Tours and Tickets
Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists
4.5
LIKELY TO SELL OUT*

Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists

By Five Star Whale Watching
Recommended by 91% of travellers
91% of reviewers gave this product a bubble rating of 4 or higher.
About
Watch for orca whales and other marine wildlife on a half-day whale watching cruise from Victoria, and learn about the fascinating marine ecosystem from onboard naturalist guides. Indoor and outdoor seating ensure a comfortable trip in any weather: Photographers can get clear shots from open-air decks, with plenty of room to warm up inside if it’s cool on the water.
from
C$158.00
per adult
Lowest price guaranteeReserve now & pay laterFree cancellation

Ages 0-99, max of 40 per group
Duration: 3h
Start time: Check availability
Mobile ticket
Meets animal welfare guidelines
Live guide: English
More

Highlights
  • See the coast of Vancouver Island from the ocean
  • Discover marine wildlife with two expert naturalists
  • Cruise in a vessel that’s designed for whale watching
  • Open top deck gives photography-friendly 360-degree views

  • 3-hour whale-watching tour from Victoria
  • 2 onboard naturalist guides
What's not included
  • Food and drinks
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Gratuities


Start:
  • Five Star Whale Watching, 645 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC V8W 1A6, Canada
    Check in: We ask all passengers to meet 30 minutes prior to their scheduled tour time. Meet us at 645 Humboldt Street on the North side of the Fairmont Empress Hotel, next to Willow Stream Spa
End:This activity ends back at the meeting point.

    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Stroller accessible
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    If you have questions about accessibility, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 5422WHALE

    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • May be operated by a multi-lingual guide
    • Operates in all weather conditions, please dress appropriately (layers and comfortable shoes are recommended)
    • 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 experience requires a minimum number of travellers. If it’s cancelled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
    • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travellers

    • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

    How much is Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists?
    Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists price starts from C$161.99. Discover and book Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists on Tripadvisor
    What is the Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists cancellation policy?
    Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists 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 Cruise with Expert Naturalists on Tripadvisor
    Which company provides Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists?
    Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists is hosted by Five Star Whale Watching. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Five Star Whale Watching on Tripadvisor. Discover and book Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists on Tripadvisor
    How much time do I need for Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists?
    On average, this experience will take approximately 3h. Discover and book Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists on Tripadvisor

    If you have questions about this tour or need help making your booking, we’d be happy to help. Just call the number below and reference the product code: 5422WHALE

    Reserve your spot

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    About the operator
    Don’t take it from us – here’s what people have to say about this operator:
    • Five Star Whale Watching
      801
      Canada
      Joined in April 2010
    • Melodyflies
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Incredible experience
      Even our Captain said "we found ourselves in a phenomenal situation" with five humpbacks around us, all in a fish feeding frenzy. At one point one Humpback was beside our ship with his mouth open, then swam underneath us and out the other side. It was an experience filled with awe. Captain Andrew is experienced and knows about whales and other sealife which he shares with the passengers. Don't hesitate to book with Five Star.
      Written December 3, 2023
    • kaliguar2023
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing trip!
      Great tour with James and Sam! We got to see many humpback whales despite it being late in the season. They shared lots of information with us about the species we were seeing and the history of whales in BC.
      Written November 21, 2023
    • chrisdavis1954
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Mystical & Magical
      A must wonderful afternoon Whale watching with Andrew & Sam at Five Ster Whale Watching . The company is called Five Star because it is . Andrew has an endless body of knowledge of Whales and his love of these incredible creatures shines through. We actually saw a Humpback breaching that was thrilling. Thank you Five Star for a memory that will last my lifetime!!!
      Written November 5, 2023
    • lj20231019
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Awsm
      Amazing experience. Wonderful crew as well. Saw dolphins and humpback whale as well. Saw a pelican too.
      Written October 29, 2023
    • simoneinvictoria
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Amazing experience
      We went out in october and had been told the chances of seeing many different whales were smaller and the weather might not be good. Instead it was the most amazing experience with sunny weather and no wind, 4 orcas and over 6 humpback whales from such a close distance. They really showed off and we got a big show from them. Nicest guide ever who knew a lot about the whales and the area!
      Written October 27, 2023
    • Nelitnop
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Great trip
      We were very lucky to be on a trip in good weather that found both Orca and Humpback whales. Five Star did a great job. All the staff were pleasant helpful and well informed. Seemed to be a relatively small scale operation so fairly informal which suited us well. They did a great job of finding the whales and staying with them which is the main thing.
      Written October 26, 2023
    • Flyer33123705401
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Wonderful! Really enjoyed the experience! Staff were very knowledgeable and helpful. Lots of humpback whales.
      The experience was wonderful The staff were knowledgeable, helpful and very easy to approach. Saw lots of whale, seals and sea lions!
      Written October 23, 2023
    • rkmaybon
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Five star experience
      Great whale watching experience. Safe, informative and FUN! No need to waste time trying to get pictures. They take pictures during the trip and share with the passengers. We loved our tour. Saw humpbacks and orcas.
      Written October 21, 2023
    • Excursion18534382639
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Awesome experience
      It was a beautiful day with many hump back sighting! Saw them breach and got some tail flues as well! Captain was excited which really made it special!
      Written October 12, 2023
    • mf2023_whalen
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      5 Star Whale watching
      Great Trip knowledgeable staff and saw lots of whales !!! Highly recommend . We lucked out with a beautiful calm sunny day. Prepare your self for the smell of the sea lion poop it an experience in itself .
      Written October 9, 2023
    • AuntyCChobham
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Ethical whale watching - superb - as good as it gets!
      Superb … cannot recommend high enough… ethical whale watching with highly knowledgeable staff. Humpbacks orca seal … beautiful!
      Written October 5, 2023
    • glickg
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      There be whales here
      Whale watching has been a big deal in Victoria for a long time, but our pilot and crew went overboard to make our excursion unique and interesting. By knowing where the cetaceans would be they put the boat in the middle of a pod of humpbacks just when they arrived, rather than charging around after every spout. The guides filled the afternoon with fascinating information and anecdotes that enlightened and entertained. We were amazed by how the crew arranged for us to have a perfect, sunny, calm Fall day for our trip. So while the whales were why we sailed, it was the people who made the day so soar.
      Written October 3, 2023
    • Seaside612654
      0 contributions
      4.0 of 5 bubbles
      whale and orcas watching cruise
      fantastic marine cruise to see orcas, whales and sea lions the crew is very friendly thank you hope to be back
      Written September 24, 2023
    • jennyfE8854LK
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Memorable trip
      I’d long wanted to take a whale watching trip and I was not disappointed. We were lucky with perfect weather and the catamaran was a smooth ride. We were privileged to catch sight of a pod of rare southern resident orcas, who we steered clear of, as per the regulations. We saw humpbacks breaching and tail slapping spectacularly and also groups of 3 different seals who were arriving for the winter. Our guide was super knowledgeable and engaging, conveying his passion for his wildlife and answering any questions with tireless enthusiasm. Thoroughly recommend.
      Written September 21, 2023
    • DerekLewis62
      0 contributions
      5.0 of 5 bubbles
      Fabulous afternoon whale watching!
      Fabulous afternoon trip and we were lucky to see: Orca pods, large Orca male hunting, Dolls Porpoise, Humpbacks (and a breach), Sealions and plenty of beautiful coastline. Boat was fast and comfortable. Skipper (Gordon) was very enthusiastic and informative. Waterproof jackets were comfortable, dry and warm.
      Written September 18, 2023
    See all 801 reviews
    These reviews are the subjective opinions of Tripadvisor members and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

    Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

    Popular mentions

    4.5
    4.5 of 5 bubbles148 reviews
    Excellent
    118
    Very good
    17
    Average
    6
    Poor
    5
    Terrible
    2

    PALees2014
    Victoria, Canada17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    May 2023 • Friends
    We had an incredible day with Five Star Whale Watching for Mothers Day. The crew and staff were amazing and took great care of all the guests, you can tell they truly care. We saw a Humpback close to Victoria, plus lots of Porpoise! However, the crew checked if anyone had time restrictions and then headed off to where Orcas had been found, what a bonus. We encounter over a dozen Orcas , which the crew explained were socializing as there was more than one pod. The Captain expertly and respectfully navigated the vessel around the whales keeping the appropriate distance. The knowledge Naturalists provided incredible information about the wildlife we encountered and also the area we visited, so informative, educational and inspirational! We would highly recommend this company anyone visiting Victoria and wanting to go Whale Watching. Just remember they are dealing with Wild Animals in their natural environment. Incredible and memorable day on the water.
    Written May 20, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for your amazing review, we really appreciate your comments. We are glad you enjoyed your tour so much.
    Written May 21, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    john r
    14 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2023
    Went on a recent tour with this company and once again I was not disappointed. From the great service at check in, to the pre-boarding presentation (packed with useful info if you bother to listen), to the enthusiastic and knowledgeable crew the experience was definitely Five Star!
    The vessel is comfortable, spacious and the perfect design for whale watching as it has lots of seating inside and outside and unobstructed view on both the upper and lower level. The Captain and crew looked after everyone and made sure everyone was doing well, even when we encountered choppy seas, which you have to expect can occur when you are on the ocean. The conditions, though choppy at times due to the recent strong tides, were more than manageable for this vessel and everyone felt safe.

    The Captain spotted some Humpbacks in the distance and slowed down and maintained a respectful distance at all times. This company practices what it preaches, respectful and responsible whale watching which is why I always go with them. They walk the walk, not just talk the talk. We got to see several majestic Humpbacks during our tour including a Mom & Calf, always a thrill :)

    The crew kept everyone informed on what they were seeing and where the whales were. Andrew, Naturalist downstairs, gave us lots of narration on what the whales were doing, it was like having David Attenborough onboard, he even has the English accent :) He also provided lots of information about the local area and marine history and made the tour even more fun. He was willing to answer any questions and I was impressed with his overall knowledge and you could tell he was very passionate about his job.

    On our way home we stopped to look at some Seals and Sea Lions, which was an added bonus.

    Overall another incredible experience with this company and it won't be the last. Highly recommend for anyone wanting to partake in a respectful and responsible whale watching tour from Victoria.
    Written July 24, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Peng L
    Kitchener, Canada9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very knowledgeable about the area and history…we did see some humpbacks from a distance, they are massive so neat to see…we also so California and elephant seals - nice to see them in their own habitats and not stuck in a zoo - friendly host.

    We did a sunset tour..very beautiful…

    Remember to bring light winter coat, hat possible gloves as it does get very cold…they have a few winter coats but that’s it…
    Written August 25, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for your informative review! We are very glad to hear that you enjoyed your tour with us and had a great time encountering some wonderful Salish Sea species in their natural habitat. Thank you again! We will pass along your positive feedback to our crew.
    Written August 27, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    EagleHeart
    9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aug 2023
    Both our captain and our guide were knowledgeable and gave us information about the whales and other wildlife. We were on the 12 person boat because our morning tour on the 40 person boat was canceled but in retrospect, this was a good thing... much easier to view the whales on a small boat and the boat traveled very fast.

    During our crossing we experienced some VERY large swells and our captain handled them expertly. It was quite a fun ride.

    This has nothing to do with Five Star Whale Watching whose service, equipment, and friendliness were great but you should really manage your expectations about what you will see in terms of whales. We saw Orcas and Humpbacks but regulations require that all boats stay 200 meters away from the whales. So, if you think you're going to see a whale breach 20 feet of the starboard bow, it aint gonna happen. But, it was a fun trip.
    Written August 19, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

    Tin QC
    Calgary, Canada319 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Booked a whale watching trip for May 31st and it was so much fun! We joined a few families with kids and rode their Supercat vessel. The captain and 2 naturalist guides were very professional, explained the safety features of the boat and shared very interesting details about whales and sea animals we saw on tour.

    We saw a gray whale, 2 humpback whales and seals on an islet. Would have loved to see orcas but we weren’t able to on this tour. Maybe next time.

    Giving a rating of 4 because I originally booked for a sunset package but it was rebooked. Otherwise, the whole experience was fantastic! Will definitely book with them again next time we’re back in Victoria. Great job!
    Written June 1, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for your review and kind words. We are glad you enjoyed the tour. We do apologize for not being able to take you on the sunset tour. Hopefully next time there will be Orcas in our area and we look forward to seeing you again soon.
    Written June 2, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    pamhD3289WG
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2021 • Friends
    We appreciated that the staff worked so hard to find the whales, and even extended our trips to do so. Staff checked in frequently to ensure we were comfortable and enjoying the experience. First time on the smaller vessel, and it was terrific!
    Written July 10, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for your review and kind words. We are happy to hear you enjoyed your recent tour with Five Star Whale Watching and had an amazing experience. Most of the time we can find Whales within our regular 3 hour tour but when necessary we will extend the tour if Whales are a little further away than usual or found later in the tour. We will make sure we pass on your comments to our staff and thank you again for such a terrific review!
    Written July 11, 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    garlictime
    Alloa, UK76 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sept 2022
    Great trip in a good , stable boat.
    We got to see Orcas and Hump Back Whales plus sea lions etc. The driver guide was very knowledgeable and had a genuine interest and affection for the animals and their environment. I thoroughly recommend this trip but as stated in other reviews, make sure you take warm clothes as it gets pretty chilly !
    Written September 9, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for your review and kind words. We are happy to see you enjoyed the tour. Yes we always recommend warm comfortable layers for our trip.
    Written September 9, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Garth B
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Sept 2021 • Couples
    This was by far the best whale watching tour of the 4 we have taken..smaller boat, not at all crowded,and a humpback was playing along side the vessel. Mere feet away stayed with us for 15 minutes! Also seen orcas and maybe 100 sea lions and seals. Would only take this tour when in Victoria.
    Written September 3, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for such an incredible review. it sounds like you had a very special day with an amazing encounter with a Humpback Whale. We practice all responsible and best practice Whale Watching guidelines but on rare occasions the Whales will decide to come close. At that time we shut down and let the Whale do what it wants to do. Thank you again for coming out with us and for such a wonderful review.
    Written September 4, 2021
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Sightseer291835
    60 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Jul 2022
    Excellent experience for my 8 yr granddaughter and me. Comfortable boat, interesting background information from our naturalist, and we were lucky enough to catch an "unbelievable" show (as described by the crew) by a humpback whale who spent a half-hour jumping out of the water--feeding, flopping, flipping and tail smacking. An amazing sight to see.
    Written July 16, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for your excellent review and kind words. We are especially happy that your granddaughter enjoyed the encounter. Yes, the crew did describe this as an unbelievable encounter with the Humpback breaching at least 50 times! Thank you again for your review.
    Written July 22, 2022
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

    Catherine H
    2 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    May 2023 • Couples
    It was a smaller boat than expected but enough seating for everyone and we could maneuver much quicker. We saw a killer whale, sea lions, harbor seals, California seals & an otter. Overall a good day out at sea. The employees were friendly and personable. More information about the marine life, bay ecosystem etc. would have been nice.
    Written May 17, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Thank you for your review. We will pass on your feedback to the Captain. Sometimes though it is difficult for the Captain to talk to all the guests as they also have to concentrate on driving and respectfully following the whales whilst adhering to the guidelines. Glad you enjoyed the tour overall.
    Written May 19, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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    Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists provided by Five Star Whale Watching