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1-0899-Carmanah
Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park
(JF Bergeron photo)

Vancouver Island

Wildlife Tours

W-0068-Bald-Eagles-Tree
Bald Eagles in a tree

The Vancouver Island region’s diverse ecosystems make for some of the best wildlife viewing in British Columbia.

Popular wildlife activities on Vancouver Island include guided whale-watching and bear-watching tours, but there are many self-guided wildlife viewing opportunities as well.

Watch grizzly bears in Knight Inlet, view Roosevelt elk (found only on Vancouver Island), check out one of many bird watching areas or look for the Vancouver Island marmot, an incredibly rare mammal.

Enjoy seeing prolific marine life in Barkley Sound and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, snorkel with salmon and seals, watch sea otters play in kelp beds or spot wildlife from the deck of a working coastal freighter as it plies the waters of remote West Coast inlets.

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86 Wildlife Tours in Vancouver Island

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21

Prince of Whales Whale Watching - Victoria - Victoria

812 Wharf Street
Victoria, British Columbia
V8W 1T3
Toll-free888-383-4884
Phone250-383-4884

Prince of Whales Whale Watching has been sharing premiere whale-watching and marine-wildlife experiences with the world for over 20 years! With year-round departures from Vancouver and Victoria, we have welcomed more than 250,000 guests to our local waters. Our floating classrooms provide an educational platform for guests interested in observing and learning about the unique behaviours of marine wildlife in their natural habitats.

Tours range from three and a half hours to longer full and half-day tours with optional VIP entrance to the The Butchart Gardens via their private dock in Butchart Cove. Join us daily from late May through late September as we embark on afternoon whale watching adventures from downtown Victoria through the Gulf and San Juan Islands on route to downtown Vancouver.

22

Remote Passages Marine Excursions - Tofino

51 Wharf St
Tofino, British Columbia
V0R 2Z0
Toll-free800-666-9833
Phone250-725-3330

We are committed to preserving the ecological value & timeless wonder of Clayoquot Sound. We strive to help visitors appreciate the coastal environment through fun, educational outings. Our programs emphasize the many connections between forest & ocean ecosystems.

Whether whale watching, bear watching, dipping into Hot Springs Cove or sea kayaking to a rainforest trail, people of all ages have enjoyed our excursions since 1986.

We launch out of Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, just minutes from Long Beach & Pacific Rim National Park. Tofino is part of Clayoquot Sound, a temperate rainforest area of beaches & fjord inlets.

23

Seasmoke Whale Watching - Alert Bay

Toll-free800-668-6722
Phone250-974-5225

An eco-tour with the viewing of orcas, humpback & minke whales, numerous other marine mammals & seabirds while touring through the protected waters of Johnstone Strait & the Broughton Archipelago.

Departures are from: Alert Bay on Cormorant Island & the Alder Bay Resort on Vancouver Island. Our 4-5 hr "Sail with the Whales" tour offers exceptional service & value to individuals, families & small groups & includes fresh baked muffins & Devonshire Tea.

If you are looking for a unique & eco-friendly experience, join us, our carbon footprint is very small. There is no other whale-watching tour like it on the BC coast!

24

Sidney Whale Watching - Sidney

2537 Beacon Avenue
Sidney, British Columbia
V8L 1Y3
Toll-free888-656-7599
Phone250-656-7599

Breaching, spyhopping, bow riding, tail slapping - if these terms aren't familiar, you probably haven't been on a whale watching tour. Sidney Whale Watching, located in the Cannery Building at the foot of Beacon Avenue, offers 3 to 3 1/2 hour tours starting right from Sidney's waterfront! We are the closest company to the whale foraging grounds which means less travel time & more whale time! Learning about the traditional territory along the way & viewing all the other animals that call this place home is a one of a kind experience.

25

Spirit Bear Lodge - Klemtu

Box 401
Klemtu, British Columbia
V0T 1L0
Toll-free
Phone250-339-5644

Spirit Bear Lodge is located in the Kitasoo First Nation village of Klemtu, BC. With the lodge as our base, we travel in small groups by boat, exploring the temperate rainforest and ecological wonders of Princess Royal Island, home to the world's only Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy. See the rare Spirit bear and majestic Grizzly bear, who inhabit the traditional territory of the Kitasoo/Xai'xais First Nation. Fabulous opportunities exist to watch and photograph these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.

26

SpringTide Whale Tours & Charters - Victoria

1119 Wharf St
Victoria, British Columbia
V8W 1T7
Toll-free800-470-3474
Phone250-384-4444

SpringTide's 61' Marauder IV provides the perfect platform for whale viewing & photography with 360° viewing decks and a terrific sound system to capture underwater vocalizations. Expert Biologists provide informative lectures, while you enjoy free hot beverages, comfortable indoor/outdoor seating and spacious washroom facilities. Charter Marauder for your private events.

Just for the thrill of it, suit-up for a Zodiac tour! Naturalist interpretations throughout your excursion covering biology & behaviour of whales, marine mammals & birds.

3 hour tours are also from April through October. Day trips, including transportation and/or hotels are available from Vancouver & Seattle.

Sportfishing charters available on a 42' sportfish yacht.

27

Stubbs Island Whale Watching - Telegraph Cove

24 Boardwalk
Telegraph Cove, British Columbia
V0N 3J0
Toll-free800-665-3066
Phone250-928-3185

Committed to ethical & educational wildlife viewing, we are the first whale watching company established in BC, now in our 36th season. Based in Telegraph Cove, the Whale Watching Capital of BC, we offer tours through Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound & Broughton Archipelago Area.

You'll love our island, the magnificent mammals & bird species you'll see, and the friendly people you'll meet. Depending on the season, you may see Orca (Killer Whales), Humpback Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Harbour Porpoises, Dall's Porpoise, Minke Whales, Bears, Steller Sea Lions & various birds.

Cruise in comfort in our 60 foot (17 metre) vessel MV Lukwa or the 40 foot (12 metre) MV Kuluta which have heated cabins & toilets, hydrophone (underwater microphone) so that you can hear the Orca vocalizations throughout the vessel.

28

Subtidal Adventures Whale & Bear Tours - Ucluelet

1950 Peninsula Road
Ucluelet, British Columbia
V0R 3A0
Toll-free877-444-1134
Phone250-726-7336

March and April "Gray Whale Adventure" during the northern migration. May through October "Islands Whales and Bears" in this amazing see-it-all tour in Barkley Sound. A photographer's dream. "Bears and Birds" all the activity in Ucluelet harbour at low tide (best for bears). November to February "Broken Group Islands Sunset Cruise" or "Sunset Harbour Tour" featuring low angle light, sea lions, eagles, and no crowds. Choose the boat that suits your style, a fast and fun adventurous zodiac or a cosy enclosed cruiser. Our Guarantee - We can guarantee that if you do not go on a whale or bear watching tour, you will definitely not see a whale or a bear. Unfortunately, you will miss all the other amazing things our tours have to offer.

29

Tide Rip Grizzly Tours - Telegraph Cove

Telegraph Cove
Telegraph Cove, British Columbia
V0N 3J0
Toll-free888-643-9319
Phone250-339-5320

See grizzly bears in the wilds of Knight Inlet. Tours depart daily from Telegraph Cove, the whale watching centre on northern Vancouver Island, by covered boat. Watch grizzly bears eat salmon, eagles pick the scraps. Sea birds, dolphins, seals, black bears, grizzlies. We depart early at 7:00 am to assure grizzly bear sightings; we had 99% sightings on 2014 trips. June is our best month. We run in a covered boat with on-board washroom, then at the grizzly bear hot spot we switch to big open skiffs to get in close to the action. Lunch & light breakfast is included amidst the splendour of Knight Inlet. In the fall, bears eat salmon. Departure times may vary in the fall.

30

Tweedsmuir Lodge Grizzly Bear Tours - Bella Coola

7001 Corbould Rd
Bella Coola, British Columbia
V0T 1C0
Toll-free877-982-2407
Phone604-905-4994

Our Grizzly Bear Tours have been included in the Canadian Tourism Commission's "Signature Experiences Collection"! Tours run August to October when the rivers are teeming with salmon, drawing Grizzlies hoping to fatten up for the winter. At this time Grizzlies are intent on fishing and are more tolerant of other bears and people, therefore much easier to observe.

Accompanied by an experienced guide, our non-motorized drift trips are the perfect way to see the bears and wildlife of Bella Coola.

Advantages:
- Small groups! - Leave Vancouver in the morning and be bear viewing in the afternoon! - Superior accommodation

Accolades: - Founding member of The Magnificent 7 Luxury Wilderness Lodges of Canada - TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence & Traveller's Choice Award: "Top Small Hotels of Canada"!

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