• Menu
  • Menu
a pod of orcas on a Campbell River whale watching tours.

Campbell River Whale Watching: An Insider’s Guide

Looking to embark on a Campbell River whale watching adventure? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Here, where the mountains kiss the sea, the adventure into the realm of the whales begins. This remote location is more than a spot on the map; it’s a haven for those seeking to connect with the majestic beauty of the ocean’s giants.

Surrounded by breathtaking scenery, let’s get ready to set sail on a Campbell River whale watching tour that goes beyond the ordinary.

  1. Campbell River Whale Watching Tours
  2. Tour Reviews
  3. How to Book
  4. Campbell River Whale Watching FAQs

Campbell River Whale Watching Tours

Imagine embarking on a journey where the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean meets the untouched wilderness of Vancouver Island. Campbell River, a hidden gem, stands as a beacon for those seeking an intimate encounter with the ocean’s most awe-inspiring inhabitants.

This picturesque town of 35,000 is located on the East coast of Vancouver Island, about 265 km, or 3 hours North of Victoria. Its remote location serves not just as a setting but as a sanctuary where whales thrive, offering visitors a spectacle unlike any other.

The area’s stunning scenery and peaceful waters make Campbell River the ultimate destination for whale watching enthusiasts. Let’s have a look at the tours the area has to offer.

Related: The 4 Best Victoria Whale Watching Tours

a pod of orcas break the surface on a Campbell River whale watching tour.

Full-Day Campbell River Whale Watching Tour

Duration: 8 hours | Season: Apr-Oct | Cost: From CA$333.33 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 30+ reviews

Embark on an unparalleled full-day journey aboard our spacious 12-passenger zodiacs, immersing yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of the Coastal Mountain Fjords of the Discovery Islands and Desolation Sound.

This expedition from nearby Quathiaski Cove offers a deep dive into one of the most biologically diverse marine ecosystems on the globe. You’ll cross through the primary feeding territories of the majestic Humpback Whales, where sightings are both frequent and awe-inspiring.

You’ll also be on the lookout for the elusive Transient Orca clans. These apex predators are often seen foraging along the vast shorelines, hunting for their next meal. This presents a unique opportunity to observe the hunting prowess of these marine giants in their natural habitat.

Midway through your adventure, you’ll anchor at one of the many enchanting islands for a lunch break. Whether it’s a secluded beach picnic or a stop at a public dock with access to local amenities and shops, you’re guaranteed a delightful farm-to-table meal.

Your full-day Campbell River whale watching tour includes:

  • An 8-hour whale watching adventure aboard a 12-passenger Zodiac
  • The chance to spot orcas, humpbacks, minkes, and grays in their natural habitat
  • Fully certified naturalist/skipper
  • A full farm-to-table lunch at a local dock or shoreline
  • Coffee, tea, and bottled water

Related: Nanaimo Whale Watching Tours: Experience the Marine Majesty

a zodiac heads to the grounds on a Campbell River whale watching tour.

7-8 Hour Zodiac Campbell River Whale Watching Tour

Duration: 7-8 hours | Season: Jun-Sep | Cost: From CA$365.75 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 16+ reviews

Dive into an exclusive small-group adventure, spending an entire day exploring the mesmerizing waters of the Salish Sea, Discovery Passage, and Johnstone Strait aboard a swift Zodiac boat.

We ensure your utmost comfort with complimentary floater suits, toques, gloves, and goggles, keeping you warm and focused as you embark on a quest to witness the rich tapestry of wildlife that thrives in these coastal waters.

Finding Southern resident, Transient, and Biggs killer whales will be your focus. But you’ll also encounter majestic humpback whales, elusive bears, playful sea lions, and the acrobatic Pacific white-sided dolphins. Every moment promises a new discovery!

While the search for the magnificent orcas stands at the heart of your journey, your guide also takes immense pride in showcasing the unparalleled beauty and biodiversity of the coast, offering an experience that goes beyond the ordinary.

Your 7-8 hour Campbell River Zodiac tour includes:

  • 7-8 hour tour of the Salish Sea or Johnstone Strait aboard a 12-passenger Zodiac
  • Survival suit, toque, gloves, goggles and cold-weather gear
  • Knowledgeable local guide/skipper
  • The chance to see orcas, humpbacks, dolphins, bears, and eagles in their natural environment
  • Lunch, coffee, and tea

Related: Telegraph Cove Whale Watching: An Unforgettable Experience

6-hour Covered Boat Whale Watching Tour

Duration: 6 hours | Season: May-Aug | Cost: From CA$335.25 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 37+ reviews

Is the weather not cooperating? Or maybe you’re not quite sold on the idea of tossing on a survival suit, heading out into the elements, and feeling the wind and sea spray hit your face. Well, luckily, we’ve got a solution!

Immerse yourself in a captivating six-hour journey across the Salish Sea in a semi-enclosed vessel to keep you out of the weather. Once you come across the whales, you’re free to pile onto the stern and roof-top viewing decks for unobstructed views of the show!

This intimate small-group setting ensures a personalized exploration of the area’s most stunning wildlife, including bears, whales, and dolphins. Guided by a certified naturalist, you’ll gain insightful knowledge about the local ecosystem and marine inhabitants, all while enjoying the comfort of complimentary snacks and beverages.

The experience is further enhanced with a shore-side lunch, where you can savour homemade baked goods, making for a perfect interlude in this unforgettable adventure.

Your covered Campbell River whale watching tour includes:

  • 6-hour whale watching tour aboard a covered vessel
  • Access to stern and rooftop viewing decks
  • Chance to spot orcas, humpbacks, bears, and dolphins in the tranquil Salish Sea ecosystem
  • Certified naturalist guide/skipper
  • On-shore lunch break, homemade baked goods, refreshments

Related: Cowichan Bay Whale Watching Tours: Experience the Majesty

Whale Watching Tours Campbell River Reviews

Opting for whale watching in a quaint locale like Campbell River rather than bustling cities such as Vancouver or Victoria offers a treasure trove of benefits. Here, you’re not just another face in the crowd; smaller tour groups ensure a more intimate connection with nature, allowing for serene encounters on less congested waters.

Skeptical? Let the testimonials speak for themselves. Every Campbell River whale tour featured on our list has garnered unanimous 5-star ratings, a testament to their unparalleled quality.

Here is a quick sample from the full-day tour:

A review of a full-day Campbell River whale watching tour.

Here, we have another satisfied customer from the 7-8-hour Zodiac tour:

a review of the 7-8 hour Campbell River zodiac whale watching tour.

And one more of the covered boat tour:

Looking to read more? Click on the button below for more glowing reviews:


Related: The Best Victoria Tours from Vancouver: Day Trips & Overnight Tours

How to Book Your Tour

Embarking on a whale watching journey in Campbell River is as straightforward as making a purchase on Amazon—perhaps even more so.

Consider our crowd-favourite: the Covered Boat Whale Watching Tour.

Fancy the Zodiac tour instead? Rest assured, the booking steps remain the same!

Choose Your Campbell River Whale Watching Adventure

  1. Navigate to Viator’s Covered-boat Whale Tour portal.
  2. You’ll be booking through Viator, a Tripadvisor company that is a titan in the industry with a market valuation of $3 billion.
  3. Viator sweetens the deal with a “book now, pay later” option, perfect for those mindful of their budget.
  4. You’re also assured the best deal with Viator’s lowest price guarantee.

Pick Your Departure Time

  1. Hit the ‘Check Availability’ button on the tour page.
  2. Select a date from the calendar (available from May to Sep), keeping in mind that Campbell River tours are a seasonal treat.
  3. Choose the number of adventurers and hit ‘Apply.’
  4. Decide on your time slot and proceed with ‘Reserve Now & Pay Later’ or ‘Book Now.’
  5. Opting for ‘Reserve Now & Pay Later’? You have the flexibility to pay any time up to 48 hours before your tour.

Worried about unforeseen changes? Fret not, as cancellations are free up to 24 hours before departure. So, what’s holding you back?

Click the banner below to secure your spot on a Campbell River whale watching tour:

a banner for an article on Campbell River whale watching.

Related: The Top Day Trips from Victoria: A Gateway to an Eco-Tourism Paradise

Campbell River Whale Watching FAQs

Campbell River is a picturesque city situated on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It is located 265 km North of Victoria and 230 km across the Salish Sea from Vancouver.

Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” it’s also a premier destination for whale watching, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding wilderness and marine life.

Travellers can reach Campbell River by various means. If you’re coming from mainland British Columbia, you can take a ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo and then drive north for about 1.5 to 2 hours. In total, the trip should take you around 4.5 hours.

If you’re coming from Victoria, you’re looking at a 3-hour drive North via the Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 N and BC-19 N.

When embarking on a Campbell River whale watching tour, you’re likely to encounter a rich variety of marine life. The most commonly spotted whales include southern resident and transient orcas (killer whales). majestic humpback whales, and Pacific gray whales.

The region is also frequented by porpoises, dolphins, sea lions, seals, bears and eagles.

There is currently a variety of Campbell River whale watching tours on offer, catering to different preferences and experiences. You can choose from half-day or full-day excursions and even personalized, small-group tours for a more intimate experience.

Many operators also offer the choice between covered, semi-enclosed, and Zodiac tours.

Ready to sail away on your Campbell River Whale Watching Tour?

The experience of whale watching in Campbell River leaves an indelible mark on your soul. As you depart from this unique spot on Vancouver Island, you carry with you the memory of whales breaching against a backdrop of unparalleled natural beauty.

The area’s remote charm and abundant marine life make it the ultimate destination for those seeking to witness the grandeur of whales in their native habitat.

So what are you waiting for? Book your Campbell River whale watching tour now for an unforgettable maritime adventure.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights