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FAQ | Big Canoe Fun


Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a new paddler, or if this is your first time paddling with us, you may have some questions about your War Canoe tour that are hopefully answered on this FAQ page.

At Big Canoe Fun -Up The Creek Xpeditions , we pride ourselves on making your paddling adventure a fun and memorable experience. If you can’t find the answer to your questions here, don’t hesitate to e-mail us from our Contact page, or call us. We are here to help you with your vacation planning in any way possible.

Is canoeing easy?

Paddling a War Canoe is incredibly easy! War Canoes are relatively very fast and stable when compared to typical touring canoes – which are not appropriate for Coastal paddling. War Canoes are also faster, easier and more stable than kayaks!

Is canoeing safe?

Absolutely. Besides the fact that we use the safest canoes available for the kinds of paddling we do, and everyone on our trips is required to wear a Coast Guard approved, Type 3 PFD, all of our guides are professionally-trained paddling  instructors and guides with CPR and 1st-Aid training and certifications. Additionally, we have at least one trained Fire Rescue EMT on every Up The Creek Xpeditions-Big Canoe Fun guided trip and at least two trained EMT’s on every trip with 10 or more paddlers. Jennifer and Pete have almost 40-years combined Fire Rescue/EMS experience and safety is our number one priority. *Using traditional 2-person, flat-water touring canoes in coastal tidewaters is not safe and is not recommended unless your canoe is rigged for open-water paddling. War Canoes are big, stable and designed for big, open water.

How do I sign-up for a Guided Tour?

Simply give us a call or go to our booking page and let us know when you’d like to go paddling and what kind of trip you’re looking for. We are often on the water, so please leave a detailed message, or send an e-mail letting us know the desired date and times, how many people are in your party, what kind of trip you’re looking for, ages of youngest and oldest paddlers and if anyone has any physical limitations. This way, we’ll be able to tentatively hold your reservation until we can get in touch with you and get a credit card number to confirm your reservation.

Can kids go paddling in the Big Canoe? What are the age limits?

Yes! The Big Canoe is family friendly, so kids of practically any age can go paddling as long as they can sit for the duration of the tour. Make sure you speak with us about the ages of the paddlers so we can be sure to have appropriate safety gear. If you have a small child with his/her own PFD (Personal Flotation Device), let us know and we’ll make sure it is appropriate for use on our trips. Younger passengers under 7 may be able to enjoy the trip , but may not physically be able to paddle.

How much does it cost to go out in this Historic Replica Canoe?

Most of our ½-day Guided Tours are $45.00-$65.00/per person. Full-day trips start at $100.00/ per person. Prices vary for Private/Exclusive group trips and/or Specialized trips. Quality, Experience, Training and Safety matter; an on-water adventure is not necessarily the place to look for a bargain in choosing an outfitter. Prices are subject to change. Tips are appreciated if you enjoyed your excellent guide service. Professionally Guided  1/2-Day Tours range from $55.00 – $155.00 nationwide.

What is provided?

On our guided tours, we provide: 25ft Voyageur Canoes, Paddles, PFD’s, Bottled Water, a Snack and Professional Guides. If you have problems with low blood sugar or other medical conditions, you’ll want to make sure you have what you need in order to be responsible for your own health — and make sure to inform your guide.

What should I wear or bring?

Brimmed hats, ball caps or sun visors and footwear that you do not mind getting wet. Sneakers, sandals, or surf shoes are appropriate. You may want to be prepared to swim in warmer months. If the weather will be cooler in the morning, then dress in layers of quick drying fabrics, since it can warm up rapidly during the day. If it will be cold and windy, gloves and a windbreaker are a good idea . You may want to bring sunglasses with a strap, sunscreen, bug repellent, waterproof or disposable camera in a zip lock bag. Although we provide bottled water, you may prefer something else or just want to have extra on hand. Be sure to bring any personal emergency medications, e.g. for allergies, that you may require. Leave valuables that you do not want to risk dropping into the water locked up in your car or at home.

Can I bring my camera or binoculars?

Absolutely. Let us know if it’s not waterproof and we’ll provide a dry bag to keep it dry while you’re paddling. If you drop it or get it wet, it’s your responsibility – but that RARELY happens. Dry bags can be purchased for a nominal price almost anywhere these days, if you’re concerned.

What kinds of things will we see on our trip?

Though there’s never a guarantee we’ll see a particular animal while paddling, some of the animals we commonly see are: Dolphins; a large variety of Coastal Birds; Turtles; Alligators; Manatees; River Otters; Sting Rays and Manta Rays; and even Horses on Cumberland Island. The marsh is always beautiful, as are the Cypress Swamps and Black Water Creeks we often paddle in. Being on the water, in the fresh air and sunshine, always feeds the soul — even if you don’t see a single critter.

How large a group can you accommodate?

Currently we have two 25-foot Voyageur Canoes that will accommodate a total of 18-guests. In some instances, the canoe may carry a few more folks if there’s a combination of children and adults. Because of their size, we need at least 4-guests to paddle it — and 6-guests for trips to Cumberland Island.

Do you take credit cards?

Yes. Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express are accepted forms of payment. If you make tour reservations with a credit card number, you must present your credit card for processing on the day of the tour. Payment by cash or check is also accepted.

Where are you located?

We have offices in St. Marys, GA and Amelia Island, Florida; but we are rarely there (we prefer being on the water). Our Business is paddling, so we meet all guests at the paddling location launch site. The best way to contact us is by email at: info@bigcanoefun.com or by telephone at (912)882-0911. You can also reach us at our Fernandina Beach office by calling: (904) 999-4919.

Do you rent canoes?

No. Canoes are not the best choice for paddling in the tidewaters along the coast – which is why the local experts use and rent kayaks. Canoes have much more freeboard than kayaks and are considerably less stable – making for a treacherous ride in strong winds (which are common along the coast) and in following, beam or quartering seas. On fair days, people have indeed gotten away with canoeing here – leading them to believe it is always safe. But when the winds change, or the tide turns, you can quickly find yourself with a swamped or capsized canoe, or simply blown into the marsh unable to make headway. The kayaks we recommend for this area have front and rear bulkheads which provide flotation in the event of capsize – making it possible to quickly get back in your boat – and rudders or skegs to help deal with the sometimes dramatic effects of wind and waves. Also, canoes have a much lower hull speed; making it impossible to paddle against even a moderate tidal current in the event you misread the tide charts (it’s hard enough in a kayak!). The President of Dagger Canoe Company, as well as the designer of all their canoes, paddled to Cumberland Island with us once using canoes and vowed to use a sea kayak in the future. We do rent kayaks thru Up The Creek Xpeditions. The Big Canoes are quite and investment and require a trained professional guide to be transported and operated safely.