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Whale Watching in Vancouver – British Columbia’s Urban Oasis

If you’re looking for the best whale watching in Vancouver, you’ll find it by following the city’s pulse to its heart on Granville Island. Our waterfront downtown Vancouver Adventure Centre is minutes away from the downtown core by water taxi and steps away from the bustling market, top-rated accommodations, mouthwatering restaurants, and many other local attractions. It is also the best spot to join our professional wildlife guides on one of our world-class whale watching tours. The seas surrounding Vancouver are home to not only stunning views of mountains, the city skyline and Gulf Islands but also breathtaking marine wildlife. Whether you are a local, visiting for a few days, or traveling on business and looking for something to do on your one day off, we’ve got you covered.

Vancouver’s surrounding waters are home to spectacular marine wildlife; such as Whales, Sea Lions, Otters, Harbor Seals, Bald Eagles, Dolphins, and other marine mammals. Embarking on an Orca whale watching tour provides a thrilling opportunity to witness the majestic transient Killer Whales as they gracefully navigate the waters in their natural habitat. Our Vancouver whale watching tours often see Orca Whales (Killer Whales) and Humpback Whales, but occasionally we’ve spotted Gray Whales and Minke Whales. Our whale watching trips are the perfect complement to exploring Vancouver and our whale sighting guarantee ensures that you can count on an unforgettable experience.

The Experience

Our whale watching tours depart from the historic Granville Island, easily accessible from downtown Vancouver. Our team is comprised of experts in both tour operations as well as marine biology. Step aboard our seafaring classrooms in search of Orcas (Killer whales), Humpback whales, Gray whales, sea lions, and other spectacular marine mammals. 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.

Vancouver Boats

Our Vancouver location provides many whale watching tours, which use our cutting-edge catamaran. These environmentally-friendly, custom-built catamarans offer by far the best whale watching experiences in the area. Get the best view with three distinctly different viewing elevations and have the comforts of ample interior space plus an on-board washroom. Anticipate an incredible adventure, independent of weather conditions, as you enjoy unparalleled vantage points to observe wild whales in Vancouver’s local waters.

Conservation

Vancouver, British Columbia is home to the Salish Sea, one of the most diverse marine ecosystems in the world. The Salish Sea is a sea in the Pacific Ocean, situated in the Canadian province of British Columbia and the U.S. state of Washington, encompassing the San Juan Islands, Victoria, and Vancouver. 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.

Vancouver FAQS

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

What should I bring?

Please bring a reusable water bottle and a coffee tumbler, we will refill them for free! 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 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. 

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 promo bookings are final sale.
What time of year is best for whale watching in Vancouver?

While the whale watching season in Vancouver runs from April to October, the best time to go will depend on your interests and the types of whales you hope to see. For example, the very best time to view orcas is from April to November, during peak season. So, the best time to go whale watching in Vancouver will depend on your interests and the types of whales you hope to see.

Is it better to go whale watching in Victoria or Vancouver?

Both Victoria and Vancouver have their perks when it comes to whale watching! Victoria has a beautiful coast line, with access to areas such as Race Rocks, San Juan Islands and more gorgeous whale watching areas. On the other hand, going whale watching in Vancouver you will see a glimpse of the beautiful cityscape, Point Atkinson and the wild coast of the mainland. Whales travel freely between these two locations, making viewing them equally as likely in both locations!

What time of day is best to see whales in Vancouver BC?

There is no better time of day! Unlike humans, whales do no follow a strict daily schedule, so their behavior varies throughout the day. You are just as likely to see whales on our morning tour as the afternoon and evening tour. Additionally, the time of year can also affect whale activity, as different species migrate to different areas at different times of year or change their behaviors due to mating or other considerations. The whale watching season in Vancouver typically runs from April to October, with the peak season occurring from May to September.

How often do you see whales in Vancouver?

Our average sighting success rate is 95%! But if you do not see whales, you can come back next time with our industry-best Whale Sighting Guarantee, that will never expire!

Are there bathrooms on the tour boats?

Our catamarans are equipped with 2 airline-style washrooms. If you have more questions about the boat, check out the 3D tour of our catamaran!

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Vancouver Territorial Acknowledgement

Prince of Whales Whale and Marine Life Adventures, Vancouver would like to acknowledge that the land and waters we operate on is located on the shared, ancestral territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. The historical relationships with the land and waters continue to this day.

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