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Whale Watching in Telegraph Cove – British Columbia’s Hidden Gem

Nestled along the eastern coast of Northern Vancouver Island, Telegraph Cove is an old fishing village steeped in history and charm. This picturesque location serves as the perfect starting point for your unforgettable whale watching expedition, immersing you in the region’s natural beauty and rich heritage. As part of this unforgettable experience, a visit to the Whale Interpretive Centre is included, providing valuable insights into the fascinating lives of these marine giants. 

In true comfort and style, our enthusiastic crew is eager to explore the Johnstone Strait, a prime location for witnessing the abundant wildlife that populates the local waters during the summer months. In addition to the spectacular marine wildlife, keep an eye out for the majestic grizzly bear, which also frequents the area. To ensure a memorable encounter, our tours come with a whale sightings guarantee, assuring you the opportunity to marvel at these awe-inspiring creatures. The beautiful orca whales, in particular, are a highlight of the adventure, showcasing their unique behaviours and captivating presence.

Explore the best that Telegraph Cove has to offer with our newest Cove Combo packages, in collaboration with North Island Kayak!

The Experience

Boarding tours in the heart of Telegraph Cove’s city centre, Prince of Whales employs experts in both tour operations and marine biology. Step aboard our seafaring classrooms in search of Orcas (Killer whales), Humpback whales, sea lions, and the thrill of the ride! Our wildlife tours have over a 95% chance of whale sightings. Thanks to our whale sightings guarantee, we offer another free adventure if no whales are seen on your first trip.

Telegraph Cove Boats

Our Telegraph Cove location provides many whale watching tours, which use different vessels from the Prince of Whales fleet. The highlight of our Telegraph Cove location is our unique cruiser that combines the sense of speed of a Zodiac with the comfort of a luxury yacht. Get the best view with two distinctly different viewing elevations and have the comforts of ample interior space plus an on-board washroom. If you’re seeking more thrill, check out our Zodiac whale watching tour that gets you low to the water and close to the action. For a more intimate whale watching in Telegraph Cove, both our cruisers and Zodiacs can also be booked for private tours.


Telegraph Cove, British Columbia is located in Johnstone Strait, one of the most diverse and abundant marine ecosystems in the world. Sustainability is key to the success of our wildlife watching tours. We educate our guests about why it is important to protect the environment, where these animals live, and how safe and responsible whale watching aids in the sustainability of these waters.

Telegraph Cove FAQS

Still have questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions to get answers for any whale watching or Telegraph Cove queries you may have.

What should I wear whale watching?

It gets cold out on the water (trust us!), so we recommend windbreaker jackets, sweaters, long pants, and closed-toe shoes. It’s also a good idea to bring sunglasses, sunscreen, a tight-fitting hat, a camera to capture some memorable moments and, above all, your sense of adventure!

What is your cancellation policy?

Need to cancel or reschedule – no problem! Just contact us at least 48 hours prior to your adventure’s departure to reschedule or to cancel (and receive a full refund), no questions asked. Restrictions apply:

  • For independent travel bookings of 9 passengers or less: 48 hours before scheduled departure, partial or whole cancellations made within 48 hours before departure will be charged 100% of the tour price. Tour amendments cannot be completed within a 48-hour window. There will be no refunds for cancellations within the cancellation period.
  • For groups of 10-19: 14 days before scheduled departure, partial or whole cancellations made within 14 days before departure will be charged 100% of the tour price based on the reserved number of passengers, or the final number in attendance, whichever is greater. Tour amendments cannot be guaranteed within a 14-day window.
  • For Groups 20+: 21 days before scheduled departure; partial or whole cancellations made within 21 days before departure will be charged 100% of the tour price. Tour amendments cannot be guaranteed within the 21-day window.
  • For wholesale, travel trade, and 3rd party bookings, the cancellation and amendment policy can differ. Please refer to your booking contract for details.
  • Discounted or promotional bookings are final sale.
When can you see whales in Telegraph Cove?

When can’t you see whales is the better question! Killer whales are very active in the area, especially Northern Resident killer whales, as they move to this area to feed on the abundant salmon of the Johnstone Strait. Humpbacks also often frequent these waters! A great creature, unlikely to see anywhere else, are White Sided Pacific Dolphins that often travel through the Broughton Archipelago in pods larger than 100 individuals!

How do you get to Telegraph Cove?

Situated at the north end of Vancouver Island, Telegraph Cove is a community of about 20 residents. The small BC town is located approximately 210 kilometers (130 mi) northwest of Campbell River. It is a former fishing and cannery village that has become a launch point for eco-tourism. Getting to Telegraph Cove is relatively simple, and can be accessed by air, land, or sea. 

Is the road to Telegraph Cove paved?

Yes! The road is paved. The drive from Nanaimo to Telegraph Cove is shorter, about 4 hrs and 350 km. Whichever route you choose, make sure you bring lots of snacks and water to keep you hydrated. If heading north, once you pass Campbell River, there is only one stop for gas/fuel before Telegraph Cove in Seyward, about 75 km from Campbell River and 150km left to go. There is also fuel in the small town of Port McNeill which is a 20-minute drive from Telegraph Cove. Unfortunately, there is no fuel in Telegraph Cove itself. Getting to Telegraph Cove is relatively simple, and can be accessed by air, land, or sea. 

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Telegraph Cove Territorial Acknowledgement

Prince of Whales Whale and Marine Life Adventures would like to acknowledge that we operate on the traditional waters and lands of the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw tribes. We are aware that the adventure tourism industry which drives our passion for the conservation and education of ocean ecosystems could not happen without the use of the land and water. Prince of Whales would like to acknowledge that our tours operate on a vast array of water areas departing on land from what we know today as Telegraph Cove. The traditional territories we frequent the most include but are not limited to; the ʼNa̱mǥis, Kwaguʼł, Mama̱liliḵa̱la, Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w, Ḵwikwa̱sutinux̱, & Ławitʼsis.

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