Wildlife Viewing on Vancouver Island

Whale Watching

This has become one of the most popular attractions on Vancouver Island.  Come see our resident pods in action while enjoying the views of the city and the Olympic Mountains from your guided boat. This is a truly unique BC experience.

Prince of WhalesWorking with the largest whale watching and eco-adventure company in British Columbia, Prince of Whales, you are guaranteed to have a premier wildlife viewing experience. With a large fleet of 7 rigid-hulled inflatable Zodiacs and 2 Ocean Magic semi-covered vessels, they offer a wide range of tours including 3-hour whale watching departing hourly on demand, whale watching to The Butchart Gardens, and whale watching connections to and from downtown Vancouver. On these tours you have a great chance see Orcas, Humpback Whales, Minke Whales, & Grey Whales, among other marine mammals such as Porpoises and Sea Lions.

If you are looking for adventure, the Zodiac is the way to go. With only 12 passengers, this is an intimate tour narrated by your skipper that will have you bouncing along the coastline in true West Coast fashion. If you are looking for a more leisurely experience while still spending the same amount of time with the animals, the purpose-built Ocean Magic is a perfect alternative. With two airplane style bathrooms, a snack bar, and 3 different viewing areas, it is a “one size fits all” kind of vessel that will get you to the whales in the same amount of time as a Zodiac.

The Victoria Whales & Gardens Tour is the perfect way to see Victoria’s two premier attractions in one afternoon. It departs at 1:15pm daily from late May until early September, and, after whale watching in the protected waters of Haro and Juan de Fuca Strait on one of our Ocean Magic vessels, it arrives in the secluded Tod inlet at the Butchart Gardens’ private dock. From here, it is up to you how much time you would like to spend at the gardens. Have dinner and enjoy the musical offerings, or spend just enough time to see each beautifully manicured garden. Return to Victoria at an hour of your choice, aboard a fully-guided luxury coach operated by CVS Tours.


Beach Combing

Our Top Picks…

  1. French Beach Provincial Park. Located at the South end of the Island just west of Victoria in Sooke, this 59 hectare park is a great spot for walking along the beach and possibly seeing some whales from shore. Other wildlife you may see will be otters, seals and Bald Eagles. There is plenty of parking and an adventure playground for the children. The park is open from May to September.
  2. Parksville Beach and Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville.


Scuba Diving

Explore some of the world’s best scuba diving, just blocks from downtown. Marine life is abundant in the lush kelp beds. Hundreds of species of fish, otters, seals, octopi and sea floor dwellers are all just breaths away as you enter another world in the wild Pacific waters. This is one of the stops on every divers must dive list.

The artificial reef society has been busy sinking former navy vessels in the area to provide new areas of exploration. If you wish to do some diving while you are here, let our reservations agent know and we can get you the information you need.


Bird Watching

Birders will want to make the trip over to the Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary located adjacent to the Fisgard Lighthouse and Ft. Rodd Hill. Cuthbert Holmes Park is another spot which is frequented by a large variety of our fine feathered friends including the Great Blue Heron.
Swan Lake also provides bird watchers with some satisfying moments. Check with us at the Guest Services Desk for more information.