We’ve got an exciting summer ahead of us! This year, Prince of Whales Whale Watching enters its 25th year of eco-adventure tourism and Whale Watching on the coastal waters of BC. Throughout this 25th season, we will be sharing our story of the milestones reached and the adventures had, from the very beginning … way back in 1993!
A quarter-century ago, Alan McGillivray began touring his own boat—an aluminum, high-speed Launch—across the Saanich Inlet. Seeing the delivery potential in this new vessel, the Times Colonist approached Alan proposing he deliver their mail to the smaller surrounding Gulf islands. Alan agreed, Canada Post followed suit, and the MBA-graduate’s friends found themselves a new joke: Alan now had an adult paper route! After the news bundles were delivered, the entrepreneurial Alan realized there was still time left in a day and began taking locals on Whale Watching Tours.
Beyond being a business-mind, McGillivray simply wanted others to experience the same cathartic experiences he’d had on the water himself. Since then, Prince of Whales Whale Watching has become an industry champion in conservation, innovation, education, as well as in assisting research into marine life through their long-time employees Mark Malleson and Rhonda Reidy.
From that first Launch to an additional 13 vessels today, Prince of Whales Whale Watching leads in sustainable manufacturing and business practice. Every vessel has been custom designed in Canada with both aquatic life and passengers in mind. Focusing on low emissions where they can, they also aim to reduce as much as they recycle. Supplies in the office, as well as onboard, are ecologically-friendly and ocean-safe; they purchase with their own future–and that of our whales’ futures–in mind. 25 years on, Prince of Whales Whale Watching is exploring more and more ways to continue these goals.
Throughout the season this blog will also bring you news of the company’s initiatives with 1% For the Planet. Prince of Whales joined this global, solutions-based environmental movement in June of 2015 and, through them, pay their profits forward. Snack donations also go to SPCA’s WildARC program and they are further involved in education through university co-op programs. Additionally, they are Whale Wise, meaning they follow the guidelines created for viewing Southern Resident Killer Whales that were first developed by the Pacific Whale Watch Association (of which Alan McGillivray is the BC chapter president!).
Prince of Whales Whale Watching’s own collective experience and education in a province as commonly labeled ‘serene’ as BC is, they understand the importance of taking such initiatives, but have also come to deeply care about what they’re able to do with their profits. Like all years before, they hope to spread this passion to those they encounter throughout this 25th year as well.
2018 is an invigorating year at Prince of Whales Whale Watching for another reason. It will be their second season with the new Salish Sea Dream vessel on the water. This vessel’s sister ship, the Salish Sea Eclipse is in the works, being purpose-built in North Vancouver. These awe-inspiring, 95 passenger catamarans cruise at a speed of 30 knots, but circumvent motion sickness due to their steady and elevated custom design. Staff onboard, known as naturalists, are there to educate, inspire, and explain their zest for oceanic life. It’s an exciting time to be on deck!
There is much to share, and we look forward to a season of ’90’s throwbacks, disseminating the latest in company-supported mammal research, and broadcasting more exciting tales from our marine staff out on the Salish Sea!