Vancouver Whale Sightings

Our most popular tour, the whale watching tour, boasts a higher than 90% whale sightings success rate! Whale sightings in Vancouver don’t just include the iconic orca whale that is often associated with Vancouver whale watching. Here in the lower mainland, we are lucky to be able to view so many different species throughout the season.

We may catch a glimpse of the elusive minke whale, or the migratory grey whale, and in recent years we have seen a huge increase in humpback whale sightings. As always, if you join our tour and we cannot find any whales, you will receive a return pass to come again for free until you experience a whale sighting!

We don’t just experience whale sightings on our tours! You may be able to spot a variety of marine wildlife on your trip! The Pacific Harbour Seals are a common resident, and if you’re quick you may catch a glimpse of the speedy harbour or Dall’s porpoises too!

Don’t forget to scan the skies too! BC boasts the highest Bald Eagle population in Canada! These graceful birds scan the shores and the seas for food and can often be spotted on our tours.

Whale migration Vancouver – does the season determine what we’ll see?

As far as whale sightings go, we’ve learned that anything can happen! However, whale migration can sometimes help to predict the chances of viewing certain species. The transient (mammal-eating orca) can be seen at any time, since as their name implies, they have ‘transient’ unpredictable patterns. The Southern Resident (fish-eating orca) is most often seen in the summer since they are following their primary prey (salmon) as it makes its way inland towards the rivers to spawn. Although there is a small population of humpbacks that remain in BC waters longer than most, the two most migratory whale species that we may encounter are humpback whales and grey whales. Both species spend the winter in their mating grounds in warmer climates. Once young calves are strong enough it is time to head North towards BC and Alaska where the food is plentiful for the summer before they head south again the following year. Grey whale sightings can be sporadic but mostly occur in April/May and humpback sightings usually begin with more regularity in late April and May and can last throughout the season.

We definitely don’t recommend visiting with the expectation to see a specific type of whale. Wildlife is very unpredictable and our whale sightings are different every day! We wouldn’t have it any other way!

Vancouver Sea Lion Tours

In addition to whale watching tours, in the spring season of April and May we offer a daily on-demand sea lion tour! At the mouth of the Fraser river the California Sea lions congregate to feast on several species on fish that spawn here in the Spring. They are only here for a brief time before making their way south for mating season. If you have a group of 10 or more people and would like to experience these majestic sea lions up close, call to book a sea lion tour today!

 

 

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