Everything You Need to Know About Whale Watching in Vancouver
British Columbia is one of the most famous places in the world for whale watching and the city of Vancouver is the perfect place to start your whale watching tour during the summer months, whether you are taking a trip from downtown the city or from a suburb.
Quaint near Vancouver International Airport. Book directly with a tour provider or ask your concierge to arrange hotel pickup to join a whale watching trip in Vancouver, BC.
Whale watching stations
Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of the best places in the world to see whales between March and October when thousands of majestic mammals migrate through the waters surrounding the city on Canada's west coast.
Resident and transient killer whales can be seen on an expedition to the Gulf and San Juan Islands, as well as somewhat less common humpback whales, gray whales and minke whales. Migration patterns can vary, but resident groups appear reliably and transient whales frequently pass through the region.
Types of whales
The mighty black and white killer whales (also known as killer whales) are one of the main attractions of the region. Nearby Vancouver Island is home to a resident group of nearly 100 killer whales and small groups of transient killer whales that travel north from Baja to Alaska along the coast.
May through October is the best time to see the herd of killer whales that live in the south and feed on salmon in the Gulf Islands and the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver.
Later in the summer, the group of northern resident killer whales can be seen feeding on fish in the Johnstone Strait.
In addition to whales, the Pacific Ocean around Vancouver is also home to seals, dolphins, and sea lions, as well as seabirds such as tufted puffins and breeding bald eagles.
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Types of whale watching trips
Whale watching travel options range from high-speed zodiac rides in full survival suits to covered boats that can accommodate large numbers of people and travel at a slower speed. Kayaking and seaplane rides (even the ferry ride from BC to Victoria) are other ways to see whales and wildlife.
Choose your trip based on your fitness level (for example, it will be difficult to get on and off a smaller boat or zodiac) and the level of comfort you require. High-speed zodiacs are more agile when it comes to spotting wildlife, but you'll have a more bumpy ride - by law, all boats must be at least 100 meters from whales and 200 meters from killer whales.
What to expect
Trips include safety briefings before using survival gear or life jackets and find out more about your boat from your captain. Then it's time to head to the Strait of Georgia, often taking a trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Most whale watching trips last three to five hours and the tour providers will allow you to return if no whales are seen on your trip.
Check with your tour provider, but most ships, even the fastest jet ships, offer restrooms. Travel companies can also inform you about affordable options.
Where to Go
Leaving Granville Island or Coal Harbor is convenient for downtown transit, but taking a trip to Horseshoe Bay or Steveston as a starting point means you'll spend more time hunting whales, but see fewer scenic views of the city on the way to the Sound. . Georgia.
Wild whale tours depart from Granville Island. Founded by fisherman Roger Obayashi in 2003, tours are conducted in jet boats to allow close encounters with whales and other wildlife. Prince of Whales is one of the best-known whale watching tour companies in the region and, in addition to being based in Victoria, the company is based at the Westin Bayshore hotel in Coal Harbor.
With larger boats, the Prince of Whales is ideal for those looking for covered boats with large viewing areas. It is also possible to combine a whale watching tour with a day trip to Victoria or even Seattle.
Steveston Seabreeze Adventures operates in the charming town of Steveston, close to Richmond and the Vancouver International Airport. Located near the confluence of the Fraser River and the Pacific, the whale watching tour has a 95 percent success rate in locating powerful mammals. The ships have indoor and outdoor viewing areas.
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