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Review Highlights
The West Coast at its BEST!

We did a four-day base camp with whales tour in September 2020. I have been on many kayaking trips... read more

Reviewed September 23, 2020
John G
,
Vancouver, Canada
AMAZING - MAGICAL - POWERFUL Adventure

Myself and 5 friends just returned from an AMAZING 4-day base camp "Kayak with Whales" adventure... read more

Reviewed August 16, 2020
parm0
,
Victoria, Canada
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Reviewed October 3, 2018

Pre Trip:

At the pretrip meeting (the night before the trip began), we were informed of an unfortunate change. They told us the viewing distance for watching Orca on the water is 200 meters. I took note of this because I specifically recalled the pretrip information they provided us stating the viewing distance is 100 meters. This may seem inconsequential, but when you’re so low on the water, this turns out to be a significant change. I’ve since double-checked, the information presented on Kingfishers website is still factually incorrect and misleading. Furthermore, the website states “we avoid using imagery of whales in close proximity to our guests”. Well if you go to their homepage, the first thing you see is an Orca within 20 – 30 meters of a kayak. So don’t be fooled by the website, unless something drastically goes wrong, you will not kayak anywhere close to orcas or other whales.

Mid Trip:

Let me start off by saying that the Whales/Bears trip only constitutes two full days of kayaking. The first day is committed to transportation, orientation and the remainder of the afternoon is filled out with some paddling in the afternoon. On our trip, we had a solid first full day of kayaking watching Humpbacks and Pacific White Sided Dolphins, but that’s where the kayaking fun ended. On the second full day, we had to take it easy because people were “feeling it” (including a guide that was sick). As a result, we only kayaked roundtrip to the other Kingfisher basecamp (a few km’s each way) and only spent a few hours of actual paddling with a focus of finding sea creatures in the intertidal zone (not the intent of this trip). These details were not communicated to us by the guides at any point during the day. The last day was devoted to Grizzly Bear viewing and Tide Rip Bear Tours did a great job. It appears they are using a different outfitter next year for bear viewing, so that’s unfortunate.

One final observation that will leave a lasting impression: The oil sheen on the water is rampant. It’s really sad to think about all the marine animals living in these conditions. With all the boat traffic in this area, I doubt it will get better anytime soon.

Post Trip:

I considered giving this review a two, possibly three star review, but due to the dismissive responses I’ve received from the owner, I am left completely unsettled by this trip. In my post trip communication with the owner, he inferred that my grievances are solely my issues because I did not communicate with the guides and everybody else seemed to have a good time.

At the end of the day I will say the result of this trip was truly disappointing and a waste of my hard earned money.

In lieu of spending the great sum of money on this kayaking trip, I would recommend purchasing your own sea kayak and hiring your own guide for a personal tour of the area (it would still probably be cheaper). This would be a much more adventurous and lasting approach. Helpful hit, you can camp on Hanson Island for free!

Date of experience: August 2018
1  Thank eric82clark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2019

Hi eric82clark,

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. I am sorry you considered my responses to you as being dismissive. I had discussions with your guides and some of the other guests on your tour before my final reply to you as I do value our guests input and feedback and take it seriously. For potential future guests reading this review please contact us to learn more about the different kayak tours we offer and what to expect on each one so we can help you choose the tour that is right for you.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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Reviewed September 28, 2018

We really had a perfect tour. The island is so nicely situated and it was amazing to sit at the vistapoint enjoy the sunset and watching humpback whales. Sabina, Cam and Tessa were the perfect guides-they nearly new everything about the life in and around the ocean and were a lot of fun to be around. The paddeling was great and we saw a lot of animals (humpback whales, orcas, sealions, seals, intertidal life, eagles and much more). The food was delisious-so yummy! I just would do the tour all again because of the food. ;) We also had a lovely group and I take a lot of good memories out of this trip.

Date of experience: January 2018
1  Thank Cynthia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2019

Hi Cyntia,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your Kayak With Whales base camp tour. I am happy to hear you enjoyed your time and saw lots of wildlife. I will be sure to share your review with your guides, Tessa, Cam and Sabina.

We hope to see you on the water again some time soon.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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Reviewed September 23, 2018 via mobile

Had such a great time on the 4 day basecamp trip, even though it was raining and we couldn't paddle for two days because of the wind. The guides are super friendly and know the area and the wildlife pretty good, cook amazing food and it felt like being on a trip with friends! Also we saw a lot of wildlife. I could write so much more, but I recommend you just go and experience it yourself!

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank dennisp507
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2019

Hi Dennis,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your base camp kayak trip with us.

It is not often that we lose two days of paddling from our base camps due to the wind - but it can happen, . I am glad you still enjoyed your time so much. It is on these less than ideal days the strengths of our guides really shine through. And as you learned, you often don't even have to leave camp to see lots of wildlife.

We hope you can join us on another adventure some time soon.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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Reviewed September 15, 2018 via mobile

We did the 4 day kayak trip with a base camp, which we loved!

Our guides were Tess, Cam and Sabina, who were knowledgable, friendly, energetic and fantastic company! We were smiling and laughing the whole trip!

The other guests that we were on the trip with were also lovely, and we leave with wonderful new friends!

Camp was lovely - basic but comfortable, with amazing views across the water for wildlife watching in our downtime. The first morning, we were awakened by the sounds of orcas, humpbacks, seals and sea lions, all frolicking in the water outside our tent! What an amazing way to wake up!

Food was wonderful - we were well fed, and despite our vegan diet, we had lovely, tasty food that kept us going throughout the trip!

The kayaking itself was great - lots of wildlife, including intertidal life and sea birds, and a good mix of routes and conditions to keep it varied!

I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is wanting a kayak nature tour in this area - we have nothing but good things to report, and nothing but good memories to take away!

Date of experience: September 2018
Thank mei700
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded January 7, 2019

Hi mei700,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review of your trip with us and sharing some of your photos. I am glad you enjoyed your time so much. I will be sure to share your review with your guides, Tessa, Cam and Sabina.

We hope to see you on another adventure some time soon.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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Reviewed September 11, 2018

I had been researching my "bucket list" trip for two years for my 40th birthday. I followed different groups, read reviews and paid very close attention to details. As a person who used to be a white water rafting guide, canoe instructor and trip lead 2 week long expeditions, I was very sceptical! Much to my delight, I was overwhelming impressed, and that's no easy task- just ask my husband! There were so many aspects of this trip that "WOWED" me. First all of, when I contacted them for the first time way back in February, someone actually called me back within one hour! Brownie points #1! I called other companies and did not hear back from them. If I sent an email, I would get a response within 1 day. I LOVED that I did not have to haul any of my kayaks or paddling and camping gear! Brownie pts #2! All of the wildlife that we were told "you might see but we can never guarantee" we saw all and more! Brownie pts #3. When you book a wilderness vacation, you want it to be just that! Kingfisher created this balance with precision! Making you feel that you are on vacation BUT still in the wilderness. Brownie pts #4! The meals were amazing! Cheesecake for real! Brownie pts #5. The guides, Finn, Cameron and Maurita went over and above what they had to do. Their background knowledge of the area, wild and marine life was exceptional! Not only that, but they socialized with the guests more than they had too. Brownie pts #6. I have reflected long and hard about this trip, and I can honestly say, Kingfisher, there is not one thing you need to change! This trip was well worth my money and more! Well done and thank you for giving me an amazing experience. I WILL BE BACK!

Yours truly,
Krista MacLean

Date of experience: August 2018
Thank kmaclean28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KingfisherKayaking, Owner at Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded September 12, 2018

Hi Krista,

Thank you for joining this summer and writing such an in-depth review. Coming from someone who has guided their own trip it means a lot. Thank you as well for sharing some of your photos. I will be sure to pass your comments along to Finn, Cam, and Maurita. I look forward to your next trip with us.

Regards,
Andrew Jones

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