The majestic orca has long been the proud symbol of our incredible city. The marine life in the waters of BC is abundant and diverse, but there is no greater creature than the mighty whale. British Columbia is home to dozens of whale species, 23 to be exact, according to the Vancouver Aquarium. That includes, dolphins and porpoises too because we don't want to discriminate. If you find these mega marine mammals as fascinating as I do, it's not enough to just read about them and look at pictures – you have to get out on the water!
Lucky for you, BC has some of the best whale watching tours in the world. You can spot the beautiful ocean beasts from boat, plane, or kayak. All of these tours promise to get you close to the action and in these seas, your chance of spotting the spray from their blowhole as they surface is quite high. That means you're likely to see a breach and I assure you, there is little more impressive than that in our wild world.
If you live in BC or are just visiting, these tours will be a splash you don't soon forget. Check them out all over the province:
1. BC Whale Tours // Victoria
This is the premier whale watching company in Victoria. They have four speedy but comfy zodiac style vessels for you whale watching experience, meaning you'll be able to get up close and personal with our underwater friends. They guarantee whale sightings – orcas, humpbacks, you name it!
2. Eagle Wing Tours // Victoria
This company has been rated number one in BC by TripAdvisor since 2007. They have stylish boats with both indoor and outdoor viewing areas. If you don't spot any whales, you can come back for free until you do. You're going to see a lot of marine life with these guys so get excited!
3. Harbour Air // Vancouver to Victoria
There is nothing quite like seeing a pod of whales from the sky. This 35 minute plane ride over the Strait of Georgia will fly low in search of whales. After landing you then take a cruise out into Haro Strait to spot killer whales (aka Ocras). You then have the option to fly back to Vancouver.
4. Wild Whales // Vancouver
If you are stationed in the city, but want to get out the ocean for the day, this is the oldest most reputable company in Vancouver. They leave from Granville Island and offer trips ranging from 3 to 7 hours. This is just what you deserve after long hard week of work.
Photo cred - @tourguidebob
5. Wildcoast Adventures // Campbell River area
Some people have called this the best experience of their life. It's not that hard to believe being that you will be kayaking right alongside orcas in the Johnstone Strait. Your close encounters with these enormous, remarkable creatures will help you to truly appreciate their astounding intelligence.
6. North Island Kayak // Port McNeill area
Telegraph Cove has some of the prettiest waters in the world. Not just because of the staggering archipelagos, but also due to the vast whale presence. Lonely Planet ranked kayaking here with orcas as one of the top Canadian adventures.
7. West Coast Aquatic Safaris // Tofino
Get ready to head out into the high seas on the Pacific side of things. This is a great spot for viewing gray whales and humpbacks. Their boats are sturdy against the strong winds and rolling waves of the open ocean, perfect for getting you to the whales no matter the swell.
8. Ocean Ecoventures // Duncan area
This crew boast the highest orca sightings on Vancouver Island. Based out of Cowichan Bay, this is the company if you're staying on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island or on the nearby islands of the Southern Gulf. Any of their fabulous tours will absolutely amaze the spirit. A spirit that runs though all of us British Columbians – the spirit of the orca.
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