The diversity of wildlife and awe inspiring scenery that exists so close to Campbell River is unparalleled. We are ideally located near the south end of Discovery Passage. The marine environment is nutrient rich offering an ideal environment for marine mammals and an important habitat for Killer Whales, Humpback Whales and so much more!
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.
Campbell River has quickly become one of the most popular marine wildlife viewing destinations in the world. Humpback Whales, once on the brink of extinction are now regularly seen on our tours. The fast flowing, nutrient rich waters of the surrounding area provide the perfect environment for herring and other small schooling fish on which the Humpbacks feed. Excitingly, some of the same individuals have been spotted year after year, allowing ongoing research and understanding of these majestic giants of the ocean.
It is also one of the best areas to see the Bigg's (or Transient), mammal-eating Killer Whale. The return of the Pacific Harbour Seal population has provided these whales with a great food source without having to travel long distances.
At times from mid-July through mid-September Northern Resident, fish-eating Killer Whales occupy the waters of eastern Johnstone Strait as they follow runs of Chinook salmon down the coast bound for the rivers where their lives began.
Travel in comfort and enjoy watching the whales forage for food or social surface activity with lots of tail and fin slapping. If you’re lucky perhaps even a full breach! Listen to the magical vocalizations of the whales with our on board hydrophone. The squeaks, squeals and whistles of the Killer Whales and the soothing yet elaborate song of the Humpback will give you goosebumps.
The quality and variety of sightings is really what makes Campbell River and northern Vancouver Island so unique. Sightings of Pacific White-Sided dolphins are common and can often be seen in large groups. Their highly acrobatic activity, always leave a lasting impression. Dall’s and Harbour Porpoise, Steller Sea Lions, Pacific Harbour Seals, Bald Eagles and several varieties of seabirds are all sighted regularly on our tours.
In addition to the rich and diverse wildlife, the scenery is spectacular. The Discovery Island region is steeped in history and home to 6 sets of ocean rapids! From the notorious Seymour Narrows (which can reach speeds of nearly 30km/hr) just north of Campbell River to the Arran Rapids at the entrance to Bute Inlet, watching the mighty torrent of white water, whirlpools and abundance of wildlife supported by these incredibly rich currents is a unique experience you won’t find anywhere else in the world.
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!!
No words to describe this phenomenal experience! We saw 8 Humpbacks, with 2 of them breaching in front of us over and over and over again!! Add to that, the trip around Mitlenatch Island with the Sea Lions and all the seabirds, and it was a trip to be treasured. Captain John and Kaitlin were awesome, with their enthusiasm to share their knowledge and experience with the passengers.
September 6, 2017
I was impressed with the respectful attitude of the staff, not only to clients but to the wildlife. I've been out with operators who took the boat too close to whales, but this operator was very respectful, slowing the boat well before encountering whales and staying at least the required distance away. Once the whales approached us, which is fine, but the captain never intruded on the animals. Well done. The boat was sturdy and comfortable.
August 15, 2017