Bioluminescence Rafting Tour – Wildlife Refuge

Wildlife Refuge (Titusville)

from $60

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Tour details

  • Approx. 1.5 hours
  • Age 3 and above
  • $60

New! Bioluminescence Tours in Our Family Friendly Rafts

Where is this tour:  We launch this tour on the famous Indian River Lagoon – the most researched body of water for bioluminescence! The tour launches from the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge near Kennedy Space Center. This is a perfect way to end your day on the Space Coast. If you are coming from Orlando, spend a day at the beautiful Canaveral National Seashore, then see the Milky Way light up the night sky and bioluminescence light up the night waters of the lagoon!

Who would love this:  This is for people who want to experience the magnificence of Florida’s bio bay, but do not want to kayak. It’s great for families with smaller children or those who feel more comfortable in a bigger boat than a kayak. Paddle rafts are very buoyant and sturdy, so they are fun for people of all ages and abilities. The rafts are steered by our professional rafting guides, so you can leave the steering to us!  (But we do ask you help paddle, and the water will glow with lighted dinoflagellates). If you want a smaller boat try our Clear Kayaks Bioluminescent Tour, or the Bioluminescent Kayaking Tour.

When to go: July-August dinoflagellates appear so bright that almost any night is great! Since space on rafts is limited, please book in advance. BK’s Bio tours tend to sell out.

This is a “must do” Florida tour!

What is included

  • Paddle raft
  • PFD
  • Guides

What you should bring

  • Insect repellent
  • Towel
  • Flashlight
  • Water bottle

Departure schedule

Nightly in summer and have multiple start times.


Moon Notice

Moonlight effects this tour and how brightly you will see bioluminescence. The less moonlight, the brighter the bioluminescent sea creatures will appear. Please check the Moon Calendar before booking. 

What will the bio look like on your tour?

The photos used for bioluminescence must be taken in absolutely perfect condition.  Remember, bioluminescence is light created by living creatures.  Like anything in nature, it can be hard to capture.  Photos of bioluminescence are taken in perfect conditions at the height of the season.  Your tour may feature comb jellies, or plankton that are not as concentrated as the would be in mid- July to mid-September.  For more about seeing bioluminescence, read about it here.

What makes this bioluminescence tour so special?

Many kayaking companies in the area get as many people out on the water as possible.  They use two person sit on top kayaks, with group size of about 60 people.  At BK Adventure Eco Tours, we like keep our groups smaller to give you a more intimate feel with the nature around us.  We think this creates a better outdoor experience.  Join us for an exploration of the bioluminescent Indian River Lagoon in one of Florida’s most eco-diverse rivers.  On very dark nights, the water glows with each stroke of your kayak paddle.

BK Adventure has many guides who are trained biologist who specialize in Florida ecology.  They love to answer your questions about marine life, birds and nature.  In summer, our tour at Kelly Park (Merritt Island, Florida) is the closest and most convenient kayak launch for Bio Bay tour near Orlando and Cape Canaveral.  It is just 5 minutes from Port Canaveral Cruises and 45 minutes from Disney and Universal area.

More about the Indian River Wildlife and Bioluminescent creatures

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.   This neon light produced by these tiny sea plankton is called bioluminescence.  However, they are not the only marine life that create bioluminescence.  As mentioned, there are bioluminescent jellies, squid, and plant life in the ocean.

Florida has more endangered or threatened species than any other state. The Indian River is home to 36 rare or endangered wildlife.  The West Indian Manatee is one of them.  Manatees love this river because of the abundance of seagrass beds.

Other rare wildlife you are likely to see are: Wood Storks, Roseate Spoonbills, Loggerhead Turtles, Blue Crabs, Seahorse, Otters, Great Blue Herons, Green Herons, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tri-Colored Heron and Bald Eagles.

Meeting point

Get directions to Beacon 42 Boat Ramp here.  

Beacon 42 Boat Ramp will be our primary launch site for Wildlife Refuge Bioluminescent Kayaking tours starting July 7, 2018. This is just a couple miles from our other launch site at Haulover Canal. Paddle through the beauty of this bioluminescent lagoon under the night stars. This is our “fun” launch site, where we also launch our rafts.

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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  • Danielle Tijerina

    We went on the Manatee Kayak Tour and it was amazing! They swam under us and splashed us, we're active and we even saw a dolphin! This was great! We'll ...

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  • Our tour guide Alex was fantastic! Very knowledgeable and extremely personable. Our group had a great experience at BK adventure and it was well worth the trip from Tampa! We ...

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  • E. Peterson

    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 ...

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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.

Ram, the owner, likes to say, "You bring the spray, we'll bring the mosquitos!" We cannot guarantee there will be mosquitos, but there is a 99% change there will be.  Some breezy nights have no mosquitoes. Some nights there are a lot.   The other pest is No-See-Ums.  The best way to keep them away is with Baby Oil.  So, consider slathering on a layer of Baby Oil to any exposed skin.  PLEASE BRING MOSQUITO SPRAY.

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.

Because of wildlife and environmental protection we have a limited number of boats we can launch at one time.  There will be 6-10 people in your raft depending on the size of the boat.

This tour is better for small children. We recommend only for small children who are able to sit still for at least 90 minutes.  Please bring USCG issued life vest for toddlers to be sure it is a good fit.  We do have child size life vests available for 3+.

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.

We can manage groups up to 22 people for rafting. We have 3 rafts to accommodate this. We recommend you book weekend nights at least 45 days in advance for large groups.  Weekdays is best, as those are easier to find spaces for.  Please phone us for details, and we will be happy to get you and ALL your wonderful friends out for the tour!  See more about Group Tours here.

The weight limit for 1 raft is about 2400lbs.  We can accommodate people of varying sizes in our rafts.  Be sure you can get in and out of the raft on your own.

Because of the limited availability of our rafts, 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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Join our Bioluminescent Kayaking Tours just 1 hour from Orlando. Departs nightly throughout the year. See the amazing glowing waters of Florida's own "Bioluminescent Bay" on the Indian River Lagoon. New Moon Tours Sell Out, So Book Early - This is the #1 Bioluminescence Tour in Florida!

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