"Everything from equipment to food, organization to presentation, and, of course, your staff, are the highest quality and a mark for everyone in the outdoor industry to aspire to."
— L. Soroka, Plattsburgh University
A full, half-day or sunset trip is a great way to get out on the water!
Our home base on Peaks Island in Portland, Maines Casco Bay offers a dramatic venue to explore Casco Bays outer islands. After a pleasant 15 minute ferry ride you will get in your kayak in the midst of a magical oceanic playground light years away from the busy and gritty Portland waterfront. First time vistors are amazed at how pristine and scenic it is only a few miles outside of Maine's largest city!
Peaks Island and the nearby archipelago of islands provide us with protected waterways, short but lively crossings and the challenge of rocks and surf. We love to take paddlers out to the lighthouses, open ocean and dramatic cliffs nearby.
Other area outfitter's signature trips often involve long open water crossings only to end up minutes away from our home base! We've chosen to headquarter ourselves on the islands for nearly 30 years now because of the opportunities it offers our guests to truly experience the Maine coast.
We use only high end expedition grade kayaks 16 or 17' in length, many are fiberglass layup the same as the pros use (take a look at our store to see why those who want the best choose Maine Island Kayak). We aslo have tandems available but we won't herd you into them as we feel the high-end single kayaks are a joy to paddle and increase the quality of your experience.
About half of our guests every year are repeat customers. Find out why!
Half Day Trips are approximately 3 hours on the water and are suited for athletic beginners.
Full Day Trips are anywhere from 5 to 7 hours on the water, depending on destination and guest interests. No experience necessary, but we often have experienced kayakers on these trips.
Sunset Trips are a bit over 2 hours on the water and are not destination oriented.
Day trips meet at 9:45am. Take the 9:15 ferry from Portland.
Sunset trips meet at 5pm. Take the 4:30 ferry from Portland.
Guides will meet you, paddle in hand, when you arrive on the island.
Advanced reservations required (or at least strongly recommended!)
Discounts available for active military, locals, and special group rates for parties of 6 or more
Paddling from our base on Peaks Island, we wander out to the famed lighthouses, through protected passages, along rocky cliffs, beneath Civil War era forts, past seal covered ledges to island retreats. We land in hidden pocket beaches, uninhabited ledges and islands. With over 200 islands, a rich geological and human history, and tremendous variety of paddling, Casco Bay is a great area for experimenting with your readiness and skill set before adventuring further. Its mixed hardwood forests create glorious Fall colors.
Casco Bay can be a busy and exciting place in the afternoon, but in the evening it often calms down. The motor boats head back to port, the lobstermen are long gone, the wind tends to die down and the wildlife takes over. Finish off your day with a 2 hour tour gliding along and watching the sunset over Portland. You’ll see the lovely colors of the sky reflected in the water. It’s rare on the east coast to be able see the sunset over the water. Being almost 3 miles east of the mainland has it's advantages: on Peaks Island we are treated to the ‘big show’ most every night!
Immerse yourself in the astonishing geological history of the Gulf of Maine from the seat of your kayak. Spend your day exploring and studying the natural science, marine life, oceanography and social history of one of the principal fisheries on Earth. Develop your understanding of the important ecological, political and economic realities of humankinds interaction with the sea while developing your own seamanship. Kayaking allows us to deepen our understanding and appreciation for the marine world.
We'll introduce you to kayaking with a focus on learning the right way. When you arrive on Peaks Island, well walk over to our beach and review our plan for the day. Well introduce you to paddling effectively, get fitted for the boats, cover necessary instructional and safety issues, and get on the water by late morning. Well explore protected waters and passages to island retreats, pocket beaches and maybe visit Fort Gorges an 1860s granite block Civil War era fort for lunch and exploring. The route may vary depending on weather and group interests.