Vancouver whale watching adventures are a popular addition to many vacations. Killer whales, also known as orcas, call the waters off the coast home, while other majestic creatures pass through the waters of the Pacific with regularity and in large numbers. The majority of wildlife-watching tours are available April through October, but you can find some that depart all year.
After you've stepped aboard one of the whale watching tours in Vancouver, you'll have the chance to see whales and what other creatures happen to be passing by, including dolphins, seals, sea lions, and eagles. On-board naturalists help make the Vancouver whale watching packages even more memorable. Anyone can spot the whales off the starboard side of the ship, but the naturalists know where to look and so much more. They can tell you interesting facts about these marine mammals as they narrate the journey.
The majority of the Vancouver whale watching packages depart for a enough time to head out in to deep waters where the pods of animals congregate. This means you should set aside at least a half day for your adventure. Longer, more extensive adventures are available, too, for whale watching cruises, and some even include overnight camping adventures. The tour companies send out a variety of different vessels for these tours, too, everything from zippy zodiacs to large-size ships that can seat hundreds on various decks.
Some of of the Vancouver whale watching companies have purchased specially made boats for their guided adventures. These open zodiacs provide a thrilling experience as you feel the wind whipping by your face and the spray of salty air. If you're worried about messing up your hair or you want a more mild ride, you could pick one of the whale watching tours in Vancouver that take place aboard a semi-enclosed boat. The climate-controlled comfort can be really nice on chilly morning. Before the trip begins, the company dispatches shuttles to the local hotels and brings them to the docks. The three- to four-hour trip winds by the San Juan Islands and the nearby Gulf Islands (in America and Canada), where Dall's porpoises, bald eagles, and other amazing creatures outnumber the human residents.
If you're absolutely set on a successful Vancouver whale watching excursions, be sure to pick one of the companies with a guarantee. Simply put, if you don't see whales on your boating adventure, you can get your money back or depart on another tour. With this peace of mind, you can enjoy the trip even if the whales are being shy. More often than not, the whales are friendly, swimming up close to the boat, where you can you get an up-close look and snap some amazing photos.
Besides guaranteed sightings, you also can find Vancouver whale watching packages that include more than a boat trip. Some companies serve lunch along the way—the Pacific Ocean provides quite a setting for special dining experiences. Most of the larger vessels are equipped with snack bars, so you can grab some food and during during the scenic trip.
Other trips combine whale-watching with other fun things to do. You'll find whale watching tours in Vancouver that also include time for bicycling or kayaking. Some tours make a stop in scenic Victoria, a British-style island where visitors enjoy a spot of tea, some excellent shopping opportunities, and the glorious beauty of Butchart Gardens. After time on the island, passengers return to the boat for some more whale watching time.
Image: Tourism Vancouver, Tourism Victoria