Love what you do...

We're very proud to announce that the Ketchikan Visitors Bureau awarded Gillian Edwards the 2015 "Heart of the Community" Award for her dedication to providing kayaking opportunities to Ketchikan's kids and non-profit organizations.

Southeast Sea Kayaks is a small, local company based year round in Ketchikan, Alaska. Owner, Greg Thomas, began the company over 20 years ago and still feels very fortunate to be able to share his love of sea kayaking in Alaska with visitors and locals. These days Southeast Sea Kayaks is a family business and Greg is assisted by his wife, Gillian, and twin sons, Clancy & Declan.  Our small group sea kayaking tours are fun for both first time and experienced kayakers. From the original Ketchikan Kayak tour, to the Orcas Cove Sea Kayaking and Misty Fjords Flight Combination, each of our tours is a unique way for visitors to experience Alaska. Southeast Sea Kayaks' tours are not sold on board the cruise ships, so when you kayak with us 100% of your ticket price stays in Alaska and you help support our free and low cost programs for local kids and organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ketchikan, Southeast Alaska Independent Living and Ketchikan Youth Initiatives. 

Greg, Gillian, Clancy & Declan (age 6 here) on board the MV Sea Spree

You won’t find a more professional, friendly or safety-oriented kayak outfitting company anywhere in Alaska or outside of the state! Cruise ships don’t offer this company as a booking option - it is definitely their loss. If you go, go local and book directly through Greg- there is a reason everyone gives this outfit 5 stars!
— Joyce on TripAdvisor

Our Philosophy

We understand that your vacation time is hard earned and a trip to Alaska is often a "once in a life-time" experience. We aim to make every single one of our kayak trips an exceptional and memorable Alaskan experience. Southeast Sea Kayaks is independent of the cruise lines because we don't think that kayaking is fun in large groups. Our trips are small and personal: each tour has only 6 guests per group. We think great guides are the key to excellent tours, so all of our guides are handpicked because they share our passion for Southeast Alaska and are extensively trained.  We love taking people on their first kayaking adventure and we have years of experience at making it fun and comfortable. You don't have to be an expert, or even have paddled a kayak before to come on our Ketchikan Kayaking or Orcas Cove tours. For experienced sea kayakers, we have the more adventurous Icehouse Cove Kayak & Hike.

Our crew of fun and friendly guides and boat captains.

Greg Thomas paddling in the early years of Southeast Sea Kayaks

Greg Thomas paddling in the early years of Southeast Sea Kayaks

About Greg

Greg Thomas has probably spent more of his life on the water than land. As President of the Underwater Research Group in Sydney he dived with Jacques Cousteau and many other pioneers of the diving industry. A chemist by profession, Greg's talent for the chemistry of the metal plating industry brought him to St Louis and life in corporate America. A desire for a new adventure took Greg to Alaska where he settled in Ketchikan to start Southeast Sea Kayaks. Greg has owned and operated Southeast Sea Kayaks for over 20 years now and he still loves driving boats, paddling and sharing stories with guests. Greg is a USCG licensed 100 ton Master. He teaches kayak lessons, drives the small boats and captains the MV Sea Spree, often assisted by his 10 year old twin sons and deckhands in training, Clancy and Declan. Greg's other passion is folk music; espescially shanties and songs of the sea. He is a frequent performer at Ketchikan's Monthly Grind and St Patricks day celebrations.

Gillian guiding at Orcas Cove

Gillian guiding at Orcas Cove

About Gillian

Gillian Edwards came to Ketchikan because she thought being a sea kayak guide in Alaska sounded like about the best job imaginable. Turns out it is, so a summer job became a lifelong passion. She began her career as a guide paddling for a cruise line company tour but was quickly won over to the Southeast Sea Kayaks way of paddling and has been the company's operations manager ever since.  She is a USCG licensed 100 ton Master and mother of twins. She guides tours, captains the MV Jessie May & MV Mary Ellen and spends her winters working as a substitute teacher in the Ketchikan School District.  Gillian's mission is to introduce the world and locals to the joys of sea kayaking in Alaska. She started the local Diva Paddle in 2008, Kayak Camps in 2010 and Kayak 4a Kure in 2011. Gillian was honored to receive the 2015 "Heart of the Community" award from the Ketchikan Visitor's Bureau for her work with Ketchikan youth.

About Clancy & Declan

Clancy and Declan are 10 years old. They are in fourth grade here in Ketchikan. Clancy and Declan love kayaking, fishing, baseball, playing soccer, rollerblading, swimming and helping their parents out at the dock and on board the MV Sea Spree. Declan would like to be a paleontologist when he grows up. According to Clancy, the best thing about growing up in Ketchikan, Alaska is: banana slugs. Clancy and Declan's banana slug "Jeffrey" won 3rd prize in the biggest slug contest at the 2013 Blueberry Festival.

Declan (left) and Clancy paddling their kayaks in the Ketchikan Creek, 2016.

Declan (left) and Clancy paddling their kayaks in the Ketchikan Creek, 2016.

To Learn More

Check out our Top 5 Reasons to Choose Southeast Sea Kayaks and our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.  Want to see what's happening in Ketchikan right now? Checkout the Ketchikan webcam which has a great view of our dock; Deer Mountain; historic Thomas Basin and the Tongass Narrows.