Frequently Asked Questions
What makes Northern Waters Adventures stand out as a guiding company?
We pride ourselves in our 32 year perfect safety record and hope to encourage our guests to exhibit personal safety during water sports after enjoying one of our tours. Our guides must pass extensive training in order to take you on a tour and are experienced in safety, rescues, group management, weather monitoring and many more skills. This allows you to sit back and enjoy the paddle, leaving any worries on the beach.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
If we cancel the scheduled trip due to unsafe weather conditions (e.g., wind, waves, lightning), we will refund the full tour amount paid (everything except the 5% Credit Card processing fee). We will also try to reschedule your trip, upon request. We DO run trips in rain, fog, wind and wave conditions that we consider manageable.
If you need to cancel, please call us ASAP at (906) 387-2323 and we will try to rebook your seat.
For each seat we are able to fill, we only charge a $20 rebooking fee per person and refund the balance to you.
For seats we cannot re-book, the good news is you do not lose the total trip price. We will apply 50% of your total trip price as a GIFT CERTIFICATE that is valid for three years for a future kayak trip with Northern Waters.
Can we tip our guide?
Of course! You can tip your guide, just don't tip them over :)
Do you have rentals?
We no longer offer kayak rentals and only offer guided tours of the Pictured Rocks. Guests are placed in tandem sea kayaks.
Can I bring my young child on a kayak tour?
Our youth tickets are for individuals ages 8-11. We do require that children be at least 8 years old and weigh at least 60 pounds to participate in our tours. This is for safety as well as physical and emotional readiness of the children that attend our tours.
Why are we transported to the beach?
Beginning in 2016, the Park Service mandated that outfitters transport most guests to their launch sites. This was done due to the explosion of visitors to Pictured Rocks over the past couple of years, as there is limited parking.
I'm a large/tall person. Will I fit in the kayak?
If you are large around the waist, hips, and/or thighs (larger than 51 inches) or have very long legs, we need you to come to our outfitters the day before your scheduled trip for a test fitting. If a test fitting determines that you cannot safely fit in the kayak, you will receive a refund. Only the person who does not fit safely will receive a refund. If you arrive for your trip and are unable to fit safely into the kayak, you will not be able to go on the trip and you will lose your trip cost.
Our trip guides have final say on issues pertaining to the safety of the group and each individual paddler.
Do I need to be at a certain athletic level to paddle?
No you do not. We take a variety of people out on these tours. The tandem sea kayaks allow for two people to work together to move the kayak, so even if you are not the most athletic person, you are able to enjoy the tour!
What causes Northern Waters to cancel a tour?
Conditions of lightning, big waves and strong winds may cause the Guide to delay, reschedule, or cancel a trip. Rain, fog or cold weather does NOT cancel a trip. Protected from the weather by your kayak, spray skirt, rain jacket, life jacket, hat and maybe a wetsuit, the paddle is much more comfortable. Challenging conditions may only be temporary and not worth canceling the adventure.
May I bring alcohol?
For the safety of our guests we do not allow alcohol or drugs on any of our tours. If we feel that you are intoxicated or otherwise inhibited we reserve the right to deny a trip. In this case a refund will NOT be issued.
Will I see any wildlife?
You have a great chance of seeing seagulls and cormorants on all of our tours!
In the past we guaranteed seeing a bear each tour, but they started upping their hourly rate. Negotiations are in progress, but so far have not been successful.
When should I arrive for my tour?
Please arrive at the time your tour is designated to start. No need to arrive early.