Vancouver Island whale watching tours, Canada

“A five day sailing trip around British Columbia’s Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound, a bottleneck for colossal cetaceans. On board a classic wooden schooner with only a handful of cabins. ”


Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound | Whale watching in British Columbia | Vancouver Island | Killler whales | Humpback whales | Orcas | Classic wooden schooner sailing vessel with auxiliary engine.

Description of Vancouver Island whale watching tours, Canada

This Northern Vancouver Island whale watching holiday takes place in the waters of Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound, considered by many to be one of the top places on the planet to see killer and humpback whales as well as many other marine wildlife species. This is thanks to a natural bottleneck between the coastline of Vancouver Island, mainland British Columbia and the region’s other islands , as well as a proliferation of migratory salmon which the whales feast on during the time of our trips. Just sit back and watch these magnificent mammals feast, fluke, bubble, and breach.

As well as having plenty of time to observe and learn about wildlife behaviour from on board, which also include orcas, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoises, seals and sea lions, and a wide variety of seabirds, we offer other excursions. Such as forest walks, shoreline explorations, sea kayaking, and a visit to the Killer Whale Interpretive Centre in Telegraph Cove.

During this whale watching expedition you will stay on board our 21m classic wooden schooner, in one of our three private cabins each with two single berths. Please note that although each cabin has a sink and traditional wooden furnishings, the main bathroom facilities are shared. We also have a wonderful salon with comfy settees, extensive library, skylight and stove making this the social hub of the vessel.
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For departure dates contact us on 01273 823 700

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Vancouver Island whale watching tours, Canada


Our mission is to contribute to the conservation and well-being of the ecosystems, cultures, and communities that we visit and operate within during our Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound expeditions. We believe that helping our guests experience first-hand and understand some of the most spectacular wildlife and ecosystems on the Planet is key to their protection and preservation. We are active members of the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association and work collectively with other organizations and operators to ensure our crew and guests are kept up to date on all matters of wildlife conservation in the area. This year the NIMMSA area of operation (Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound) is up for consideration as a World Whale Heritage site. We respect and abide by all 'Be-Whale-Wise' practices ("see a blow, go slow") and keep a safe distance from whales and marine wildlife.

Our Founder and President holds a PhD in Marine Ecosystem Ecology, and has dedicated his career and expertise to providing exceptional travel experiences that foster awareness and stewardship.

At the heart of our company is a desire to reduce our footprint on the Planet. As such, we integrate responsible ecotourism practices into our daily activities. We source and serve foods that are locally and sustainably grown, produced, raised or caught. We design itineraries that allow us to spend more time sailing in order to reduce our fuel consumption. Our onboard recycling and composting programs help to divert waste from landfills. Our promotional materials and transactions are mainly done over the Internet, and when necessary we use 100% recycled post consumer paper, saving trees, water, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy.

In 2015 we underwent a strict assessment with Green Tourism Canada, and received a GOLD rating! Green Tourism was one of the world’s first sustainable tourism certification programs and it remains highly respected today because of its comprehensive assessments. While many sustainable certification programs allow businesses to submit self-assessments, Green Tourism Canada certified businesses are assessed on-site by trained, third-party auditors who review everything from efficiencies to food sources.

In recognition of our achievement in responsible and sustainable travel, we were awarded the 2015 Tourism Vancouver Island Award for Sustainable Tourism, and the 2015 Canadian Tourism Award for Sustainable Tourism.


In each of the communities we visit, we partner with local people, communities, and organizations. We have protocol agreements with First Nations whose territories we visit, such as the community of Alert Bay and the U'Mista Cultural Centre. We work with hire local guides and businesses whenever possible. We partner with parks, conservation areas and governments and obtain permits for all limited-use areas we visit.

In 2015, our travel company was certified as “Carbon Neutral” by Offsetters and Synergy Enterprises. A third of our offset funds go towards supporting the Great Bear Rainforest Carbon Project. This project is the first of its kind in North America, balancing human well-being and ecological integrity through carbon finance. The Great Bear Rainforest Carbon Project is unique in that it is the only Improved Forest Management Project of its scale that has equal involvement by First Nations and the Provincial Government, strong legal and policy foundations, and robust data to support the quantification of ecosystem services. This project was of particular importance for us to support. With the Great Bear Rainforest being one of the key areas where we operate our expeditions, we are able to proudly take our guests into the communities and areas that our funds are contributing to support.

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