Victoria, British Columbia
Sailing Trips & Tours

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Our most recommended Victoria, British Columbia Sailing Trips & Tours

Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

1. Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

The waters off Victoria, British Columbia are known as the Salish Sea. Discover its wonders and rich marine environment with this ultimate whale and marine wildlife tour! Board a brand new high speed coastal explorer boat and set sail to look for orcas (also known as killer whales), humpbacks, harbor seals, California sea lions and over 127 species of marine birds!  Take a tour of the west coast aboard a luxurious coastal explorer, with two outside viewing areas and a fully heated cabin. Enjoy complimentary coffee and hot chocolate as you set off on an adventure to learn all about the local marine wildlife and important landmarks. From playful orcas to giant humpbacks, your experience is sure to be memorable. Discover the marine wildlife in the waters off Victoria with the help of marine biologists and learn about efforts to establish Victoria as a world renowned whale watching destination. 

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From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

2. From Vancouver: Butchart Gardens & Victoria Sightseeing Tour

Meet in central Vancouver and take a 90-minute scenic cruise aboard the ferry to Vancouver Island. Sail through the Strait of Georgia and enjoy the scenery. Be sure to visit the outside decks as it’s not uncommon to see all kinds of sea life, including porpoises and whales. Arrive on Vancouver Island and first visit the beautiful Butchart Gardens. Explore this world-renowned botanical garden which was once a quarry, featuring the Japanese Garden, the Ross Fountain, an Italian Garden, and other floral displays. Continue the trip with a ferry ride to the city of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Discover the main sights of Victoria with your guide, starting at Mile O. See Ogden Point, Fisherman’s Wharf, Empress Hotel, and historic Chinatown, including the famous Fan Tan Alley. Later, enjoy some free time to explore on your own or book an additional optional activity. Your guide will be on hand to assist you with suggestions on the best restaurants, breweries, shops, and hidden gems. Relax as you cruise back to the mainland in the evening, arriving back in Vancouver at approximately 9:30 PM.

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Victoria: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour in a Zodiac Boat

3. Victoria: 3-Hour Whale Watching Tour in a Zodiac Boat

This 3-hour whale-watching tour boasts sighting just about everything there is to see, including groups of predatory transient orcas and breaching humpback calves. Recently, a guest proposed to his girlfriend as a pod of killer whales cavorted in the background! Get suited up in a cozy cruiser suit, ensuring your comfort and safety for the duration of the trip. The tour departs from Victoria’s beautiful inner harbor. Your ride on one of the zipping Zodiac-style boats will be nearly as exciting as seeing the whales. Each of the boats seats 12, and there are great views from every seat. On the way out of the harbor, the boat passes the historic Victoria coastline. Once out of the harbor you’ll see a variety of different species of sea life, including orcas, humpback whales, grey whales, minke whales, porpoises, dolphins, sea lions, elephant seals, otters, and bald eagles. Every tour is guided by a Transport Canada-approved skipper, who will provide information and commentary on all of the wildlife you see.

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Telegraph Cove: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

4. Telegraph Cove: Half-Day Whale Watching Tour

After gathering at the Telegraph Cove Resort, you will embark on your 3-hour, fully-guided whale watching and wildlife viewing adventure. In true comfort and style, your crew will be excited to take you to Johnstone Strait, in search of the majestic wildlife that floods the local waters here in the summer months. You can take advantage of the opportunity to view killer whales and humpback whales in the wild, as well as an assortment of seabirds and other species of marine wildlife. The Ocean Magic II is a custom designed marine marvel, which combines the practicality of a semi-covered vessel with the speed and maneuverability of a Zodiac. With three naturalists on board and two different viewing elevations, this is the only purpose-built whale watching vessel of its size in the industry. Sip your coffee, feel the wind in your hair or keep cozy under cover while you explore the pacific northwest.

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Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

5. Vancouver to Victoria and Butchart Gardens

Enjoy an extended 13-hour tour of Vancouver Island and Victoria, with return transfers from Vancouver or drop off in Victoria if you prefer. Once at Vancouver Island’s Swartz Bay on the Saanich Peninsula, drive by air-conditioned coach to Butchart Gardens and walk among the 50 acres of magnificent foliage. Then head to downtown Victoria, traveling through quaint Chinatown and the Inner Harbour. Take free time to explore the Inner Harbour, admiring heritage sites such as the Empress Hotel, the Royal BC Museum, and BC Legislature. Depart from downtown Victoria for your return journey to Vancouver in the late afternoon. Your return journey to the mainland will be on board a BC Ferry, where you can watch for whales, dolphins, sea lions, and other magnificent marine mammals. Arrival in Vancouver is scheduled for approximately 21:30, where you can be dropped off at your downtown hotel or disembark at the terminal.

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Vancouver: Whale Watching Victoria Trip & Return by Seaplane

6. Vancouver: Whale Watching Victoria Trip & Return by Seaplane

Start your day with a pickup at 7:30 AM from your accommodations in Vancouver. Take off on a whale-watching safari across the Georgia Strait, then spend the afternoon enjoying the English charm of Victoria. Look out for a wide variety of wildlife, like seagulls, sea lions, and seals. Adorned with flowers and colonial architecture, Victoria is a wanderer's paradise. Admire the beauty of the ocean and reflect on the area's history as you explore this vibrant city where students and politicians alike get around by bike. With a nod to its English heritage, British Columbia’s capital is filled with gardens and seafront parks, stately hotels and museums, bohemian eateries, and craft breweries. It is also the gateway to southern Vancouver Island, a destination for food and wine touring, whale watching, and ocean adventures of all kinds. At the end of the day, return to Vancouver by seaplane. This tour includes pickup from your hotel, private residence, or AirBnB anywhere in Vancouver.

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Victoria: Whale Watching Cruise by Covered Boat

7. Victoria: Whale Watching Cruise by Covered Boat

Climb aboard the new Salish Sea catamaran-style boat, custom designed for whale watching. Push through the waves with ease as you search for whales and other marine species. Stop at different points of interest within the protected waters of the Haro Strait and Strait of Juan de Fuca, where your captain will position the boat parallel to the animals for great photo opportunities. Learn more about the wildlife from up to 3 top marine naturalists. Avail of the heated indoor cabin and 2 open air sundecks that are ideal for photography.

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From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

8. From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

After meeting at the pier or being collected from your Victoria hotel or accommodation, you will begin your carbon neutral tour led by certified marine naturalists whose knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife is unequaled in the industry. Come aboard to experience the wild! All tours are three hours in length and peak whale watching season is April through October. In this peak season, there is a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpbacks, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. Whilst onboard the boat you will also be offered complimentary coffee and tea, onboard bathrooms, certified marine naturalists, and indoor and outdoor viewing areas. In the event of an unlucky tour, you will be invited to join again for a complimentary second whale watching tour to bring your dreams of seeing these magnificent animals to life.

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Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

9. Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

After being collected from your downtown accommodation in a comfortable shuttle bus, you will venture down to the harbor where you will meet with your boat. After meeting your guides for the day, you will then depart from Victoria, setting off on your 3-hour whale-watching tour. Between April and October, you will have a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, and otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. The zodiac vessels used on your tour are definitely recommended for the more wild-at-heart. You can let the wind blow in your hair and be exposed to the true west-coast elements in an open style, 12-passenger vessel. At the conclusion of your exhilarating tour, you will be returned back to the harbor, at which point you will be driven back to your accommodation in downtown Victoria.

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Victoria: Marine Life and Whale-Watching Boat Tour

10. Victoria: Marine Life and Whale-Watching Boat Tour

Take your family on a fantastic marine wildlife adventure in the Salish Sea. Board a brand-new high-speed coastal explorer boat and set off to look for whales and other marine creatures, including over 127 species of marine birds. Discover the rich marine environment of the Salish Sea with this ultimate whale and marine wildlife tour. Enjoy two outside viewing areas and a fully-heated cabin.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Victoria, British Columbia

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What people are saying about Victoria, British Columbia

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 380 reviews

The crew had clearly told us that the chances of seeing whales were very small, as they had hardly seen any animals in the past 14 days. But luck drove with us, after a few minutes 3 humpback whales appeared. Later other conspecifics came and even orcas, which came up to the boat. The crew always kept their distance to the animals. We received a lot of information and the crew took photos that we could download after the trip. So you didn't have the stress of taking great photos and you could just enjoy the sight.

Captain Andrew and Crew Emma were fantastic! Left on time, they charged a great deal about our safety and comfort. And….we saw whales! Not easy, considering the poor visibility from a fog bank. Thank you for an awesome afternoon.

Our tour guide and driver Ian was awesome. He was funny, informative and gave clear instructions on departure/arrival times and gave good tips on things to do on our stay in Vancouver.

Excellent.

Guide was friendly, making the long ride lively & interesting. Shared plenty of information pertaining to Victoria, Vancouver & best time to visit the Garden. Thanks very much.

Really well organized with an experienced boat pilot who shared a lot of knowledge.