Tours and Tickets

Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour provided by Vancouver Island Whale Watch

Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour

Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour
5
Book in advance
from
C$192.00
per adult
Reserve now & pay later: Save your spot free of charge with flexible booking.
98% of travellers recommend this experience
This number is based on the percentage of all Tripadvisor reviews for this product that have a bubble rating of 4 or higher
Free cancellation
Not sure? You can cancel this booking up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.
Tour snapshot
Duration:
4h
Taking Covid-19 safety measures
Group size:
12
Near public transportation
Ticket type:
Mobile
Free cancellation
  • Duration:
    4h
  • Taking Covid-19 safety measures
  • Group size:
    12
  • Near public transportation
  • Ticket type:
    Mobile
  • Free cancellation
About
Know before you go
  • Duration: 4h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
Available languages
English
What to expect
Know before you go
  • Duration: 4h
  • Mobile tickets accepted
  • Instant confirmation
Available languages
English
Cancellation policy
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.
What to expect
Need help booking?
Call the number below and use the product code: 64509P1
Important information
Inclusions
  • Professional guide with academic background in marine biology
  • Captain is certified by Transport Canada
  • Toilets onboard
  • Anti-expusure suit provided
  • Sunscreen available
  • Binoculars onboard (shared between guests)
Exclusions
  • The listed price does not include parking, which costs around 7-8 dollars CAD for the day.
  • Lunch is not included.
  • Gratuities
  • Transportation to/from office
Duration
4h
Departure details
  • 90 Front St #5, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5H7, Canada Our office is located on Front Street, the seawall along downtown Nanaimo's waterfront.
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • Subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
  • Not suitable for pregnant women.
  • Minimum numbers apply. If there are not enough passengers to meet requirements, there is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation, in which case an alternative date or full refund will be offered.
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travellers
Inclusions
  • Professional guide with academic background in marine biology
  • Captain is certified by Transport Canada
  • Toilets onboard
  • Anti-expusure suit provided
  • Sunscreen available
  • Binoculars onboard (shared between guests)
Exclusions
  • The listed price does not include parking, which costs around 7-8 dollars CAD for the day.
  • Lunch is not included.
  • Gratuities
  • Transportation to/from office
Departure details
  • 90 Front St #5, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5H7, Canada Our office is located on Front Street, the seawall along downtown Nanaimo's waterfront.
Duration
4h
Return details
  • Returns to original departure point
Additional information
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • Subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
  • Not suitable for pregnant women.
  • Minimum numbers apply. If there are not enough passengers to meet requirements, there is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation, in which case an alternative date or full refund will be offered.
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travellers can participate
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travellers
Travel safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
What you can expect during your visit
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Gear/equipment sanitised between use
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
66 reviews
Excellent
61
Very good
4
Average
0
Poor
1
Terrible
0

Amanda B
4 contributions
Jul. 2021
Had a wonderful experience on the Open Boat Tour; with the rare chance of seeing three orcas hunting a harbour seal right next to our boat! The harbour seal fortunately lived another day, by hopping up onto the back of our vessel and staying out of reach until the orcas left the area.

Our naturalist Cheyenne was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the area as well as the local wildlife. Our Captain was calm and cordial.

Would recommend the Semi-Covered Boat Tour for those with back problems, as the journey crossing the Strait can be a bit rough; but perfect for those wanting a thrilling journey.
Written August 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for the amazing review. We are very glad you enjoyed your tour. This trip was really once in a lifetime trip that our naturalists are still talking about as well. As one of our senior naturalists Cheyenne has a lot of passion for the local wildlife and we are glad that passion shines through during the tours.
Written August 7, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jill S
1 contribution
Jun. 2021
Wonderful experience, beautiful scenery, very knowledgeable staff. Saw orcas, sea lions, seals, otters and eagles. A very memorable trip, highly recommend it, well worth the money, felt very safe and really appreciate that the team genuinely cares very much about the marine life.
Written July 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Jill, Thanks for taking the time to leave us such a great review! It sounds like you got to see a ton of wildlife out there and we're happy to hear that you felt comfortable during the trip. All of our naturalists have a scientific background and have a passion for the local wildlife so its great to hear about them sharing this knowledge and care with you!
Written July 10, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

CourtneyJB92
Calgary, Canada24 contributions
I had such a great day today out whale watching! I know there is a lot of luck and chance involved because no one can guarantee what nature will or will not do, but both our boat driver and our guide were excellent. The driver did a great job of searching our animals for us, and making sure we were in the vicinity of them without getting too close or disturbing them. Our guide, Ryan Uslu, was very informative about the animals when there was down time while we were searching for them or waiting for them to resurface. It was nice to be able to have facts and anecdotes to keep us entertained and to learn more. We ended up seeing Stellar Sea Lions, Harbour Porpoises, Humpback Whales, and Harbour Seals. It was an amazing experience!
Written September 9, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Courtney! We are very happy to hear that you had a good time while on your tour with us! It sounds like you were very lucky and got to see a lot of wildlife out there! We will be sure to pass on to Ryan that you enjoyed your trip with him. Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review!
Written April 10, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

BcannRich@gmail.com
1 contribution
Jul. 2021
We and our teen grandchildren thoroughly enjoyed our whale watching trip . Both the guide and driver were professional, engaging and informative and made sure that we had the best experience possible. We saw lots of whales and also enjoyed seeing seals, sea lions and a beautiful cliff-face cormorant rookery. This was our 5th whale watching excursion and our second trip with Vancouver Island Whale Watching; they are the best by far! The waters around Nanaimo are beautiful and even if we had failed to spot any whales it would have been a great day.
Written July 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for the amazing review! It's great to hear that you had a fun time out on the waters with us! We agree that the scenery here is fantastic and usually provides with a great boat tour, even without all the whales. Our staff are very knowledgeable and love sharing all their information with the guests. I'm glad you enjoyed you time out with us and we will look forward to having you out with us again sometime!
Written July 25, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

tmanlangit
2 contributions
Aug. 2021
Amazing experience. Got to see a variety of wildlife and learned a lot from our guide. Our guides were super friendly, approachable and we appreciated the priority of our tour experience OVER time. I appreciated the conservation education also shared during this tour, especially with my teens on the tour, to initiate and open minds to issues outside of our normal daily living. Thank you and I highly recommend this tour!
Written September 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review, tmanlangit! We are very happy to hear you enjoyed your tour experience today. Conservation of all of our species is one of our biggest priorities, so it is always great to hear when people feel engaged by those discussions! Thanks again for coming out with us!
Written September 9, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Keith C
Toronto, Canada10 contributions
May 2021
Excellent shop staff, the onboard biologist and the captain were great to us today. These people know what they're doing and placed us near to a group of different pods of Orcas having a tea party, or socializing as we know it. The open boat provided many opportunities to photograph the whales as they majestically frolicked close by. The boat was in the middle of at least a dozen Orcas all within easy camera range.

Thank you "Rebecca", "Shy", and "Rodrigo". You have provide me with a great adventure! Thank you
Written May 16, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Keith, thank you for leaving us a review! It sounds like you had a great time out there and were lucky enough to see a T-party! That is a staff favourite around here as it can be very exciting with all the orca socializing! We are glad to hear you enjoyed your trip with us!
Written July 10, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

T4Tim
Vancouver Island, Canada7,285 contributions
Jul. 2020
Of the more than 50 companies operating on the BC south coast, a few rise above the others for quality and commitment.

Vancouver Island Whale Watch is one of them. They are extremely dedicated to the animal’s wellbeing along with customer enjoyment and safety.

There is more to whale watching, than a fun boat ride to see some animals in the wild and I come at this from an entirely different perspective, than the typical customer. I have a lifetime on the BC coast, so am interested in marine wildlife and how we treat them.

I have examined all the BC operators by studying crew bios, visiting docks, looking at boats, reviewing Transport Canada reports and most importantly, closely watching their on the water activities and behavior.

Vancouver Island Whale Watch stands out.
Written August 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your review, and thank you for choosing us to go out with! We are glad you enjoyed your trip!
Written September 5, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

muskokamike2016
Innisfil, Canada1 contribution
We had the amazing and beautiful experience of taking the open boat tour this past October. Val was our Marine Naturalist and was incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, displaying a true passion and love for her Job. We got a chance to see two separate pods of Hump Back Whales, and with every surfacing, every blow and every Tail Slap, we were further wrapped up in the shear beauty and amazement that this tour offered. Also having a chance to see Bald Eagles, Seals and Sea Lions, helped to round out this not to be missed experience. Thanks again to all the staff at Vancouver Island Whale Watch and can't wait till we get to be out on the water with you again!!!!
Written October 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for the amazing review! It's always great to hear about our naturalists sharing their passion for the wildlife! Sounds like you had an amazing tour and we'll look forward to having you back in the future.
Written November 20, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Bryce T
3 contributions
Jul. 2021
We did an afternoon excursion, open boat, on a bright sunday afternoon, in the goofy red preserver suits the tour group provides for its open-uncovered boat parties. We drove about an hour south of Nanaimo at 50kmh or so, and found a pod of orcas! We followed them for about an hour. It was wonderful. The naturalist was great, friendly, and full of information. Great to see passionate young people doing their thing, and making a buck. Worth every penny. Highly recommended.
Written July 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hi Bryce, thank you for leaving us a review! It's great to hear that you found the anti-exposure suits provided for the open boats fun! They really help to cut the cold from the wind and any splashing you might face on the water. Finding all that wildlife must have been great for you as well! Thanks again for the review.
Written July 10, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John P
Oakville, Canada53 contributions
Jul. 2021
What an awesome day! Humpbacks and Transient Orcas plus some seals for a bonus. We had a fantastic day and the staff were awesome. Think our boat was out for a lot longer than expected (no shortcuts at all). Learned a ton as well.. our Naturalist was super patient and shared a ton of knowledge. Our Captain (Val) was a real pro and made the ride fun and exciting (with just the right amount of splashing to make it a fun ride)!
Written July 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for the amazing review! We are so happy to hear you have a great time on the water. It's always a nice treat when we get both orcas and humpbacks in one trip. Sometimes we do have to travel a bit to find our whales, but we are happy to hear you think it's well worth it. We look forward to seeing you again one day.
Written August 7, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 64
About the operator

Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator.

By: Vancouver Island Whale Watch
866adinar
866adinar
00
60th Birthday whale watching
We cam we saw, we loved it. We saw a hump back whale. The staff was knowledgeable and friendly. The. Ride was bu
yinan147
yinan147
00
Lovely People
Everyone is knowledgeable, friendly, professional, and passionate about whales and nature. Can’t recommend them hig
nicolefD3650GV
nicolefD3650GV
00
Excellent excursion.
We had originally booked our tour on the covered boat, but our reservation was changed to the open boat. We were gi
714lt
714lt
00
A must do
Amazing experience Small group, all Covid-19 practices in place, no concerns. Educational and entertainment value
B3779UKkerrym
B3779UKkerrym
00
Whale watching
We went on the semi closed top boat tour, the back area is easily large enough for everyone to view whales (10 peop
Shoffart
Shoffart
00
Absolutely amazing tour!
Absolutely amazing tour! Very experienced crew that shared so much knowledge with us. They go above and beyond to
guodage5783
guodage5783
00
watching whales
It was very interesting to take this cruise to watch whales and other wildlife. It is my first experience to go th
SGBOttawa
SGBOttawa
00
Injured during tour - I do not recommend this tour company
My 9 year-old son and I signed up for the morning tour in the semi-covered boat. Brad was the guide and Val was the
suzannepalko
suzannepalko
00
Wonderful experience!
Wonderful experience with the family! New boat, experienced and knowledgeable guide, and great captain. Highly reco
lesliew8
lesliew8
00
Great trip
Our family of four went out on August 10, 2021 in the semi-covered boat with Captain Rodrigo and marine guide Cheye
gregmI4538EA
gregmI4538EA
00
Excellent whale watching tour!
This was an amazing adventure and I would highly recommend choosing this company for your trip! We were able to see
Celeste S
Celeste S
00
Lots of ocean life!
Great experience in the new covered boat. Highly recommend that boat. Ryan and Rodrigo were great guides. We saw a
Cheryl J
Cheryl J
00
Fabulous day of whale watching
Our family of 4 adults was celebrating 75th birthdays on Aug. 6 and were delighted to find we had the boat, Captain
Jonnyropes
Jonnyropes
00
Excellent Trip
Our extended family was visiting from Calgary, and we did a private semi-covered boat rental for the eleven of us.
KrollEd
KrollEd
00
Fantastic Day Whale Watching
Fantastic crew. Personable and friendly. Very knowledgeable. Had a great day out. Saw 2-3 Humpbacks including an am
Frequently Asked Questions about Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour

Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour price starts from C$194.43. Discover and book Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour on Tripadvisor

Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour cancellation policy: For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Discover and book Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour on Tripadvisor

Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour is hosted by Vancouver Island Whale Watch. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Vancouver Island Whale Watch on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour on Tripadvisor

On average, this experience will take approximately 4h. Discover and book Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour on Tripadvisor