Sunset Kayaking with Amelia Island Kayak Excursions

This summer I’ve been all about the water sports, and with the season closing in for the year, I wanted to cram as much as possible into the few weeks that we have left, so on a recent trip out to Amelia Island the weekend before last, Lauren and I decided to head out on a sunset kayaking tour with Amelia Island Kayak.

AMELIA ISLAND KAYAK EXCURSIONS REVIEW

There are two main kayaking companies operating out of Amelia Island, but you only have to take a look at TripAdvisor to see that Amelia Island Kayak Excursions has the better reviews of the two; after all, it is ranked the #1 activity in all of Fernandina Beach.

Amelia Island Kayak Excursions is a family owned and operated kayaking business located in Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Mark and his wife, Kim, run the show with Kim taking care of all email and phone enquiries and Mark leading the kayak tours. Their main goal is to help you create a memorable and enjoyable experience while exploring the scenic inland waters of Amelia Island.

Sunset Kayaking with Amelia Island KayakAmelia Island Kayak offer an array of different river and creek kayaking tours throughout the week at different times. We wanted to change it up a little so it was the sunset kayaking tour that Lauren and I were most interested in.

WHO? Amelia Island Kayak Excursions provides guided tours daily of Egan’s Creek, Amelia River, Lofton Creek, St. Marys River, Okefenokee Swamp and Suwannee River.

WHAT? While offering many different tours at various times of the day, we decided to go with the Amelia River Sunset Tour. Mark will provide you with either a solo or tandem kayak, paddles and a lifejacket.

WHERE? Departure points differ depending on which kayak tour you choose to go out on, but for the Amelia River Sunset Tour, the meeting point is located at 10 Ash St, Fernandina Beach. There is free parking available on sight.

WHEN? Different tours run at different times. Our Amelia River Sunset Tour departed at 5:30pm, but this too will differ based on the time of year you choose to kayak. Advanced reservations are required – you can reach Mark and Kim via email or phone.

{Departure Launching Point}

Sunset Kayaking with Amelia Island Kayak

AMELIA RIVER SUNSET TOUR

We met Mark at the kayak launch point at 5:30pm. Lauren and I would be paddling in a tandem kayak (for two) and Mark had his own kayak to lead us. Mark provides you with the kayak, paddles, a spongey cushion to sit on, a life jacket and a cold bottle of water each inside your kayak. Depending on the current, Mark will either direct you north or south of Amelia River and around a marsh-filled island.

Amelia Island Kayak Review

Amelia Island Kayak Review

After some consistent paddling, we came to a stop in the middle of Amelia River to see if we could spot any dolphin but they seemed to be playing hide and seek with us instead. Mark was fantastic about pointing out any birds that flew by or landed on the marsh and his commentary was often quite entertaining. Lauren and I both enjoyed chatting with him about our travels, how his business came about, life and everything and anything in between!

The paddle itself is not a difficult one, but I can see how it might become a challenge if the wind levels increase. There is however a crazy current, and if you are not paying attention, within a matter of minutes, you will drift way out without even noticing – this is why going out with an experienced guide like Mark is highly recommended.

Amelia Island Kayak Review

Amelia Island Kayak Review

Amelia Island Kayak Review

Amelia Island Kayak Review

Amelia Island Kayak Review

I brought my GoPro along for the ride, but for those who don’t have waterproof cameras or don’t trust taking their phones out on the water, Mark goes above and beyond by taking photos of your entire tour!!! Once the tour is over, he uploads the photos for you to their own album over on the Amelia Island Kayak Excursions facebook page. I thought this was such a great idea as it enabled all guests to have a keepsake of their kayaking adventure!

The tour lasts for roughly 2.5 hours and Mark knows exactly when it’s time to start paddling back to avoid getting caught out after sunset. The last 30 minutes or so were my favorite; sunset. After paddling back to the marina, we spun our kayaks around to watch a phenomenal sunset right from the water – it was truly beautiful.

I’m a sucker for sunset photos, so here’s some I captured from both my GoPro and my point and shoot. I didn’t trust myself with my DSLR on the water so that stayed back at the hotel!

Amelia Island Kayak Review

Amelia Island Kayak Review

Amelia Island Kayak Review

Amelia Island Kayak Review

The tour itself was so peaceful and relaxing. There was barely a boat in sight; it was almost like we had the entire river and sunset to ourselves. Mark was such a gracious host and we had a great time on the water with him.

I already want to plan a return trip back to Amelia Island, and you can bet that another visit with Amelia Island Kayak Excursions will be on the agenda, only next time I think I’ll try out a different tour route and maybe see if there’s anything that exceeds 2.5 hours.

Thanks to Amelia Island Kayak Excursions for a fantastic evening on the water!
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AMELIA RIVER SUNSET TOUR TIPS

1. Wear sunscreen – you may think you won’t get sunburned at 5:30pm, but the sun is still so hot and beams down on you like crazy!

2. Take sunglasses, you will definitely need them!

3. Bring insect repellant – I don’t know if they were gnats or no-see-ums (very common in Florida around aquatic habitats), but they were everywhere. These were only a problem at the boat ramp after sunset and after the tour (not during the actual tour) because we hung around for a few minutes after. I must have the sweetest blood ever, because I usually get bit up more often than normal by mozzies, but dang, these things were so tiny and packed quite the bite. Over the next 48 hours or so, I think I came up with roughly 30-40 bites, and they were insanely itchy too – Calamine Lotion was my best friend that week haha.

Amelia Island Kayak Excursions Review

Amelia Island Kayak Excursions Review
Amelia Island Kayak Excursions Review

 

*Amelia Island Kayak Excursions kindly provided us with a complimentary Amelia River Sunset Tour, but all opinions are my own.
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