Have you ever gone whale watching? There's nothing more inspiring than seeing whales swim freely through the open waters of the ocean.
In Canada, there are several opportunities to watch whales; especially during the summer season when they pass by our coastlines. Here are 10 breathtaking places to go whale watching in Canada:
Tadoussac is the point where the warm waters of the Saguenay River and the cooler waters of the St. Lawrence river intermix. This causes a large influx of krill to the area, which serves as a feeding zone for all sorts of whales, including blue whales, belugas, minke whales and humpback whales. Several cruises are offered in Tadoussac that travel alongside the whales as they migrate.
The Gaspésie, or Gaspé Peninsula, is a stretch of land that protrudes into the St. Lawrence River. It's a particularly great spot to observe whales because it is located along the migration path that the whales typically take. You will see all types of marine animals in this location, including Atlantic white-sided dolpins, humpback whales and fin whales. Several excursions are offered, including sight-seeing boat tours or sea kayaks.
Churchill is indeed the polar bear capital of the world, but it's also a great spot for whale watching. Since it is relatively north, it's advised that you come prepared with warm clothing since it can get cold even in August. Belugas are a common sight in this region, and several open water excursions (such as Zodiac tours and even snorkelling) are offered to let you get up close and personal with them.
Grand Manan Island, New Brunswick
Grand Manan Island is a hub for humpback, finback, minke and North Atlantic right whales, since the region is rich in fish and zooplankton which the whales feed on. On rare instances, other marine animals including porpoises, dolphins, grey seals, and even large sharks may be seen passing through the area. You can get a great view of these animals from the shore alone, or even climb up one of the lighthouses along the shore to get a breathtaking aerial view.
Photo cred - tourismnewbrunswick
St. Andrews, New Brunswick
St. Andrews sets out Zodiacs and boats into the neighbouring Bay of Fundy so you can near the passing finback, minke and humpback whales. Unique birds may also be sighted during your tour, including eagles, ospreys and puffins. Because it can get rather cold, warm wear and survival suits are typically offered by select whale watching companies.
Cape Breton Highlands, Nova Scotia
The Cape Breton Highlands are a great spot to catch humpback and fin whales during peak season (July through August). Although there are Zodiac and catamaran excursions offered by various local touring companies, you'll already be able to get a glorious view of the whales from the shore.
Digby Neck, Nova Scotia
Digby Neck is a small mass of land that protrudes into the Bay of Fundy. The area is known to have some of the most extreme tides in the world, and they often bring in large populations of fish and krill into the area. This attracts a variety of whales, including fin, humpback and minke whales, especially from July to September. Larger boat tours are offered along with smaller excursions via Zodiac.
Witless Bay, Newfoundland
Witless Bay is home to an ecological reserve just a few kilometres south of St. John's. Humpback and minke whales are plentiful in this area, along with multiple varieties of seabirds. Tour boats are offered in this area, but kayaking is also available for the more adventurous traveller.
Robson Bight, British Columbia
Robson Bight is the only place in Canada that serves as a sanctuary for orcas. They typically migrate to the region because of the high salmon populations and pebble beaches. The waters of the reserve are not open to any boats (as they contribute to noise pollution that harms the whales). However, local kayak businesses may still offer silent tours into the region so you can get really close to the orcas.
Photo cred - pacificsands
Tofino, British Columbia
Tofino is a hotspot for grey whales in particular because they typically pass by the region during their migrations between Alaska and the Baja Peninsula. Along with the grey whales are a whole other diversity of marine life that you'll be able to see, including seals, sea otters and sea lions. Catch a spot on a Zodiac or whale-watching boat, or even put on a thermal suit and go surfing beside the majestic beasts.
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