frustrated that the company did not look out for the guests in trying to provide the best opportunity for us to see kayaks.

Date of experience: August 2016
1  Thank Mark T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures - Orca Waters Kayak Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2016

Hi Mark,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your six day day kayak trip with us plus exchanging emails with me after your trip. I am glad you enjoyed many aspects of your trip and understand your disappointment in not seeing orcas.

Some of the below we have already discussed via email but for the benefit of TripAdvisor readers and possible future guests considering a trip I will repeat it below.

As the tour itinerary states on our website, "the trip starts in the Broughton Archipelago, a maze of small islets, and heads south into Johnstone Strait, where the chances of seeing orcas and humpback whales is greatest." While it is possible we may see orcas in the archipelago it is less likely than in Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound and you are correct in quoting me as "two days of the six day tour does spend time in areas where we are less likely to see them". The six day trip is designed to give our guests a more complete perspective of the area, the scenery, paddling routes, and the wildlife it offers compared to our four day base camp trips that only paddles in Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound.

As you mentioned in our earlier conversation the lead guide mentioned on day one of the trip that the orcas were near Hanson Island when you started. From our emails and the review it appears you may think that the orcas remain in one area the entire time. That same pod of orcas later that day were about 10 miles west off Malcolm Island while later still was about 20 miles to the east. Orcas may travel up to 100 miles in a day, so when the guide later said "the orcas are everywhere" her meaning was that they cover a large area. The guides do their best to put you in the right area to see orcas, they communicate with other kayakers, whale watchers, and researchers to this end but are also constrained by how far and fast we can travel in a kayak plus availability of camp sites, weather, tides, currents, and the group's abilities.

For example, on the fourth day of your trip I was leading another group and was in the same general area as your group. Both your guides and I had heard from whale watchers earlier in the day that orcas were a few miles to the west of us but coming in our direction. Both our groups were well positioned to see them if they travelled down Blackfish Sound along the Hanson Island shoreline or passed through Weynton Passage into Johnstone Strait. It was a foggy day and we could not see them in the distance but through reports we received and our best guesses it sounded like they would travel north along the Hanson shoreline and we would both get a good view. Unfortunately, before they reached us they started to cross to the other side of the sound in the fog. As the fog was lifting both our groups started to paddle to the centre of the sound to hopefully see them but they just kept swimming away from us. As it turns out there were two pods of orcas and they both swam past where you camped on the first night of your trip plus close to the island you had camped the previous night.

It is not often that a trip does not see orcas in August, I believe yours was the third or fourth six day trip we have had in eighteen years that has not seen them in August. But it can happen, we are dealing with wildlife, and our guides are great at showing you everything else the area has to offer like the humpback whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, sea birds, and inter-tidal life (and from what you and the other guests on your trip said, it sounds like you saw a lot).

As it turns out this trip may not have been the best fit for you and hopefully your review will make future potential guests ask if this is the right trip for them too. Maybe our shorter base camp trip would have been the right fit - as all four days are spent in the Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound area - but maybe a boat based trip that can cover much more distance would have been the way to go.

After reviewing our website we encourage everyone interested in our tours to call or email us to discuss our many different trips to help them find the right one for them. We will even suggest other companies or completely different types of tours if we think what we offer is not what you are looking for.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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Reviewed September 13, 2016

Camping. Tents. and great food besides the outstanding guides and kayaking. All in one trip. Pre trip information was great. Peter and Agnes the guides was very attentive
to skill levels, tides, speeds and weather, hump backs, sea lions, and seals. Equipment provided was perfect. But bring more socks! Would go back with them for another trip.

Date of experience: September 2016
Thank tjhostenske
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures - Orca Waters Kayak Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2016

Hi tjhostenske,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your "Orca Waters Explorer" kayak tour. I am happy to know you enjoyed your trip with us. I will be sure to pass your comments along to Peter and Agnes. Hopefully we will see you on another adventure with us some time soon.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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Reviewed September 4, 2016

Fabulous trip, wonderful base camp, great guides, excellent food, loads of wildlife - awesome! A really friendly operation, well organised, in a special place. Little beats going to sleep in your tent with humpbacks blowing just offshore. Definitely recommended.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank MikeKiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures - Orca Waters Kayak Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2016

Hi MikeKiwi,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your "Whales and Grizzly Bears" base camp kayak tour. I am happy to know you enjoyed your trip with us. We hope to see you on another adventure some time soon.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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Reviewed September 4, 2016

As two couples, we booked the 4 day Kayaking with Orcas from a base camp. It was a trip of a lifetime! Wildlife showings included porpoises, seals, sea lions, bald eagles, and the grand prize: several episodes of orca sightings. Three very competent and knowledgeable guides led us on kayaking trips around Hanson Island and the Plumpers, and did double duty in the preparation of meals morning, noon and night. No shortage of delicious food servings...a true "float and bloat' experience. The many special moments are difficult to describe: a curious seal popping its head up out of still waters at different points around the kayak pod; five sea lions jumping aggressively in the water together to take a stand against the passing kayak pod; paddling through dense morning fog and hearing the loud blowhole sound of the humpback whale; catching the shrill voice of the orca as a pod puts on a show -- including several dramatic breeches. The majesty of the region and all it holds was on full display. So rewarding.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank Seeber2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures - Orca Waters Kayak Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2016

Hi Seeber2015,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your "Kayak With Whales" base camo kayak tour. I am happy to know you enjoyed your trip with us. I will be sure to pass your comments along to your guides. We hope to see you on another adventure some time soon.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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Reviewed September 1, 2016 via mobile

What a great experience, in such a beautiful place. The wildlife was amazing to see in such close proximity. Kim and Allie were amazing guides and looked after us brilliantly. Our thirteen year old daughter loved it. I would definitely recommend kingfisher adventures.

Date of experience: August 2016
Thank 390jonathanr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures - Orca Waters Kayak Day Trips, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2016

Hi Jonathan,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your family base camp kayak tour. I am happy to know you and your family enjoyed your trip with us. I will be sure to pass your comments along to Allie and Kim. We hope to see you on another adventure some time soon.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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