Snorkel with the Stars! in Desolation Sound Marine Park,
British Columbia, Canada
Desolation Sound is famous for its abundant marine life and unseasonably warm Pacific temperatures, where you can experience Giant Sunflowers Stars, Spiny Red Sea Urchins and Pacific Sea Cucumbers UP CLOSE as you drift easily with the meandering tide!
'Snorkeling with the Stars!' with Powell River Sea Kayak has been chosen by the Canadian Tourism Commission as a Canadian Signature Experience, and wherever you go in Desolation Sound, the snorkeling combined with the warmest water temperatures on the BC coast is sure to be memorable!
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Powell River Sea Kayak offers numerous opportunities for our guests to enjoy this fascinating underwater world:
- Take a 7 hour guided Combo Kayak & Snorkel Tour into the colourful marine gardens of Desolation Sound Marine Park.
- Join one of our guided Multi-Day Camping Tours and take advantage of many opportunities to snorkel throughout Desolation Sound - during a break for lunch, after a long day of kayaking, or even first thing in the morning to invigorate yourself for the rest of the day!
- Stay at Cabana Desolation Eco Resort and gain full access to snorkel gear, fins and wetsuits at any time - the rocky bluffs and islets immediately surrounding Cabana Desolation is full of colourful life - with the added comfort of a nice hot shower to return to afterwards!
- Rent snorkel gear - or bring your own - with your kayak rental and choose your own Desolation Sound adventure.
Jacques Cousteau, the famous diver and explorer, often frequented the waters of this area. He considered the diving in these parts to be second in the world only to the Red Sea. This is certainly a valid testimonial. For Powell River Sea Kayak Ltd., the reality has been in our experience. This truly is an amazing area!
Check-out our great snorkeling video to get a sense of life below the waves in Desolation Sound.
However, this is not a diving tour!
If we stay on the surface, how will we experience the best marine life?
Snorkeling allows us to focus on areas that offer excellent wildlife viewing and habitat, known as the "Intertidal Zone". This zone is located between the lowest tides and the highest tides, and contains a vast diversity of species compressed into what is essentially a narrow band, which allows incredible viewing of a high amount of marine life just below the surface!
As kayakers, keen on exploring key intertidal zones, we have discovered some amazing areas for viewing intertidal marine life from the seat of a kayak. One area in the marine park is so prolific, the guides of Powell River Sea Kayak Ltd. have dubbed it "The Aquarium". At this site, the current moves like a very slow river - ushering in plankton and nutrients to feed the many creatures that inhabitant the site. Most of the marine life lives in shallow waters, allowing for optimum viewing - especially when snorkeling!
To fully immerse in Desolation Sound and to Snorkel With the STARS! in the ultimate comfort and west coast ambiance, join us at Cabana Desolation Eco Resort. A comfortably designed eco resort located on an island in the heart of Desolation Sound, British Columbia, Canada.
The areas we snorkel is home to a large variety of intertidal creatures. While most areas in Desolation Sound offer great snorkeling, over the years we have identified key areas that are especially rich and diverse.
The most common creatures we encounter include Giant Sunflower Stars, Purple Stars, Mottled Stars, Leather Stars, Blood Stars, Painted Stars, Gumboot Chitons, Pacific Sea Cucumbers, Orange Sea Cucumbers, Shield Back Kelp Crabs, Spiny Red Sea Urchins, Green Urchins, and Plumose and Aggregating Anemones.
Bull Kelp beds are prolific and the vibrant greens of Sea Lettuce coat the shadier rocks. A variety of fish meander with the flood and ebb tides, including salmon in the spawning months of September and October. Seals are the most common mammal in this part of the marine park, but early season tours can also sometimes see California and Steller Sea Lions hauled out on rocks and swimming powerfully beneath the surface!
Check out our extensive wildlife page to get a grasp on the incredible amount of life found in Desolation Sound, as well as to learn a little about some of the key species found here (and maybe even impress your guides in the process!)
As with our kayak and camping equipment, we want to make sure our guests are 100% safe and comfortable. We therefore provide everything needed to ensure safe and enjoyable snorkeling.
For combo snorkel & kayak tours and Cabana Desolation Eco Resort: we provide full (5mm) wetsuits, hoods, gloves, fins, masks and snorkels.
For multi-day camping tours: your guide will pack masks and snorkels for use by guests during the trip, but limited space in the kayak hatches means it is impossible to provide wetsuits for all guests. While summer water temperatures are often high enough that a wetsuit is not necessary, if you wish to bring your own wetsuit you are more than welcome.
Although little swimming actually occurs (the current, wetsuits and fins do the work), it is mandatory that each 'combo snorkel & kayak' guest be able to swim.
Is it cold?
Perhaps we can put it this way: Is it cold when you ski? Of course it is, but you dress appropriately and therefore stay warm. The same is true with snorkeling. Our day snorkel tours and Desolation Cabana Eco Resort guests will be using full 5mm wetsuits which provide more than sufficient insulation to stay warm and comfortable in cold water.
Having said that, we are snorkeling in the warm waters of Desolation Sound Marine Park. During the summer months, water temperatures can be warm enough to be comfortable even without a wetsuit, especially after a hard days paddling!
- For our 7-hour Combo Snorkel & Kayak tour: Click here to go to our Day Tour page for more information, or click here to check dates and availability.
- For Cabana Desolation Eco Resort: Click here to learn about our packages options, or click here to check dates and availability.
- For Multi-Day Camping Tours: Click here for more information, or click here for dates and availability.
- If you want to rent kayaks and snorkeling equipment: Click here to visit our rentals page, or click here to check availability and book now.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us toll free at 1-866-617-4444, or email us, and one of our friendly office staff will be glad to discuss dates that have been already scheduled or for custom dates that work best for you.