SPRING: Feb 15th–May 15*
What to expect
From February 26th to May 15th, we are pleased to offer our 3–3.5+ hour tours. Our Spring/Fall tours are both longer, and more comprehensive than the competition’s. Our Spring/Fall whale and wildlife tours are not covered under the whale guarantee program, but we see whales on 50–70% of tours! That said, if we get word that whales are in the area we often extend the tour (complimentary!). On every tour, we see a diverse range of exciting marine wildlife!
This tour offers comprehensive wildlife viewing opportunities so that our guests may experience as much as possible. The tours are generally shorter because of the seasonally cooler – while still mild! – temperatures.
On this tour we often see a diverse selection of wintering birds, seals, sea lions and playful porpoise with whom we visit. Occasionally, we are graced with members of the southern resident killer whale community (fish eaters), Bigg’s/transient killer whales (mammal eaters), gray whales, humpbacks, and minke whales.
This tour offers fresh air, a spectacular setting, a thrilling boat ride, and diverse wildlife… all the ingredients are there for an excursion you will never forget!
Included in the Tour
- wildlife viewing
- 50–70% chance of whales
- on board wildlife identification kits
- on board naturalist/biologist
- on board washrooms (all boats)
- hydrophone—you’ll hear the whales if we find them!
What to bring
Camera (and its protective case/bag), extra clothing, snacks and a drink, a smile, and a sense of adventure!
Please understand that when we view the wildlife and whales that we are guests in their home and must follow a strict set of viewing guidelines in order to respect their natural life processes. Yes the whales do get close due their behaviour, but also can be far away in some instances.
- we are asked to maintain 100 meters (110 yards) in Canadian waters and 183 meters (200 yards) in American waters
- if the whales are along the San Juan Island shoreline then we maintain either 1/4 mile or 1/2 mile around Lime Kiln Park
- all other islands in the Salish Sea (over 500 of them) we maintain 200 meters (220 yards) if whales are inshore.
- most of the time the whales are out far enough for us to view at the minimum regulatory distances
- bring a good camera with a zoom lens
- appreciate that we are dealing with wild animals that are highly protected (southern resident killer whales are an endangered species)
Are you looking for a wildlife experience without the crowds? For the discerning traveler, we offer private charters, with the option of setting your own agenda. Contact us so that we may provide some suggestions and begin personalizing your West Coast experience today.
* Please note that from February 26 to May 15 boat types and times may vary based on weather and tour numbers & whale sightings are NOT guaranteed