For an adventurous intro to sea kayaking, join trips by Above & Beyond Alaska (907/364-2333, www.beyondak.com ), which range from short trips from nearby beaches to overnight adventures in Berner’s Bay. The company also provides water taxi drop-offs for kayakers at local bays and cabins.
Alaska Travel Adventures (907/789-0052 or 800/478-0052, www.alaskaadventures.com , $89) has three-hour kayak paddles from the north end of Douglas Island, but these are mainly for the cruise ship crowd.
Experienced rafters and canoeists sometimes float the Mendenhall River, but be sure to ask the Forest Service for the details. The river is not particularly treacherous, but a number of people have died in independent boating accidents.
For a guided float, join the cruise ship folks on a raft from Alaska Travel Adventures (907/789-0052 or 800/478-0052, www.alaskaadventures.com , $109 adults, $73 children). These four-hour floats include lunch and transportation from downtown.