Victoria Waterway Exploration


This tour offers very scenic surroundings and is our most diverse day of paddling that we offer. Depending on the day we may visit the Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Sites and the ships of the Canadian Forces Naval Base. Alternatively, the tranquil Gorge Waterway and Portage Inlet, which cuts through residential Victoria, are peaceful and picturesque. This route passes through a marine area teeming with birdlife to observe. We proudly paddle through a NatureHood in an urban environment, to responsibly observe birdlife and marine biodiversity. On both routes there is equal opportunity to see wildlife such as seals, river otters, invertebrates, and a variety of sea birds, as well as learn the unique and fascinating history of Victoria from the perspective of a kayak.

On some days when weather and currents allow, it is possible to pass through the wonderful Tillicum Narrows tidal rapids, combining both routes to complete the historic portage loop, connecting Victoria’s outer harbour with Victoria’s inner waterways. This 9 nautical mile loop passes through 5 different Victoria municipalities!

Every Victoria Waterway Exploration tour is unique, and as such our route and location for lunch (provided) will vary and change depending on the weather and tides of the day. Our experienced guides will ensure that the route chosen will be the safest and most comfortable for your group.

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Please plan to arrive at Ocean River Sports 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.

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.

Lunch provided. Bring your own water and snacks.

Full Itinerary – PDF: Itinerary for Victoria Waterway Exploration (coming soon)

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 that you can get wet—and a bit muddy (e.g., sport sandals with a heel strap, water shoes, or old running shoes). Alternately, you can borrow a pair of neoprene booties from us.
  • Water and snacks
  • 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. Use of a 10L waterproof dry bag is available to you on this tour.

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)



I’d just like to let you know that Jacquie and I had a great day yesterday – the gear supplied was great – Leya was friendly and a very competent guide – explanations of all sorts of things were very interesting and the whole day was a great experience.   Conditions were fabulous of course and I was glad we saw the baby seals, the eagle and huge jellyfish.
I thought I’d be a bit more sore this morning, but am happy to say that although I know I was paddling yesterday I’m not incapacitated.   Portaging was interesting and I’m so impressed with the equipment available – I’m also impressed with the way Leya hauled those kayaks in and out of the water.
Thanks for a great day!

-Miranda (August, 2016)

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