Victoria Harbour Kayak Tour

Overview

During this relaxing tour you’ll get a chance to see the city up close. The bustling activity of seaplanes, ferries large and small, whale watching boats, private yachts, fishing vessels of all sizes, tug boats and barges can be seen. In the background stands the BC Legislative Building and the historic Fairmont Empress. You may also encounter eagles, herons, cormorants, river otters, seals and seagulls. This tour has it all!

From this unique perspective, your guides describe Victoria’s historic waterways that make up the downtown and the working harbour. Depending on the weather and the harbour traffic we may choose to stay on the upper portion of the harbour known as the Gorge Waterway. Victoria is a city on the water so come join us on an adventure through our waterways on Ocean River’s Victoria Harbour Kayak Tour!

If you join our evening tour, you will be able to see the city turn from day into night. First, it’s the building lights, some turning off and others turning on, then it’s the street lights and, finally, the BC Legislature lights up like a giant Christmas display, with over 3,300 light bulbs casting a magical spell over the harbour.

This tour is run through a marine area teeming with birdlife to observe. We proudly paddle through a NatureHood, or a Nearby area of Nature, in an urban environment to responsibly observe birdlife and marine biodiversity.

NatureHood Ocean River logo

 

Itinerary

Please arrive at Ocean River Sports approximately 10-15 minutes early for your tour to meet your guide(s) and other participants. Our safety-conscience guides are among the most highly trained and versatile on the coast—what is more, they really know Victoria. On the water, groups larger than 6 are led by two guides. If you prefer to paddle a single or double, please let us know during your reservation.

Our paddling area encompasses the scenic 7 km stretch of calm protected water known locally as the Gorge, as well as the world’s most photographed harbour, Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

Your tour experience:

  • After meeting and greeting all, you will be provided with a paddling orientation, which will include the features of the kayak, personal paddling equipment, group safety protocol, and the strokes that will make paddling and maneuvering the kayak enjoyable.
  • The tour will make several stops at fascinating landmarks, with the guide detailing the storied history of each stop.

Full Itinerary – PDF: Itinerary for Victoria Harbourfront Kayak Tour

Equipment List

Please read the following equipment list carefully, as it indicates what you will need to bring with you to help ensure you enjoy a comfortable tour.

Ocean River Sports stocks many of the items listed below. If you need advice or would like to purchase gear, please visit us or check out our online store!

Cotton keeps you cold when it’s wet, and takes a long time to dry. If possible, bring clothing designed for outdoor wear and made from Merino (wool), silk, or synthetic materials, such as polyester, polypropylene, or nylon.

  • Eyeglass retainer strap if you wear glasses
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen
  • A broad-brimmed sun/rain hat
  • Clothing like you might wear for a short hike (dress in appropriate layers depending, on the weather). Bring a light rain            jacket on days when there is a chance of rain. If you don’t have one, we can provide you with a waterproof paddling jacket.
  • Low-heeled shoes
  • Water and snack (optional)
  • A watertight plastic bag for electronics (optional)
  • A camera (optional)

We cannot be responsible for damage to or loss of your items, so please ensure valuables are stored securely in watertight plastic bags or dry bags and placed in the watertight storage compartments of your kayak. Secure storage is available for personal items you choose not to take on the water!

Waiver/Medical Forms

Please review the following form prior to your program. Please sign/initial the form in the presence of your instructor/guide, who will act as your witness.

Ocean River Sports Waiver (PDF)

Testimonials
To read all of our reviews, click on the Trip Advisor logo below! TA_550x370

“Awesome”

We (2 adults two children aged 9 and 11) took a 3 hour tour with Emma today out of Victoria Harbour. It was sublimely relaxing and peaceful. The harbour itself is fairly busy but as Emma took us away from the harbour it was totally chilled. We saw blue herons and harbour seals within the first 10 mins. Easy to learn and incredibly safe we felt very at home on the water with Emma and would wholeheartedly recommend her and Ocean River to anyone looking to take a family on their first (or any other) ocean kayaking experience.

“Enjoy a Relaxing Kayak Tour with an Experienced Guide”

My pal Colin and I were on holiday with our wives, we were keen to kayak in Victoria but disappointed to learn that the season was really over. However under recommendation we made a personal approach to Ocean River at the store and we delighted when Lee Phillips , one of the experienced instructors/ guides kindly agreed to take Colin and me out the following morning for 3hrs of excellent kayaking, with a lot of informative chat and fun at the same time. We managed to kayak up to the gorge and then out to the edge of the sea at the harbour mouth , nearly 6 miles in total, on a beautiful sunny day. We can`t thank the folks at Ocean River enough- everything was first class, thoroughly recommend them

“Sunset kayaking”

A gentle paddle around Victoria’s inner harbour is a perfect way to wind down another day in this wonderful city.  The inner harbour tour is a great combination of nature and city views and lots of interesting commentary on both from Lee, our excellent guide. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day in Victoria – if you are local or visitors! A great kayak with Lee!

 

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We're located in Downtown Victoria, Oak Bay, and Saturna Island.
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