Whale watching in British Columbia is an extraordinary experience, but if you want a real ?up close and personal? experience then jump into a kayak and check out the killer whales ? also known as Orcas. Pods of Orcas (killer whales) reside in southern Vancouver Island?s protected, marine-life-rich coastal waters and as a consequence there?s plenty of opportunity to see the stunning creatures.
Viewing opportunities abound from May until October, near major cities such as Vancouver and Victoria, and in more remote (yet easily accessible) locations off the north and west coasts of Vancouver Island and in Northern BC.
There are many other types of whale watching tours in BC. On a tour, zip along in a high-speed, open-air zodiac to whale feeding grounds, or watch from the side of a sturdy cruise ship.
Whale sightings are so common along the BC coast that many tour operators provide a whale sighting guarantee: see a whale, or the next excursion?s free.
Types of Whales, Wildlife and Scenery
Think dramatic, windswept shores, endless miles of sandy beaches, islands, hidden coves and swirling currents.
And of course, there are other types of whales in British Columbia such as gray, Minke and humpback. Thousands of whales migrate along the BC coastline en route to Alaska or back to Mexico.
Also be on the lookout for porpoises, seals, sea lions, seabirds and more. On many guided tours, onboard naturalists and marine biologists explain these fascinating marine ecosystems.
Whale-watching near Vancouver and Victoria
There?s not too many places in the world where it's possible to walk to the downtown harbour of a capital city, don a marine suit, board a high-speed zodiac and be sighting whales within minutes.
This is the case in Victoria, and whale watching is just a short, convenient launch from Vancouver, too. Feeding grounds are located close by BC?s two major cities.
Whale Watching on Vancouver Island and in Northern BC
BC boasts hundreds of kilometres/miles of remote inlets and a craggy coastline, particularly along Vancouver Island and in Northern BC.
Whale-watching operators head to secluded spots where whales thrive, but are much too remote and harsh for human settlement.
Stellar whale-watching spots include:
? Robson Bight Ecological Reserve (northern Vancouver Island)
? Pacific Rim National Park Reserve of Canada (west-central Vancouver Island)
? Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
? Prince Rupert (Northern BC)
A few of the larger companies around the regions include, but aren't limited to:
? Stubbs Whale Watching, located in Telegraph Cove, started BC?s first whale-watching outfit in 1980. Since then, the province?s whale-watching industry has flourished.
? Jamie?s Whaling Station & Adventure Centres (Tofino, Vancouver Island)
? Prince of Whales Whale Watching (Vancouver and Victoria)
? Prince Rupert Adventure Tours (Northern BC)
During peak season, choose a departure time that works for you, as well as boat size, which vary from zodiacs to cruise ships loaded with amenities, comforts and covered viewing areas.