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“Great Company; Excellent Employees; Amazing Experience!”

West Coast Aquatic Safaris
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Tofino! Wild By Nature…Tour Tofino’s wild side with West Coast Aquatic Safaris. Enjoy the West Coast’s premiere wildlife and sightseeing tours aboard our All Weather Boats, WASCO and NANUQ, both Transport Canada safety certified. Our professional and knowledgeable staff will make your Tofino experience one to remember. Get off the beaten path and experience ecotourism that is environmentally responsible, safe, and fun for the whole family with West Coast Aquatic Safaris. We look forward to welcoming you aboard! First Class Adventure, Excellent Value.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada
Level Contributor
607 reviews
312 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 394 helpful votes
“Great Company; Excellent Employees; Amazing Experience!”
Reviewed 25 March 2012

As a tour guide and boat captain of a small company in Waterton Lakes National Park, AB., I have to say that from the moment I stepped foot into the ticket office to the time I said goodbye, I was truly impressed with the entire West Coast Aquatic Safaris experience. This company (owners, managers and staff alike) understand how to put on an informative, entertaining, enjoyable and professional tour!

I spent quite a bit of time researching a number of competing whale watching companies, before making my decision which to go with... I examined TripAdvisor reviews, read through company websites and printed brochures, and talked with a number of individuals that lived/worked in the Tofino area. But it ultimately came down to the ticket office experience where I inquired in person about a trip for Saturday March 24. Brent was friendly yet professional, extremely knowledgeable and managed to "sell us" on taking a cruise with WCAS without being pushy. It was truly a pleasure to interact with such an inviting individual.

Once out on the water, Captain Jeff and crewmate Diana were great! Diana was very friendly, outgoing and obviously passionate about what she does. She was constantly moving about the 47' NANUQ and kept a weathered eye on the horizon, looking for grey whales and other wildlife. Jeff was professional, yet calm and easy-going enough to make the experience most comfortable. He did a great job navigating towards some exciting whale activity and gave us plenty of time to enjoy and appreciate what we were seeing. During quite moments while we waited for wildlife to appear, Jeff would offer plenty of interesting facts about the local wildlife, natural history and human influences of the area.

The weather was absolutely perfect: sunny, warm, not-a-cloud-in-the-sky. The seas were quite mellow and my girlfriend (who's stomach doesn't always agree with the ocean) had a wonderful time and never once felt seasick. The NANUQ was a very quite, smooth, comfortable ride! In total, we saw 6 different pods of grey whales (each with anywhere from 2 to about 5 whales); a few random sea otters; a number of harbor seals; a bunch of Stellar Sea Lions; and about 6 different Bald Eagle!

I just wish to again reiterate how great the employees of WCAS are! Kudos to each one of you; you really made our whale watching trip a pleasure! Well done. Keep up the great work. And best regards for the coming season!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Keith-B-Robinson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
INWCAS, Manager at West Coast Aquatic Safaris, responded to this review, 27 March 2012
Hi Keith,

Thank you for such kind words. As one that understands how valuable this feedback is we greatly appreciate you taking the time to provide such detail. We are thrilled that you both had a wonderfull time and that your experience in the office and at sea was memorable. Please feel free to contact us in the future if you wish to continue our conversation from the office and of course if you feel like getting out for another adventure.

Regards,

Brent
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235 reviews from our community

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English first
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Honest and Awesome.”
Reviewed 24 March 2012

My boyfriend & I saw this company at the Outdoor show in Vancouver, and since we were planning on going to Tofino the next week we decided to book a whale watching trip as I have never seen a whale other than in an aquarium. The day we went was a dark and rainy day, but that didn't bother us one bit! We had our rain pants on and were ready for anything! Unfortunately the weather did not improve and it became quite stormy. Our captain Keith was completely honest with us about how it may be hard to have any viewings with the weather like it was, but we were going to try! We were inside the cabin for most of the trip because of the wind and how big the waves were, but we did get to stop a few times and go on the outside of the boat which was rad. The water did get quite rough at one point, but I had completely faith in our captain as he was making sure everyone was ok and not getting sea sick! He made the decision to turn the boat around, which was totally understandable. We didn't see any whales on the trip, but the company gave everyone vouchers to come back anytime before December 2013! I thought that was awesome, because it is such a respectable thing for a company to do. It isn't like they control the weather, so we did not blame them at all for not seeing any whales, and we did still enjoy the awesome boat ride!
Overall, the staff was GREAT! Super friendly, knowledgeable, and chill. And we can't wait to come back in the summer for round 2!

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Monique G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
INWCAS, Manager at West Coast Aquatic Safaris, responded to this review, 30 March 2012
Hey Monique,

Thrilled that you both had such a great time. Also glad that you had the chance to take advantage of our promotion from the Vancouver Outdoor Adventure and travel Show. We really appreciate your kind words and the grat shots of you guys aboard WASCO, rain can be a lot of fun!!!

Thanks
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
rossland
2 reviews
“A Rock Solid , Professional, Company.”
Reviewed 21 March 2012

Keith, Jeff and Brent,

Jen and I have nothing but good thoughts when we think of our trips with you last week. It was the first few days of the start of your season and the very beginning of the migration. The wind was up and blowing early in the week with power outages throughout the island. The rain was falling and the sea's were rolling.

Day one, we were not able to venture into the huge seas of the open ocean but on board Wasco, with Jeff at the helm, we were warm and dry. Alas not a whale to be seen. This, everyone must know, is not an exact science. There are the odd days that we humans, try as we may, get skunked. That being said we saw harbour seals, eagles and a couple of dolphins. Jeff was great and the Wasco is a solid warm craft. I'm no wimp and I like crazy adventures, but an open Zodiac....really....really...... why?

Day two, we were back again this time with Keith (the owner of the company) at the helm and on board the bigger Nanuq, the "Cadillac" of the fleet. This is a very nice boat, read my words, very nice, stable, big, comfortable, washrooms,warm and state of the art . It was cool but the sun was out, the winds had calmed and the seas had backed off at bit. It was a day we could, on board that boat, venture out onto the open ocean. Guess what.... we saw whales. It was great! It was personal, Keith could just talk to us as he guided the boat. We sat up on the upper deck and the experience was fantastic.

Brent you were great to deal with and Keith you should be very proud off your company.

Jen and I will be back!

Jen and Mike
Rossland BC ( Home of Red Mountain)

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank mikeRossland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
INWCAS, Manager at West Coast Aquatic Safaris, responded to this review, 27 March 2012
Hey Mike,

Thank you for such a positive review. We are glad that the two of you had such a great experience and hope that you will return again or continue to spread the word. Have a great season in the sky!
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
79 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“3 Types of Whales seen on 1 trip”
Reviewed 9 March 2012

This was a great tour which offered warm comfort in a sturdy boat on a cool July day last summer. Optional indoor seating and a toilet was something I wanted in a whale tour. The only drawback to this type of excursion is that your boat can't get as close to the whales as one would like. Having said that, we were able to see 3 types of whales on one trip which was great for taking photos. We also were taken to see seals on some rocks. Grey whales, orca and humpback were all seen on our trip. The operators mentioned that this was very lucky to see all 3. I also enjoyed sitting inside the boat and viewing the GPS on a large monitor to show exactly how far out of Tofino we went into the ocean.
The lady tour guide was also informative discussing samples of krill in test tubes she had for display. She talked about the whales diet and was there to answer any questions.
Overall, a great day out and very professional staff.

Visited July 2011
Helpful?
Thank 2BoysHockeyMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
INWCAS, Manager at West Coast Aquatic Safaris, responded to this review, 15 March 2012
We would like to thank you for such a positive review. It is great to hear that you enjoyed yourselves and we hope that you will join us in the future should you find yourselves in Tofino again.

West Coast Aquatic Safaris does our very best to provide the most positive experience on the Pacific Rim. Part of this experience means that we also follow the whale wise guidelines that determine what is considered safe viewing distance from the wildlife that we are so passionate about.

It is an amazing experience to be in the presence of a whale and to have the opportunity to witness all three in one tour is spectacular. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with others.
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Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Absolutely phenomenal.”
Reviewed 11 December 2011

We went on a tour with West Coast Aquatic Safari's and had the most amazing tour of our lives.
We saw so much wildlife it was unbelievable and our guides Keith and Krista were so knowledgeable it astonishing! Learning about the local area and wildlife from them was the a highlight.

Keith, the captain caught wind of a special something up ahead but kept it a secret for a while until we got to a pod of orca whales!! Before arriving to this pod however, we watched a humpback whale swim about for a while.

We watched the same pod of orca's for a short time and then Keith took us to where there are some known grey whales in the area. After a short time the whales seemed to be approaching the boat and were swimming underneath us!!

After watching the grey whales for about 40minutes, we continued on to where Keith and Krista showed us sea lions and dozens of sea otters!!

The weather could not have been better, with blue skies and calm sea's. The comfort level West Coast Aquatic Safari's boats offer are the best available (having done our research and first hand experiences) in Tofino, offering indoor warmth and outdoor viewing decks, toilets, and tv's mapping the route. The experience could not have been more enjoyable, with knowledgeable staff and whales and animals everywhere!

My friends and I cannot wait to go back on our next trip to Canada! (Probably mainly because one of my friends had a huge crush on Captain Keith after that amazing trip !!!!)

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank scott_thetash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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