Victoria has more boats departing for whale watching than any place on Vancouver Island and most companies guarantee whale sightings. There are just over 80 resident Orca (Killer) Whales in the southern Vancouver Island area and down into the Juan De Fuca Strait. Because there are whale watching boats continually coming and going, the companies manage keep good track of where the whales are. Most often, you will be whisked right into the action. Victoria Whale watching companies have a large variety of boats from the large boats with indoor bathrooms, to the zodiacs that have you feeling the elements at high speeds. Most whale watching trips leave from the downtown harbour and last for about 3 hours.
Researchers come from all parts of the globe travel to Victoria and northern Vancouver Island to study the Orca whales. Their research has lasted decades and the Orca whales located here are the best studied whales in the world. There are between 80-90 whales around southern Vancouver Island and upwards of 220 that can be seen from Campbell River all the way up the Queen Charlotte Strait. Transients can also be seen around Vancouver Island but sightings are rare.
For more information on Humpbacks visit: http://www.discovervancouverisland.com/wildlife-on-vancouver-island/humpback-whales/
Humback whales are the largest whales around Vancouver Island. Varying in length from 12-16 meters (39-52 ft), they can weigh as much as 36,000 Kilograms (79,000lbs)! Humpback whales are known for their loud mating call, although the chances of hearing it are slim when they are in their feeding zone.
Most Humpback whales spend the summer months feeding up as far as Alaska, although the population in Victoria still hosts plenty and it is common to spot whale tails and spouts, even if not on a tour. The male humpbacks are known for their displays around other males and is thought to be a way of letting the others know how large they are.
Book whale watching tours from Victoria in the boat that fits you best. Choose from large covered boats to inflatable boats.