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The History of Vancouver Whale Watch™

Vancouver Whale Watch™ began in 1998 as an eco-tourism company called Captain Zodiac, at that time no one thought whale watching off the mainland was possible. Within a year Cedric Towers, the owner and founder, decided that with the right boats, both seaworthy and fast, whale watching from Steveston was very possible. He was not wrong and Vancouver Whale Watch™ became the first company to offer whale watching tours from Vancouver.

Starting with one 12 passenger zodiac, built by Titan boats. Cedric quickly realized that he needed greater passenger capacity to make the business successful. In 2000 he imported the Explorathor from the RTM, boat builders in Quebec. It was specifically designed for marine mammal viewing and provided passengers excellent visual and picture taking opportunities. The Explorathor Express was purchased in 2002, increasing passenger capacity to 184 people a day over two trips using all three of our vessels.

In 2009 the original Explorathor was retired and in 2010 Explorathor II, built locally in North Vancouver was launched. Both the Express and Explorathor vessels are powered with water jets and the most fuel efficient engines available. These engines exceed emission standard requirements significantly reducing our impact on the marine environment. The benefit to our passengers is a faster, quieter and smoother ride.

In 2017, Vancouver Whale Watch welcomed Strider I to our fleet, a 12 passenger zodiac like the Lightship I, build by Titan Boats.

Operating seven days a week from April 1st to October 31st and employing over 25 staff members during peak season we host thousands of people a year from every country in the world.

Vancouver Whale Watch™ has been a member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association since 1999. This is a trans-boundary organization of whale watchers that acts as a voice for the industry. PWWA support a grant that funds scientific research on the Southern Resident Orcas and have developed the strictest guidelines in the world for watching Orcas. The Canadian and American governments in consultation with the PWWA and the scientific community are slowly adopting the guidelines that we have developed.

Vancouver Whale Watch™ is now entering its 22nd season of operation with an over 90% sighting success rate in each of our previous seasons.

We look forward to a fantastic 22nd season and hope you can join us.


Cedric Towers