Kayaking Vancouver Island, Haida Gwaii,
and the Great Bear Rainforest
Kayaking Vancouver Island,
Haida Gwaii, and the
Great Bear Rainforest
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.
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”.
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.
Whales and Wilderness Expedition I recently participated in the June 2019 whales and wilderness kayak expedition with Kingfisher in the Broughton Archipelago. I attended as a solo, It was a great group of people who all had a background of outdoor adventure experience.
Our guid... read morekezsherwood6/23/2019
Whales and Grizzly Bears Kayak Tour - Base Camp We just returned from Kingfisher's Whales and Grizzlies adventure and it was amazing! From the orientation session provided the evening before the trip, to the final drop-off of our gear back in Port McNeill, everything was exceptional. Our guides, C... read moreCherylnghbr7/26/2019
Two sea kayaking trips I have never sea kayaked before but did two back to back with them in August - one base camp and one wild camping. All the equipment was first class and the tour guides/leaders were excellent giving someone who was very nervous the confidence to hap... read moreYvonne R.9/01/2019
Kingfisher Whales four-day Kayaking trip We went on Kingfisher's four day (3 night) kayaking trip off Port McNeil staying at a base camp on Hansen Island. We were a small group--four young German tourists and my husband and me (both of us over 60 Americans) plus the two (Canadian) guides. ... read moreMarilyn M.7/31/2019
Base Camp Kayak With Whales and Grizzly Bears My husband and I participated in a 4-day-3-night base camp Whale and Grizzly Bear trip with Kingfisher and we had an AMAZING time! We are both scientists and have gone on lots of cool outdoor adventures, but this trip was exceptional. We saw so much ... read moreKristen R.9/01/2019
Best way to experience Vancouver Island's wild west coast My husband and I just returned from our second trip with Kingfisher - an expedition trip in the Nutchatlitz area: Kayaking with Sea Otters. It was even more fabulous than our first base camp trip in the Broughton Archipelago. We saw sea otters every ... read moreElizabeth C.7/01/2021
Kayaking with Whales July 23 - 26 My husband and I joined Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures for a Kayaking with Whales Adventure last week. Great weather, awesome food & the best kayaking we have experienced. Loved the base camp on Hanson Island, and the nights spent camping in... read morekartonv7/31/2019
Outstanding company with focus on safety and enjoyment - loved it We nearly booked a tour with another company but so glad we went with Kingfisher. We also booked our accommodation (Black bear resort) and the separate grizzly tour through Kingfisher and more than happy with both of those. Kingfisher is very profess... read moreNewcastleKiwigirl10/06/2018