The brochures show crystal-clear blue water with playful dolphins leading the way as kayakers paddle between pods of friendly manatees.
Often, however, that’s not what folks experience and the kayaking shore trip activities get mixed reviews as a result – a shame! The Port Canaveral/Cocoa Beach area is perfect for water-based exploration and kayaking is one of the most popular adventures in the area. You just need to plan properly and manage your expectations!
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your kayaking shore trip:
- At the coast weather can be unpredictable. You may have to brave strong wind and small waves on the river.
- Know your capabilities and book an excursion that you can handle! You have to paddle to get around – there is no floating downstream here!
- Come prepared with sunscreen, thin gloves, wide-rimmed hat, sunglasses (with retainer), bug repellent, sandals that stay on your feet (not flip-flops), waterproof camera, comfortable clothes. For longer tours bring water and/or energy drinks and snacks.
- Sightings are not guaranteed and the water is often murky. Also understand that manatee sightings are fewer during the colder months (Dec-Mar).
- All kayaking tours are not the same. Read below to learn about the differences in terms of group sizes, kayaks, launch locations, etc.
How To Book a Kayaking Trip
There are 4 ways to do a kayaking adventure near Port Canaveral.
- Book a shore excursion with your cruise company
- Book a guided tour with one of the outfitters listed below – RECOMMENDED
- Rent a kayak, either at the launch site or have it delivered to the launch area. Then explore on your own, however, we recommend a guided tour instead.
- Rent a kayak at or near the beach to play in the ocean – this is really a beach-related activity for experienced folks and we list a few beach rental companies below
Kayaking outfitters offering guided tours
Most of these companies do not have offices to visit – they store/transport their kayaks on trailers not far from their favorite launch sites. Once booked, you will receive directions to the meeting or launch place which will be chosen based on season, sealife reports, currents, wind strength/direction, etc.
The prices, tours and locations listed here do change so PLEASE contact each company for accurate information!
|Outfitter||Rates||Tour Times / Locations|
|Calypso Kayaking||$35.00||9am, 12pm, 3pm, 6:30pm|
|Two hour tour at 1000 Islands. Launch mostly from Ramp Road or Country Club|
|Fin Expeditions||$40.00||8am to 8:30am or 12:30pm to 1pm|
|Two hour tour at 1000 Islands. Launch from Ramp Road|
|Adventure Kayak||$35.00||7am to whenever – based on bookings|
|Two and a half hours at various locations including 1000 Islands (Ramp Road).|
|Lazy Days Kayak||$35.00||Morning and Afternoon – based on bookings|
|Two and a half hours at 1000 Islands (Ramp Road).|
|Relax Kayaks||$35.00||On the hour – Based on bookings|
|Two hours at 1000 Islands (Ramp Road).|
|A1A Beach Rentals||call||9:30am, 1:30pm (but flexible)|
|Half day tours at various locations including 1000 Islands (Ramp Road).|
|SoBe Surf||$75.00||Between 9am and 3:30pm based on bookings|
|Two hours starting at the Veterans Memorial Launch|
|Calema Watersports||$40.00||Early AM and late PM|
|Tours start at Kelly Park to an island near Canaveral Lock|
Kayak rental companies
They may or may not deliver kayaks depending on many factors such as time of day, season and your location. You may have to rent a roof rack system if you have a rental car. It is best to call and ask about these things before renting.
The easiest way is to rent at the launch site from companies who park their trailers there for a day! You just show up in your rental car or with Uber/taxi and your kayak will be waiting! Try Calypso at the 1000 Islands.
- Relaxed Kayaks
- A1A Beach Rentals
- Wildlife Watersports
- Calypso Kayaking
- SoBe Surf
- Calema Watersports
- Surf & Ski Watersports
- Ron Jon Watersports
- Cocoa Beach Rentals
- Last Chance Cafe & Bait
Kayak Launch Spots
This map shows the popular kayak launch areas in the area. For newcomers or cruisers we suggest to focus on the 1000 Islands at Ramp Road for your first kayaking adventure. Please read our Guide to the 1000 Islands at Cocoa Beach.
Pictures and Video