Q: How long are the tours?
A: Our shortest tours last two-and-a-half hours. Our four-hour tours include a break on an island or beach in Frenchman Bay. We also run longer tours -- not on a regularly scheduled basis, but rather according to demand.

Q: Will we paddle in single or tandem kayaks?
A: Our tours are run in tandem kayaks (2 people). If you happen to be in an odd-numbered party, one person will be paired with another paddler or the guide. In some cases, one person may be placed in a solo kayak, if comfortable.

Q: What goes into making a good sea kayak guide?
A: No matter how spectacular the scenery, your trip is only as good as your guide, and that's where Coastal excels. We are the only outfitter on Mount Desert Island that runs its own guide training program; that means we never have to take guides with inadequate expertise, paddling skills or knowledge. The bottom line? You'll have fun with our guides, because they have fun.

Q: Do you have on-site or designated parking?
A: No. Parking can be difficult during our season, so make sure to give yourself plenty of time to park so that you're not late for check-in. Check-in is 30 minutes prior to your tour start time. Please refer to our new Parking page for information on Bar Harbor’s new parking regulations.

Q: Is sea kayaking safe for people with no experience? How difficult is it?
A: Sea kayaking is absolutely a safe sport, and we've been running trips since 1982, longer than any other outfitter on the Maine coast. Our tandem kayaks are super-stable, so won't get a "tippy" feeling once you're floating. Your guide will provide a paddling lesson before your trip begins, and while you won't become an expert in one outing, you'll be surprised how easy and comfortable it is to paddle a sea kayak.

Q: How far in advance do I need to book my tour?
A: Our tours are popular and book up early.  We recommend making your reservations as soon as possible. We make every effort to accommodate people who book only a day in advance, or on the same day, but we aren't always able to do that.

Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: We require a 24 hour notice of cancellation or change in group number; otherwise, you are responsible for the full cost of your reservation.

Q: What type of kayak are used on tours?
A: We use tandem sea kayaks, which accommodate two people.

Q: Will I see wildlife?
A: We regularly see harbor seals, harbor porpoises and bald eagles, though we cannot guarantee sightings.  We always see plenty of sea birds, including double-crested cormorants and black guillemots.

Q: Is there an ideal time of day to be on the water?
A: No. There are no benefits to kayaking in the morning vs. the afternoon or vice versa. Choose a tour time that fits to your schedule.

Q: Do you kayak in the rain?
A: We kayak rain or shine.

Q: Do you provide rain gear to guests?
A: No; we recommend that you bring rain gear for inclement weather. We do sell ponchos in our Customer Service area for $5.

Q: Why would a tour be cancelled?
A: We cancel tours if it is thundering and lightening or severe winds are causing unsafe conditions on the water.

Q: What should I wear for my tour?
A: The weather varies often in Frenchman Bay so we recommend having layers. This will prepare you for whatever weather you encounter on the ocean. We provide spray skirts so your lower half will be covered. More info on how to prepare for your tour.