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Vancouver Island Whale Watching

I suppose there was a time when keeping whales and dolphins in captivity was critical in the effort to educate people to revive the species. It didn’t work... Populations of whales continued to decline.


I had visited whale shows as a child in both Vancouver and San Diego and although informative I didn’t receive near the education I got when on my recent whale watching excursion out of Cowichan Bay.

My friend and I happened to arrive at a time when 3 pods combined to create a superpod. Whales breaching, frolicking and then to our amazement, breeding! After much thrashing of water we were all present to see a male roll onto his back exposing his rather substantial flaccid penis. All aboard were duly impressed.


Our Captain Lance has a close relationship with these orcas, knowing them by name based on the look of their saddle shape. It was a most informative experience and by far the best way for people to know wild orcas rather than the circus environment most aquariums have created.

In the late fall and early spring of this year we saw more pods of dolphins and whales than we had seen in many years.  The bonus was most sightings could be made from land as this video from a ferry in Departure Bay will attest to. The following is a partial list of whale watching companies from north island to south. If you have a favorite that is not listed let us know. 





Port Hardy
Nakwakto Rapids Tour
The 4-5 hour tour on a 28' Coast Guard Certified vessel is conducted by a knowledgeable guide from the local Gwa'sals-'Nakwaxda'xw Nations. 


Port McNeill
Mackay Whale Watching
The area is steeped in history and is incredibly beautiful, so remember to bring your camera and extra batteries.


Telegraph Cove
Stubbs Island Whale Watching
The Whale Watching Tours run mid June to September aboard the 60ft Lukwa which offers a comfortable heated cabin, washrooms and a small concession


Jamie's Whale Watching
Experience guided marine tours with west coast Vancouver Islands original professional whale tour company. Offering guaranteed sightings for over 30 years. 


Remote Passages
Choose from whale watching, a coastal bear watching excursion, a trip to The Hot Springs or a guided sea kayaking tour.  


Campbell River
Aboriginal Journeys
Aboriginal Journeys is a First Nations wildlife viewing and adventure tour company located in Campbell River.  

Campbell River
Eagle Eye
Voted as one of the top 5 Canadian outdoor adventures, now a combination trip with whale or wildlife tour.

Cowichan Bay
Ocean EcoVentures
There were whales everywhere and I mean everywhere! Captain Lance had to back away several times when the encounters appeared to get too close

Prince of Whales
It's a humbling experience to view these wonders of the west coast in their natural environment and not behind glass in some tourist attraction aquarium.

Sidney Whale Watching
Cruise the Salish Sea on certified vessels with knowledgeable skippers to experience this iconic Vancouver Island experience.

Sooke Coastal Explorations
Choose from a fantastic selection of tours ranging from marine and wildlife charters, eco tours and of course whale watching.