Big Animal Encounters
Big Animal Encounters
5
Scuba & SnorkellingBoat ToursEco ToursDolphin & Whale WatchingNature & Wildlife Tours
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Nestled between the snow-capped mountain ranges and rugged coastline is the friendly community of Campbell River. That’s where you will find Big Animal Encounters, the most experienced and diverse marine operator in the area. Since 1994, we have been sharing our small piece of paradise with guests from around the world. From our Marine Adventure Centre we offer a wide range of wildlife adventures including: Whale Watching Tours, Grizzly Bear Expeditions, and Scuba Diving Charters. All of our crew are Transport Canada certified and trained marine naturalists. Aboard our fleet of comfortable covered vessels and exhilarating high speed zodiacs we pride ourselves on small group sizes and personalized service while maintaining the highest safety standards. Campbell River is quickly becoming known as Canada’s best whale watching destination, and during our tours we will often spot orcas, humpback whales, dolphins, sea lions, seals, eagles and more.
Campbell River, British Columbia, Canada
Meets animal welfare guidelines

Awards
Travellers' Choice
2023

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Tours and Tickets by Big Animal Encounters
Travellers talk about
(5 reviews)
(25 reviews)
(2 reviews)

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

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles340 reviews
Excellent
306
Very good
21
Average
7
Poor
5
Terrible
1

Dawn from Canada
Vancouver Island, Canada7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Couples
Epic day on the water out of Comox, BC. On March 16,2024. The bay was teeming with orcas. Although our mission was the herring spawning our pilot let us hang out with the whales for 2 hours! Shannon provided us with a wealth of information on the marine life. The sea lions were hilarious and the views were amazing. Did a previous tour by Big Animal Tours out of Campbell River for eagles last July and it was amazing as well.
Written March 18, 2024
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.

autie2020
Victoria, Canada2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
Another wonderful outing with Big Animal Adventures, I have done their Eagle and Grizzly tours out of Campbell River before and have always had a great time. This tour out of Comox was a beautiful day on the water with Captain Shannon at the helm. I highly recommend Big Animal Encounters for these Eco tours and hope to travel with them again in the summer.
Written March 17, 2024
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.

Marcia P
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Friends
Great dive trip with Shannon. She was a super professional and friendly boat captain! Thanks for helping me gear up, get out of the water, and learn more about the area. Awesome boat with plenty of outdoor and indoor space. Great site selection. Loved the excellent viz and critters!
Written February 25, 2024
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.

JMS1950
Portland, OR17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
This was a great experience. There were 7 of us in the Zodiac boat. The warm overalls/water suit and a toque (ski hat) were just right for a sunny day with shore temps in the low 60’s. Water was relatively calm. Skipper was a marine research tech who was both very knowledgeable, very considerate of the animals, and handled the boat very well. We saw sea lions, seals, and were fortunate enough to get a good “long” encounter with Orcas and two encounters with humpback whales. Would highly recommend.
Written October 6, 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 the review! We're very happy to hear you enjoyed your 4 Hour Whale & Wildlife Tour with us. We hope to welcome you back in the future.
Written October 7, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Katrin L
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
We had an amazing tour, seeing Orcas soo close, humpback whales, sea lions and seals. Jenn was a great guide, I enjoyed how respectful the tour was towards the animals. Felt like we had an amazing opportunity to be guests on the ocean, not invading it. Just breathtaking!
Written October 4, 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 sharing your amazing experience! We're glad that Jenn provided a great tour. Your kind words mean a lot, and we can't wait to welcome you back for another breathtaking adventure!
Written October 7, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lolly
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
A brilliant tour, with fantastic crew and guides. They were all so knowledgeable and friendly; happy to go the extra mile. Would thoroughly recommend them.
Written October 4, 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 wonderful review! We're delighted that you had a brilliant tour with our fantastic crew and guides. Your recommendation means a lot to us, and we look forward to welcoming you back for another memorable adventure!
Written October 7, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

martienheus
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
Although listed as Bear tour, it gave a lot of plusses. Whales, Sealions, Eagles and of course the Grizzly. For me it really was a bonus because my whale trip was cancelled due to lack of people and mgt upgraded me to the Grizzly Experience. Shannon Groenewegen, our boat captain, really drove the show. Knowledgeable, whitty, very friendly, customer focussed and in control. Together with her mate Kiara (I believe) they formed a super team on board. They were not time pressed and responded to any bear or whale spot by taking the time.
Written October 3, 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 the review, Martien! We are thrilled that you joined for our Grizzly Bear Expedition, and we will be sure to pass on the kind words to Shannon and Kianna. We hope to welcome you aboard again in the future!
Written October 7, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

VanIslandTravellers
Nanaimo, Canada2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
We loved our day on the water with Captain Shannon…..knowledgeable, safe, friendly …. enroute (2hrs) to Bute Inlet. We even caught sight of a few Orcas. At Orford River we were handed over to Kalvin ….a member of Homalco First Nations. After greeting us on the dock Kalvin welcomed us traditionally and respectfully….and warmly. Kalvin led us on the 3 hour land portion of the tour to view Grizzly bears fishing for salmon along creeks feeding into the Orford River. We saw several grizzlies….close enough but not too close …. for everyone’s comfort. We learned about the bears….the salmon….some of the trees….and some about the Homalco First Nation. It was great. Shannon made our boat ride back to Campbell River interesting and informative. A wonderful day.
Written October 1, 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 the kind review! We're very happy to hear you enjoyed your Grizzly Bear Expedition with us. We truly enjoy our partnership with the Homalco First Nations and are thrilled to offer this once-in-a-lifetime tour. We will be sure to pass on the kind words to Shannon! Safe travels.
Written October 7, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Florence B
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
The Grizzly Bear Experience with Jason & Marcellus was amazing! The boat trip to Bute Inlet was so beautfiul. We saw a humpback whale, sea lions & dolfins. On the land we saw 4 bears fishing for salmons, a very unique experience! It felt like National Geographic in real life! Jason was a great and funny captain! :) Marcellus was a good guide who gave a lot of information. Maria was our driver and also did a great job! We enjoyed this tour very much!! FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE!
Written September 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.
We're thrilled to hear you enjoyed your Grizzly Bear Expedition with us - and that you got to see so much wildlife on the way to and from Bute Inlet! We will pass on the kind words to Jason. We hope to welcome you aboard again in the future!
Written October 7, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Lisa M
Chandler, AZ55 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Amazing trip which exceeded our expectations!! If you want to see grizzly bears UP CLOSE , yet SAFELY…book this tour!!! The entire experience with Big Animal Encounters was first class. The boat ride with Paul to and from the Orford Bay was very relaxing … we saw seals, sea lions, porpoises and a black bear from the boat. Once we got to Orford Bay, we had a nice lunch and then we were escorted on a 3 hour excursion to see the grizzly bears , by Stewert and Buck . They did a great job getting us into multiple top notch viewing spots. We saw 10 bears across the day!! We have traveled extensively to see wildlife across the world and this was some of the best viewing we’ve experienced of massive predators! When you go to Yellowstone- you see grizzlies through a scope because you can’t see them with your naked eye . Here, you see them so close you can take great pictures with your cell phone!
Written September 18, 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're very happy to hear you enjoyed your Grizzly Bear Expedition with us. Bute Inlet is an incredibly special place and we're thrilled that we could share it with you. Safe travels!
Written October 7, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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