Whale watching around the west coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia is an unforgettable experience. Many varieties of whales pass thru the area. Gray whales, orcas (killer whales), humpback whales, and Minke whales are seen in their natural habitat as they migrate along the island's west coast.
North Pacific gray whales migrate between Mexico and the Bering Sea in the spring and fall, and can typically be viewed in our area during March and April. More than 20,000 take part in the migrations. A few dozen will sometimes continue to feed in the area throughout the summer.
Humpback whales can grow up to 16 meters in length, and are well-known for their aquatic acrobatics, sometimes jumping completely out of the water and slapping the waves, with their massive tails. They also know for their songs during breeding season. Sightings are most common from August to October.
Orcas (actually dolphins, not whales) are the main attraction when it comes to whale watching along the Vancouver Island coast. Resident orcas--those that travel in pods--are somewhat common in the Vancouver Island area. The south end of Victoria island is home to at lease three orca pods. The best time to view the orca pods is from May to September, although they can be seen throughout the year.
Minke whales (named after an 18th-century Norwegian whaler), the second smallest of the baleen whales. They do not appear to coordinate their feeding or travel patterns. Each one tends top operate independently of other Minke whales. Consequently, Minke whale sightings are somewhat rare. However, they do occur, so you would definitely want to keep an eye out for them when whale watching in the area. Sightings are most likely during the spring and fall.
For more information, email us or give us a call. We'll be glad to help you out with all your whale-watching tour questions.