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One Day Kayak Adventures in Glacier Bay

Kayakers in Glacier BayPhoto by Michael NigroIf you are short on time in our area, or if you do not wish to bring your camping equipment along, you might prefer one of our shorter, one day kayaking options in Glacier Bay National Park. You can either rent a safe, stable sea touring kayak by the day or half-day and strike out on your own, or you can join one of our guided day kayaking trips.

All day adventures take place in Bartlett Cove, headquarters of Glacier Bay National Park, and offers the novice kayaker a very protected rain forest environment in which to paddle and explore. Kayakers may paddle along the shores of Lester Island and Point Gustavus with opportunities to view a variety of land mammals, marine and bird life. Seals, porpoise, sea otter, black bear, moose, bald eagles, and whales are some of the wildlife you can expect to see.

eaglePhoto by Corey DusinFor our rental guests, our expert kayak instructors will outfit you with the appropriate kayak and equipment, and issue additional gear according to your specifications and the day's weather conditions. Others may prefer to join with a group of like-minded explorers, and kayak with an experienced guide/naturalist, stopping to view wildlife, share a lunch or snack of local delicacies, and hike briefly along shore, before returning back to our Bartlett Cove site.

If you would like to rent a kayak for the day during your stay in our area, or participate in a guided day kayak trip, give us a call or have your host make arrangements for you. We can pick you up at your inn, lodge, or bed & breakfast, and provide transportation for you from Gustavus to Bartlett Cove, or if you are staying in the Glacier Bay Lodge, we will meet you there. You may also make an advance reservation by filling out the Day Tour Reservation Form.  Due to the size of our cockpit openings, a participant's hip/waist size should not exceed 54 inches (137 cm) as measured when seated.

During your visit to Gustavus, be sure to dedicate a day to see the West Arm of Glacier Bay, the crown jewel of the National Park system.  We're happy to make your reservations for a day cruise on the daily tour boat.

Guided Kayak Day Tours

day-tripPhoto by Corey DusinYou can join us for a leisurely guided sea kayaking adventure in Glacier Bay National Park's Bartlett Cove. Our experienced kayak guides are trained naturalists and will help you to connect with the marine environment, forested wilderness shorelines, and abundant wildlife, including birds, marine mammals, moose and black bears. Your guide will ensure that everyone in the group experiences the delights of kayaking and learns about the rich natural and cultural history of the area. A full day trip includes a relaxed lunch on a secluded beach, and a short educational nature walk to round out the adventure.

Rates are per person and include rain gear, rubber boots, kayak gear, snacks, lunch on the full day tour, and round-trip van transportation from your Gustavus lodging. Guests are responsible for providing their own thermal protection such as paddle jackets & pants or dry suits. Dry suits are available to rent from the Kayak Academy.


If you're arriving on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry into Gustavus, consider making advance reservations for our afternoon tour on the day of your arrival! 


Kayak Tour Tour Times  Cost
Full Day Tour 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM  $165/person *
Morning Tour 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM  $105/person *
Afternoon Tour 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM  $105/person *

*Does not include 3% sales tax or guide gratuities. 

Custom trips can be arranged for any group or families with children ages 10-12. For safety reasons, children must be age 10 or over to participate in our tours, and families with children aged 10-12 must have a custom guided tour. A custom tour will allow your family the flexibility to return early or go at a slower pace.  Parents should be aware that they must be strong enough to do most of the paddling with their kids. A custom day trip is an additional $25/person for up to 4 people (no extra charge for group sizes of 5 or more). 

Full-Day or Half-Day Kayak Rentals

Sea OtterPhoto by Corey DusinTwice daily, we offer kayak rentals, outfitting, and instruction for those wishing to explore Glacier Bay's Bartlett Cove. We meet all kayakers going out for the day at the NPS Visitor Information Station (VIS) in Bartlett Cove, located just a short walk from our kayak racks near Glacier Bay Lodge. At 9:00 AM daily, you can rent a kayak for a full day (3:00 PM return time) or a half day (12:30 PM return time). We meet again for another group instruction period at 2:00 PM (5:30 PM return time) for those who wish an afternoon half day paddle in Bartlett Cove. 

Once our staff has introduced the kayaks and equipment, maps are issued and special tide considerations for the area are covered, as well as kayaking techniques and safety. Renters then depart from the beach below the kayak racks. Kayak rental and instruction sessions generally last about an hour. For safety reasons, we do not rent kayaks to solo paddlers, you will need to have a partner. Children must be age 10 or over and have one strong adult paddler age 18 or older with them in their boat. Those wishing to rent single kayaks should be experienced. If you are alone or inexperienced, we encourage you to find a partner and rent a safe, stable double kayak. Rates are per person and include rain gear, rubber boots, kayak gear and instruction. Guests are responsible for providing their own thermal protection such as paddle jackets & pants or dry suits. Dry suits are available to rent from the Kayak Academy.

Day Rentals Rental Times  Cost
Full Day Rentals 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM  $60/person *
Morning Rentals 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM  $50/person *
Afternoon Rentals 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM  $50/person *

*Does not include 3% sales tax. 

Cancellation Policy

A 50% trip deposit will hold your reservation with us and is refundable in full up to 14 days prior to departure.  No refunds less than 14 days prior to your trip date. 

Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks is an authorized National Park Service Concession in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.
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