Frequently Asked Questions


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 amount paid. We will also try to reschedule your trip, upon request. We DO run trips in rain, fog, wind and wave conditions that we deem manageable.

If you need to cancel, please call us ASAP at 906-387-2323 and we will try to rebook your vacancy.

  • For each vacancy we are able to fill, we only charge a $20 rebooking fee per person and refund the balance to you.
  • For vacancies we cannot rebook, the good news is you do not lose the total trip price. If you are paid in full, we will apply 50% of your total trip price as a GIFT CERTIFICATE for a future kayak trip with Northern Waters. If you are not paid in full, 50% of the total trip price is lost. Any additional payment amount over 50% of trip price is given as a Gift Certificate. This Gift Certificate does not expire and can transfer to another party, if you are unable to return. WE WILL EMAIL YOU THE GIFT CERTIFICATE. WE ALSO RETAIN A COPY FOR OUR RECORDS.

Can I bring my young child on a kayak tour?

We require that children be at least 8 years old and weigh at least 60 lbs. to participate in our tours.

In our over 25 years, we have observed a lot of children. While some enjoy being out on the water and do just fine, we have seen a pattern of children under 8 often not being emotionally ready. Children under 8 often have more anxiety about being separated from their parents. Even though you are in the same kayak, your child is still separated from you. When conditions on the water get a little bumpy, many younger children get very scared. Lake Superior is unlike most inland lakes that your child may have paddled on; it is more like paddling on an ocean. The route along the Pictured Rocks offers no place for you to get out of the kayak to comfort your child. Having a frightened child diminishes your enjoyment and the enjoyment of others on the trip.

In addition to emotional readiness, many young children are not physically capable of paddling for the amount of time required. This is actually more a factor of weight and physical development than age. We have observed that most children who weigh less than 60 lbs. simply don’t paddle, or worse, drag their paddles in the water. This forces the adult in the kayak to work extra hard and they frequently lag behind the rest of the group. This becomes a safety issue as the guides must now keep track of a group that is more spread out and the adult is likely to become fatigued.

Northern Waters loves to put families out on the water safely. We hope you will think of us when your children are ready!

Why do you use buses to get us to the beach?

Beginning in 2016, the Park Service has mandated that all kayak tour companies in the area use the Alger County Transit (ALTRAN) bus system to transport their customers to the launch sites at Miner's Beach and Sand Point. This was done for several reasons:

  • Kayak trips in the Pictured Rocks and Munising areas have exploded in popularity over the past couple of years. The parking lots have been literally overflowing with kayakers' cars, leaving little to no room for visitors who want to use the beaches.
  • The subsequent toll on the environment has been excessive. Visitors not finding parking in the lots were parking in the vegetation areas. The inevitable increase in trash has also been a problem.

Northern Waters Adventures works closely with ALTRAN to ensure that our customers are dropped off and picked up in a timely manner, however sometimes problems occur. If trips finish early or late, or if customers are late getting to the parking area, it can wreak havoc with the bus scheduling. Please be patient and understand that we are all doing our best to get you where you need to be.

I'm a large/tall person. Will I fit in the kayak?

Our tandem sea kayaks can accommodate most people, however there are some limitations. 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.

There are several reasons why fitting comfortably in the kayak is important. The first is safety. Tandem sea kayaks seldom capsize, but it CAN happen. For your safety, it is critical that you be able to get out of your kayak quickly should a capsize occur. In addition, your guide must be able to get you back in the kayak from in the water, without going to shore.

Another reason is your comfort! You will be spending up to 2-4 hours in the kayak, depending on which trip you are taking. With the exception of the full day trip, you will not be able to get out of the kayak for the duration of the paddle. You will be sitting with your legs out in front of you. Some people with back or knee issues find this uncomfortable.

The paddler who sits in the rear cockpit must be able to maneuver the foot-controlled rudder pedals. If your legs are too long, you will not be able to use these pedals effectively (or at all). The front cockpit is generally larger, so long-legged paddlers can usually sit there.

Our trip guides have final say on issues pertaining to the safety of the group and each individual paddler.

 Northern Waters Adventures - Lake Superior Sea Kayaking  P.O. Box 314 (Mail)
712 W. Munising Avenue (Hwy M-28)
Munising, MI 49862
( Watch for the big blue and white barn. - Between the American Legion Hall and Munising High School.)
(906) 387-2323

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