Florida Bioluminescence Kayaking Tour

Near Titusville, FL

(405 reviews)

from $60

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Tour details

  • Approx. 1.5 hours
  • Age 5 and above
  • $60

Bioluminescent Kayaking Tours Near Orlando & Cocoa Beach

Get ready to spend a magical evening on this nighttime bioluminescence tour with BK Adventure. See the water light up as luminous sea life surrounds your kayak. Our bioluminescent kayaking tours are often called “the best thing to do in Florida for vacation.” See this natural nighttime spectacle as you paddle around the warm waters of the Indian River Lagoon.

Where is the best place to see Florida Bioluminescence?

The Indian River and the Banana River both have glowing algae. Both rivers are part of the Indian River Lagoon. We affectionately call this Florida’s “Bioluminescent Bay.”

  • When to go: We do this tour year ’round. In warm weather, you will see glowing plankton. In colder months, you will see comb jellies. Some months you will see both!
  • Tours depart nightly: In summer months there are 3-4 departures per night between 8:30 pm to midnight. In winter there is one departure every night. Book early for July/August weekends as tours often sell out.
  • What type of kayak: This tour is in tandem kayak only due to restrictions of the number of boats allowed on the water in the areas we kayak.

Bioluminescence Moon Calendar 2022

Moonlight effects this tour and how brightly you will see glowing plankton. The less moonlight, the brighter the bio luminous sea creatures will appear. Please check the Moon Calendar before booking. Note that in July-August dinoflagellates appear so bright that almost any night is great!

New moons for 2022 are June 28, July 28, Aug 27, Sep 25, Oct 25, Nov 23 and Dec 23. These dates and the four days before and after are best times to see bioluminescence.

The glowing water or comb jellies can be very hard to photograph.  It can only be photographed in perfect conditions usually during July – Sep when there is a new moon (very dark).  This is when it appears bright, bright blue.  If you are not coming during that time, it may appear somewhat different, but it is still awesome! For more about viewing this phenomenon and what to expect read the description here.

Best Time of Year for Bioluminescence in Florida

November – May is glowing jellies season

Bioluminescent jellyfish are really just jellies (they do not sting). These prehistoric sea creatures, called Comb Jellies, have been on the planet for over 500 million years. As the waters of the Indian River Lagoon cool down, the Comb Jellies move in. Depending on how warm in gets, we start seeing glowing plankton as early as March.

May – November is dinoflagellates season

In the early days of summer the bright blue-green glowing algae begin to show, and by the height of summer it shines and sparkles bright when it is stirred with your kayak paddle, hand, or even the myriad of Mullet fish flying around.  The glowing plankton are amazing bright in July and August.  This is when our tours sell out nearly every night.  So, be sure to book early if that is when you plan to go.

Peak season is June – October.

In other months, dinoflagellates will be present, but may be more like sparkles than glowing water.

For other Florida Bioluminescence Tours 

Join us for Clear Kayaking Tours and Bioluminescent Rafting with our 10 person raft!  The rafts are great for kids and those who want someone to paddle for them.

BK Adventure tours are near Orlando, Cocoa Beach, Port Canaveral, Disney Area, and Ocala.  These night tours have become one of the top things to do in Cocoa Beach and the Space Coast.

More about the Indian River Lagoon

The Indian River Lagoon is an estuary that is fed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean making it a unique natural habitat.  The high salt content in the water here makes it a perfect home for dinoflagellates which create a natural light to protect themselves.  The lagoon is one of the most biodiverse eco-systems in North America, and has been the main source of research about bioluminescent dinoflagellates.

What is included

  • Kayak
    This tour is in a 2-person tandem kayak.
  • PFD
  • Guides

What you should bring

  • Insect repellent
  • Towel
  • Flashlight
  • Water bottle

How to prepare for your eco-tour

  • Check for same day emails/updates
  • Check directions – double check
  • Wear quick-dry clothes
  • Wear water/river shoes
  • Bring insect spray
  • Bring cash (tips optional)
  • Call for questions
  • Be ready for fun

Meeting points

Where to Meet – There are 2 launch sites for this tour. Please check email & messages the day of your tour for any changes in location.*

  • For Wildlife Refuge Bio Tour (Titusville, FL)

Get directions to Haulover Canal here

Haulover Canal is a beautiful launch site on the Wildlife Refuge. We use this site for our Bioluminescence Kayaking tour, and other tours, like the Sunset Tour. * We rarely have to change the location of your tour, but sometimes we will suggest a location that has better conditions or access for whatever reason. Please remember that our kayaking launch sites are restricted by federal and local government agencies, and sometimes they require us to make last minute changes. The Wildlife Refuge must coordinate with NASA.

Reviews

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  • Our trip was two days after a new moon. The trip departed at about 9:15 PM this Sunday evening. The weather was gorgeous and the lack of ambient lighting in ...

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  • Bruce Hamilton

    Our guide, avi, was fantastic. Answered every question. A lot better than expected, as I am a skeptic at heart. Manatees and other wildlife for the sunset trip and a ...

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  • Bioluminescence tour/BK Adventure/Clear Kayaks-it's Pixie Dust in the water! My family and I did this tour June 8....despite the rain at the start, we had a wonderful time....our guides were ...

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  • Went with friends for the Bioluminescence tour kayaking 10pm. We had a blast. Guides were fun and knew a lot about the nature of the wildlife preserve. We saw dolphins ...

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FAQ

Our tours rarely cancel due to weather.  If it is raining the day of the tour, chances are, with Florida weather, it will clear up by the time your tour starts.  Sometimes we will hold the tour by 30 minutes for the weather to clear.  In the case of lightning, high winds, or some other reason that we cannot paddle, we will re-schedule all guests to the very next tour available, or at a convenient time for you.  Rainchecks are valid for 1 year.

We recommend you do the "Sunset Tour" if you have time.  That way you get to see dolphins, and possibly manatees and all the amazing birds.  Then, take a break, and go out for the Bioluminescent Kayak Tour later.  It's just $20 more and it's an amazing tour! Click here to book that.

For our single kayaks, the weight limit is 275 lbs.  For the tandem kayaks it is 550 lbs. The night kayaking tours are done on tandem kayaks.

Some people are naturally athletic, and they pick up any kind of activity easily.  If that's you, pick either launch location.  If you are a beginner, or not sure about kayaking abilities, or have small children, you may want to choose the Haulover Canal kayaking location.  You may also want to ask about our new rafting options where you join others in the raft for an easy paddle in a big boat.

We like to think so, but we cannot guarantee it.  Here are the best conditions: hot weather, right after a rain storm, dark night.  Sometimes the night is dark even when the moon is supposed to be bright.  Sometimes a barely visible moon occurs on such a clear night, that even the slightest shine makes it seem bright.  So, there are many factors that make the bioluminescence more/less visible.  The BEST TIME for glowing algae (dinoflagellates) brightness is usually July to October.  But we see it all year round, and in November, we see amazing flashing comb jellies!  So, don't miss out because your vacation does not fall during the summer months.

This depends on your launch site: either Kelly Park is near Port Canaveral right off of Hwy. 528 (about 45 mins from Orlando), or in peak-season also, Haulover Canal in Titusville, Florida (1 hr; 15 mins from Orlando).  Kelly Park near Cocoa Beach is the closer launch site to Miami.

Lots of people who love kayaking with their dog have asked about this tour. We do not recommend this one for dogs, as it is a night kayaking tour. Maybe chose the manatee tour or the monkey tour instead of bioluminescent kayaking if you want to have a great experience with your favorite pooch!

Because of wildlife and environmental protection we have a limited number of kayaks we can launch at one time.  So, we use 2 person tandem kayaks in order to get all of our guests out to see the bioluminescence on the dates they want.  That does not mean you will be in a large group.  Only 8 boats go out with 2 guide boats at one time.

Because of the limited availability of our equipment, they tend to book up quickly.  Please call us if there is a time/day you would like that is not available for online booking.  We may be able to get you on.

Bioluminescence tours

Why book with us

  • Safety first
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Expert & professional local guides
  • Fair prices
  • Fair cancellation policy
  • We run our own trips
  • We're a passionate bunch
  • Rated 5-star on TripAdvisor
  • Guaranteed trips

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