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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.


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.



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