Kayaking at dusk and at night is a completely different experience to kayaking in the day time, but particularly when you are looking at choosing a Florida bioluminescence tour. Between May and November, the waters in the state see an influx of dinoflagellate plankton – better known as algae. These naturally glowing organisms respond to motion, lighting up brightly the moment your paddle causes a ripple in the water.
In order to witness the full splendor of the bioluminescence of Florida’s waters, it is necessary to undertake a kayak tour during the darker hours. We are delighted to offer both sunset and night-time excursions, but many visitors become confused about the differences between them.
Here is what you need to know about the differences between sunset tours and night-time bioluminescence tours.
Sunset Kayak Tours
Sunset tours typically launch around 6 pm and last around 90 minutes. While on your tour you will almost certainly see some native birds and other wildlife including pelicans, falcons, ibis, heron and the beautiful roseate spoonbill. You could spot the infamous Florida bottlenose dolphin, manatees, alligators, and even sharks. Sunset kayak tours really do provide a unique opportunity to encounter the remarkable wildlife that Florida has to offer.
This tour is suitable for people aged 5+ (children share a tandem kayak) and includes all necessary equipment. Please bring aquatic footwear, bug spray, towel and drinking water in a plastic bottle.
Night-Time Kayak Tours
When you choose a night-time bioluminescence tour you will be able to witness the magic and beauty of the phenomenal dinoflagellate plankton from the moment we launch into the water. Paddling softly across the water in the inky moonlight, every movement made by a fish or other creature will produce an almost supernatural glow. Watch as the bubbles shimmer and dance through the water, then vanish back into the darkness. The complete absence of light pollution only adds to the incredible effects created by the bioluminescent algae.
Each night-time bioluminescence tour lasts approximately two hours and is suitable for both small and large groups. However, the greater the amount of water disturbance, the greater the amount of bioluminescence visible in the water. One of our night-time bioluminescence tours combines the magic of the glowing algae with the opportunity to meet one of the earth’s oldest lifeforms. The Ctenophora, aka comb-jelly, is a jellyfish without a sting. Fossils that look a lot like Ctenophores have been found dating back some 550 million years!
These remarkable creatures bioluminess to scare potential predators away, a sight which is both eerie and magnificent. During or after your night-time tour, you will be able to catch your very own comb-jelly using a net and jar (provided). You will have a short time to observe it before releasing it back into the water. Please be aware that during full moon phases, bioluminescence often does not appear quite as brightly. The darker the night, the more impressive the light show you will witness.
Again, this tour is suitable for people aged 5+ (children share a tandem kayak) and includes all necessary equipment. Please bring aquatic footwear, bug spray, towel and drinking water in a plastic bottle. Please note that night-time tours are carried out on tandem kayaks. For further information on either our sunset or night-time bioluminescence tours, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly, knowledgeable team.