Whale & Bear Watching Holiday to Vancouver Island

Tour Title: The Whales & Bears of Vancouver Island

Tour Destination: Vancouver Island – British Columbia – Canada

Tour Dates: 2nd – 9th September 2016

Tour Guide: Nic Slocum PhD FRGS

Whales Worldwide have designed the ultimate whale watching holiday and orca viewing adventure to Vancouver Island, British Columbia to view and photograph orca and other wildlife in two different locations. Unlike other Orca watching tour we travel to both the Juan de Fuca Straight and Salish Sea in the south of the island for the southern resident orca pods; to Robson Bight in the north of the island for the Northern resident orcas that frequent the islands and channels around the Blackfish Archipelago. For whale watching  enthusiasts who have the iconic orca or killer whale on their “to see” list, these daily boat based expeditions with the convenience and comfort of excellent shore side accommodations are ideal.

Northern resident Orca off Robson BightLed by marine zoologist Nic Slocum this is a fully guided small group whale watching adventure. Nic is a life-long conservationist and zoologist with over 30 years experience in whale watching and marine conservation all over the world. He will answer questions and provide informed comment throughout the tour. Local boat handlers are used for their vast knowledge and expertise. Each one is carefully selected and complies to strict safety and national wildlife engagement protocols.

The waters of the Northeast Pacific are home to four populations of orca; the northern residents, the southern residents and the offshore and west coast transient groups; making up a total of some 750 animals.  All four populations travel through the Blackfish Archipelago, but it’s the northern resident orca (fish eaters) that are more often sighted in the waters off Port McNeil. The animals we see  off the southern part of the island are members of the southern resident group. Transient orca groups (marine mammal eaters) are often present but are less predictable in their movements.

Other Wildlife and the Pacific…

Vancouver Island is an area of outstanding natural beauty and marine biodiversity and there are many opportunities to observe and photograph other wildlife species such as humpback whales, Steller sealions, minke whales, Dall’s porpoise and Pacific white sided dolphins in addition to the diverse birdlife of the area. One of the highlights of this adventure is the tour to look for the largest land mammals of this part of the world, grizzly bears

Talk to us directly…

Pod of Pacific White Sided DolphinsFor first-hand information on this tour please call Whales Worldwide on +353 86 120 0027. Alternatively email us at nic@whalesworldwide.com and we will be happy to call you at your convenience and take you through the holiday itinerary in detail.

Telephone : + 353 86 120 0027

Email: nic@whalesworldwide.com

Web: www.whalesworldwide.com

Your Expert Guide…

Nic Slocum

Nic Slocum PhD, FRGS

Nic Slocum has been watching whales from boats for 30 years, from humpbacks and fin whales in Ireland to southern right whales in Patagonia and Pacific gray whales in Mexico. He has been instrumental in putting together one of the most comprehensive codes of conduct for boat based human – whale interactions right down to the species level and is an established authority on the threats currently faced by this unique group of marine mammals.

Nic is an experienced naturalist and wildlife guide and is best known for his escorted tours taking enthusiasts out, both in Ireland and overseas, to view and photograph whales and dolphins. Nic has maintained a lifelong passion for the conservation of our wildlife and wild places and has appeared as an expert commentator on RTE, Channel 4 and ITV and is regularly called on to comment on national radio.

A zoologist by training, Nic has published articles on conservation related issues in both regional and national newspapers. Nic Slocum divides his time between West Cork, Ireland and other iconic whale watching destinations around the world. In addition to running Whales Worldwide he is the CEO of Whale Watch West Cork which runs boat based tours to watch and photograph whales and dolphins off the coast of southwest Ireland.

Nic is no stranger to adventure and leading groups to remote places on earth. In 1976 he led an expedition across the Sahara Desert to Central Africa and back which earned him Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society. Nic’s hard work ethic, and detailed knowledge of the species and the locations where they are found ensures his customers have a whale watching experience second to none.

Dates & Prices

The dates for this amazing Whales & Bears of Vancouver Island tour are 2nd to 9th September 2016

The price of this Whale Watching Holiday to Canada is:


(please note this holiday is priced in Euros)

The Whales & Bears of Vancouver Island wildlife adventure starts and finishes in Vancouver, Canada

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive at Vancouver International Airport. Short transfer to Vancouver Island and our hotel, the Carlton Plaza in Victoria, which is well placed for our whale watching activities.

Day 2. After a leisurely start from our hotel we take a tour from Victoria Harbour looking for southern resident orca on the Salish Sea. depending on where the animals are that day we may head south towards the Olympic Peninsular or east towards the San Juan Islands.

Day 3. Once again from Victoria Harbour we head west towards the Pacific looking for transient orca and humpback whales that may be feeding in the channels between the island and the US mainland.

Day 4. A leisurely day when we head up country to the north of the island. Leaving Victoria we head through Nainamo and up the coast road looking over the strait of Georgia, between Vancouver island and mainland British Columbia. The island scenery is stunning at this time of year. We arrive at our lodge accommodations mid afternoon.

Day 5. Boat tour from Port McNeil looking for members of the northern resident orca group around the Blackfish Archipelago.

Day 6. No tour to this remote part of Vancouver Island is complete without a day tour to see the largest land mammal in North America, the grizzly bears of Knight Inlet.

Day 7. A final boat based tour looking for both orca and humpbacks around the islands of the Blackfish Archipelago.

Day 8. Return to Victoria and transfer back to Vancouver


We base ourselves in two separate locations for this unique orca adventure. The first part of the tour is based in the bustling town of Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. This is an ideal location for exploring the Juan de Fuca Straight and Salish Sea looking between the San Juan Islands and the open Pacific. During the second half of the tour we head north to the small community of Port McNeil and the Blackfish Archipelago. This unique part of the island is an excellent area from which to take boat based excursions looking for members of the northern resident group of orca that travel between Johnstone Straight and the waters seperating Vancouver Island from mainland British Columbia.

Tour Add Ons

Trip Notes

What IS included:

  • All accommodations on Vancouver Island
  • All transfers and ground transportation when in Canada
  • All whale watching and wildlife tours
  • A free research and booking service for other elements of your holiday such as flights and onward trips you may wish to make.

What is NOT included:

  • Return flights to Vancouver International Airport. We find many customers like to take extra time in Canada as a forerunner or extension to their holiday. We do provide a free research service to find the best prices for flights and hotels if required.
  • We don't include any hotel accommodation on the return leg as many prefer to stay in downtown Vancouver that night.
  •  We don't include any meals Personal items purchased while on holiday such as alcoholic drinks, souvenirs and presents.
  • Any transfers, tours or vehicle hire you require outside the published itinerary. We can help with the arrangement of anything you might like to do at the beginning or end of your whale watching holiday.