Layers are always recommended. Pants rather than skirts or dresses are recommended as the weather conditions can be windy and the air may be slightly on the cooler side. Layer your shirts, a t-shirt with a sweatshirt and/or light jacket is typically plenty. Dress for the day and the season and remember, it is always cooler on the water. Casual shoes are recommended on the boat.
The following items are always helpful in making your tour a happy memory: sunblock, water bottle, sunglasses, camera/video camera/film, binoculars, and a sense of adventure!
Orcas, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, and Grey Whales are the most commonly seen whales.
While wildlife sightings are not guaranteed, you may encounter seals, sea lions, porpoises, dolphins, otters, and marine birds such as eagles.
In the waters around southern Vancouver Island, you are most likely to see killer whales from April to December. A great resurgence in humpback sightings as well during these months. Humpbacks are encountered from late April until mid-December. Unlike people, whales are not on a 24-hour clock, so the time of day does not influence the likelihood of sightings. Choose the tour time that suits your schedule and other plans during your visit to Victoria.
Although flotation suits are not required to be worn on the vessel, coast guard-approved flotation jackets are provided for passengers' comfort. Coast Guard-approved life jackets are onboard for all passengers in the event of an emergency. Vessels are equipped with all necessary safety equipment required by Transport Canada.
Yes. All vessels are equipped with a full restroom for the comfort of passengers.
The team facilitates and is part of an extensive spotting network that covers the Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle area. Information is shared and disseminated to partners in the industry. When there have not been reports before a trip, the expert captain and crew use their knowledge of the area and the whales to do educated searches, typically resulting in success. During peak summer months, the team has a 98% success rate of "finding" whales.
The team adheres to a strict set of regulations set out by the whale watching network (PWWA) of which the team is a part of, and by US/Canadian regulatory authorities. The guidelines stipulate that all vessels must maintain a distance of at least 100 meters from the whales in Canadian waters and 200m from Orcas. In American water, it is 100 yards for any whale except Orcas which vessels must maintain a distance of 200 yards. Respectable Whale & Wildlife Viewing practices are followed.
Complimentary coffee and hot chocolate, coast guard-approved waterproof flotation jackets, hydrophones to hear the whales, and expert marine naturalists narrating your 3-hour tour. You are welcome to bring your own snacks and drinks aboard.