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ABOUT US 2018-03-21T12:18:24+00:00

ABOUT US

 

Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures has been running fully outfitted guided kayak tours on the coast of British Columbia since 1999. We are based in Port McNeill and run kayak tours here on northern Vancouver Island but also further north in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.

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It is truly our kayak guides that make the company. It is the kayak guides that turn a good trip into a fantastic trip. Most of our kayak guides have been with Kingfisher for years and it is because of them that we have many guests returning year after year.

“It actually felt more like being on a trip with friends than with guides. They were of course great guides, cooks, and paddlers, but it was other things that really made the trip special.” K.A. from USA

All of our kayak guides are certified with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia. As a company we encourage and support our guides in continually improving their kayaking, interpretive and leadership skills to in turn offer you the best kayaking vacation possible.

Considering joining the Kingfisher team? Check out our employment opportunities page.

Andrew Jones - Owner and Level 3 Kayak Guide

With over 30 years of kayaking on both the east and west coasts of Canada, Andrew eagerly shares his passion for kayaking and the wilderness with our guests. As owner of Kingfisher, Andrew’s goal is to ensure all guests have a fantastic time on whichever trip they choose.

Andrew is a past president of the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia, is president of the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association, chairs the Vancouver Island Tourism Advisory Committee, and is a board member of Tourism Vancouver Island.

Andrew is a Certified Level 3 Sea Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia and a Level 1 Sea Kayak Instructor and hold Level 4 Sea Kayak Skills with Paddle Canada.

Kayak Guide - Silke Hockemeyer

Silke Hockemeyer - Level 3 Kayak Guide

2018 is Silke’s seventh season guiding with Kingfisher. A level 3 kayak guide with the SKGABC, and fluent in German, Silke has ten years of experience guiding international visitors on kayak tours around BC’s coastlines, including Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii and the Great Bear Rainforest. When she’s not on the ocean you can find her on one of the provinces many mountains exploring the world on snowshoes, a splitboard or simply her hiking boots.

Silke has completed a Diploma in Adventure Tourism and a BA in Tourism Management. Sustainability in tourism has been a focus in her studies and continues to be in her career in tourism. Silke teaches Ocean Kayaking and Natural History at a local college in the fall. She also brings schoolkids through the Vancouver watersheds to talk about  the importance of protecting our forests.

Kayak Guide - Peter Wainwright

Peter Wainwright - Level 3 Kayak Guide

2018 is Peter’s fourth season guiding with Kingfisher. Peter’s life has followed many paths; the military, an engineering degree, to life in a Tanzanian National Park. The lure of endless white-capped mountains and the pristine ocean enticed Peter to BC where he lives his passions, sharing his love of wild untouched places with others. He spends every possible moment exploring the backcountry on skis, by kayak, trail running, climbing or surfing.

Peter spent four summers in Scotland and Norway, guiding on land and sea for companies including National Geographic Adventures. His down to earth, relaxed demeanour and wealth of experience make him a great companion in the mountains or on the sea.

Peter is certified through the British Canoe Union as a 5 star sea kayak Leader and a Level 3 Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC.

Kayak Guide - Laurel Archer

Laurel Archer - Level 3 Kayak Guide

2018 is Laurel’s third season guiding with Kingfisher in partnership with Wild Women Expeditions. She’s super excited to head to the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii again to share her favourite BC trips! Currently living on Vancouver Island, Laurel’s paddled rivers and coasts from Central America to Asia, and the Arctic and South Pacific over the past three decades. Besides writing a thesis for her Masters degree in Education, she’s penned three guidebooks. She’s a member of the International Explorers Club and Royal Canadian Geographical Society, inducted for her work exploring and documenting historic and lesser-known waterways and promoting their conservation.

A SKGABC Level 3 Sea Kayak Guide (with a class 4 waters endorsement) and Guide Trainer and Paddle Canada Basic Sea Kayak Instructor, Laurel also works as a river guide in the NWT and teaches canoeing and kayaking for a number of adventure guide programs.

Kayak Guide - Sam Lam

Sam Lam - Level 3 Kayak Guide

2018 is Sam Lams first season with Kingfisher. Sam is very excited to join the team at Kingfisher and have a chance to visit areas like Gwaii Haanas and the Broughton Archipelago. Originally from North Vancouver, Sam has found it impossible to move away from British Columbia because of how beautiful and wild it is here. Sam's career in the outdoor industry was kickstarted by Kingfisher legend Don Webster back in 2012 when he attended the Advanced Wilderness Leadership Program in Squamish BC. Since then, Sam has been working in paddle sports as a both a kayak instructor and guide.

Sam holds a Level 3 Guide ticket with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC and a Level 1 instructor ticket with Paddle Canada. When he isn't kayaking, he loves mountain biking and skiing. He loves skiing so much in fact, that he works on the Mt Washington ski patrol in the winter time.

Kayak Guide - Sarah Richardson

Sarah Richardson - Level 2 Kayak Guide

2018 is Sarah's ninth season guiding with Kingfisher. A level 2 guide with the SKGABC, she spent her childhood reading National Geographic and exploring the forests of southern Vancouver Island, fostering a passion for the natural world. Since completing her studies, Sarah has worked in a variety of capacities related to the environment, including whale watching naturalist, bird bander, coastal biomapper, dockside fisheries monitor, municipal kitchen waste program coordinator, and ENGO administrator.

Sarah completed a BSc in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Victoria, and as well as certificates in garden design and landscape horticulture. During the off season, you can find her puttering in the gardens of greater Vancouver, attempting to perfect her French skills, or adding more stamps to her passport.

Sarah is a Level 2 guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC. Sarah speaks conversational French.

Kayak Guide - Allie Carroll

Allie Carroll - Level 2 Kayak Guide

2018 is Allie’s fifth season guiding with Kingfisher. Though born and raised on the coast, she has travelled extensively around the world for the last 15 years and still insists BC is her favourite place in the world, for all its rugged and remote beauty. She readily shares her enthusiasm for paddling and the natural world with a resounding confidence that inspires. Her most recent travels have included the Philippines, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Hawaii, and latin America, while finding a new passion guiding kayak trips in the Arctic and Antarctic. Allie is excited to welcome all returning and new Kingfisher clients and introduce them to the amazing wilderness BC has to offer!

Allie is certified as a Level 2 Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC and welcomes newcomers to kayaking as a trained Paddle Canada Level One Instructor.

Kayak Guide - Renée Baron

Renée Baron - Level 2 Kayak Guide

2018 is Renée’s fourth season with Kingfisher. Renée is passionate for education and the outdoors. A school teacher with specialties in foreign languages, Montessori and Outdoor Education, Renée believes strongly in experiential learning. Since graduating from Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training in 2009, she has guided on Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. Renée loves to facilitate and participate in the team building process that occurs during wilderness trips. It is in the context of the natural world that one can truly become connected and discover the beauty of human connection.

The outdoors is where she is most at home with passions for gardening, mushroom picking, hiking, climbing and paddling. She loves sharing these passions with her partner and two step-children.

Renée is a Level 2 guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC. In addition to English she speaks French, Dutch, and Spanish.

Kayak Guide - Kelly Uren

Kelly Uren - Level 2 Kayak Guide

2018 is Kelly’s third season with Kingfisher and sixth season kayak guiding. Living and playing in the mountains and ocean of Kelly's BC home is precisely where she thrives. Her background in outdoor education and ocean-based culture provides a thirst to share it with people from around the world. Kingfisher offers a chance to escape city life and shift into the natural routines of tides and currents, sunrise and sunset, and the unpredictable rhythms of wildlife. Conservation through celebration is a value Kelly oozes in her daily life.

Kelly has a diploma in Outdoor Recreation Management and in the cooler seasons works at an outdoor school, for search and rescue education, and manages a mountain film festival. Cross training comes in the form of hiking, snowboarding, snorkelling and sailing. She loves to travel and therefore, like most guides, has some unique stories to tell...

Kelly is a Level 2 guide with the Sea Kayak Alliance of BC and a certified Paddle Canada Level 1 instructor.

Kayak Guide - Kelsie Maas

Kelsie Maas - Level 2 Kayak Guide

2018 is Kelsie’s third season with Kingfisher. Born and raised in Alberta, Kelsie came to British Columbia in 2010, exchanging seas of wheat for the cold, dark seas. For the past five summers Kelsie could be found exploring the waters of Tofino and Ucluelet and is looking forward to exploring the Johnstone Strait with the Kingfisher team this upcoming season. What draws Kelsie to paddling on the British Columbian coast is the incredible life that is found here. From the depths of the oceans to the overgrown forests to the people, both past and present, life is rich and abundant. When the season changes, Kelsie can be found in Revelstoke, British Columbia, enjoying life in the mountains.

Kelsie is a graduate of Thompson Rivers University’s Adventure Studies Program and is a certified Level 2 guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC.

Kayak Guide - Andrew McGillicuddy

Andrew McGillicuddy - Level 2 Kayak Guide

2018 is Andrew's second season with Kingfisher. He was born and raised in rural New Brunswick spending his childhood exploring the lakes and woods of the province. He moved to BC two years ago to continue exploring the country’s many wilderness areas. Andrew attended Thompson Rivers University and graduated this past spring with a Diploma in Adventure Guiding. He fell in love with the BC coast for its rich biodiversity and native culture and wants to share and educate everyone he can about the area. His other interests involve photography, reading, diving, skiing, climbing and meeting others who want to surround themselves with nature. Andrew spent last year in Tofino sea kayak guiding after a three-week expedition in the Great Bear Rainforest. He has a strong connection with the outdoors and spends very little time under a roof.

Andrew is certified as Level 2 Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC.

Kayak Guide - Sabina Hamilton

Sabina Hamilton - Level 2 Kayak Guide

2018 is Sabina’s second season guiding with Kingfisher. As a graduate of the Coastal Adventure Tourism program offered at North Island College, she has spent the past four summers guiding in the Discovery Islands area. When the summer season comes to an end she can be found wrapping up a degree in marine ecology and policy at Quest University Canada and exploring the trails around Squamish, BC. Having grown up in various places along the BC coast she can tell you more than you have ever wanted to know about barnacles, and is excited to share what the coast has to offer.

Sabina is certified as a Level 2 Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance, and as a Basic Skills Instructor with Paddle Canada.

Kayak Guide - Finn Steiner

Finn Steiner - Level 2 Kayak Guide

2018 is Finn's second season with Kingfisher. Originally from Germany, he emigrated to Canada as a toddler and has been in a kayak ever since. Finn has paddled extensively in BC, including a 39-day circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in 2017, as well as instructed Whitewater and Sea Kayaking in New Zealand. Finn shares a passion for marine life both above and below the surface that is infectious and he takes this knowledge-based approach on the water with him every day. In the off season, Finn can be found paddling a kayak around various parts of the globe, diving rich marine ecosystems, or ski-touring BC's backcountry.

He is fluent in German, and certified as a Level 2 Guide with the SKGABC, as well as a Level 1 & Rolling Instructor with Paddle Canada.

Kayak Guide - Alisoun Payne

Alisoun Payne - Level 2 Kayak Guide

2018 is Alisoun's first season guiding for Kingfisher. Alisoun fell in love with paddling while living on Salt Spring Island in 1996. Her “teach to learn” philosophy took her to Ecomarine Paddlesport Centres in 2003 where she worked her way up to Senior Instructor. Alisoun’s interest in leadership and experiential education led her to pursue a Diploma in Outdoor Recreation Management, and in 2007 she launched her guiding career and began teaching Outdoor Education.

Alisoun has also been studying movement and healing arts since 1988. She is an avid yogi, Registered Yoga Teacher, and manual and movement therapist, and works doing massage in the winter months for the ski community at heli-ski lodges. She is passionate about personal growth through the outdoors, and hopes to see you on the water soon, exploring, strengthening and uncovering your own inner nature in the beautiful natural surroundings of Canada’s west coast.

Kayak Guide - Agnes Wisden

Agnes Wisden - Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide

2018 is Agnes’ third season guiding with Kingfisher. She was raised in the rich ecological and cultural environment of Alert Bay, and has a a deep connection to north Vancouver Island. She is always trying to explore the surrounding area, and strives to learn and share her knowledge. When not in the outdoors Agnes also spends her time on earth traveling the world, creating contemporary indigenous art, and working on community development projects.

Agnes is certified as an Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC

Kayak Guide - Thomas Wamiss

Thomas Wamiss - Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide

2018 is Thomas’ second year guiding with Kingfisher. He is a local indigenous person from the Kwakwaka̱’wakw people that reside in Northern Vancouver Island, the Broughton Archipeligo and the mainland of the Northwest Coast up to Smith Inlet. He has lived in Northern Vancouver Island his whole life and has always had a certain love and connection to the outdoors. When the kayak season is done, he can be found as a Cultural Teacher at a First Nations School where he incorporates outdoor learning, and strives to give his students a better sense of identity and connection to the land. He looks forward to sharing the rich beauty and history the area has to offer with anyone who wants to see the coast!

Thomas is certified as an Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC.

Kayak Guide - Maurita Gibson

Maurita Gibson - Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide

2018 is Maurita's first season working for Kingfisher. She spent her summers growing up paddling among the islands of Georgian Bay, Ontario. Her first trip to Vancouver Island included a canoe trip in the Broken Group Islands with her family, where she fell in love with the rugged west coast beauty. Maurita is a graduate of the COLT program at Strathcona Park Lodge, and also holds a degree in Applied Human Nutrition from the University of Guelph. She loves traveling, cooking, photography, and any activity that involves the outdoors.

Maurita is certified as an Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC.

Kayak Guide - Cameron Dalinghaus

Cameron Dalinghaus - Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide

2018 is Cam's first season with Kingfisher. He is super stoked to explore the new area and build on his existing knowledge of the marine environment. Cam is very passionate about the world around him. Even after travelling around the world, his favorite spot is right here on the coast of BC, whether it be in the mountains ski touring, rock climbing or exploring a new cove in his kayak. In Cam's eyes nothing beats a campfire on our rugged west coast with interesting people sharing unique stories and ideas.

Cam is a graduate of the Thompson River University Adventure Guide Diploma, a certified Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia as well as a Paddle Canada Level 1 Instructor. Cam is also fluent in french and more than happy to teach you a few expressions.

Kayak Guide - Julien Cassells

Julien Cassells - Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide

2018 is Julien’s first season guiding with Kingfisher. He has spent most of his free time hiking/exploring/paddling/hunting/camping in the Coastal Mountains and its inlets and sounds, and is always keen on planning trips to discover more of BC. Julien enjoys sharing his passion for the outdoors with anyone willing to join him on adventures, and his relaxed and easy-going demeanor make him a very agreeable trip companion.

Julien is certified as an Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC. He speaks French fluently and is a recent graduate of the COLT program at Strathcona Park Lodge, while also holding a degree in International Relations from the University of British Columbia.

Kayak Guide - Kimberly Gmyz

Kimberly Gmyz - Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide

Kim is certified as an Assistant Overnight Kayak Guide with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC.

Admin - Tessa Mul

Tessa Mul - Customer Communications & Marketing

Tessa handles the customer communications and marketing side of Kingfisher, as well as dealing with organizing the ins and outs of making your kayak tour run as smoothly as possible.

A certified Paddle Canada Level 1 sea kayak instructor and paddling enthusiast herself, Tessa has spent a lot of time on the coastal waters of British Columbia and internationally in New Zealand, Asia, and the Netherlands – where she is originally from and learned to kayak as an 8-year-old. After nine years of living in Vancouver and working in the management of kayak and sailing tour operators, she has recently made the move to Vancouver Island to work for Kingfisher. She has travelled around Haida Gwaii, the Great Bear Rainforest and Northern Vancouver Island – and is happy to help you plan your trip to one of these wonderful areas.

Admin - Jillian Jones

Jillian Jones

2018 is Jillian’s fifth season with Kingfisher. She has stepped back from her role of customer communication since the birth of her and Andrew's daughter in 2016. She continues to work on supplying homemade baked goods and organically-grown vegetables for the trips.

Jillian has a B.Sc. in wildlife biology and spent over a decade working as an avian field biologist in various locations including the Yukon, Saskatchewan, California, Arizona, Nebraska, Florida, and Costa Rica.

We pride ourselves on small group sizes, allowing close personal attention and minimal impact on the environment and the wildlife we view from our kayaks. Our base camp tours have a maximum of ten guests and three guides while our explorer tours have a maximum of eight guests with two guides.

Andrew Jones, the owner of Kingfisher, was on every trip that was offered during the first few years of the company’s existence. As the company has grown Andrew is still passionate about guiding, but also has to spend time in the office ensuring your trip runs seamlessly. Much of his energy is directed towards the hiring, training and retention of some of the best kayak guides on the coast.

Kingfisher’s kayak guides are passionate about kayaking and the wilderness and will eagerly share their knowledge with you, ensuring a trip full of memories you will never forget. Most of our guides have been with Kingfisher for a number of seasons and they are one of the reasons that we have many guests returning year after year. All of our kayak guides are certified by the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia.

At Kingfisher we are committed to five basic principles to ensure we run a sustainable business and are “doing what is right”. Learn about each of these below and for greater insight on how we operate daily to ensure we meet these principles and to learn what you can do visit our Green Tourism page.

Doing what is right for the environment.
Our business depends on a healthy environment, so how we operate is designed to minimize our impact on the environment. We purchase supplies locally, buy in bulk to minimize packaging and waste, serve only “Ocean Wise” seafood, compost food scraps, and reduce, re-use and recycle as much as we can. It not only helps us run a sustainable business, it’s simply the right thing to do.

We are just a small part of a larger solution, so we try our best to educate our guests about issues that effect our environment. Our belief is that by role modelling a high standard of sustainable environmental and social ethics, we can make a difference.

Doing what is right for the wildlife.
Responsible viewing of wildlife is paramount on all of our tours. We follow the Be Whale Wise Marine Mammal viewing guidelines and are founding members of the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association (NIMMSA). Andrew Jones, the owner of Kingfisher, is the current president of NIMMSA.

It is our belief that responsible wildlife viewing starts with having realistic expectations. We follow wildlife viewing protocols that treat the animals with respect, and work towards minimizing our impacts on their behaviour. This includes keeping a safe distance, being conscious of their travel patterns, and monitoring their behaviour for signs of stress.

Some tour operators show imagery of whales in close proximity to their guests, closer than the Be Whale Wise guidelines. While this may occur at the whim of the animals, please don’t expect that this is a regular occurrence. They are wild creatures and need their space.

Doing what is right for our communities.
We believe in supporting the local communities that we operate in. We purchase many of our supplies locally, use local service providers, and support other local tourism operators.

We are also actively involved with many community, tourism, sea kayaking, and marine mammal organizations. For more info visit our Community Involvement page.

Many of our kayak tours take place within traditional territories of many different BC First Nations. We respect these traditional lands and have established protocol use agreements where relevant.

Doing what is right for our staff.
We hire certified guides from the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia and support them with continuing professional development.

Each season we conduct a guide training and orientation session to augment our guides training and knowledge. This includes safety protocols, guest relations, camp craft, and wildlife interpretation skills. Our guides often spend years working with our company – and we like to think it’s because we hire only the best, and then treat them right.

Doing what is right for our guests.
If we have done all of the above this comes naturally! We started Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures because of our love of the outdoors and our desire to spend as much time in it as we can. Our choices in how we run our company reflect that – in everything from our choice of equipment, to how we treat our visitors as friends rather than clients. We are driven by quality, not profits. We want the time you spend with us to become a life long memory and will help you find the kayak tour that is right for you.

Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures is actively involved with sea kayaking, tourism, marine mammal, and community associations. For some organizations we volunteer our time and for others we support with financial and/or in-kind donations (or all of the above). Below are some of the organizations we are most active in and feel most passionate about.

SKGABC

Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC

The SKGABC upholds high standards for professional sea kayak guides and operators in BC. The SKGABC is Canada’s largest sea kayak guide certifying organization. All Kingfisher guides are certified by the SKGABC. Andrew Jones, the owner of Kingfisher, is the past President of the SKGABC and currently chairs both the Operators and Standards committees.

NIMMSA

North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association

NIMMSA represents the north island marine based eco-tourism industry and ensures its future as well as that of the many marine species the industry is based on viewing. Andrew Jones, the owner of Kingfisher, is the current president of the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association.

WTA

Wilderness Tourism Association

The WTA is an organization of adventure tourism operators. Through involvement with government and public and private enterprise the WTA works to ensure the ongoing viability of nature based tourism by protecting the wilderness tourism land base. Andrew Jones, the owner of Kingfisher, is a past director of the Wilderness Tourism Association.

GHTOA

Gwaii Haanas Tour Operators Association

The GHTOA was formed to foster quality, ethics and communication among Gwaii Haanas tour operators and to represent the interests of the tour operators, their clients and the public to the Haida Nation, the BC government and the Federal government, regarding issues related to Gwaii Haanas.

CBVA

Commercial Bear Viewing Association of British Columbia

The Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC (CBVA) was formed to promote sustainable bear viewing in British Columbia and aid in the protection of wild bears and their ecosystems.

WIC

Whale Interpretive Centre

The Whale Interpretive Centre is located in Telegraph Cove, BC and run by the non-profit Johnstone Strait Killer Whale Interpretive Centre Society (JSKWICS). Our guides have helped recover a rare beaked whale carcass, helped in whale necropsies, and collected invertebrate collections for their exhibits.

MERS

Marine Education and Research Society

The Marine Education and Research Society (MERS) is a group of dedicated northern Vancouver Island marine biologists and educators. Kingfisher guides often provide whale sighting reports to these researchers and have contributed photos to their humpback whale entanglement study. Prior to the start of every season MERS conducts a naturalist training session with our kayak guides.

Cetacean Sightings Network

Cetacean Sightings Network

The Cetacean Sightings Network collects sightings of all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises) and sea turtles from British Columbia and surrounding waters. Our guides provide sighting reports of whales from our kayak tours, especially in the under reported and less visited areas like the Great Bear Rainforest.

VINT

Vancouver Island North Tourism

Vancouver Island North Tourism focuses on the promotion of tourism on northern Vancouver Island as a whole and represents the communities of Alert Bay, Coal Harbour, Holberg, Port Alice, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Quatsino, Sointula, Telegraph Cove, Winter Harbour and Woss. Kingfisher’s owner, Andrew Jones, is the chair of the Vancouver Island North Tourism Advisory Committee

We pride ourselves on small group sizes, allowing close personal attention and minimal impact on the environment and the wildlife we view from our kayaks. Our base camp tours have a maximum of ten guests and three guides while our explorer tours have a maximum of eight guests with two guides. Our Great Bear Rainforest Kayak Expedition is even smaller with a maximum of six guests led by two guides.

In addition to minimizing our impact on the land we find the smaller group size allows us to better manage our groups around wildlife giving us better viewing opportunities.

All of Kingfisher’s kayak guides are certified with the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of British Columbia. Each of our guides are chosen for their ability to lead and instruct, their knowledge of the local area and wildlife, and their ability to ensure everyone fully enjoys their trip. Most of our guides have been with Kingfisher for a number of seasons and it is because of them that we have many guests returning year after year.

Click on “The Team” tab above to learn more about this year’s staff.

Even with little or no kayaking experience, you can join our Base Camp tours. Our Vancouver Island Explorer tours are suitable for beginners with a sense of adventure.

Due to the length of our Haida Gwaii tours and their remote location they are also best suited to people with some previous kayaking experience.

Our Great Bear Rainforest expedition is designed for kayakers with a moderate amount of previous kayaking experience and is our most challenging trip

Yes. If you let us know in advance, we can accommodate special diets including vegetarian, vegan, pescetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, peanut-free, or other allergen-free diets.

While whales are often viewed on all of our kayak tours, the Base Camp and Orca Waters Explorer kayak tours have by far the most reliable sightings of both orcas and humpback whales.

Please keep in mind that while these tours offer great viewing opportunities we are still dealing with wildlife and we cannot guarantee any particular sightings.

The northern resident (fish-eating) orcas are most reliably seen around northern Vancouver Island from mid-July through September. They may be seen in June and early July, along with the transient (mammal-eating) orcas, however, sightings become more consistent later in the summer. As they are wild, we cannot guarantee any particular sightings.

There is a lot of different wildlife along the British Columbia coast year round. However, we find that the greatest and most diverse wildlife is often found off northern Vancouver Island from mid-August through September.

The Base Camps feature roomy tents raised off the ground on wooden platforms and situated throughout the forest with views of the ocean. The tents provide standing room for most guests (1.9 metres tall) and are outfitted with wooden beds with the thickest and widest Therm-a-rest mattresses available. Sheets, fleece blankets, full-size pillows, warm barrel-style sleeping bags, and hot water bottles are all provided. A recharging station for digital cameras, an extensive library of natural history books, a safari style bucket shower, and a large covered kitchen and dining area made from locally milled red cedar make for a very comfortable camping experience.

These tours camp at wilderness locations with little or no improvements; in some cases we may be the only people to camp there all year. These tours require more group participation in setting up and taking down our camps than our base camp tours.

We provide high quality three-season tents. For couples we provide three-person tents and for solo travellers a slightly smaller tent. Therm-a-rest sleeping pads and warm mummy-style sleeping bags with liners are also provided. A library of natural history books is on every trip.

While we enjoy tours with younger children we also recognize that not all our guests want to be spending their vacation around children. At Kingfisher we limit participants to fifteen years or older on most of our tours. For families with children aged six to fourteen we have our Family Kayak With Whales and custom kayak tours.

At Kingfisher we provide premium kayaks and equipment and all equipment is included in the cost of the trip.

We use both single and double kayaks made by Vancouver Island’s Seaward Kayaks. On a full base camp trip with ten guests and three guides we use seven single and three double kayaks. On full Explorer tours with eight guests and two guides we use six single and two double kayaks. The mix of single and doubles allow you to spend time in each type. Our kayak paddles are lightweight carbon/vinyl paddles made by Werner Paddles. A Kokatat paddling jacket and neoprene paddling mitts are provided to keep you warm and dry while kayaking. We also provide personal floatation devices.

We provide all camping and cooking equipment. We also provide dry bags to pack your gear in. All you really need to bring are your clothing and toiletries.

If you prefer to stay in a double kayak for the duration of the trip, that can be arranged. If you prefer a single kayak you will likely be in a single for much of the trip, but we will rotate guests so that everyone who wants to spend time in a single will have the opportunity, so you may have to spend time in a double as well.

A comprehensive list of what you should bring for each tour is included under the “Preparation” tab of each tour. The packing list is also provided in the guest handbook that is emailed to you when you book.

We have a solar-powered charging station for camera batteries at the Base Camps that have both 110v and USB charging outlets. Please bring your chargers with you. For international visitors please bring an appropriate plug adapter. On explorer tour we do not have a charging station, so you will need to pack extra batteries. Visit our blog for more information on kayak photography.

All of our kayak tours take place in wilderness locations with varying degrees of remoteness. Our Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest kayak tours are the most remote and see the least number of other kayakers and boaters.

Our Haida Gwaii tours take place in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage site that has strict limits on the number of tour companies and visitors enter the area.

In the Great Bear Rainforest we have kayaked for more than a week without seeing any other people or boats!

Each of our kayak tours operate in the traditional territories of many different First Nations and we try to incorporate interpretation of their culture and history into our trips.

Our Haida Gwaii tours have the strongest First Nations aspect as we visit many of the parks Haida cultural sites, including a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ninstints on most tours.

Our Great Bear Rainforest tours start with a tour of the Klemtu Big House and we may visit an ancient cultural site during the trip.

On our Broughton Archipelago tours we often visit the ancient village of Meem Quam Leese which is slowly being reclaimed by the forest.

For our Base Camp and Orca Waters Explorer tours we work with three local First Nations to lease campsites. These tours include rainforest hikes to view culturally modified trees.

We highly recommend our Vancouver Island guests visit the Umista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay and our guests in Haida Gwaii visit the Haida Heritage Centre in Skidegate to learn more about the local First Nations culture.

Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures Ltd. is committed to protecting the privacy of our clients and potential clients. We treat everyone’s data in the same secure manner, wherever you are from.

What we collect and how we collect it

When visiting our website we collect information about your IP address and the pages you visit. This helps us to understand which areas of our website are most useful to our clients and make improvements. This does not tell us who you are and where you live until you choose to provide us with that information.

When you request additional information or book one of our wilderness tours we collect personally identifiable information which is essential to deliver these services to you. These include:

  • Name and address
  • Email address and telephone numbers
  • Payment information such as credit card and bank details. However, these are deleted from our system once your payment has been processed
  • Date of birth
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Additional medical information necessary to offer our wilderness tours in remote areas
  • Feedback you have provided to us that you have either submitted to us by an online form, by email, or mail
  • Interaction with our social media pages

Cookies

A cookie is a small file placed on your computer's hard drive. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences. A cookie does not tell us who you are and where you live until you choose to provide us with that information.

Cookies help us provide you with a better website, by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

What we do with your information

The information you provide us allows us to fulfill your request, process payments, ensure that you receive the service you have requested, and send you information relating to that request or service. If joining one of our wilderness tours, the dietary and medical information you provide helps us ensure we run our wilderness tours to the individual needs of our clients.

We only send you email newsletters if you have told us you would like to hear from us this way, or to let you know about future tours you may like to join if you have booked with us previously. Every email newsletter will has a a link to unsubscribe. We limit the number of email newsletters we send to make sure we are not sending you too much, usually four to six times a year. Additional communications that are not marketing related but are required to meet specific requests may also be sent.

Who has access to your information

Only authorized staff and trusted contractors have access to this information for the purpose of providing you with your requested services. We do not rent or sell personal information with other people or companies.

We may share limited information about you in certain situations:

  • It is necessary to fulfill the services requested or required for your tour with us. The suppliers that we may need to pass your information to may include hotels, airlines, ferries, and transport companies, and contracted guides and tour companies
  • We are legally required to, or as a result of a lawful request by a governmental or law enforcement authority
  • In the event of an injury or illness occurring during your tour, the personal medical information provided by you may be shared with emergency responders or healthcare professionals

How we safeguard your information

The security of your information is paramount to us. We use encryption (HTTPS) to protect data transmitted to and from our website. We use trusted third-party vendors and hosting partners for hardware, software, networking, storage, and related technology. We regularly review these vendors to ensure they continue to meet our privacy policy and the EU's General Data Protection Regulation.

To effectively run our wilderness tours we need to provide some of your personal information to our staff and guides on paper. At the end of the tour the paper copies are destroyed, unless an incident occurred during the tour and this information comes part of incident report that may be needed for legal reasons.

We only hold your personal information for as long as reasonably necessary to carry out services and administer your relationship with us.  This will vary by the type of information. Credit card details are deleted as soon as the payment is processed, other information like medical forms and waivers that may be required for insurance or legal purposes are kept longer.

Requesting, correcting or deleting your information

You may request a copy of the information we hold about you. You can request to have personal data rectified if it is inaccurate or incomplete. You may also request the deletion or removal of your personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing.

If you request a copy of the information we hold about you we will provide your information to you in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.

If you would like to request a copy of the information we hold about you or request for data rectification or deletion you can do so by writing to Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures Ltd., PO Box 1318, Port McNeill, BC, Canada, V0N 2R0

If you need help or have any questions about this policy please contact andrew.jones@kingfisher.ca

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