All aboard. Here’s our tour plan.
Reservations are required for all of our tours, and we recommend that you book your whale watching tour well in advance in order to avoid disappointment.
- If you are from out of town, choose to schedule your whale watching tour at the beginning of your stay rather than saving it until the last day.
- In the rare case that you don’t see whales, you can take advantage of our No Whale Guarantee, and avoid disappointment in case of inclement weather.
- Once your reservation is complete, you will receive a confirmation email outlining the details of your tour.
- Click here to book online.
- To reserve by phone, call us at 1-888-383-4884.
Here are a few things to remember on the day of your trip.
- Dress warmly, even if it’s sunny. It’s always colder on the water and conditions change quickly. Here’s what to wear.
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen, and pack your sunglasses, camera, and binoculars.
- If you are travelling with a vehicle, be sure to leave yourself enough time to find a parking spot.
- Check in at our office with one of our friendly Guest Service Guides; 30min prior to departure time for Victoria Tours, 1 hour prior if you’re in Vancouver.
- If you’re on a zodiac you will also need to sign a waiver and visit our suit room to don a super cozy and stylish cruiser suit.
Then it’s time to meet your crew and board the vessel for the adventure of a lifetime!
Once on board, you will hear a talk outlining the safety features of your vessel, as well as an introduction to some of the marine species we hope to find. Click here for more information about local species.
Then it’s out past the breakwater and up to our top speed of 30 kts (55km/hr)! You can expect some travel time initially as we locate and journey to the whales, so take this time to explore your surroundings. On Ocean Magic, feel free to move around, visit the snack bar and chat with your naturalists; on the zodiac, just hold on and have fun, and of course don’t forget to drink in that spectacular west coast scenery! The more people looking for wildlife, the better, so keep your eyes peeled as you’re traveling and let the crew know if you spot anything.
When we arrive on scene with wildlife, the vessel will slow down and assess the area; it may take a few minutes for your captain to position the vessel appropriately. This is to ensure we know where all the animals are so we can adhere to proper Whale Wise Guidelines. At this point your crew will begin telling you all sorts of cool information about what you’re looking at. If there’s anything specific you want to know, don’t forget to ask questions!
There’s an incredible variety of marine mammals in the Salish Sea and every day is different. We do our best to tailor each trip to ensure maximum wildlife viewing. Depending on what is nearby, you will make stops for cetaceans (whales/dolphins/porpoises), birds, pinnipeds (seals/sea lions), historical sites, and photogenic spots like lighthouses.
After 3+ blissful hours on the water, it’s time to head home. If you didn’t quite get the picture you were hoping for on your trip, passengers often exchange emails to share photos, so make friends with someone who has a nice camera or bragged about getting a spectacular shot!
Once they dock and secure the boat, your crew will assist you as you disembark and wish you well. If you feel you were treated well by your crew members, feel free to bestow gratuities at this time, they are greatly appreciated. Where you head now depends on which tour you’re on: if you’re jumping off the zodiac, you’ll go inside to de-suit and collect your things; if you’ve come from Vancouver on the Ultimate Day Tour, you’re not done yet! Head up to the office for your bus tickets and make your way to Butchart Gardens for an amazing afternoon amongst the flowers.
Once you’re back at home or your hotel, we would greatly appreciate if you took the time to write us a review on Trip Advisor, and if you got any awesome pictures, be sure to post them to our Facebook page or Tweet us!