Vancouver Whale Watch Home

Guest Comments

 

 

2020 Season


Fantastic Experience

This was the best whale watching excursion I have been on. The boat was clean and safe feeling. The ride was smooth and we saw 5 whales through out our trip. [Our Guide] was knowledgeable and friendly, was eager to answer questions and share information about the whale behaviours we were seeing. I highly recommend this tour and with the limited passengers they made social distancing easy on-board.

Heidi900 on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 22 July 2020


AAA+ Best Whale Watching Experience

Absolutely incredible tour! Would do it all again in a heart beat. We watched two (and potentially a third) pods of transient killer whales play non stop for about 45 minutes or so. We then turned around and there was a humpback whale behind us! We hung out with that guy for quite some time too. We also saw seals and copious amounts of eagles nesting.

[Our Guides], they were super friendly, safe, incredibly knowledgeable ([One of our Guides] being a marine biologist who studies humpback whales), and very down to earth, and our captain, Mike was also a gem!

I would highly recommend this tour!

NeonGrints (Vancouver Island) on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 5 July 2020


 

2019 Season


Not to be missed!

A professional and efficient organisation that did everything they could to give us a special day. From pick up to drop off this was a wholly enjoyable experience made so by the lovely driver Trevor of the shuttle bus and the friendly staff at the office and on the boat.

We were so lucky to have seen around 16 killer whales, a couple of bald-headed eagles and loads of seals and sea lions.

Definitely a day to remember!

Hilary64 on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 8 April 2019


WOW!! This was an experience we will cherish forever!

Everyone at Vancouver Whale Watch was so hospitable from the moment we booked our tour. The office staff was so kind when checking us in and getting any additional outerwear and lunch/snacks that we may need. [Our tour guide] and [our Captain] were so knowledgeable about the different wildlife and lead us straight to an amazing sighting of a pod of 9 killer whales. This is truly a must do tour! And everyone at Vancouver Whale Watch is sure to make it an unforgettable memory!!

THANK YOU everyone at VWW!!

We canít wait to do another tour with you!!

Danni L. on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 12 April 2019


A dream come true!!

Such an amazing experience!!! We saw California sea lions, harbour seals, bald eagles, and stellar sea lions. AND OH RIGHT... SO MANY KILLER WHALES!!!! The boat was great!! The upper viewing deck was awesome for ultimate views! The glassed-in area kept us warm while still letting us see outside!!

Our guide was so knowledgeable and friendly!! We learned so much and she was super easy to talk to and answered all our questions! There were tons of reference guides on board that had really cool info in them!!

[Our Captain] was amazing! We felt very safe the entire time and he brought us close to the whales while still maintaining their safety as well!

All the staff in the office were very helpful and friendly!! All in all would 100 PERCENT recommend to anyone that wants to adventure out to see some wildlife and learn a ton about our incredible world!!

Davitadb on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 1 May 2019


June 14th 2019

We had a wonderful time! We saw a family of Orcas, and the captain let us enjoy them for a long time. Our guide was very informative and knowledgeable. We also saw bald eagles, seals, sea lions and a humpback whale. We were out for almost 5 hours. It was great weather. Definitely worth the money. It was pretty perfect. Thanks so much!

Kellie A on TripAdvisor
Visited 14 June 2019 & Reviewed 16 June 2019


5 Star!!!

Wow. Amazing! Thank you Vancouver Whale Watch for an amazing experience, you promised whales and you did not disappoint. We had to go a long way to find them but it was worth it. A pod of 6 orcas that we watched for about 30 minutes. [Our Guide] was fantastic and was able to identify the pod and tell us all about the family unit. Mummy was T65A, and I bought the postcard in the shop. She was so passionate about whale conservation and her depth of knowledge very impressive. Learnt a lot. Thank you. [Our Captain] was a great skipper and navigated us across very choppy water over to the islands. I can see why the orange suits are a necessity but think I was sat in the splash zone in the boat! A most exhilarating ride. We also saw seals and bald eagles. Would definitely recommend this company if you want to go find some whales.

JaniceD884 on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 21 June 2019


Amazing

Vancouver Whale Watch, lightship strider with [our Captain] and [our Guide], was amazing. Once in a great while you get more than you bargained for. This day was it, in part because [our Captain] and [our Guide] are authentic and passionate about their work and love ocean life!

We saw families of Orcas, at close range, at one point one of orcas appeared within reach of our boat! Amazing!

In addition to the killer whales, we saw pods of harbor seals, elephant seals, and a wealth of bird life, including bald eagles!

Note-personally the smaller, faster vessel works for me.

If you have motion sickness or are sensitive to rough waters-choose the larger vessels! Several of our travelers were sick.

H869QYcarlar on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 23 June 2019


Fantastic!

Pick up was great with Levi entertaining us on the way there. A couple of hours on the boat with [our Captain] which was great seeing seals and beautiful scenery. Orcas for over 1 hour...4 of them! It was great and the UK guide was well informed and sole to everyone on the trip. I could not praise it enough. A great trip well organised Which did not disappoint.

Kgscad on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 23 June 2019


Awsome to see whales in the wild

Such a well organised company, we had transport added so they picked us up from our hotel with an email the day before confirming pick up time.

Once at the venue, check in was easy and then we went to the port, there was a fish market too so really interesting to see sea urchins and other bazar fish for sale.

Off on our boat, we were on the Express, good fun but very safe, we had lots of informative info from our guide throughout and really interesting to hear about the different types of Killer Whales, Transients and Residents.

First we saw some humpback whales, totally amazing. Then sea lions, gorgeous. Then.... The ones we were all waiting for Killer Whales! We saw a pod of 3, Mum and her 2 boys, the guide even knew which pod they were, we followed them at a safe distance for quite a while, before heading off to see the humpbacks again on our way back to shore.

Fantastic day, thank you so much.

Emma and Andrew Foster

EmandAndi on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 31 May 2019


 

2018 Season


2018 Trip Advisor Award

HALL of FAME! Certficate of Excellence Five Years in a Row!

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.



A Different World!

Highly recommend this Whale-Watching Tour! Friends were coming up from the States with the specific intention of getting out onto the ocean. We chose Vancouver Whale Watch after reading the reviews (and because weíll take any excuse to visit the beautiful Steveston area).

From entering their Steveston office until the last moments, we experienced an exceedingly well-run and friendly tour.

Creature comforts are accommodated including extra outdoor gear you can borrow, offers of water and snacks, educational water-proof reading material on board and the choice of being in the covered, semi-covered or open areas of the vessel.

As for the different world of wild life - we had quite an array, especially for late in the season. We saw 6 humpbacks (5 up close) and a group of Dahlís porpoises gave merry chase around the boats. Californian and Stellar sea lions and Harbour seals seemed to enjoy providing great visual/vocal experiences. A stately Bald Eagle saw us leave and another was waiting as we were arriving back to dock.

Of particular note was the staff - in the office and on the trip - all were personable and made us feel welcome in their world. Our guide/hostess, was lovely - enthusiastic, full of information - constantly moving around to check on everyone. Her obvious love of the subjects and extensive knowledge/experience made it even better! Our Captain (regret we didnít catch his name) handled the boat so smoothly that I (admittedly previously nervous) never had a moment of nerves.

All 5 of us spent the rest of the day recounting and agreeing on our good fortune to have had this experience. Thank you Vancouver Whale Watch!

Renaken (Vancouver) on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 23 Oct 2018


The perfect experience

I took my Mum to see the orcaís with Vancouver Whale Watch and it was absolutely spectacular. Every staff member we encountered was extremely professional and safety conscious. We went in the smaller zodiac which only seats 12 people and it was fantastic. Ellen was a great guide and very informative. We saw a number of orcaís and it was amazing to watch them hunt and play. This was my second time with Vancouver Whale Watch, and I would gladly go again!

Illona L on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed October 2018


An unforgettable experience.

We went out on April 3rd for nearly 5 hours and had a marvelous time. We Were picked up in Downtown by their shuttle driver, a marvelously knowledgeable coach driver and then taken out to Steveston. Customer service was spot on throughout, both on our bus and in the booking office.

Our trip out itself was FABULOUS. Cormorants, seals, sea lions, bald eagles and killer whales. Our boat went out further than others (all the way to Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island) which meant that we shared our sightings with only 2 other boats.

In Saanich Inlet we spent over 45 minutes with 8-9 killer whales. It was an amazing experience and one which made us all feel quite humble if I'm honest. It was calm, peaceful and a real quality episode which will stay with us all for a long time. Thank you to [our Guides and Captain] for your excellent skills. A truly tremendous day which has been the clear highlight of our trip. Absolutely tremendous stuff.

Peter S on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed 3 April 2018


 

2017 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.

AMAZING!!!

Excellent tour and the employees are top notch.

It is truly awe aspiring when you get to see these amazing animals up close. [Our Captain] did his best to stay the appropriate distance from the whales, but they (at times) had other plans. ]Our tour guide] was very knowledgeable about the whale families that we saw (transients and residents). She was super excited over the number of whales and even more that the transients and the residents didn't seem to mind that the other was nearby. We also got to see several seals and sea lions.

This tour and this company was worth every cent that we paid as we absolutely had an awesome day seeing the beautiful animals in their undisturbed habitat!

FYI - The boat we were on isn't meant for young children. If you don't have young children book the Lightship or the Strider, you will NOT regret it.

KekeGram (Ohio) on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed October 2017


Baby orca!

I have nothing but good things to say about these folks. They run a very safe, professional operation. I've been out with them several times and have always been impressed. On our most recent outing this past week we even got to see a fairly young orca playing with its family members. On the slim chance you don't happen to see any whales, they give you a coupon to come back as often as it takes until you see the whales. The boats are clean and comfortable and the guide who travels with you is very informative and helpful. Seeing orcas in the waters off of Vancouver is one of the most unique and fun adventures for both locals and visitors alike. I highly recommend.

IvanGee604 (Vancouver) on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed August 2017


Amazing

The most professional and informative tour in the region. They take the time to know the animals, and respect the space to keep everyone safe and in compliance. Great opportunity to see whales in their own environment. Tons of great information about the area.

Maryrather1006 (North Carolina) on TripAdvisor
Visited & Reviewed September 2017


 

2016 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.

A must see

If you're going to Vancouver then you must do some form of orca spotting. We chose this company based on reviews on TripAdvisor, they certainly didn't disappoint.

You are picked up by a shuttle bus in the heart of the city centre and taken to the dock where you depart on a spotting boat. On our route we went down near Victoria and were lucky enough to spot 2 Humpbacks, countless sea lions and two full pods of orcas including the resident Orca named granny who is the oldest Orca of the area.

Between journeys of travelling to areas where you can spot wildlife in all honesty we fell asleep, whether this was down to the sea air or we were just extremely tired from how long our journey had been so far as we'd been away for several weeks at this point. We then travelled back to the dock and caught the shuttle back into the city.

Seeing the orcas was amazing - they did inform us however that they hadn't seen them for a week.

Trevor who picks you up on the shuttle is excellent, very informative and friendly. He actually recommended a brilliant restaurant to eat after the whale watching at joe fortes. The crew on the boat are also very helpful and knowledgable about the areas and what to search for.

Tip: Pack a lunch, take some sea sickness tablets, used to water proof trousers and rain mack and enough clothing so you're not cold.

Andrew D (Warrington, United Kingdom) on TripAdvisor via mobile
Visited October 2016, Reviewed 8 November 2016


Great day!

We were lucky that we had picked a good day for it, not raining, dry and some sun. The sea was calm. Prior to the trip we were informed to wrap up warm, though we would be provided with a waterproof jacket. Also water and a granola biscuit would be provided. We brought lunch with us. The company shuttle picked us up from (and took us back to ) our hotel. The driver Trevor was very useful giving us information and tips about Vancouver. When we arrived at the office to confirm names and payment, we were told to pick a waterproof and meet at the jetty. Shortly after we set off we saw a bald headed eagle sitting on a post.

After a 30 mins ride out of Richmond we found our first pair of humpback whales and it was exciting to be near them (100 m away according to the rules). Shortly after we saw our second pair of humpback whales. The ride around the islands was lovely and we arrived at a small rocky formation where sea lions were, about a hundred of them. Strange and interesting creatures.

It was a great day.

pargowin (Portsmouth, United Kingdom) on TripAdvisor
Visited October 2016, Reviewed 1 November 2016


Most touching experience

I went to a Whale Watching tour late October, it was the second last tour of the season. Levi, a very kind shuttle driver, picked us up at Canada place and drove us all the way down to the picturesque village of Steveston. Staff at Whale Watching Vancouver was competent and soon we were ready to board the boat. Aboard, our host Andy was exceptional and gave us lots of interesting information about the sea and its inhabitants. Soon after we left Steveston harbour we saw bald eagle, snow geese, seals... For the big greys we had to go a bit further to the open sea. And then it happened. A solo humpback whale popped up and showed us its elegance. It was breathtaking. Later we met a couple of humpbacks and as they didn't care about us we could join them for a while. Later on there were animals called Dall Sporeprise - something between whale and dolphin but even smaller than a dolphin - who chased the waves behind us. And there were Sea Lions aswell. To summarize, we have seen a lot of different creatures but it was truly touching to meet and observe the huge and quiet mammals from such a short distance.

Tama_Ba_123 on TripAdvisor
Visited October 2016, Reviewed 1 November 2016


Awesome excursion and more than just whales

The whole day was perfect. Be sure to pack a lunch as there is only water and granola bars on board and we were out for over 5 hours which was perfect for our great day. We saw a couple of sets of Humpback whales where the last could put on quite the show and we got to smell them up close and personal. Also saw sea lions, elephant seal, porpoises, deer. Staff are friendly and spend time with you face to face sometimes one on one. Well worth the money.

Thank you Vancouver Whale Watch!

CPSTO2013 (Windsor, Canada) on TripAdvisor via mobile
Visited October 2016, Reviewed 24 October 2016


Great Experience

We got to see 2 sets of 2 humpback whales coming up for air for about 20 min each. Plus we saw two types of seals. It was an awesome experience to see these animals in their natural habitat. Niamh was fantastic! She was very informative and attentive. You can tell there is an appreciation for the animals. The tour is very well organized and staff seemed very experienced. They made every effort to get a good sighting. Dress warmly, bring a lunch and expect to travel a bit into and back from the ocean.

GottaLoveTrips (Whitby, Ontario, Canada) on TripAdvisor
Visited October 2016, Reviewed 22 October 2016


A whale of a great time!

A top notch group that really knows how to find the whales and puts on super responsible aspect to safely and smartly watch them in nature!

Storagemadman (Richmond, Canada) on TripAdvisor
Visited October 2016 / Reviewed October 17 2016


Quality from start to finish

We started by being picked up by the 'fountain of knowledge' Trevor in the shuttle bus. He gave a us an informative journey out to richmond, even telling us where we could grab lunches to take on board. We had naturalist Niamh on the day and it was a clear day but always knowing there are no guarantees in looking for whales. When we did find them they were beautiful, and whilst not jumping and doing full displays of activity it was wonderful to get to see them in there groups. We want to say that as a family of 6, there was so much information we could just ask and it was given to us. A wonderful day and I would recommend it to anyone coming to vancouver.

EllaB1ack (Currumbin, Australia) on TripAdvisor
Visited October 2016, Reviewed 15 October 2016


Sooooo cool

It was a cloudy misty day and so we didn't have high hopes, but then the dream team lived up to their expectations and we stumbled upon many families of whales on the one day they were all socializing together and we saw about 20 WHALES!!! It was an incredible experience, one that we will never forget and can only give the thanks to the dream team on their last day together. They were also extremely polite and informative about the different types of whales, and at the end he drew up a family tree for us. Thank you for a great time!!

Beyla4eva (Manchester, United Kingdom) on TripAdvisor
Visited September 2016, Reviewed 6 October 2016


Holiday highlight

This was undoubtably the highlight of our recent holiday for me. Once we had decided to go to Vancouver, I knew I wanted to go whale watching. It's hard to know which company to pick when you're thousands of miles away but this company were amazing. It was easy to book online and they offer a pick up shuttle. We just had a perfect day. The boat went a fair distance to get to the Orcas but it was a great experience going out that far and passing lots of interesting features. The whales themselves were incredible and I will never forget seeing them cutting through the water with the sun shining off their fins. They were also leaping out of the water, I think there was a more technical term for it! We followed them for ages with the boat sometimes stopping so you could hear as well as see them. We also saw sea lions, seals and a variety of birds before coming back via some beautiful coastline. Highly recommended.

outofedinburgh (Edinburgh, United Kingdom) on TripAdvisor via mobile
Visited September 2016, Reviewed 4 October 2016


Successful whale watching cruise

We left Richmond armed with warm coats provided, expecting to feel the cold. The weather turned out perfect. We saw about 7 Orcas in several groups including males & females. The staff on the boat knew all the whales by name & explained the diffences in them. Lunch of sandwiches, fruit & drink was provided & was very nice. We were also lucky enough to see 2 humpback whales on the way back. To top off a wonderful day we passed a small island alive with huge sea lions sunning themselves. A great day for all.

Evy W (Gold Coast, Australia) on TripAdvisor
Visited September 2016 / Reviewed September 29 2016


Two species sighting

The Vancouver whale watch company does a very good job of finding whales. On our trip, we saw two species -- Humpback whales & Killer whales-- as well as Harbor Seals. The ride out to find the whales was quite rough, but they did tell us it would be! The crew was professional and the guide, Andy, was fun and informative. The office staff was very efficient and processed payments quickly. They had warm jackets available for loan if you didn't have one with you. It does get cold on the water. We were out about five hours on the water. It is a long day, so plan ahead. All in all, a terrific adventure!

Travello2016 (Livonia, Michigan) on TripAdvisor
Visited September 2016, Reviewed 27 September 2016


Wonderful time

Not only saw 25 Orca's saw seal's eagle, cormorants plus beautiful Gulf Is. Had an extremely informative naturalist. A must for anyone's bucket list.

Trevor S (Richmond, Canada) on TripAdvisor via mobile
Visited September 2016, Reviewed 15 September 2016


Amazing experience

Wonderful experience! Tour was super well organized. I forgot to bring a warm jacket and those are available before starting the tour (free of charge). Was able to see killer whales and still speechless about it. The boat tour was very pleasant, beautiful landscapes.

floridaudrey (Orlando, Florida) on TripAdvisor
Visited September 2016, Reviewed 10 September 2016


Fun! Fun! Fun!

We took the shuttle from down town to the pier. It was probably a 15 to 20 min ride. They provided wind/rain pants and jacket but were not needed when we went. We saw orcas about 30 min into our trip. How exciting!! My 9 yr old was truly amazed, the expression on her face was worth it all!!! My little cellphone camera does not capture the beauty of it all!!! The staff was very friendly and the guide very informative. We would did this again!

gigi o on TripAdvisor via mobile
Visited August 2016, Reviewed 10 September 2016


Phenomenal experience!

Impressed with everything about this company. Well prepared for weather conditions with rain suits provided, comfortable and fun boats, and an enthusiastic and knowledgable staff group from the shuttle bus driver to the on-board naturalist. We saw 4 orcas and numerous seals while also learning lots about the animals and environment. This tour was a remarkable experience and must do when in and around Vancouver!

Klroberts83 (Hamilton, Canada) on TripAdvisor via mobile
Visited September 2016, reviewed 5 September 2016


Pretty amazing afternoon

If you don't enjoy going fast over choppy water and getting soaked with salt water, the Lightship is not for you. I loved it. And we saw Orcas. What a fantastic afternoon.

We were required to wear huge, red insulated cruiser suits that were very hot at first but, once we got going, I was very glad to be wearing. Especially when we got sprayed.

Joan, our guide, and Brian, our captain, were knowledgeable, helpful, responsive and entertaining.

The best part was observing the whales, of course; a peronal dream fulfilled. There were only 12 passengers in the boat so there were very few obstructions and Brian made sure to change angles so we all had a chance for great views.

I would definitely do this again but I would caution that the Lightship is not for anyone with neck or back problems. They have other options for boats.

abundantlee on TripAdvisor via mobile
Visited August 2016, Reviewed 28 August 2016


First Class operation

Our experience with Vancouver Whale Watch began a month before we left home as we contacted various whale watch companies to find out the details of their particular programs. We were impressed by the knowledge and attitude of the Vancouver Whale Watch staff during our phone interviews. Therefore, we decided to use their services when we arrived in Vancouver ready to go whale watching.

Upon arriving at their office in Steveston near the harbor we were continually treated well by the staff who still had a great attitude not often found by tourist attractions these days. We were relieved to learn that both of the Zodiac boats were outfitted with plexiglass covers in case of rain. What we did not realize until we got out onto the water is that the plexiglass covers were invaluable when it came to keeping the wind off the passengers as the Zodiac boat skimmed the water going 50 knots on our way to find the whales.

It took an hour of speeding across the water before we found our first whale, but our captain, James, was determined to find a whale watching experience for us. He had heard there was a humpback sighting up North. We did see a couple of humpbacks from a distance, but then the action stopped. So our captain turned the boat around and headed back South to his usual spots where he often finds Orcas. It took another hour to get there, but it was well worth it. There must have been an Orca convention that day as the camera shutters started flying with many great shots of the Orcas doing their tricks. We spent an hour and a half just watching all the Orca activity before heading back to the pier. The literature indicated that the event would take 3-5 hours, and our trip went a little over five hours, so we really felt we got our money's worth.

Our guide on the Zodiac boat was Jane, who was well versed in the habits of whales and was helpful to us in enjoying our trip. She even threw a special microphone into the water to allow us to hear the Orcas "talking" to each other.

Upon our return to the office at the end of the day I complimented the owner, Cedric Towers, on the quality of both his staff and his equipment. He told me that he started his business 18 years ago and was the first whale watching company in Vancouver. Now there are several others operating in the waters off Vancouver whom we saw while we were out. I'm not sure how their customers were treated, but it was obvious that their boats were not as well equipped as the boats we had just experienced with Vancouver Whale Watch. They had no plexiglass covers on their boats which means the passengers were wind blown by the end of the day.

We highly recommend Vancouver Whale Watch for your next trip to Vancouver if whale watching is on your agenda.

jsyverson (Des Moines, Iowa) on TripAdvisor via mobile
Visited June 2016, reviewed 8 June 2016


 

MORE COMMENTS