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2013 Season

This prestigious award, which places Vancouver Whale Watch in the top-performing 10% of all businesses worldwide on TripAdvisor, is given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travelers.


Subject: Paradise and back

Words cannot describe the experience my girlfriend and I had with Vancouver Whale Watch on Saturday, July 13th - and we are home grown Lower Mainland gals. If you are seeking thrills and adventure then its right here in our backyard people and the Lightship 1 is the boat for you! [Our Captain] and [our Naturalist] made sure our day was full of fun and was able to secure us the 'tri-factor' finding us a Humpback within 20 minutes of us leaving the dock, Orcas AND Minke Whales. Our afternoon was a full five hours of laughter, awe inspiring scenery, breathe taking wildlife, yeehaws as we 'wave jumped' in our zodiac and numerous thumbs up egging [our Captain] on for more fun. And as cheesy as it may sound, yes they ARE the Dream Team as their dedication to making our day special resulted in my girlfriend putting a huge check mark on her bucket list. Thank you [to our Captain] and [our Naturalist]. This day is firmly locked in our memory banks forever.

~ The Crazy Gals In the Second Row From The Front
~ Dee S & Barbara Z

I was on the boat with [our Captain] and [our Naturalist] a week ago Friday [July 5] and wanted to thank you for the great experience they both provided me. It was thrilling to see the Orcas and we must have seen close to 25, one even swimming under the boat which was not intended to happen at all.

[Our Naturalist] came to everyone and shared her knowledge and enthusiasm and pointed out that we were in the midst of the L Pod family. It was great!

Also, your [Shuttle] driver, is much more than a driver. His knowledge of the history and culture of the area made the trip to and from the Westin Hotel where I was staying for the Kiwanis International Convention a real treat. He is special.

I hope to return with my wife in the near future from our home in Richmond, VA. It was ironic to travel 8 hours in the air from Richmond and be in Richmond, but that is what happened.

All the best,
John McGinty (Richmond VA)

Thank you so much for friday [Jun.21].
The group had a wonderful time!
We will see you again next year.

Many thanks,
Jackie Lanz, Project Manager - Holiday Options


I would just like to thank you for a most wonderful day today [May 11, 2013]. This was my second trip with you (I also did a trip with you last  October) and it was once again just fantastic. To see Orcas so close and three hunts was just amazing.

[Our Naturalist was] such a great conservationist and guide and so helpful and knowledgeable. [The Shuttle Driver] was also a tremendous guide and I learnt a lot on the drive.

I feel very privileged to have had two amazing trips and I am going to come back either later this year or next year.

Thank you again,
Liz goodman

Last week' Wednesday May 8 my wife and I fulfilled a life-long dream to experience the orca “up close and personal”.  We have all of you good folks at Vancouver Whale Watch to thank for the most wonderful day and experience that we ever could have imagined.  From the moment that your bus picked us up at our downtown hotel, to the office “check in” in Steveston, to the Captain and the Naturalist who put us in the middle of two traveling pods of orcas everyone provided us with a most enjoyable day.  You can never guarantee that whale watchers such as we will see orcas but you showed us that you would guarantee that you would do everything in your power to deliver the desired encounter.  When we were safely returned to the harbor and then to our hotel we were surely tired, but exhilarated beyond belief with our day on the water.  There’s never enough pictures to capture the magic of every beautiful move by these magnificent creatures, but we have attached several of our favorites.  Thank you Vancouver Whale Watch!!!

Al and Marsha McGeehan (Holland, Michigan)

Photo by Al McGeehan Photo by Al McGeehan    
Photo by Al McGeehan Photo by Al McGeehan    

2012 Season

Richmond Reel

humpback whale

"Just popping in a quick note to say a big thanks for today's whale watch experience [October 21, 2012]. Didn't manage to catch any orcas (so we'll try to be back again next time!), but all the other animal sightings were amazing. Kudos to our boat captain, and the naturalist guide ... on a job well done!

Sending in a shot of one of the humpbacks we sighted earlier this afternoon. One that I will always treasure :)

Have a great week ahead!"

Blessings, April Hui Xian Loh

"This was such a wonderful and special day [October 21, 2012]. [Our Naturalist] was fabulous and [the Captain] too. I feel very privileged to have seen three hump back whales and all of the other wonderful wildlife. The day lived up to and beyond my expectations.

I hope to be back next year."

Kind Regards, Liz

"My husband won a whale watching trip for two in April from the ForTwoPlease site and we went in August. We had a fabulous day!! Everything went very smooth and the staff and Captain were great, as well as the staff back at the shore. We saw a Sea Otter, lots of Seals, an Eagle and of course lots of Whales. We want to thank you for the great day."

Thanks again, Susan and Douglas Reid

"Thanks for the amazing trip July 13th 2012. My brother and I had an amazing time, and watching the whales, eagles, and seals was the best part of our vacation. Plenty of good memories came back home with us."

Thanks again, Bettyann and Mike Goertz

"Thank You For a Fantastic Experience

I just wanted to thank you for a most wonderful experience. Our two sons had booked the whale watching trip on 5th July for my 60th birthday present which was also our 37th wedding anniversary and my eldest son Chris had emailed you and arranged for you to present us with a bottle of champagne which was absolutely fabulous, we were both totally surprised.  You also gave us a photo card which was really good of you.  Thank you so much, we had a wonderful day, the weather was fantastic and we saw 7 orcas in total. It was a day we won't forgot for a long time and we have some good video footage as well to remind us of a special time.  Chris and his girlfriend Jen had also done your trip two years previously and were so impressed they wanted us to experience it as well. 

Thank you once again, you made us most welcome."

Sheila & Roy Thompson (UK)

"Hello all!  Just wanted to thank you for the amazing experience we had whale watching with your crew.  Our tour guide was terrific. We all had a great time. It was fantastic to see the whales in their natural habitat!"

Thanks again, Katerberg family

"This picture took on Wednesday [June 20] with your company, it's the best thing I did with my son, thank you"

John Chow

Orca Tail Slap by John Chow

"Thank you so much for a wonderful adventure!  My mother and I very much enjoyed our 4 hour boat ride with the Orcas.  The City of Vancouver and surrounding area is absolutely stunning!  I'm sure you must realize how lucky you are to live in such a beautiful city. 
I hope to return in the near future with my husband."

Teri Charpenel

"I just wanted to send you an email and thank you sooooooo much for allowing us to come on the Saturday whale watching experience. It was a fabulous experience that we talked about all week!!!!!!! Thank you so much for fitting us in!!!!"


2011 Season

2011 © Barb McTavish - Vancouver Whale Watch - Orca Super Pod sighting!

"This photo was taken on August 9, 2011 while out with the Vancouver Whale Watch crew. We had to travel quite far to get to the whales but it was sure worth it when we got there! There are three pods of whales that are often sighted off the coast here, usually on their own, but on this day we were treated to seeing all three pods together which created a Super Pod. What an awesome experience to see so many whales at one time! The whales were in their sleeping pattern so we were able to follow along with them as they dipped and crested through the Pacific. The enthusiasm of our tour guide only added to the experience! In this photo, you can see ten whales including a baby's fin showing in the front. It was a truly wonderful experience!

Best regards,"
Barb McTavish (Winnipeg, MB)


"Just wanted to let you know a photo I took on your Whale Tour last year in September just won me a trip to Antartica. I am so happy and so over the moon. I was so happy and very lucky to capture this picture.

Whale watching with you guys was the best thing I have ever
done, and your company is amazing.

[Here's] the link to the competition. CLICK HERE

Thanks again for a great experience. :-) "

Kate Orchard (Brisbane - Australia)

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Congratulations from the whole Vancouver Whale Watch™ Team!

"Now that we are home, I just want to drop you a note and let you know how much we enjoyed our day [Oct.22] with your company.  [Our Naturalist] was great and we really lucked out with the weather, especially given the time of year. I was happy to post a positive review on TripAdvisor and hope that it helps bring you more business."

Kelly Garret

"Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to partake in your whale watching. We had a great day [Oct.4]. Our guide was amazing Ė she was full of energy and it just made it for an even better day. I am very pleased with your service and guides level of knowledge. I look forward to working with you and your wonderful company. Thank you!"

Eline Haanstra,
Ellison Travel & Tours Ltd., Group Planner

"Just a quick note from Saturdays trip [Sept.24] - Thanks so much for everything and the trip was certainly fabulous.  If we ever make it back we will certainly do it again."

Adam Crowe

"We would love to tell you how much we enjoyed our whale watching tour with you on Sept.12th. We found the crew to be very informative and professional. We would not hesitate to do this trip again. It was not just about seeing the whales the boat ride was amazing. Thank you kindly"

Ron Lawrence & Patti Cook

"Had a great day [Sept.5] rafting with your team. One of the many highlights of our 3 week trip to Canada and something I hope to repeat in the future. Great boat, great knowledgable staff, great views and lots and lots of whales. A must do."

Bill, Diane, Eilidh and Calum Brown. (Edinburgh, Scotland)

"I just wanted to thank you for everything you did to make it such an enjoyable day [Aug.12] for me and my family.
WE HAD THE BEST TIME! The kids loved it, as did the adults. It was such a special day and we will never forget it. THANK YOU! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!!

If I bring another group to Vancouver, we will definitely contact you."

Heather Edmondson
Director, Meetings & Incentives, RPMC (Calabasas, CA)

"Thanks for everything!!!! [Aug.3]
We all had a fabulous and once in a lifetime experience!"

Nicole, Curtis, Kiera and Alexander

The Goldberry's

"I just wanted to thank your entire company for a memory of a lifetime.  We took our friends from Germany on your Express boat and had an amazing day [July 11].  SO many whales and so much activity with breaching, tail slapping, pectoral fin waving --  everything imaginable!  Our German friends thought we might get to see 1 or 2 whales the whole day, but our necks got tired from looking all around us with all the whales that [our] Captain found.  Our naturalist onboard was so engaging and informative and really made the trip fun the entire way.  Thank you for a day we won't ever forget!!!"

Dana Wilson

"We went on a trip in your Lightboat 1 on June 30,2011, and we wanted you to know that we had a wonderful time! [Our] Captain and our naturalist were outstanding. We especially appreciated [our Naturalist] helping us get reservations on the BC Ferry to Victoria for the next day. The whole trip was great - it was such an awesome experience to see these animals in the wild. We saw two breeches, and Bob was fortunate enough to catch them both with our camera! Thanks again for a memorable day. This was truly one of the highlights of our Canada trip."

Norma & Bob Glenn (The Woodlands, TX)

"My friend from England came to visit and really wanted to see whales. I booked (June 28 2011) based on great reviews and was thrilled with the results! Our naturalist was fantastic and really made the whole trip exciting. I was really impressed with how respectful and knowledgeable the captain was as well.  He knew what whales to follow that would be interesting, kept us out of the boat-scrum that was getting a bit much, and knew how the whales would surf the wake behind the ferry. My friend wanted to see "more than just a big fin" and boy did we ever! Even got some photos of jumps! I honestly couldn't have asked for a better experience. Thank you so much!"


"Just wanna say that we had a blast on today's tour [June 10]. Our Naturalist/Tour Guide did a great job! She explained everything perfectly and you can really see that she loves what she is doing. She cares for the group and especially the whales! Thank you so much!!!"

Patricia Go

"I was on a whalewatch tour on Wed. June 1/11, with my sister and my aunt from Europe.  I just wanted to say what a fun and informative day we had.  Our [Naturalist] did such an incredible job of informing us about the wildlife we saw...orcas, seals, sea lions, and eagles. She was so full of energy and you could tell she clearly loves what she is doing.  Thank you again for an incredible experience!!!


Sylvia Boyd

"Hello, My family recently went on a whale watching trip May 29th (11a.m.) - celebrating our son's UBC graduation and my husband's birthday. We had an AMAZING time and saw so much! Bald eagles and their chicks in the nest, seals and plenty of whales frolicking in the water. It was an awesome experience. Our guide was top notch -- but I forgot her name!

Please tell her thank you for a very memorable day. It was the highlight of our Vancouver trip -- besides the graduation of course!
Many thanks"

Melissa Sturgis (Houston, Texas)

"Just wanted to say that our [Naturalist] made a great day [June 1st] for us and we found the Orcas! [Our Naturalist] really made our day fantastic and pointed out so many interesting sites to us all and always had a smile on her face!! She made sure every person on that boat was looked after. Thank you to the captain of the boat too!"

Susan Schreiner

"I would like to write to you and thank you for the generous offer of allowing myself and a friend to be a part of your whale watch group on Friday, April 15.  Everything was fantastic from the moment we were picked up downtown to when we were dropped off.  We got to see orcas, sea lions, seals, eagles, and dolphins. I cannot remember the woman's name that was guiding us along the day but she was also fantastic and had a great personality and it really showed that she loves her job. 

I will be recommending this whale watch tour to my staff as well as my guests!  You and your team have an amazing product and I would be delighted to share it with others.

Thanks again,

Have a great season!"

Katharine (Vancouver, BC)
Front Office Manager Blue Horizon Hotel

"THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH for such an INCREDIBLY FANTASTIC day :-) :-) :-) " [Apr.11]

Bryony Dickens (England)


2010 Season

"This is the 3rd whale watching tour I have booked in Canada but Vancouver Whale Watch [Sept.] is by far the best with a shuttle bus to pick you up on time from down town Vancouver - if you like your wild life this is indeed a tip of a life time with over 80 Ocra whales surrounding our boat - the agility of the whales were viewed with gasps and continous camera clicking - we had over one and a half hours to view these magestic giants with the 80 odd whales surrounding our vessel - this was complemented by an informed Naturalist giving relevant information regarding the life of Ocra whales"

David (UK)

"Just to say how much we three enjoyed the whale watch trip yesterday Thursday 9th Sept 2010. We have come from the UK. What a display of orcas we witnessed and the dolphins chinagons were a bonus to us. The boat was [an] incredible experience and so glad we went on the Explorathor as safety was paramount to us and that is what you provided. We would recommend..." [email was truncated]

Angela Philips (UK)

"I just wanted to thank you again for a wonderful time whale-watching yesterday [Aug.31]. My wife and I were spellbound by these amazing creatures and feel it is such a wonderful thing for people to be able to experience when in Vancouver.

We were also very impressed by your team's friendliness and professionalism. In particular, [our Naturalist] led a great tour and helped make the trip very enjoyable.

Michael Lee (from Tourism Vancouver)

"I went on a whale watching tour on the 2pm tour on August 16 and it was the most fun I have ever had. Our Naturalist ... was very informative and because we had a small group was able to spend a little more one on one time with every one. [She] made the trip very fun and very enjoyable. Thank you so much [to our Naturalist] and [our Captain] for a great tour. and I hope to see you next year on the tour again ...".

Fern Chaboyer

"Dear VancouverWhaleWatch-Team, Today (Monday) [Aug.9] we enjoyed your WhaleWatch-Tour with the Lightship.
The Tour was so fantastic, that we want to said it again per mail. The Crew was funny and competent at same time!
Our trip was very funny and interesting adventure. Last but not least we saw a great whale show. Special thanks to our guides for the patience of searching whales.

Tomorrow we leave Vancouver so the tour was a fantastic finish of our Canada-Trip, therefore we have to say “Thank you”! Of course we advise this tour to all our friends :)

Have a great day!"
Daniela & Daniel

"I just wanted to drop [our Captain] and [Naturalist] a line to say "Thank you" yesterdays [Aug.5] afternoon trip was fantastic!  We did not expect to see as many whales as we did and then the crazy amount of dolphins put the experience over the top.  My 19 year old son said he felt like a 5 year on Christmas morning! 

[Our Naturalist was] so nice, friendly and knowledgable.  It brought a smile to my face to see how excited and passionate you are about your job.  As my family from Ontario straggle out here to visit you will be at the top of my list of things to do!"


A Message in a Bottle from our friends at Britannia College...

Guest Commenst from Britannia College group

Click note to see the whole message.

2009 Season

"What an incredible day!! [July 19] Our early morning whale watching trip was fantabulous!! Amazing crew, great boat, incedible scenery and all sorts of wild life! On our 4 hour cruise we saw just about everything but whales! :-) So now we have an opportunity to try again! Now that is service with a guarantee! we'd be back anyway! with others too .... Regards,"

Karen Bamford

"Thank you for such a fantastic whale watching trip today. It was the highlight of our two week vacation. Special thanks to [Naturalist] and [Captain] for giving us the experience of our lives. Attached is just one of the many spectacular memories we caught on camera! Again, THANK YOU...we will definitely do this again when we come back to Vancouver."

Rick Kingi Jr.

Barry's Catch

2008 Season

"Thanks to you all for making our trip yesterday so spectacular! The boat ride itself was well worth the price! We had so much fun and now have a new appreciation for the beauty of our coastline and the wonders of whales! I am sure I can speak for all of us in saying your staff were both professional and informative. This was a top notch adventure that we will all remember forever."

Karyn @ Galleon Marine (Group Tour)

"I just wanted to say thanks for such a great day on Sunday [Sept.14].  Whenever I've been on the ferry and seen those orange suited people fly by on the zodiac I've always been so jealous.  Well, I finally got my day on the zodiac and it was better than I imagined it would be.  I can't believe how many whales we saw and how active they all were.  It was like someone had rigged it up as a show for us.  Our captain and our naturalist made the day awesome!  Thanks so much for the experience.  I can't wait to tell everyone I know about it and get them to go out with you guys."

Lisa Baker (BC, Canada)

"We just wanted to say Thank you for a wonderful time on our whale watch [Aug.22]. We loved being in the open air boat and we saw so many whales we are still talking about it. [We had] a great guide, [and] a wonderful shuttle driver and our boat driver was wonderful as well. Thanks for the great service and the great time."

Toni Sampo (translated by Sue Johnson (Long Beach, CA))

Orcas by Tim Filtz

"Just a note to say thanks for the great time my wife, son and myself had on our tour [Aug.17]. The staff were all very courteous and professional and we got to see a lot of whales too! I have included one of the pictures I was lucky enough to get. Thanks again"

Tim Filtz (Edmonton)

"My family and I were passengers on your 9 am departure on Monday, July 28th, .... We loved our trip with you, being from the prairies, this was our boys' first visit to the ocean (aged 10 and 12). We were all thrilled with our experience with the transient orcas we saw, and I've attached a few of our favorite pictures. It was truly a high point of our trip, and we are still talking about it. Our tour more than surpassed our expectations - our youngest commented that he even just loved the boat ride. "This isn't just a whale watching tour, it's a thrill ride!" (15 minutes into the strait crossing....). Thanks to everyone we dealt with, and particularly [our Captain] and [Naturalist] for their wonderful service and enthusiasm.

Thank you so much,

Alix Hayden, and Devin, Bodhi, Teagan Edie Warman, SK"

"I just wanted to write a quick thank-you for our wonderful trip on Saturday. It was a great day, and we saw LOTS of whales! The [bus] drivers, office staff and the boat staff were all friendly and helpful, and we really appreciated the service we got. I may contact you later in the summer for another trip! ... We had a great time on our trip, and I'd recommend Vancouver Whale Watch to any other groups, definitely. Thanks again,"

Mandy from

We have just returned home after a fabulous holiday touring western Canada. One of the days (8th June) we spent with you looking for Orca making a life long ambition come true and would like to say a big thank you especially to [our Naturalist] ... for an absolutely fantastic and memorable day. Photos did not turn out as good as I hoped but the best pictures are locked away in our heads for a dull day in the office when the rain is pouring down outside and sunny holidays are a distant memory. We hope to enjoy a trip with you again in the future and will certainly recommend you to all our friends.

Once again thank you to all you lucky people who must have one of the best jobs in the world.

Karen & Tom Paterson (Scotland)

We were on a whale watching tour with you just yesterday, May 21. We've now returned home to Alberta and I just wanted to extend a very warm Thank you for such a great trip. Although the weather wasn't very cooperative we still managed to spot a few whales from j-pod. It was a great experience for all of us, we learned a great deal about orcas, sea lions, seals, and other species. Our [Naturalist] and Captain were fantastic. Our [Naturalist] was of great comfort to my 5 yr old daughter who didn't handle the waves so well. She went above and beyond to make her feel better, and we'll be sure to return another time.

Rozina Richard (Alberta, Canada)

2007 Season

My family and I recently enjoyed whale watching trips on both your craft.  We originally booked for 27 August on the Lightship and even though no orcas were spotted, we had a fantastic experience seeing the gulf islands and waterways with other wildlife. We are certainly recommending this trip to our friends in Australia.

As a result of your sighting guarantee (thank you) we visited again on 30 August and enjoyed the Explorathor and were rewarded with one of the most memorable experiences of our trip to Vancouver – half an hour of transient orcas swimming and playing near the boat.  This is an experience we will not forget and I would like to thank you for the fantastic experiences – we enjoyed both trips immensely and saw some fantastic scenery.

We are and will certainly recommend Vancouver Whale Watch to any friends wanting to see orcas in Vancouver.

Thanks again,

Greg Kyle (Queensland, Australia)

Just would like to say that we had an absolutely WONDERFUL experience on your whale watching tour!!!! We were on the Aug 20th, 9AM Lightship l. Our naturalist and boat pilot were both very knowledgeable. Our boat pilot seemed to know how to maneuver ahead of the whale pod we were observing, then shut the motor down and we would wait a few moments and then they would surface. The information the naturalist gave us concerning the killer whale behavior and how they would react was great.

It was a super experience because we could observe them without stressing them. Please compliment both our boat pilot and naturalist as they made this trip a truly WONDERFUL experience.

I am keeping this website in my folders as I am almost certain our son is going to settle in the Vancouver area after graduation from SFU and if he and his girlfriend get married, I know members of my family here in the States would love to take your trip while visiting for the wedding.

Thank you again for such a wonderful experience!!!!!!

Jan Hegner (Omaha, NE.)

On our visit to Vancouver recently, we came out whale watching twice with you and we would just like to say a big thank you for a memorable two days. [Our naturalist] was great and I just wish I had her job. :)

Thank you once again it was a excellent experience.

Vicki Web (USA)

I just wanted to say thank you very much to our [Captain] and our Naturalist for a wonderful experience. My son who is 7 1/2 (Mitchell) along with my mom, sister and I went whale watching with your company on Tuesday, July 3rd. We rode on the Explorathor. We got some great pictures and enjoyed the trip. [Our Captain] made my son feel very welcome and let him sit in the "captain's" chair when we were stopped.

Thanks again for the great experience - we'll be back again next year.

Leslie Bryant (Edmonton, Alberta)

I very recently spent the day [Jun.20th] with yourselves on a whale watching trip. What a fantastic time I had, you pretty much guaranteed I would see Orcas and Orcas is what I saw. Beautiful majestic creatures that they are, I was in awe. Accompanied by a very professional Captain and the very gorgeous [Naturalist], you really made it the highlight of my vacation. I got some really good shots too, some of which I have attached.

Paul Bowen (UK)