Jun
30
to Jul 5

Exploring Maine’s Offshore Island of Vinalhaven

5 days, 5 nights - lodge-based accommodation

June 30 - July 5, 2019

Arrive by ferry on the 30th, depart by ferry on the 5th.

Located 12 miles off the midcoast of Maine, lies the large island complex of Northhaven and Vinalhaven, known for its striking natural beauty and home to the largest lobster boat fleet on the East Coast. Here you will experience a full range of paddling opportunities from calm protected waters, to meandering channels through island thoroughfares, to the open seas along the southern coast.  Pristine islands with white sandy beaches, deep penetrating coves providing shelter from the seas, and a meandering shoreline of spruce forest interrupted by simple to stately summer homes, provide the backdrop to our paddling experience.  The adventure, however, reaches far beyond the seas surrounding this island archipelago.  Take a walk down Vinalhaven’s main street, and a few side streets, and enjoy the wonderfully restoredhistoric homes with beautifully-maintained gardens, stroll along miles of maintained hiking trails taking in the smells, sights, and sounds of the forest, and meet the some of the colorful residents of the island at the local diner. This is a place not to be missed, a place that warrants at least a week to explore, and a place that will lure you back again and again.

Our home for the five days/five nights is a restored 1869 house situated on a quiet side street, just a mere 2-3 minutes walk from Vinalhaven’s main street and picturesque harbor. After a day on the water, enjoy sitting in a rocking chair on the enclosed deck reading one of the many books about the island history found in the living room, or pull out the scrabble board and challenge your fellow paddler to game of wits, or piece together a 1000 piece puzzle.


Cost:  $1495 per person based on double occupancy;  singles add $300
Price includes:  Roundtrip ferry service from Rockland, accommodations for five nights, meals as noted on itinerary, kayaks and related gear, and professional leadership by H2Outfitters’ staff and Registered Maine Guides.

 

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Portugal
Sep
14
to Sep 23

Portugal

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Portugal is an amazing country with its lively port cities of Lisbon and Porto, its spectacular hillside vineyards, producers of the world famous Port wine, flowing down to the meandering Duoro river, and its dramatic southern coast reflecting the waves rolling in from the Atlantic.  But its the people, warm, friendly and inviting that really make this small country a gem; one can enjoy the sounds of the Portugese music, Fado heard often in the background, and enjoy sharing a meal of freshly caught fish with the locals.  This is a place with a deep history; a place showcasing architectural wonders clad in beautiful tile work, and a place that blends the old with the new seamlessly. . 

We'll begin our journey in the port city of Porto, located along the lower Duoro river that flows into the Atlantic.  It's waterfront, lined with shops and restaurants featuring fresh seafood, comes to life each night with music, dance, and those out to enjoy a stroll along the river.  The seven bridges that cross the Duoro from Porto to its neighbor, Gaia, offer wonderful vantage points to photograph this historic city during the day and at night.  There are great architectural structures throughout the city, many of them adorned with Portugal's famous Azulejo blue tiles, beautiful gardens to wander through, and of course great restaurants and local shops to visit.  Once we have gotten grounded and acclimated to the time change, we will head east towards the source of the Duoro river, near the border of Spain.  We'll travel to our destination by train, one of the most scenic train routes in all of  Europe, offering spectacular views of the river and surrounding vineyards along the way.

It is here in the Duoro River valley where we’ll find the terraced vineyards that supply the world with Portugal’s namesake libation, Port wine. Look forward to paddling, hiking, and driving from the mountainous border with Spain to the coastal city of Porto. On the way we will stay at various Quintas, (winery sponsored hotels), agriturismos, and family run inns as we head down river. This will be the highlight of our visit, a fitting conclusion to our travels. It will be a fun and flexible trip with lots of interaction with the locals too.  Space is limited so don’t delay if this catches your fancy!

 Sept. 14 - 23, 2018

* You will need to depart the US on Thursday the 13th to arrive in Porto on the 14th.

PRICING  (all pricing is based on double occupancy; singles add $400)

ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING * As noted under What H2Outfitters provides

  • 6-10 participants: $3850 per person 
  • 4-5 participants:  $4150 per person 

A LA CARTE PRICING - excludes lunches and dinners

  • 6-10 participants: $3350 per person 
  • 4-5 participants: $3750 per person 

* What H2Outfitters provides:

  • 9 night’s accommodations
  • Meals (only breakfast is included on the a-la-carte pricing)
  • In country transportation
  • kayaking days

What You Need to provide:

  • International airfare (you will need to leave the US on the 13th to arrive in Porto on the 14th)
  • Fees for any activities/sights you opt to do
  • Alcoholic beverages and snacks
  • Gratuities for guides
  • Any transportation costs not included with itinerary

 

 

 

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5-Day Skills Immersion Camping trip
Aug
22
to Aug 26

5-Day Skills Immersion Camping trip

A 5-day Skills-Based Camping Trip

This will be a true Maine island experience as we explore the many islands in the Harpswell region of the coast of Maine during this 5-day adventure. The group will literally be immersed in all aspects of the skills necessary to enjoy an offshore kayak excursions safely. From low impact skills around camp to the best ways to evaluate gear and equipment you will need on the water, this will become more than just a workshop experience but an adventure.

Over the five day period you will have the opportunity to refine and develop paddling skills from stroke work to group management on the water. There will be plenty of “wet work” too where you’ll have the chance to experience open water rescue scenarios in real and varied conditions. You’ll come way with some functional technical skills that don’t rely on daring-do or showy maneuvers. In addition, there will be some great outdoor culinary tips that you can take home for a future excursion, and other invaluable tips for enjoying an island experience responsibly. Most likely we will experience Maine’s foggy weather, but even if we don’t you will be learning navigation skills gaining the confidence to do it the old fashion way with a chart and a compass, no GPS necessary. A great competency development week on the water.

Areas to be Covered

•Low impact camping skills - including cooking tips, packaging tips, site selection, etc.
•Gear and equipment
•Navigation skills
•Trip Planning and route selection
*Group management
•Understanding wind, waves, tides & currents and learning techniques to help you manage your kayak when encountering these conditions
•On-water skills development to include strokes & maneuvers; rescues; towing; judgement
•Learn how to improvise in a variety of situations
•How to deal with an emergency situation

Dates: August 22 - 26, 2018

Location: Harpswell, Maine

Cost: $695 per person with our own kayak; $795 with use of an H2O kayak

Price includes camp meals beginning with lunch on day one and finishing with breakfast on final day.

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Sea Kayak Sardinia
May
19
to May 29

Sea Kayak Sardinia

The Crown Jewel of the Tyrrhenian Sea

Join us on a journey to one of the Mediterranean's island treasures, Sardegna, also known as the island of Sardinia, located just west of the Italian coastline midway to Majorca and the Bealeric Islands. We'll focus our exploration on the northern region of the island and the picturesque Maddalena island archipelago, its granite rock outcroppings sculpted by the wind and waves into dramatic landscapes against the sea. This is a paddler's trip, offering the experienced paddler opportunities to paddle diverse conditions, yet providing ample protected waters for those newer to kayaking to enjoy the incredible beauty one can only experience from the cockpit of a kayak.  For sure,  the rewards will be great as we lose ourselves in the adventure, finding some real gems off the beaten path.  Expect to establish some long-lasting friendships with the people we meet as we share exceptional food and sustenance at the table.

Although part of Italy, Sardinia is in-and-of itself, a world apart.  The native dialect, Sardo, has been identified as the closest living language to the Latin spoken by the ancient Romans.  The island was once controlled by Rome's greatest enemy in the Mediterranean, Carthage, whose armies threatened Rome itself under the leadership of their famous general Hannibal Barca.  The Bronze Age Nuraghic civilization left their mark on the island as well; these ancient builders constructed countless stone towers scattered through the countryside, an archaeological mystery waiting to be solved by those of us with the Indiana Jones-gene!  Even the rock formations have an other worldly appearance, shaped by the Mistral, that harsh west wind that accelerates down the Rhone Valley, across Provence, and then out to sea sculpting the island's coast line into organic shapes. The result reminiscent of the smooth, flowing, carvings of sculptor Jean Arp if one uses some imagination.  This is a place not to be missed!!

The clear azure sea that offers us breathtaking ocean-bottom-views 60 or more feet below our kayaks will be the stage upon which we become the actors in this dynamic drama of ebb and flow.   Lots of paddling to be found, secret places to explore, hidden sea caves, secluded beaches and the opportunity for some lively surf will be part of the action too. For land lubbers there will be opportunities to hike or bike instead, and of course time can be taken to find a cliff-side perch and simply watch the ever-changing sea.

At the end of the day, we will all have experienced some fun,  some serious paddling, and an unequaled sampling of food and wine prepared in a traditional manner.  Could be just the ticket for a great getaway!

 


May 19* - 29*, 2017

* Travel days

$3750 per person based on double occupancy; singles add $500

The Price includes 9 night accommodations in Inns or hotels, meals as noted on itinerary, in-country transportation once you have arrived at our first night's Inn as outlined on the itinerary, ferry to Sardinia, kayaking gear and safety equipment, and highly qualified & trained guides

Click here for detailed itinerary

 

 

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Portugal
May
6
to May 16

Portugal

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Portugal is an amazing country with its lively port cities of Lisbon and Porto, its spectacular hillside vineyards, producers of the world famous Port wine, flowing down to the meandering Duoro river, and its dramatic southern coast reflecting the waves rolling in from the Atlantic.  But its the people, warm, friendly and inviting that really make this small country a gem; one can enjoy the sounds of the Portugese music, Fado heard often in the background, and enjoy sharing a meal of freshly caught fish with the locals.  This is a place with a deep history; a place showcasing architectural wonders clad in beautiful tile work, and a place that blends the old with the new seamlessly. 

Our itinerary will have us arriving in Lisbon. We will find ourselves in the oldest and most venerable part of town, the historic Chiado district. Here in the midst of the city’s flavor, ambience, and history we begin our exploration. 

Over the course of our stay we’ll have the opportunity to explore the city by e-bike, via streetcar trams, and on foot. Most importantly the pulse of this vibrant city will leave each of us with a sense of its culture, people, and traditions. Perhaps we’ll have the chance to listen to the mellow rhythms of Fado, the soul of Portuguese musica suitable accompaniment to the local cuisine.

Departing Lisbon we'll head to our final destination the Douro River Valley. Here along the river’s steep banks we’ll find the terraced vineyards that supply the world with Portugal’s namesake libation Port wine. Look forward to paddling, hiking, and driving from the mountainous border with Spain to the coastal city of Porto. On the way we will stay at various Quintas, (winery sponsored hotels), agriturismos, and family run inns as we head down river. This will be the highlight of our visit, a fitting conclusion to our travels. It will be a fun and flexible trip with lots of interaction with the locals too.  Space is limited so don’t delay if this catches your fancy!

2018 departures:  May 6* - 16**,  Sept. 13* - 23**

* Depart US on this date, arrive in Portugal the next day

** Depart Portugal for US

PRICING  (all pricing is based on double occupancy; singles add $400)

ALL-INCLUSIVE PRICING * As noted under What H2Outfitters provides

  • 6-10 participants: $3850 per person 
  • 4-5 participants:  $4150 per person 

A LA CARTE PRICING - excludes lunches and dinners

  • 6-10 participants: $3350 per person ($2950 if you register by 1/31/18)
  • 4-5 participants: $3750 per person ($3350 if you register by 1/31/18)

What H2Outfitters provides:

  • 9 night’s accommodations
  • Meals (only breakfast is included with the a-la-crte pricing)
  • Transportation as noted on itinerary
  • Kayaking days

 

  • What You Need to provide:
  • Fees for any activities/sights you opt to do Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for guides
  • Any transportation costs not included with itinerary
  • International airfare

 

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Belize
Jan
20
to Jan 29

Belize

Belize Sea Kayaking Adventure

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While everyone else is talking about pristine sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and the Caribbean sun, we want to take you on a complete and total escape experiencing not only the obvious but the sublime. Paddle with us to the lush tropical rain forests and jungles of Belize. Drop down into second gear as you encounter the colors of the Caribbean, the fabric of people, places, and Creole culture that make this small country so unique. Live the life of a beach-comber, take a week away from the hectic bustle and relax with us beach-side in your own private Cabana. Paddle the Cayes of Belize, indulge in the food of the islands, step back into the primordial world of the rain forest where you'll see flora, fauna, and become part of this tropical delight. You may even have the opportunity to stumble across a Mayan ruin. Join us on this journey of discovery that will lead us down paths we can only imagine.

We'll embark on this adventure with a stay at the Tropical Education Center at the Belize Zoo, home to 170 different animals, most of which are native to Belize and have been rescued or rehabilitated. Wake the next morning and we're off to the underworld of Belize with a tour of Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave, with Mayan remains and historical significance to the Belizean culture.  Soon we depart the underworld and head to the glorious Tobacco Caye and Glover's Reef for four magical days of kayaking, snorkeling, and relaxing.  Delving deeper into the Belizean way of life, we then head to the lush tropical jungle staying at an eco-resort surrounded by the thick jungle canopy supporting diverse flora and fauna.  Here you'll have the oportunity to choose a tour of your choice or simply relax.  To round out our trip, we fly to Caye Caulker, an island paradise with a feel of stepping back in time.  Its laid-back atmosphere provides the perfect enviroment to finish off our trip.  There will be time to snorkel, rent a paddle-board or sit-on top kayak and wander the dirt "main st" meeting the locals selling their hand-made goods, sipping a tropical drink seaside, or kicking back in a hammock under a swaying palm tree.

So escape with H2Outfitters to the warmth of this paradise, its people, its climate, and its hospitality. Without a doubt, this will be an Adventure for a Lifetime and one you will savor for months afterward.

2018 departures:  Jan. 20 - 29,  March 11 - 21

$3295 per person
based on double occupancy; singles add $300.

Price includes 9 nights lodging, kayaks, paddles, PFDs, transportation in country as noted on itinerary, melas as noted on itinerary, park fees, entrance fees to land-base tours as noted on itinerary.

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Japan's Inland Sea
Nov
8
to Nov 19

Japan's Inland Sea

Sea Kayaking Japan's Inland Sea

The island archipelago of Japan is a land of contrasting harmonies, and this ever present quality becomes a prevailing condition of our journey. The juxtaposition of nature and tradition against technology and development presents the backdrop for an adventure for a lifetime.  From the busy seaport of Osaka to the sacred island precinct of Miyajima, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, our group of paddlers will come to understand firsthand the complexities of this island nation.  This is a voyage we have been taking since the late 90's and we have formed long lasting relationships with the local people, businesses, and the areas in which we paddle.  Our group will participate in a traditional tea ceremony, relax at the end of the day in thermal Onsen hot springs, and indulge in gustatory delicacies unique to each region we visit. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial is at once humbling and spiritual, sending a clear message of our ability to destroy, while leaving a lasting impression for hope.  The ancient cities of Nara and Kyoto are on our agenda also, providing a clear view into Japan's past.  All this is connected, appropriately, by in-country travel on the country's Shinkansen high speed bullet trains!  And so, the principles of Wabi-Sabi apply as we venture from one realm to the next...


$5950 per person double occupancy
singles add $500

Price includes 10 nights accommodations in Japan, meals as noted on itinerary, all transportation once in Japan, kayaking equipment and guides, entry fees to other points of interest as noted on itinerary.


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The Saranac Lakes Chain
Oct
7
to Oct 10

The Saranac Lakes Chain

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This intricate network of undeveloped lakes, islands, and meandering rivers offers tranquil paddling opportunities surrounded by the brilliance of fall colors. Cool crisp nights coupled with warm fall days make for a perfect Adirondack autumn experience. Great camping, relaxed paddling and unspoiled views along the pristine shoreline make the Saranac Lakes a wonderful refuge from the day-to-day grind. If we're lucky we may hear the song of the loon before their southern journey begins.

$450 per person; $415 with your own kayak

Save an additional $50 if you register for Lake George as well.

Price includes campground fees, kayak, sprayskirt, PFD, wetsuit, paddle and meals beginning with lunch on the first day through lunch on the final paddling day. We will meet at the put-in at 10AM on the 7th and be off the water by 3PM on the 10th.

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The Tuscan Islands and the Sensations of Chianti
Sep
21
to Sep 30

The Tuscan Islands and the Sensations of Chianti

Just had to say thank you! Thanks for a wonderful, fabulous, incredible trip! You gave me so much more than I expected and it truly changed my life, seriously. I don’t think I can find the words to thank you enough!
— E. Shankman, CT

When the goddess of love Venus emerged from the swells of the Tyrrhenian Sea, seven gemstones were lost from her crown as the waves crashed all around her. These seven stones became the islands of the Tuscan Archipelago: Elba, Giglio, Capraia, Gorgona, Pianosa, Giannutri and Montecristo. So these are the gems of Tuscany encompassing 600,000 acres making it Europe's largest marine park. The most famous and largest of these islands is Elba, dominated by nature with its long sandy beaches, small inlets, vertical cliffs, and transparent deep blue sea. The Etruscans mined metals here, to the Romans, it was a destination resort, and to Napoleon it was his home away from home during his exile. We'll visit small medieval villages, sample local fare rich in genuine flavor, and explore the stunning coastline of white sand, hidden cobblestone beaches,and rugged rock outcroppings.

From here, we'll journey to the heart of Tuscany, a region first inhabited by the ancient Entruscans, who cherished the hills, the land, and the air as a place of sanctuary. For Chiantigianos it is the place to cultivate the grape, harvest the olive, and to savor the sights, sounds, and scent of the hills. For us peregrinators, wayfarers as the Roman tourists called themselves, it will be a delight for the senses and truly an adventure for a lifetime. 

Click here to read an account of the Elba adventure

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Portugal
May
20
to May 30

Portugal

Join us on our Portugal Exploratory and get a behind the scenes perspective on how we put a trip together.  Become part of the process by coming along and save Big time!  This will be an a-la-carte trip which will be priced well below the regular booking price once the trip is on the docket. 

H2Outfitters will provide all lodging, transportation in country and kayak-related cost.  You will be responsible for your meals and the costs of any activity you may choose to do.  As a member of the exploratory team you will have input on accommodations, eateries, points of interest as well as feedback on the places we visit so that we can make the right choices for the final itinerary. It will be a fun and flexible trip with lots of interaction with the locals too.  Space is limited so don’t delay if this catches your fancy!

Our itinerary will have us arriving in Lisbon on Sunday, May 21st. We will find ourselves in the oldest and most venerable part of town, the historic Chiado district. Here in the midst of the city’s flavor, ambience, and history we begin our exploration. 

Over the course of our stay we’ll have the opportunity to explore the city by e-bike, via streetcar trams, and on foot. Most importantly the pulse of this vibrant city will leave each of us with a sense of its culture, people, and traditions. Perhaps we’ll have the chance to listen to the mellow rhythms of Fado, the soul of Portuguese musica suitable accompaniment to the local cuisine.

Faced with the choice of heading north or south from Lisboa, our journey will lead us on the latter route to the southernmost point of Portugal in the Algarve region, our destination… the magical town of Sagres. Here we’ll discover secluded beaches and coastal towns,  and see first hand the dramatic cliffs that frame the southern coastline. Opportunities for hiking and biking will present themselves no doubt, so be ready to burn some calories!  The main attraction here is the raw beauty of the place, an setting beyond compare.

Departing the quiet isolation of the south we’ll enjoy the sojourn north, our final destination the Douro River Valley. Here along the river’s steep banks we’ll find the terraced vineyards that supply the world with Portugal’s namesake libation Port wine. Look forward to paddling, hiking, and driving from the mountainous border with Spain to the coastal city of Porto. On the way we will stay at various Quintas, (winery sponsored hotels), agriturismos, and family run inns as we head down river. This will be the highlight of our visit, a fitting conclusion to our travels

$3400 per person based on double occupancy; singles add $500.

What H2Outfitters provides:

  • 9 night’s accommodations
  • In country transportation
  • kayaking days

What You Need to provide:

  • Meals (primarily lunches and dinners)
  • Fees for any activities/sights you opt to do Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities for guides
  • Any transportation costs not included with itinerary
  • International airfare

 

How to Register:

To confirm your spot a 50% deposit must be received at time of registration. The balance for the trip is due February 28, 2017.  The trip will be limited to 8 explorers and slots will be secured on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

Cancellation Policy: 100% of the deposit will be refundable until 2/17/17after that date 50% will be refundable until 3/20/17.

 

 

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Sep
17
to Sep 26

Kayaking the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre

Exploring the Five Villages of Cinque Terre by Kayak

(9 days & 9 nights in Italy)

Join us for an unforgettable kayak adventure along the soaring coastline of Cinque Terre, an enclave of five villages perched precariously above the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Also known as the Italian Riviera, this region of Italy boasts not only incredible kayaking but an intricate network of hiking trails between the villages allowing visitors to experience the beauty from both sea level and a bird's eye view.  Accessible only by boat or train, the five villages remain untouched by the encroachment of development, which changes the character and charm of such special places.  This is a destination that offers an authenticity, a slower pace, yet, provides a diversity of activity that truly sets it apart.

Enjoy five days of paddling from village to village, our lodgings wonderful Inns and hotels with panoramic views of the Mediterranean.  A special addition to the trip is an exploration of Porto Venere which was a major trading center throughout Medieval times.  Its wide quayside offers a multitude of cafes and quaint shops and, with some careful wandering, you may discover the most delicious pesto to be found anywhere in Italy.  We'll leave that discovery to you!

What makes this trip especially interesting is that it offers so much more than just the paddling.  The spectacular vistas of the Ligurian Coast are complemented by the food, the wine, and the subtle play of light on the colors of the landscape. These are all qualities that contribute to the essential nature of what Italy has to share.   Participate in an authentic Slow Food cooking class, a full day of gustatory comeraderie with hands-on preparation, involved cooking, and the resultant feast by mid afternoon, a fitting culmination to the day's "work".

There is no better way to create a memorable journal of your experience than a photographic record of where you have been and those with whom you have shared your adventure.  Our uniquely structured photography workshop lends itself to just that... a process that develops a sense of effective composition rather than technical complication.  Our instructor and Tuscan guide, is a noted photographer in the region.  His approach is positive and reinforcing and provides you with the opportunity to grow and test your skills whether you are looking through the viewfinder of a high-end DSLR camera or framing your shot on the screen of a point-and-shoot.  Photo opportunities abound from ancient Roman baths and hidden Etruscan ruins, to the day to day activity and commerce in the local butcher shop, Macelleria, a place where our group will have a chance to feast on a sampling of meats, cheeses, and wines that will constitute our late day picnic lunch in the field!  This will be a "full" day excursion in more ways than one.

So come join us on our maiden voyage to Cinque Terre.   "Piano, piano, piano", as the Italians say, "slowly, slowly, slowly" enjoy life, perhaps as it should be.


*The first and last days listed are international travel days

Click here to view detailed itinerary

$4750 per person double occupancy; singles add $600.

Price includes accommodations for 9 nights in Italy, meals as noted on itinerary, kayaking equipment, qualified and highly trained guides, and transportation once in Italy as noted on itinerary.

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