Nicholas Konopik and his Kraken Tours bus will take groups on brewery, winery and distillery tours on Whidbey Island. Photo by Laura Guido/South Whidbey Record

Nicholas Konopik and his Kraken Tours bus will take groups on brewery, winery and distillery tours on Whidbey Island. Photo by Laura Guido/South Whidbey Record

Ride the Kraken: ‘Captain’ offers unique tours

If you and a group of people want to get somewhere on the island, Nicholas Konopik says it’s time to get kraken.

The Oak Harbor resident will pick you and at least four other people up anywhere on the island in his distinctive dark green bus. Konopik recently launched Kraken Tours WA, which offers wine, brewery and distillery tours, as well as charters to anywhere a group of people wants to go.

Through this endeavor, he hopes to close the great divide between residents on each end of the island.

“We’re trying to get the North End and South End to actually kind of come together,” Konopik said.

The island is full of “hidden gems” that many residents don’t even know about or don’t go to because they’re too out of the way, he said.

His tours, which he leads as “Captain Kraken,” last three to four hours and hit three to four destinations. People have the chance to choose their own adventure or let the captain take them on his recommended trip.

The adult beverage tours are $48 per person.

His excursions include the unique Captain Kraken experience. Konopik sports a pirate hat, engages with his guests and ensures the drive is anything but dull.

“That’s the fun part,” he said. “That’s what separates us from a regular shuttle. … You don’t jump in a giant, green short bus to have a boring time.”

Konopik has worked a number of jobs in the tourism industry, so the tour bus seemed a natural step when he moved back to the island about a year ago. His family are longtime residents, and he grew up in Oak Harbor. Although he and his family often traveled to the South End, he later noticed that was not often the case with other North Whidbey families.

He’s hoping people will enjoy Whidbey’s alcohol-related businesses more if they don’t have to worry so much about how they’ll get home.

“There’s so much to do here,” he said. “It just makes so much sense.”

Some of Konopik’s favorite stops are Spoiled Dog Winery and the Bayview Taproom or “anywhere on the waterfront in Langley.”

Eventually he hopes to expand his services, he said. He’d like to take tours of seniors or transport groups to Seattle for Mariners or Seahawks games.

No matter where the guests decide to go, one thing is almost guaranteed.

“They’ll get sick of me jokes,” Konopik growled in a pirate voice, “you best believe it.”

To book a tour visit www.krakentourswa.com, email captn@krakentourswa.com or call 203-520-6417.

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