You have questions, we have answers
Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about our kayaking tours. From trip preparation to how to get to our location here in British Columbia. If you don’t see the answer you are looking for, feel free to contact us as we are always happy to help!
We base our Orca Camp trip departure dates on historically good times to see orcas in the area of our basecamp. Of course they are wild animals, so opportunities and frequency are left to them! You can see these dates by choosing “Book Now” and clicking “Orca Camp”. All dates will be listed. If you have the flexibility, booking in the middle of the season will provide an ideal time to see whales!
No, you are not required at this time to have a test or proof of vaccination before joining our tours.
We are monitoring both vaccine rollouts and rapid testing options and may revise this requirement as these options become more widely available.
To see what we are doing to keep our guests safe, please visit our Covid Protocols page.
Nope! We think our trips are an excellent way for solo travelers to experience a fantastic adventures with others. There is no additional “single supplement” and we don’t bunk you with a stranger. For that reason, we do limit the number of solo travelers on our trips – so be sure not to miss out!
No experience is required to participate in our kayaking tours. We recommend that you enjoy a challenge, have a positive mindset and that you are in good physical shape. Our kayaks are stable, and safe to paddle. Wildcoast guides provide kayak instruction and safety procedures prior to your first launch, and assist during your kayak tour with tweaking your technique. Learn more
At Orca Camp, kayaking is the primary activity, next to always keeping your eyes out for orca, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to paddle. The advantage of basecamp is that you can paddle as much or as little as you would like. Kayaking is daily, and you’ll enjoy a shore lunch on a beach you’ve paddled to.
Guides tailor all paddling excursions to the group’s ability, dynamic, and of course weather conditions: so paddle itineraries vary. Guests looking to do more whale watching from the beach are welcome to opt out of any paddling excursion, and guests wishing for more time on the water are encouraged to arrange with guides a sunset or sunrise paddle!
Discovery Islands / Whales & Wildlife / Weekender
Discovery Islands, Whales & Wildlife and The Weekender are nomadic tours – so paddling is necessary to get to each campsite. Guides determine each days’ paddle and campsite based on the weather conditions, sea conditions, and group paddling skill/dynamic. Each day’s paddle is broken up by a lunch stop, and opportunities to see & learn about the wildlife along the way.
Guests don’t require prior kayaking experience to enjoy our trips – this is a fantastic opportunity to learn in an immersive and supportive environment. Learn more.
Yes we provide really excellent alternates for guests requiring a vegan, vegetarian, or other modified menu. These modifications don’t compromise on the quality, freshness, or portion sizing of each meal.
However, please note we are not a peanut or nut-free operation. While we do our best to provide a great menu, if you have severe allergies and/or dietary restrictions our adventures may not be suitable for you due to limitations of the wilderness settings we travel within.
(Note: special diets may require a small additional fee to cover the menu modification costs)
The maximum group size at Orca Camp is 14 guests with 3 guides at Orca Camp. All bookings are guaranteed: we do not cancel any of our Orca Camp dates if guest numbers are below that, so guests per trip can vary.
Discovery Islands or Desolation Sound tours have a maximum of 10 guests with 2 guides.
Wildcoast trips involve lots of kayaking. In order for all paddlers to keep up with the group we typically set minimum age requirements of 12 years old on expeditions (Whales & Wildlife, The Weekender, & Discovery Islands) and 10 years old at Orca Camp.
If you are planning a family vacation and have children under these ages, please contact us to discuss your best trip options!
We would be happy to offer a “Lodge based tour”, which would include a Half- or Full-day kayak tour, a stay at Gowlland Harbour Resort, and a 4hr or full day zodiac Wildlife Tour. If this is something you’re interested in doing, contact us and we’ll work with you based on the timeframe you have. We think this would give you the best experience in a short amount of time!
On our Discovery Islands and Desolation Sound trips, we equip guests with high-quality tents and sleeping bags that are ideal for the climate and expedition kayak camping – at no extra cost. This is so we can be assured you are best outfitted for the climate and conditions. This also prevents our guests from having to travel with cumbersome camping gear when flying.
If you are traveling with a friend or partner we will have you share a tent. If you are a solo traveler you will not be “bunked” with a stranger.
We provide our kayak vacation guests with a durable dry bag to pack your personal items into, and answer any last-minute questions you might have, with a short guide introduction the night of your arrival.
Our Orca Camp guests stay in Wildcoast’s spacious safari tents. You also will have use of our 10L durable dry bags for storing any day-bag items needed during kayak excursions. Click here to learn more about Orca Camp accommodations.
Our helpful packing list can be found here to be sure you come best prepared!
We require the full cost of your trip to be paid at time of booking.
Trip Cancellation due to Medical Reasons
Wildcoast Adventures Ltd. will not provide a refund if you must cancel your trip due to last minute medical reasons. Therefore we recommend trip cancellation insurance. Trip cancellation insurance covers you if you have to cancel because of medical or other reasons.
Tip: Check with your credit card company to find out which types of insurance (medical, “cancel for any reason”, etc.) and amount of coverage they include.
General Cancellation Policies
If you must cancel your trip and we receive your notice:
- more than 90 days prior to trip departure: full refund minus 3% admin fee;
- 30-90 days prior to trip departure: 50% refund;
- 29 days or less prior to trip departure: no refund
Trip Cancellation by Wildcoast Adventures
Wildcoast Adventures Ltd. reserves the right to cancel any trip prior to departure due to unusual or unforeseen circumstances outside of the reasonable control of Wildcoast Adventures for any reason including but not limited to natural disasters, pandemics, force majeure or logistical problems that may impede the operation of a trip.
If a trip has to be cancelled, trip participants shall be provided, at Wildcoast’s sole discretion, one of the following: substitute trip or voucher for future trip of equivalent value.
Wildcoast Adventures is not responsible for any incidental expenses or consequential losses that may have been incurred as a result of the cancelled booking such as, but not limited to, non-refundable plane tickets or other travel costs, equipment, etc.
Please note that no refunds or credits outside of these standard terms and conditions will be made available. As such, we highly recommended that guests purchase “Cancel for any Reason” Travel Insurance. See our COVID-19 page for for tips regarding travel and trip cancellation insurance.
Wildcoast will make every reasonable effort to contact you as soon as possible if it appears that a trip may be cancelled.
Wildcoast Adventures standard cancellation policies apply to all trips. Should you need to cancel outside of these parameters, you will need to contact your insurance company for reimbursement and the amount of our reimbursement will depend upon the insurance you purchased.
As part of planning your adventure with us, we strongly recommend you purchase “Cancel for any Reason” Travel Insurance (CFAR). In the ever-changing world of COVID-19 where national, state and local regulations are unpredictable, this insurance protects you.
Before purchasing your insurance package ensure it covers all of the areas you would like it to mitigate both for you and the other members of your party. For example, as many travelers discovered this past year, it is unlikely that your credit card travel insurance includes coverage due to pandemics. Also, note that travel insurance policies require that you purchase the insurance in a timely manner, typically between 72 hours – 21 days of paying for your adventure. Below are some options to get you started.
Cancel for any Reason Travel Insurance Policies for Canadians
Manulife (must be purchased within 72 hours trip booking)
Cancel for any Reason Policies for US Travellers
John Hancock – Gold (75% CFAR)
Cancel for any Reason Policies for European Travellers
Tip: check out Visitorscoverage.com for more options and cost comparisons
Disclaimer: Wildcoast is not an insurance provider or insurance expert, the above information is provided only as a courtesy. Please carefully review any policies you purchase to ensure it meets your specific requirements.
Most accommodations (hotels, resorts, AirBNB) you are staying at prior to your trip with Wildcoast offer free luggage storage – simply check with the host. Alternatively, luggage can be stored at our shop. Please ensure that your luggage is clearly labelled with your name, tour and trip dates.
Free parking is available behind our shop on Quadra Island while you are on your tour with Wildcoast. Many of the accommodations in Campbell River and on Quadra Island also have free parking included with your stay – please inquire when booking with your hotel provider.
Gratuities (tipping) are optional and not included in the cost of your tour. Tipping is an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have provided great service to you on your tour. Amounts are entirely a personal preference; however $5-10 per guide, per day can be used as a general rule.