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whale watching--depart from where for shortest boat trip

julie1218
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whale watching--depart from where for shortest boat trip

hello

we are visiting victoria, vancouver, and seattle the week of may 26. i'd like to go whale watching, but i want to go on the tour that spends the least amount of time traveling TO the whales. i don't want to boat out for 2-3 hours into the ocean, watch whales for 30 minutes, and then boat back for 2-3 hours. is it possible to see whales and only travel for about an hour one way?

which whale watching tour would be closest to accomplishing this goal? i'm thinking victoria. unfortunately, we cannot go to tofino which might be the quickest tour. we would also like an enclosed boat. thank you for any advice!

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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1. Re: whale watching--depart from where for shortest boat trip

No what you want is not possible-I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of wild animals.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: whale watching--depart from where for shortest boat trip

ROFL Sam.

Very true - a lot of it will depend on where the whales are that day, so it can be very difficult to predict. Generally speaking though, you would probably have a shorter trip out of Victoria than Vancouver.

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: whale watching--depart from where for shortest boat trip

The whales travel ENORMOUS distances over the span of one day, this is why what you're seeking can't be guaranteed from anywhere. For example, when I worked for a whale watching company 10 years ago, in the morning we might see J-pod (a resident pod of orcas) by San Juan Island. It would take 2 hours to get there from Steveston via a closed (slower) zodiac. But later that day, J-pod travelled travel north all the way to the mouth of the Fraser River, so that they were really only 20 minutes away from the Steveston dock. You never know where the whales will be or where they'll travel to over the course of the day, which is why you can't really guarantee a one hour travel radius from the dock.

Saying this, Victoria will be your best bet, usually.

Edited: 12 April 2013, 21:11
Vancouver, Canada
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4. Re: whale watching--depart from where for shortest boat trip

Hi julie ~

In the week of May 26th, the whales will be at the corner of Juan de Fuca Strait and Salish Sea. Aaaw, sorry, just having a bit of fun at your expense! And it's a fair question because whales could very well be about an hour off Victoria. But probably not.

I went on a whale watching tour out of Victoria on Spring Tide. It was a stable, enclosed boat, with a decent sized head and snacks. The tour was scheduled for 3 hours, it took 3.5 or so as the captain went to the far edge of his time allowance to get to a pod of about 40 whales (they said, I only counted about 20.) Then they go out for their scheduled afternoon tour. They show you other wildlife as well as they're going out.

If you can, plan on a half day for whales. And if sea sickness is a concern prepare for it with whatever meds your pharmacist or doctor suggests for you.

I thoroughly enjoyed my tour. Here is the one I took: http://springtidecharters.com/

Vancouver, Canada
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5. Re: whale watching--depart from where for shortest boat trip

I think the only places where there might be less traveling time to see the whales would be from Campbell River or Telegraph Cove...but then again I am not even sure how far they need to travel to get to the whales.

If you are very lucky you might not have to go on any tour. I have heard from people that I know who traveled to BC a couple of year ago that they had quite the show just traveling on the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. But never forget that we are talking about wildlife in their natural habitat and they are unpredictable. I've been on the ferries numerous times and never saw whales!

I saw a nice video on Tourism BC's Facebook page of a bunch of students that got really lucky while visiting Saturna Island (part of the Gulf Islands located somewhat between Vancouver & Vancouver Island): http://youtu.be/UKVgmJYtIu0

I agree with the other posters here that Victoria is probably your best bet for you. Here's link to available whale watching tour operators in Victoria: hellobc.com/victoria/…

Edited: 12 April 2013, 22:29
6. Re: whale watching--depart from where for shortest boat trip

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