Whale Watching in Victoria BC is One of the Best in the World

Whale Watching

Killer Whales (Orcas)

About 80 Killer Whales in three main family pods make the Victoria area and the surrounding Gulf Islands home. The whales feeding area is about a 160 km (100 miles) radius around the Victoria area.

There are resident Orcas that can be seen from the spring to the late fall. There are also transient Orcas all year and especially during the winter when there is lots of seals to feed on. But your best chance of seeing the Orcas is the spring to fall season.

Other Wildlife

You may also get to see Gray, Minke and Humpback whales as well as porpoises, sea lions and seals. Also keep an eye out for cormorants and the majestic bald eagle.

What to Wear

The boats travel up to 30 miles per hour so it is wise to bring a jacket and cap, especially if you are in a smaller boat is open. Some of the whale watching tour operators have larger boats with enclosed spaces as well as food service and washrooms but you will pay extra for that.

Photographing Whales

Be sure to bring your camera and learn in advance how to shoot fast moving objects. My camera has a sports setting which allows me to shoot continuously. You should also bring a plastic bag or camera bag to protect your camera as you are close to the water.

The boats come to a full stop and the whales can come right by the boat. It all happens very quickly as they are fast swimmers and it seems even more so when they are feeding. Check in advance with the boat operator for the best spot to get pictures.

Whale Watching Tour Operators

You have a number of options to select from:

Prince of Whales Whale Watching

The Prince of Whales whale watching has Zodiacs and a 62-foot cruiser, the Ocean Magic, which can carry 74 passengers with heated passenger seating as well as on-board washrooms. The Zodiacs are open so be prepared to water sprays and a fast ride. They have the largest fleet of whale watching boats in British Columbia and can service some 800 passengers a day.

Whale watching in Victoria BC on Vancouver Island was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.  There is something very special about watching these amazing animals breaching and then swimming right past the boat. The day we were out a pod of Killer Whales (Orcas) came by to say hello. Whale watching is the top of my list for a nature adventure all in the comfort of a boat and a warm jacket.The area around Victoria BC is ideal for viewing marine wildlife and killer whales in particular. There is an abundance of plankton in the water that feeds a whole ecosystem from fish, to birds to marine mammals. The main food for the Orcas is salmon which are in abundance in this area due to the many rivers that support them.
Contact info: Prince of Whales Whale Watching
Prince of Whales Whale Watching
812 Wharf Street, Lower Causeway Level
Victoria, BC V8W 1T3 Canada Tel: 250.383.4884 Fax: 250.383.4882 Toll Free: 888.383.4884 www.princeofwhales.com Email: info@princeofwhales.com
Orca Spirit Adventures
Orca Spirit has a large and luxurious catamaran vessel for whale watching or cruises. They can also accommodate weddings and dinner cruises. It has both outdoor and heated indoor decks as well as food service and washrooms.

Contact Info: Orca Spirit Adventures

Orca Spirit Adventures
146 Kingston Street, Marina Level
Victoria, BC V8V 1V4 Canada
Phone: 250-383-8411 Fax: 250-383-4666 Toll-free: 1-888-672-6722
BC  Whale Tours

BC Whale Tours offer a premium whale watching service.  They utilize a larger yacht that is heated and take just 12 passengers which provides a more personal whale watching experience.  In addition to the day tours, they also offer longer multi-day trips
Contact Info BC  Whale Tours
Tel: 250-590-5030 www.bcwhaletours.com
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.
Publisher of Amazing Vancouver Island. Doug grew up in Kamloops and Vancouver. He is also the President of KIAI Angency, an Internet Marketing and Branding agency in Vancouver. He is an avid photographer and you can see his many pix of Vancouver Island on Flickr.

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