Tips for Your Kayak Trip with Southeast Sea Kayaks

Wear Comfortable Clothing

You should not need to bring any special clothing or shoes for kayaking. We provide paddle jackets and pants for our guests and have poggies (neoprene paddling mitts) to keep your hands warm on cold days. Please wear one or 2 layers under your coat (on chilly days) as it is best to have a layer or two under our paddle jacket. Fleece, wool and technical fabrics are ideal but jeans or sweatpants and a sweatshirt will work just fine. On cold or rainy days it is a good idea to pack a warm hat, gloves and an extra layer to put on after you kayak. A baseball cap is helpful on both sunny and rainy days.  Despite Ketchikan’s reputation for rain there are many days when sunglasses and sunscreen are needed on the water. Sneakers, sport sandals or rubber boots are the best shoes for kayaking: your feet will not get wet. Hiking boots can be too bulky to fit in the kayak and may make it difficult to use the rudders.

Don't Be Afraid to Bring Good Cameras

We have dry bags of several different sizes to accommodate cameras, binoculars and any other items you would like to bring on the kayaks with you. Waterproof cameras are great but don't be afraid to bring a good digital SLR camera and put it in one of our dry bags. There are plenty of opportunities for photography and you don't want to miss an amazing shot.

No swimsuits or wetsuits are required on Southeast Sea Kayaks' tours. Paddlers are outfitted with paddle jackets and rain pants when needed.

Plan What You Would Like to Bring in the Kayak with You

Once you arrive at our floating office our guides will provide a place for you to store your backpacks and purses and give you a dry bag for the items you would like to bring kayaking. We don’t take anything on the water that is not in a dry bag. Cameras, binoculars, snacks, an extra layer and essential medications and can go in the dry bags. It is a good idea to separate the things you’ll want to bring on the kayak from the things that can stay on shore. We provide water on the Orcas Cove tour but you are always welcome to bring your own water bottles.

Turn on Your Cell Phone

Please turn on your cell phone once you arrive in Ketchikan. Our guides carry a cell phone to the meeting place and will call the cell phone number listed on the reservation if you are not in the right spot at the right time. We may also try to call you if there are changes to your cruise ship schedule or concerns with the weather.

Allow Time to Find the Meeting Place


Our floating office is located in downtown Ketchikan right next to cruise ship berth number one. We meet our guests at cruise ship berth two and walk about three minutes to our office to get outfitted. Depending on which berth your cruise ship comes into you will need to 1 to 15 minutes to find our meeting point. Cruise ship berth one, two and three are five minutes or less from where we meet. It may take up to 15 minutes to find our meeting point from berth four.

Remember the Time Change

If Ketchikan is the first stop on your cruise remember that Ketchikan is one hour behind Seattle. Alaska has its own time zone: one hour behind the West Coast and four hours behind the East Coast.

Looking for More Information?

Contact us any time with questions. Check out our FAQ for answers to many common questions. Learn more About Us or read our Blog to see what has been happening lately at Southeast Sea Kayaks.