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Vancouver Island Safaris & wildlife activities

Our most recommended Vancouver Island Safaris & wildlife activities

Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

1. Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

Experience the awe and inspiration of seeing whales in their natural environment on this unique whale-watching excursion from Victoria. Cruise along in an open zodiac boat on the Salish Sea, and get the chance to spot orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales, as well as porpoises and seals. After being collected from your downtown accommodation in a comfortable shuttle bus, you will venture down to the harbor where you will meet with your boat. After meeting your guides for the day, you will then depart from Victoria, setting off on your 3-hour whale-watching tour. Between April and October, you will have a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, and otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. The zodiac vessels used on your tour are definitely recommended for the wild-at-heart. You can let the wind blow in your hair and be exposed to the true west-coast elements in an open-style, 12-passenger vessel. At the conclusion of your exhilarating tour, you will be returned back to the harbor, at which point you will be driven back to your accommodation in downtown Victoria.

Telegraph Cove: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour in a Zodiac Boat

2. Telegraph Cove: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour in a Zodiac Boat

After meeting your skipper at the dock, get suited up in a cozy cruiser suit, ensuring your comfort and safety for the duration of the trip. This 3-hour whale-watching tour boasts sightings of just about everything there is to see, from wolves roaming nearby islands to groups of predatory transient orcas and breaching humpback calves. Your ride on one of the zipping Zodiac-style boats will be nearly as exciting as seeing the whales.  Each of the boats seats 12, and there are great views from every seat. Once out of the former fishing village of Telegraph Cove, you’ll have the opportunity to see a variety of species of sea life, including orcas, humpback whales, grey whales, minke whales, porpoises, dolphins, sea lions, elephant seals, otters, and bald eagles. Every tour is guided by a Transport Canada-approved skipper, who will provide information and commentary on all of the wildlife you see. If you don’t see a whale on your trip, you’ll be entitled to a free tour until you have a successful sighting.

Campbell River: Whales, Wildlife & Culture Tour

3. Campbell River: Whales, Wildlife & Culture Tour

Go in search of a variety of fascinating wildlife species which can be found off the coast of Vancouver Island, including humpback whales, orcas (killer whales), porpoises, dolphins, sea lions, otters, bald eagles, and a variety of marine birds. The tour vessel includes both indoor and outdoor seating options. Take the outdoor adventure seats that allow for wind-in-your-face exploring and wildlife watching. Inside the warm and protected cabin, find comfortable seats with large windows and a bathroom. As you explore the area, learn more about the rich history of the First Nations of Campbell River and the Discovery Islands. Learn about the tribes who have resided in the region for centuries including the Homalco, Klahoose, Tla’amin, K’ómoks, Wei Wai Kum, We Wai Kai, and more. The guides and skippers will share their expert knowledge of history, legends, stories, and culturally significant sites throughout the excursion.

From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

4. From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

Join certified marine naturalists on a cruise from Victoria to spot whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpbacks, minke, and gray whales. Benefit from hotel pickup and drop-off and relax with guaranteed whale sightings and a conservation fee included in the tour price. After meeting at the pier, begin your carbon-neutral tour led by certified marine naturalists who will share their knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife with you. Whilst on the boat, enjoy complimentary coffee and tea, onboard bathrooms, and indoor and outdoor viewing areas.  You may also encounter Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, otters, and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles.  Make the best of peak whale watching season in Victoria which runs from April through October. In the event of an unlucky tour, you will be invited to join again for a complimentary second whale-watching tour to bring your dreams of seeing these magnificent animals to life.

Campbell River: Whale & Wildlife Discovery Cruise

5. Campbell River: Whale & Wildlife Discovery Cruise

Spend a day on the water and discover local wildlife on this Campbell River cruise. Visit the Salish Sea, Discovery Passage, and Johnstone Strait. With an abundance of wildlife in the area, you are likely to encounter many animals both on land and at sea. Choose from two vessel options for your cruise. A covered vessel with indoor seating offers a good option for families. Alternatively, a zodiac-style vessel offers a good option for those who like being outdoors and want to feel the wind through their hair. Hop aboard your chosen vessel, then sit back and relax. Keep an eye out for humpback whales, killer whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, bears, Steller sea lions, and more. Learn from an on-board naturalist and listen to the sounds of whales through hydrophones. While it might not be possible to guarantee you’ll see all of these animals on your tour, this tour offers a great opportunity to see everything that is possible.

Whale Watching Tour in Victoria, BC

6. Whale Watching Tour in Victoria, BC

Have the chance to witness the area's diversity of whale species including humpback whales, Bigg's orcas, minke whales, and gray whales. The spotting network and years of experience in locating the whales ensure a high success rate for tours. The area of operations in the water surrounding Southern Vancouver Island, Victoria, the Gulf Islands, and Juan de Fuca Strait is a critical area for multiple species of whales, including other marine animals like seals, sea lions, sea otters, and marine birds. You may even spot more rare species such as elephant seals and dolphins. Listen as your crew introduces you to these magnificent animals and share with you the myriad of other natural wonders abundant in this pristine marine environment. The Salish Sea, the water off Victoria, is home to an abundance of marine wildlife. During the tour, explore various feeding areas that attract whales to local waters. Have the opportunity to see orcas and humpback whales in their natural habitat.  Other possible encounters include minke and gray whales. The Salish Sea is also home to seals, sea lions, porpoises, otters, and many more sea animals. Let five-star whale watching introduce you to the wonders of the Salish Sea.

Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

7. Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

The waters off Victoria, British Columbia are known as the Salish Sea. Discover its wonders and rich marine environment with this ultimate whale and marine wildlife tour. Board a brand new high-speed coastal explorer boat and set sail to look for orcas (also known as killer whales), humpbacks, harbor seals, California sea lions, and over 127 species of marine birds!  Take a tour of the west coast aboard a luxurious coastal explorer, with two outside viewing areas and a fully heated cabin. Enjoy complimentary coffee and hot chocolate as you set off on an adventure to learn all about the local marine wildlife and important landmarks. From playful orcas to giant humpbacks, your experience is sure to be memorable. Discover the marine wildlife in the waters off Victoria with the help of marine biologists and learn about efforts to establish Victoria as a world-renowned whale watching destination. 

Victoria: Whale Watching Cruise by Covered Boat

8. Victoria: Whale Watching Cruise by Covered Boat

Experience the majesty of the Salish Sea and its wildlife, from whales surfacing in unison to bald eagles soaring overhead. Cut through the Strait of Juan de Fuca’s currents in search of orcas and humpback whales, and listen to our marine mammal experts bring the animals’ stories to life. Climb aboard the new Salish Sea catamaran-style boat, custom-designed for whale watching. Push through the waves with ease as you search for whales and other marine species. Stop at different points of interest within the protected waters of the Haro Strait and Strait of Juan de Fuca, where your captain will position the boat parallel to the animals for great photo opportunities. Learn more about the wildlife from up to 3 top marine naturalists. Enjoy the heated indoor cabin and 2 open air sundecks that are ideal for photography, or immerse yourself in this experience while we take free high-resolution photos of the wildlife, the landscape. and your loved ones.

Vancouver Island: Full-Day Grizzly Bear Tour at Toba Inlet

9. Vancouver Island: Full-Day Grizzly Bear Tour at Toba Inlet

Cruise along Discovery Passage to the magnificent Toba Inlet and admire the breathtaking panoramic views surrounding you. Disembark the boat and spend 3 hours spotting grizzly bears along the Campbell River, accompanied by the Klahoose First Nation. Marvel at up-close views of bears frolicking and feeding in the river, along with an array of other wildlife both on land and in the water. Learn interesting facts about the environment from a certified naturalist and captain. Hear the stories and legacy of the Klahoose Nation and their connection to the land from your local guide as you explore the wilderness. Stop to admire the famous waterfalls of the spectacular Toba Inlet.

From Victoria: Whale Watching Marine Wildlife Excursion

10. From Victoria: Whale Watching Marine Wildlife Excursion

Experience the world’s most beautiful coastline on a 3-hour marine wildlife tour from Victoria, British Columbia, and immerse yourself in the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait are renowned for their ample wildlife, including animals such as Steller and California sea lions, humpback whales, sea and river otters, Minke whales, harbor seals and many marine birds to name a few. You will travel on-board an open-top Zodiac boat to race across the seas. In a smaller, open style 12 passenger vessel, you can be on scene with the wildlife faster and get once in a lifetime exposure to the true west coast elements. Helping to protect the environment, the Zodiacs are powered by eco-friendly Yamaha 4-stroke outboards renowned for their ultra-low emissions and quiet operating levels. Modeled after fast-response coast guard rescue vessels, the zodiacs combine speed with stability, cruising at 25 to 35 knots. They are also equipped with well-padded bench seats and cushioned backrests for added comfort.

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What people are saying about Vancouver Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 138 reviews

Richard, Pat, Scott and Carol looked after us perfectly and gave us a few exciting and fun hours despite the cold, rainy weather. Carol took photos and we were sent the photos to download after the tour. Super photos, great service, so you can enjoy yourself. Oh, and we also saw a few whales and some other animals :-).

Our guide was really friendly and attentive, and we saw four pods of whales! Which is apparently very rare. An amazing day.

We had an amazing time on whale watching tour, seen many hump backs, a pod of orcas and a ton of sea lions. A great time!

Excellent trip. Saw lots of wildlife including two different whales.

Great experience! Knowledgeable staff. Very enjoyable.