Vancouver Island
Birdwatching

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Our most recommended Vancouver Island Birdwatching

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

1. 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. 

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.

Victoria: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

4. Victoria: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

Depart in the evening from Victoria's beautiful inner harbor and head out into the Salish Sea in search of whales and other wonderful marine life. During the 3-hour tour, search for orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, and gray whales, that visit the Salish Sea in search of food. Encounter other marine life such as seals, sea lions, porpoises, otters and various marine birds. Listen to an inspiring and educational talk from the Marine Naturalists as they describe and interpret the spectacular environment, extensive history, and stunning scenery of the Salish Sea. If the weather cooperates, enjoy the stunning sunset views.

Victoria: Whale and Wildlife Semi-Covered Boating Tour

5. Victoria: Whale and Wildlife Semi-Covered Boating Tour

After gathering at the pier you will meet with your guides before boarding your boat. The vessel for this tour will be a semi-covered catamaran with both indoor and outdoor seating. This vessel offers both an indoor viewing area as well as multiple outdoor viewing decks, and includes on-board restrooms. Once hitting the water, you'll begin your over 4-hour experience which includes a 98% sighting success rate. Your team members will be excited to share everything that this natural treasure chest has to offer, as you make multiple wildlife stops throughout your journey. At each stop your guides will provide world-class interpretation and personalized service to help you best understand this unique ecosystem. Throughout the experience you will have the chance to encounter whales, seals, and eagles, among other residents of the region. At the conclusion of your tour, you'll make your way back to the tour starting point.

Frequently asked questions about Vancouver Island Birdwatching

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Other Sightseeing Options in Vancouver Island

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What people are saying about Vancouver Island

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 148 reviews

I didn't actually end up sailing with Five Star. I had booked with them but I was the only one. They had to cancel my trip. However, they called around to the other tour companies and found me a boat to get on, on the same day I had booked for. They took care of everything for me. Transferred all my info and payment to the other company! All I had to do was show up on time at the other company! I was so impressed with the level of service that Five Star will always be the company I book with 1st in the future. Well done guys! Not many companies will go above and beyond like you guys did. Thank you!!

It was an amazing experience - the guides were extremely knowledgeable about orcas & the eco system - we had such a great time although it was a tad cold so I would encourage everyone to dress for the weather! Thanks again to the crew for making our experience so memorable

It was great, the staff is very useful, friendly and knowledgable, telling us loads as we went along. We saw grey and killer whales as well as sea lions. The boat ride was also fun! I would 100% recommend it.

Great experience, guides were very knowledgable and accommodating. They also checked on the safety and well-being of passengers regularly. Got to see some Orcas, definitely recommend and sea lions.

It was eventful, exciting and well explained and we also saw whales.