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.
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.
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 2021 are June 10, July 9, Aug 8, Sep 6, Oct 6, Nov 4 and Dec 4. These dates and the four days before and after are best times to see bioluminescence.
Photos and Viewing
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.
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.
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.
In other months, dinoflagellates will be present, but may be more like sparkles than glowing water.
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.
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.
We were able to see manatees and dolphins. Plus, we watched the sunset. It was incredibly beautiful and romantic. I didn't capture the photo of the sun because I was too busy enjoying the experience. I did get a shot of the beautiful sky after the sunset tour was finished. Our guides Bailey and Josh were awesome and made our trip unforgettable. They are very outgoing and knowledgeable about the wildlife in the area. The bioluminescence was beautiful that night. It was so dark that we were able to see millions of stars in the clear night sky. We were very lucky with the weather. I definitely recommend going with BK Adventures for the sunset tour and bioluminescent tour package. Oh, and don't forget to tip the guides, even though it is optional. They work really hard to make the trip enjoyable, and they have to keep track of everyone and keep them safe. It can be a high pressure job because people on the tour have different levels of kayaking experience, so be generous.
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 very cool logar show for the evening trip out. Went on a dark and rainy night and the bio was really bright. Thank you for a great evening. I do have to mention getting there is part of the adventure, and the staff was great at providing directions when needed. - Bruce Hamilton, Google Reviews
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 the area surrounding Kennedy Space Center made for amazing star watching. No less exciting was the bioluminescence in the water. The dinoflagellates and the comb jellies were amazing. The unique clear hulled kayaks we're fascinating as the bioluminescent life-forms sparkled and glowed as they glided against the hull in the water. it was like thousands of green shooting stars running along the entire underside of the kayak below the waterline. every pedal stroke made the water glow. Skimming a net through the water made huge glowing swirls of green light. The guides were extremely knowledgeable about the biochemical phenomenon creating the lights and about the role of dinoflagellates and comb jellies in the ecosystem. I highly recommend this tour, especially in the days surrounding a new moon.https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g34515-d8808975-r396579284-BK_Adventures-Orlando_Florida.html#
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 from the shore. At first glowing plankton were not out, but guide knew where to kayak and water started lighting as we paddled around. Tons of stars out. Can't say enough good stuff about BK and our guides (dillon? And jake).This was the best thing we did in Florida. Everyone should try this!https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g34515-d8808975-r396579284-BK_Adventures-Orlando_Florida.html#
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 so great! Pay attention to the guides and do this tour folks!!!! For the person in the front of the kayak-look down toward the front of the boat and watch the jellyfish hit it and illuminate it as you glide through the water...it's sparkles in the water! Every time you paddle, it looks like pixie dust in the water, glowing with the movement of the paddle. By the end of the tour, the rain completely stopped and the stars came out, the view of the Space Center was crystal clear. Very cool, we all really enjoyed it! Thanks so much BK!
Very memorable and a great experience. Nearly a 2 hour kayaking adventure on easy, flat water canal. Picturesque & Ram, the owner, very knowledgable. It took about 1.5 hour to drive from Orlando. - E. Peterson
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