Between July 15th - August 31st, with easy access to the world’s largest concentration of Orca (Killer Whales), our adventure begins with a scenic 1 hour drive aboard our luxury passenger bus to the Port of Kelsey Bay. The journey by bus allows us to bypass what is often a very rough boat ride through the waters north of Campbell River and creates a much more relaxed and enhanced viewing experience. Ideally located in the middle of world famous Johnstone Strait, Kelsey Bay is the perfect place to begin our search for all this amazing place has to offer!
Johnstone Strait is extremely important habitat for the Northern Resident (inshore fish eating ecotype) Killer Whales. Several families spend much of the summer here feeding on runs of mature salmon moving down the coast of British Columbia bound for the rivers where their lives began. Enjoy watching the whales as they forage for salmon or social surface activity with lots of tail and fin slapping! If you're lucky perhaps a full breach! The "rubbing beaches" of Robson Bight are also located in upper Johnstone Strait. The Northern Residents are the only Killer Whales known to engage in this social behaviour!
Listen to the magical vocalizations of the Killer Whales with our onboard hydrophone. The squeaks, squeals and whistles are guaranteed to give you goose bumps. What an experience!
So what do we do in September? We leave straight from Campbell River on our boat! In September the whales typically follow salmon down closer to Campbell River so we don't need to travel as far north in Johnstone Strait to see them.
Don’t forget about the humpback whale! These massive creatures have made a dramatic comeback and there are several individuals that return to our area every year! Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Dall’s Porpoise, Stellar Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals and the majestic Bald Eagle are also common. The quality of sightings and variety of wildlife is unique to this part of Vancouver Island!
Don’t forget this is Canada! Even on a hot summer day it can be very cool on the water! The spacious, enclosed and heated cabins of our state of the art vessels ensure that you are always comfortable! Our boats also feature multiple viewing decks and WASHROOMS!!! Because we’re traveling along Johnstone Strait - the protected inside waters of the east coast of Vancouver Island, our guests are not likely to get seasick.
At Discovery Marine Safaris we are committed to sharing our knowledge and passion with everyone that visits this remarkable place that we call home. Our on board Marine Naturalists are some of the finest on the coast, continuously interacting with our guests and interpreting all that this diverse ecosystem has to behold. They also provide a spectacular presentation that is sure to inspire and move you! Our Captains have all spent most of their lives sailing the waters off BC’s coast. You won’t find more experienced, entertaining, or engaging mariners anywhere else.
A local bakery makes fresh sandwiches and cookies that are delivered moments before departure! Fair trade organic, locally roasted coffee, an assortment of tea and filtered fresh water are included. We ask that you bring your own reusable water bottles and/or coffee mug in order to help us reduce our environmental impact!
For the value, we researched and found this to be the best deal on whale watching from what we could see. And we were not disappointed! The guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. They very obviously know what they're doing. The obey the rules while still getting you the experience of a life time. I can't thank them enough. On our tour we saw Bald Eagles, Sea Lions, Pacific Dolphins, 5 Humpbacks! And one of the largest groups of orcas even the biologist said she'd ever seen in that area.Samantha Smith
We went on a whale watching trip. The boat was superb, very comfortable. Our captain and the marine biologist, Amber were excellent. They shared their vast knowledge with us which was fascinating. We saw two groups of orcas, pacific dolphins, porpoise, harbour seals, bald eagles and vultures. A real adventure.James B,