Columbia Day Tour
Columbia Bay Sea Kayak Day Tour - The Guide's Choice
Offering the best wildlife, paddling, icebergs and incredible scenery. The Columbia Glacier is the largest tidewater glacier in Prince William Sound. Since the early 1980's, it has been retreating catastrophically from its terminal moraine, leaving a 12-mile long iceberg-littered fjord in its wake. On this kayak day tour, we get dropped off close to the old moraine of the glacier to go sea kayaking amongst these icebergs.
We take a lunch break and a short hike on the glacier's moraine. After the break we continue exploring the lush coastline by kayak. With massive tide swings and ever-changing calving rates, each day is different in the Columbia Glacier zone! The water taxi will bring us back to Valdez after upwards of 5 hours of activity. Our most popular tour!
It is important to note that we do not actually get near the face of the Columbia Glacier in our kayaks. The face is typically a windy place without much protection or options for beach landings, and the floating ice can often choke up and cordon off the access to the face, or egress from it. Meanwhile, the outer terminal moraine forming the bank between the Columbia and Heather Bays continues to be a calmer, more proteced area that is prime for viewing icebergs that have drifted out to this shoal and stacked up.
ITINERARY- Here is how the schedule works on this 10 hour trip:
- 8am: Meet at our office, usually returning to town around 6pm-
- Hour 1: Gear up and instruction
- Hour 2-3: Motorboat ride to Heather Bay
- Hour 4-5: Kayak from the boat along the coastline and to the moraine of the glacier
- Hour 6: A one hour lunch break on the moraine overlooking the ice field
- Hour 7-8: Two more hours of kayaking out of the icefield and back along some coastline to the motorboat pick-up
- Hour 9-10: The ride back to Valdez
This tour is offered most days of the summer, but try and sign up in advance, as there are times we do fully book! We use our own USCG inspected water taxis for all regularly scheduled trips.