There is no seagoing experience quite like watching, close-up, a sleek whale weighing thousands of pounds frolic like a child in it’s natural habitat. Up and down the coast of British Columbia, from Victoria to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island, from Vancouver to the BC Gulf Islands, and up to Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), Orcas (killer whales), Gray whales and Humpback whales ply the waves and perform their watery rituals. Whalewatching at its best! Whatever else you do in British Columbia, don’t miss the whale watching boat – you’ll have a tale of a whale to tell.

Whale Watching Companies in British Columbia: By Region

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Orcas (Killer Whales) B.C’s killer whale population is divided into 2 distinct groups which, curiously, never mingle. Residents travel in large pods within predictable ranges and feed primarily on fish. Transients roam in smaller groups over large areas of the coast, feeding on marine mammals such as seals, sea lions and other whales. The resident orca population is divided into 2 communities, each with its own geographical range. The ocean around Victoria is home to the southern resident community of 3 pods totalling approximately 90 magnificent animals. The northern residents total 217 whales in 16 pods, which patrol the Johnstone Strait and the waters of northern Vancouver Island and the mainland coast. The transient killer whales comprise 30 small pods of about 160 whales, and travel much farther than the resident pods. The best viewing time is from May to October.

Pacific Gray Whales migrate north along the west coast of Vancouver Island during March and April. They are easily accessible by boat, or can be viewed from mounted telescopes in the Long Beach area. Over 20,000 Gray whales participate in the longest migration of any animal, some stop to feed and rest in our protected bays, while 40 to 50 grays will spend their summers feeding off Vancouver Island.

Humpback Whales will thrill you to the north of Vancouver Island, at the outer edges of the Inside Passage, with their acrobatic behaviour and elaborate underwater song. Treasure lifetime memories of these magnificent whales breaching within metres of your boat.

Minke whales, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Harbour porpoises, Dall’s porpoises, Harbour seals and Steller‘s sea lions are also viewed in the waters around Vancouver Island.

Whale Watching Companies in British Columbia

Photo of Orca Spirit Adventures
Orca Spirit Adventures
Trip Departures: Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel – Marina Level 146 Kingston Street Victoria BC V8V 1V4 Phone: 250-383-8411Fax: 250-383-4666Toll Free: 1-888-672-6722Visit Website

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Orca Spirit Adventures is Victoria’s premier whale watching company, offering carbon-neutral covered vessel and zodiac tours led by certified marine naturalists whose knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife is unequaled in the industry.

Tours are three hours in length, with April through October being the ideal whale watching months. In this peak season, Orca Spirit Adventures boasts a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including humpback whales, Bigg’s and resident orcas (killer whales), and gray whales!

Other wildlife you may encounter include harbour seals and elephant seals, sea lions, Dall’s and harbour porpoises, otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles.

Unlucky tour? Join us again using our WHALE GUARANTEE for a complimentary whale watching tour!

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Photo of Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
Wildcoast Adventures Kayak Tours & Vacations
685 Heriot Bay Road Quadra Island BC V0P 1N0 Phone: 250-204-0420Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

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Wildcoast provides memorable kayak vacations for adventure travellers that combine spectacular scenery, scrumptious food, and abundant wildlife encounters, including whales, dolphins, bears and eagles. Kayak with Killer Whales at our Orca base camp in Johnstone Strait, or take one of our kayak expeditions to Desolation Sound or the Discovery Islands. Our top-rated service caters to both local and international clientele. All kayak tours are fully inclusive and no kayaking experience is required. Only have a day? Visit our storefront for paddleboard and kayak Rentals or Day Tours in the stunning vistas surrounding Quadra Island.

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Photo of Broughton Archipelago Paddlers Inn
Broughton Archipelago Paddlers Inn
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 410 Sointula BC V0N 3E0 Adventure Location: Simoom Sound Broughton Archipelago BC Phone: 250-230-0088Visit Website

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Sea Kayak in comfort based from our ocean-side, or float-house accommodations in the wilderness of the Broughton Archipelago, a kayak paradise. The phrase ‘Walking Softly in the Wilderness’ has always been a guiding principle for our homesteading lifestyle and approach to developing our inn. Paddlers Inn has earned a Gold rating from Green Tourism Canada for our efforts to continually reduce our impact on the environment, while supporting others to do the same. We also offer Acupressure massage on-site. Surround yourself with ocean, beaches, trails, an inland lake, and quiet beauty.

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Photo of Bluewater Adventures
Bluewater Adventures
# 3 – 252 East First Street Vancouver BC V7L 1B3 Phone: 604-980-3800Fax: 604-980-1800Toll Free: 1-888-877-1770Visit Website

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Explore BC and Southeast Alaska with Bluewater Adventures aboard our 70′ yachts sailing the BC Inside Passage, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Gwaii Haanas National Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Vancouver Island. You’ll see whales, Grizzly, Black and Kermode bears, and experience ancient native villages and Haida culture, primeval forests, wilderness, and amazing coastal wildlife.

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Photo of Tofino Resort and Marina
Tofino Resort and Marina
634 Campbell Street Tofino BC V0R 2Z0 Phone: 250-725-3277Fax: 250-725-3234Toll Free: 1-800-665-8922Visit Website

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Tofino Resort and Marina is a resort “Inspired by Adventure”. We are nestled in the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere; ideally located just steps from Tofino’s village and local beaches. Take our onsite shuttle to explore Pacific Rim National Park, or watch the sunset at Long Beach. Reserve pet-friendly ocean-view lodging, surf rentals, whale watching, bear watching, fishing, and hot-spring tours. Onsite dining features wood-fired pizzas and craft beer on three different patios, an oceanfront restaurant, and Tofino’s only pub.

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Photo of Remote Passages Marine Excursions
Remote Passages Marine Excursions
Box 624 51 Wharf Street Tofino BC V0R 2Z0 Phone: 250-725-3330Fax: 250-725-3380Toll Free: 1-800-666-9833Visit Website

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Whether watching whales, dipping into Hot Springs Cove, or kayaking to a rainforest trail, people of all ages have enjoyed our excursions since 1986. We launch out of Tofino in Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, just minutes from Long Beach and Pacific Rim National Park. We look forward to welcoming you aboard for a Clayoquot Sound adventure by Remote Passages.

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Photo of Cameron Ocean Adventures
Cameron Ocean Adventures
Whiskey Landing Dock Dock 2 – Lower Dock End of Main Street Ucluelet BC V0R 3A0 Mailing Address: PO Box 1036 Ucluelet BC V0R 3A0 Phone: 778-400-5800Visit Website

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Cameron Ocean Adventures operates off the pristine Canadian shores of beautiful Ucluelet, home to Vancouver Island’s #1 trail, the Wild Pacific Trail. Cameron Ocean Adventures offers adventures in the waters of the Broken Group Islands and Barkley Sound in Pacific Rim National Park.

Experience first-class sport fishing for salmon and halibut, whale watching on the largest vessel in Ucluelet, and year-round custom charters with professional guides aboard clean, safe, luxury motor yachts that depart right from the convenient Ucluelet Harbour.

Join us for an experience you won’t forget.

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Photo of Eagle Wing Tours Whale Watching
Eagle Wing Tours Whale Watching
1 Dallas Road Fisherman’s Wharf Near Pier #2 Next to Barb’s Fish And Chips Victoria BC V8V 0B2 Phone: 250-384-8008Toll Free: 1-800-708-9488Visit Website

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EXPLORE. INSPIRE. CONSERVE. Rated Victoria’s #1 whale watching company on Trip Advisor since 2007, Eagle Wing Tours guarantees adventure and the most transformative marine experiences on the Salish Sea. With four vessels, multiple daily departures, and our knowledgeable and passionate staff we consistently provide our guests with the marine wildlife experience of a lifetime!

Environmental stewardship and sustainability are core values of our family-owned, award-winning company. We are Canada’s first 100% carbon-neutral whale-watching company. We are certified Platinum with Green Tourism Canada. And we are proud to support 1% for the Planet and many other conservation initiatives that directly benefit the Salish Sea and its inhabitants.

You will come as a tourist but return with a deeper understanding and passion for this incredible ecosystem.

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Photo of Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari
Grizzly Bear Lodge & Safari
Lodge Location: Knight Inlet BC Booking Office: 2328 Suffolk Crescent Courtenay BC V9N 3Z4 Phone: 250-334-8858Fax: 250-334-8858Toll Free: 1-877-764-4286

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Fly-in for spectacular raincoast wildlife viewing in remote Knight Inlet in the spectacular Coast Mountains – Grizzly Bears and Black Bears, killer whales (Orcas), humpback whales, dolphins, stellar seals, sea lions, eagles and more. Knight Inlet is a famous natural fjord world renowned for its Grizzly Bear viewing. Get close to the action with our privileged access to special Grizzly Bear viewing stands. We offer 3-day trips out of Campbell River on Vancouver Island to the world capital for grizzly bear safaris. Explore the pristine natural world of British Columbia’s coastal grizzly bear. Whether you’re photographing the grizzly and black bears or waiting for that elusive shot of a whale breaching, we’ll bring you right to the wildlife hot spots so you can capture all the action.

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Photo of Ocean Outfitters Ltd
Ocean Outfitters Ltd
P.O Box 919 368 Main Street Tofino BC V0R 2Z0 Phone: 250-725-2866Fax: 250-725-2880Toll Free: 1-877-906-2326Visit Website

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Adventure Seekers & Nature Lovers – OCEAN OUTFITTERS is the place to kick off all your Tofino activities! Our experienced, local guides will pilot you through beautiful Clayoquot Sound to view gray whales, humpbacks, orcas (killer whales), black bears, sea otters, sea lions, wolves, eagles and other seabirds aboard one of our luxury covered boats, or one of our Zodiac boats.

Whether you’re headed to Hot Springs Cove, joining us for an inlet tour to view Black Bears, or wanting to meet up close and personal with our local gray whales, humpbacks, and orcas… we are your gateway to adventure!

Looking for a calmer and more intimate experience? Join us on a beautiful 4.5 hour guided kayak trip in a remote part of Clayoquot Sound. While kayaking through the calm waters and discussing the history of Clayoquot Sound, we will also be looking for Harbour Seals, Black Bears, Bald Eagles and various other forms of wildlife that out populate humans in this area!

Interested in fishing? We are proud to bring you some of the best fishing itineraries that Tofino has to offer! Charters are available for both experienced fisherman and families looking for fun. Tofino offers world-renown deep sea salmon fishing, as well as excellent ‘family friendly’ fishing areas with calm, protected waters, and LOTS of fish. Helping kids and novice boaters explore the wonders of our area and wildlife is a big part of what we love to do. Also available on our Fishing Charters, is our sea-to-fork ‘Gourmet At Sea’ add-on, where our guide (who is a professional trained chef) will prepare your freshly-caught seafood for you while you’re still on the water!

Our programs are not only a ton of fun, but they are also educational and encourage stewardship. We are a certified green business and are committed to connecting you with nature and to inspiring conservancy. Live the experience with Ocean Outfitters!

Our waterfront location on Main Street, in the Shore building, has all of gear needed to get you out there, as well as organic coffee to fuel your adventures! We are proud retailers of Arcteryx, Costa Del Mar Sunglasses, Vortex binoculars, Pendleton, and a great collection of books. Feel free to enjoy our lounge/cafe before or after your trip.

Video: Ocean Outfitters – Your Tofino Adventure Specialists

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Photo of Five Star Whale Watching Adventures
Five Star Whale Watching Adventures
651 Humboldt Street Victoria BC V8W 1A6 Phone: 250-388-7223Fax: 250-388-5474Toll Free: 1-800-634-9617Visit Website

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Five Star Whale Watching helps you discover the picturesque southern Vancouver Island, Victoria, and the Gulf Islands, home to the largest population of Killer Whales (Orcas) in the world. Come aboard one of our two 40-passenger Expedition Catamarans, each of which combines comfort, speed, safety, and your choice of 3 viewing platforms. With 20 years experience watching whales we offer more that just a “point and photograph” tour.

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Photo of Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours
Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours
Moorage & Office: Discovery Harbour Marina #1 – Dock E Campbell River BC Phone: 250-287-2667Toll Free: 1-877-909-2667Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

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Mailing address:
1561 Galerno Road
Campbell River, BC
V9W 5N6

As Campbell River’s largest tour operator, we offer excursions on and off the water. With a spacious 14-passenger van, we run Guided Hikes, Winery, Distillery, and Brewery tours. We also have 7 marine vessels that include Zodiacs and covered boats, meaning we have something for all comfort levels!

Grizzly, Whale, and Wildlife tours are available ranging from 3 hours to a full day where you can expect to see Humpback Whales, Orca, Dolphins, Porpoise, Eagles, Sea Lions, Black Bears, and Grizzly Bears!

We are the only company on Northern Vancouver Island that is Carbon Neutral, and protecting the environment is something we deeply care about. For every guest that joins us, 1 square metre of old-growth forest is protected. Join us to create memories that last a lifetime! Boasting 6 consecutive years with a certificate of excellence, you can expect to have a fantastic experience with us!

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Photo of Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
380 Main Street P.O. Box 130 Tofino BC V0R 2Z0 Phone: 250-726-8235Fax: 250-266-0412Toll Free: 1-888-333-5405Visit Website

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Outpost Location:
Bedwell Sound
West Coast Vancouver Island

Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is a small, privately-owned and operated Relais & Chateaux eco-safari-style resort Outpost in the remote wilds of Vancouver Island, near Tofino, open seasonally to guests from all over the world. We are a true resort destination in that we own and operate our own adventures and act