Sea Kayaking Expeditions & Courses

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Why Choose NOLS for a Sea Kayaking Expedition?

Exploring the rock formations of Baja California's costal cliffs while sea kayaking on Mexico's Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California).

Exceptional Coastal Locations

Our sea kayaking expeditions will transport you to some of the world's most captivating waterways. Glide through the turquoise waters of Baja California, where rugged cliffs, sea caves, and hidden coves create a paradise for paddlers. Navigate Alaska’s majestic coastal fjords or explore the tidewater glaciers and crystal-blue icebergs of Prince William Sound where abundant wildlife paint an awe-inspiring backdrop. Venture into the enchanting Fiordland of New Zealand, where dramatic landscapes and pristine coastlines beckon the adventurous spirit. Wherever you choose to go, prepare to be captivated by the breathtaking scenery and untamed allure of these coastal wonders beyond what you could imagine.
Students wearing dry suits gather in a circle on a sandy beach

Expert Sea Kayaking Instructors

Passionate, experienced, and dedicated, our team of educators are the driving force behind our transformative expeditions. Our instructors possess an unrivaled depth of knowledge and skill in sea kayaking, honed through countless hours on the water. They are not only adept paddlers but also skilled educators who will inspire and guide you every step of the way. With their unwavering support and invaluable insights, you'll gain confidence, refine your technique, and unlock your full potential as a sea kayaker. Each sea kayaking expedition is meticulously crafted to provide a unique and transformative experience, blending adventure, learning, and personal growth.
Students raft up to listen to an instructor while sea kayaking on Mexico's Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California).

Cutting-Edge Sea Kayaking Curriculum

Our curriculum combines hands-on training, classroom sessions, and immersive experiences to create a well-rounded learning environment that caters to participants of all skill levels. From mastering efficient paddle strokes to understanding tides and currents, from honing your navigation skills to practicing essential rescue techniques, each aspect of our curriculum is thoughtfully crafted to empower you on your sea kayaking journey. Get ready to challenge your limits and emerge as a competent and confident sea kayaker and leader.
Sea kayaking in Patagonia.

Focus on Risk Management

We adhere to the highest standards in the industry, providing comprehensive training on water rescue techniques, navigation, and risk management. Before setting out on your sea kayaking expedition, you'll receive thorough instruction on proper gear usage, trip planning, and emergency procedures. Rest assured, our instructors are experienced in managing dynamic environments, enabling you to confidently navigate the sea while feeling secure throughout your journey.

Top Sea Kayaking Expeditions at NOLS

Our sea kayaking trips offer you the opportunity to explore remote coastlines, encounter diverse marine life, witness breathtaking sunsets over the ocean, and discover hidden gems only accessible by sea kayak.

Patagonia Sea Kayaking

Discover the art of sea kayaking amidst Chile's majestic fjords, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes of rainforests and granite peaks. Learn essential skills, from paddle technique to self-rescue, while exploring the region's ecology. Engage with coastal communities and gain cultural awareness. Develop leadership abilities through outdoor challenges, fostering communication and tolerance. Immerse yourself in the wilderness, forge lifelong connections, and return home equipped with outdoor expertise and the power to make a positive impact in your community.
Students sea kayaking by rocky cliffs in the bright blue waters of Baja California, Mexico.

Baja Sea Kayaking

Experience the thrill of Baja Sea Kayaking in the Sea of Cortez. Paddle to stunning coves, sleep under starry skies, and deepen your leadership skills. Learn paddle techniques, self-rescue, and explore the unique wildlife. Connect with local fishing communities, enhancing your cultural understanding. Develop teamwork and problem-solving abilities while discovering your own leadership style. By the end, you'll be ready to lead any group and continue your sea kayaking adventures with confidence.
Smiling students side-by-side in sea kayaks in icy Alaskan waters, some triumphantly raising their paddles overhead.

Alaska Backpacking and Sea Kayaking Expedition For Youth

Embark on an incredible Alaskan adventure with fellow 16 and 17-year-olds. Explore majestic mountains and coastal fjords, paddling near glaciers and spotting fascinating wildlife. Hike through lush valleys and conquer mountain passes, savoring the long daylight hours. Enhance your wilderness skills, progressing from basic outdoor knowledge to off-trail navigation and river crossings. Develop leadership qualities, improving communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. Learn conflict resolution and teamwork, gaining the confidence to lead not just in nature but in all aspects of life.
Six kayaks beached at the water's edge with tree-covered slopes in the distance.

Pacific Northwest Sea Kayaking

Explore the untamed British Columbia coast via sea kayak on this journey. Experience the beauty of lush islands and fjords while honing your paddling skills and learning about the local environment. Camp on secluded beaches, witness breathtaking sunrises, and cook meals outdoors. Develop expertise in navigation, risk, and backcountry living. Enhance your leadership and teamwork abilities. Gain the confidence to plan your own kayaking excursions and embrace a lifetime of aquatic exploration.

Sea Kayaking Expeditions FAQs

  • Q: Can I participate in a sea kayaking expedition if I have no prior experience?

    Absolutely! Our sea kayaking expeditions are for everyone. Though we welcome participants of all experience levels, we do not offer courses specifically designed for beginner, intermediate, or advanced kayakers. Our expert instructors will provide comprehensive guidance to help you develop the necessary skills and confidence to enjoy your expedition to the fullest. We recommend maintaining a reasonable level of physical fitness and consulting with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

  • Q: What equipment do I need for a sea kayaking expedition?

    All of the essential sea kayaking gear, including kayaks, paddles, personal flotation devices (PFDs), hiking, and camping equipment are available to rent or purchase through the NOLS store. However, we recommend bringing personal items such as appropriate clothing, sun protection, and a for personal belongings. Our team will provide you with a detailed gear list and links to the NOLS store prior to your expedition.

  • Q: Are there age restrictions for sea kayaking expeditions?

    We offer course to a variety of age groups. Make sure to check age requirements for the specific course that you are considering.

  • Q: What is the group size on a sea kayaking expedition?

    To ensure a personalized and immersive experience, our sea kayaking expeditions typically have a small group size. This allows for more individualized instruction and fosters a close-knit community among participants. Group sizes may vary depending on the specific expedition but generally range from 6 to 12 participants.

  • Q: How physically demanding are sea kayaking expeditions?

    Sea kayaking expeditions can vary in difficulty, but we offer expeditions suitable for participants of different fitness levels. Prior paddling experience is not required for all our expeditions, and our instructors will provide guidance and support to help you comfortably navigate the waters. We recommend maintaining a reasonable level of physical fitness and consulting with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.