Channel Islands National Park Resets Guided Kayaking and Snorkeling Tours

A 10-year concessions contract has been granted to the Santa Barbara Adventure Co. to lead kayaking tours and snorkeling tours at Channel Islands National Park/Patrick Cone

Much of the beauty and wildlife protected within Channel Islands National Park can only be seen from the water, and soon, guided sea kayaking and snorkeling tours will be available at Santa Cruz Island without a reservation for the first time.

The park gave Santa Barbara Adventure Company a 10-year concessions contract to run guided sea kayak tours, snorkel equipment rentals, guided snorkel tours, and limited convenience item sales at Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island. The company, doing business as Channel Islands Adventure Company, has provided guided sea kayak services for more than 18 years and has operated in Channel Islands National Park since 2007.

“This is a significant step towards improving visitor access and enjoyment,” Superintendent Russell Galipeau said in a release. “The contract will, for the first time in the park’s history, afford visitors the opportunity for guided kayak and snorkel tours on the island, with no prior reservations needed.”

The park’s 2015 General Management Plan directed the transition of the Scorpion Area Kayak Guide Service from a limited, commercial-use permit to a concessions contract. Scorpion Anchorage is a Marine Protected Area and part of NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.

“To be selected by the NPS is a huge triumph,” Santa Barbara Adventure Company owner/director Michael Cohen said on the company’s blog. “We are excited to be able to continue to bring school groups, veterans, and travelers from all over the world to our beloved national park.”

The new contract will take effect on March 1. Details of tours are available at Santa Barbara Adventure Company’s website.