Enjoy a new perspective on the Apostle Islands - join us on a unique, one-of-a kind kayaking experience!
You must arrive and check-in 15 minutes before the trip time to receive your gear and a safety briefing. Trips cannot be delayed to accommodate late arrivals. We paddle in tandem kayaks. All children (10-14) in your group must be accompanied by an adult in your group who will paddle in a tandem with them.
Total trip time: 5 1/2 hours
Sea kayaking portion of trip: about 2 hours
Kayak and Cruise Adventure Tours depart from the Bayfield City Dock. Check in at the Apostle Islands Cruises Ticketing Office at 2 Front Street Bayfield, WI 54814.Buy Tickets
The only powerboat supported sea kayaking tour in the Apostle Islands! During the first leg of the tour, you get to cruise in comfort aboard our 50-foot passenger vessel, enjoying access to the observation deck, on-board bathrooms, and light refreshments for purchase, while soaking up the sights along the way. Our specially modified passenger vessel allows us to access remote areas of the National Lakeshore that most visitors never see.
Next your knowledgeable guide will help you launch tandem sea kayaks directly from the powerboat to explore the best stretches of island shoreline up-close and personal! Our experienced captains will drop you off with the wind at your back whenever possible, positioning you and your guide perfectly for an easy paddle to explore some of the most gorgeous sea caves, cliffs, rock formations, and hidden beaches the Apostle Islands have to offer. The Kayak and Cruise Adventure does not have a set location: your captain and guide will work together to choose the best area to paddle given the weather conditions. The sea kayaking leg of your adventure will last about 2 hours: it’s just long enough to immerse yourself in the experience of sea kayaking Lake Superior while avoiding sore muscles! The powerboat will sit offshore throughout the entire tour, keeping an eye on you for safety and providing an opportunity to rest or use the bathrooms.
When you’re finished with your time in the kayaks, just land on the powerboat and you’re on your way back to Bayfield to share your experiences with family and friends. Enjoy a new perspective on the Apostle Islands as you cruise back to Bayfield in comfort and style. We know you will treasure this unique experience in the National Lakeshore forever. Come and see for yourself!
Total trip time: 3 hours
Red Cliff Sea Caves Lite 3 hour kayaking trips depart from our beautiful Private Launch located 3 miles North of Bayfield at 88260 State Hwy 13, Bayfield, WI 54814. Free parking on site.Buy Tickets
The Red Cliff Sea Caves Lite Tour is a fun and memorable 3-hour sea kayaking experience. It’s the perfect way to try out sea kayaking without signing up for a long day in the kayak! Your knowledgeable kayak guide will get you up close and personal with incredible red sandstone cliffs, historic shipwrecks, wildlife, and panoramic views of the islands. All this, and you can still be back in Bayfield in time for lunch!
The gorgeous sandstone formations we will explore provide a fantastic alternative to the popular and crowded sea caves at Meyers Beach. Since we launch the Red Cliff Sea Caves Lite half-day tour directly from our private campus, we normally have this beautiful stretch of shoreline all to ourselves! This short tour is packed with exciting sites to see: the easily visible wreck of the 282-foot Fedora, the red sandstone cliffs, and the little-known “secret sea arch”. We’ll see you on the water!
COVID-19 is severely impacting our communities this summer and we need YOUR HELP to keep everyone safe on your kayaking trip!
When you arrive for your kayaking trip:
- Masks are required at Red Cliff kayaking base and aboard the Ashland Bayfield Express power boat.
- After receiving safety briefing and launching onto the water in kayaks masks may be removed if you choose.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others outside your household.
Kayaking tours sell out quickly in the summer, so we strongly recommend purchasing your tickets in advance. Reserve your spot today using the ticketing button above, or call our friendly reservations staff at (715) 779-9503.
Kayak and Cruise Adventure
Our specially modified 50-foot powerboat allows us to ride in style on our way out to the most impressive sections of cliffs, caves, and overhangs in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The exact location is dependent on wind direction the day of your tour. We launch our tandem kayaks directly from the powerboat so you can get up-close and personal with the best sections of the shoreline right away. The powerboat is always standing by if you need a rest, a snack, or a bathroom break. Check in a minimum of 30 minutes before your trip time at the Apostle Islands Cruises ticket counter 2 Front Street, Bayfield, WI 54814. This trip is available Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.
Kayaking can be a great activity for the whole family! In order to join the tour, children must be at least 10 years old. Each child (age 10-14) must be accompanied by a member of your party (15 and up) who will sit in the back of the tandem kayak to provide power and steer. Any group including participants under age 18 must include at least one responsible 18+ adult parent/guardian. No unaccompanied minors. If your group does not have enough adults to pair with the children age 10-14, please inquire at (715) 779-9503 before booking a ticket.
For safety reasons no animals are allowed on kayaking trips.
What to Bring
Make sure to bring your hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a raincoat or fleece, and sturdy sandals or shoes. If you would like to bring a camera in the kayak with you, we will lend you one of our waterproof dry bags free of charge! Bear in mind that a dry bag cannot protect your camera from splashes or rain while you have it out to take pictures, so you might choose to leave very expensive cameras behind.
What to Wear
Sea Kayaking is a water-sport, and getting a little wet just adds to the fun! Dress comfortably and make use of synthetic or wool clothing. It’s best to avoid jeans and heavy cotton fabrics that soak up water. It can be chilly out on Lake Superior even when it’s hot in Bayfield, so bring a
spare warm layer or raincoat.
We explore the islands using our stable, efficient 18-foot long Looksha T tandem kayaks. Each tandem requires two people to paddle. We do not have single kayaks available for trip participants.
Comfort and Fit
Our tandem kayaks are stable and equipped with quality seats and outfitting so you can explore in comfort. The kayaks have a cockpit 35.5 inches long by 17.3 inches wide. If you have concerns about fit, please inquire with our knowledgeable office staff at (715) 779-9503 or visit a local outfitter to test-fit a Looksha T tandem kayak before reserving your tickets.
Food and Drinks
Light snacks and drinks are available for purchase aboard the powerboat. You are welcome to bring your own as well. No alcoholic beverages are allowed.
There is a restroom available on board our powerboat. You can access the restroom during any point on our powerboat-supported Kayak and Cruise Adventure.
Weather Cancellation and Refund Policy
You may refund or exchange your reservation for any reason up to 14 days before your trip. After 14 days prior to your trip no refunds or exchanges are guaranteed, except in the event that AIK fully cancels a trip for safety reasons, in which case you will receive an opportunity to join the next available kayaking trip free of charge or a full refund. We do not cancel for rain or wind if it still safe to paddle, so please come prepared with a warm synthetic or wool layer, raincoat, and positive attitude! Paddling the gorgeous island shorelines in fog or light rain can be truly magical.
COVID-19 Cancellation Policy: Thank you for supporting Apostle Islands Kayaking during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you or your family are affected by Covid-19, or if you change your travel plans to avoid spreading Covid-19 in the community, Apostle Islands Kayaking will reschedule your trip, or grant a full refund.
No kayaking experience is necessary. Our knowledgeable guides will brief you on all you need to know. Our guides love to talk kayaking, so if you want to learn more after the safety briefing, just ask!
We offer trips leaving from two beautiful and convenient locations. All our Kayak and Cruise Adventure tours begin aboard the 50-foot powerboat Ashland Bayfield Express and depart from the City Dock right in downtown Bayfield. Check in a minimum of 15 minutes before your trip time at the Apostle Islands Cruises ticketing office next to the dock at 2 N Front Street, Bayfield, Wisconsin 54814.
Our shorter ½ day Red Cliff Sea Caves Lite trips launch directly from our beautiful private campus located 3 miles north of Bayfield at 88260 State Hwy 13, Bayfield, Wisconsin, 54814. Just head north on Hwy 13 from Bayfield and watch for our sign on the right. If you pass Legendary Waters Casino, you just missed us! Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your trip time. Free secure parking, restrooms, and spacious changing rooms are available for our guests.
We accept cash and all major credit cards. Trips tend to sell out early, so make your reservation today by calling (715) 779-9503 or using the “buy tickets” button above. We can’t wait to see you on the water!
We are happy to accommodate large groups, arrange private tours, or create custom itineraries whenever we are able. During the summer we are often booked to capacity, so please contact us at (715) 779-9503 as early as possible to inquire.