Going Wild: Ethical and Sustainable Adventures in Campbell River


© Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours

Soon after crossing the 50th Parallel mid-Vancouver Island, on a scenic drive north along the Oceanside route of Highway 19A, you enter the Oceanside City of Campbell River. With its backdrop of towering mountain peaks and the Salish Sea lapping at its shoreline, it becomes obvious that you are a step away from the Wild of B.C. and the gateway to the Discovery Islands and Desolation Sound.

Here in Liǧʷiɫdax̌ʷ and Coast Salish Territories, numerous channels and remote passages with active tidal zones create a nutrient-rich environment that attracts a wide array of marine mammals, seabirds and other wildlife. The healthy populations of sea lions and seals play a role in the year-round sightings of mammal-eating transient killer whales. The fast-moving currents and tidal flows churn up the krill and small fish, providing popular feeding grounds for the steadily growing numbers of humpback whales that are returning to the area each year to feed. The extensive shoreline, remote inlets, estuaries, rivers and old-growth forests, valleys and mountains provide sanctuary and foraging grounds for black bears and grizzly bears.

It is no wonder that Campbell River is gaining a global reputation as an easily accessible, rewarding, and authentic destination for whale watching and wildlife tours.

The sense of wonder and excitement at the first sight of whales, dolphins, porpoises, eagles and bears in the wild is enhanced by the interpretation of the wildlife activity you are quietly observing without disturbing the natural behaviour unfolding before you.

© Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours
© Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours

Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours offer premier wildlife and nature experiences through respectful and ethical practices. They offer one of the most comprehensive choices of tours in the area, with the option of open zodiacs or covered boats. From the outset, it is apparent that the whole crew is passionate about what they do and 100 per cent focused on protecting and conserving the environment in which they work for generations to come. Not only are their guides expert mariners, but they are also certified naturalists committed to responsible wildlife viewing and ensuring that every tour counts towards research and education.

Certified Carbon Neutral since 2018, the company is Biosphere Certified, a member of the BC Green Business Collective and part of the Sustainable Tourism 2030 community.

Whale Watching tour options are designed to fit within all schedules and budgets and range from four-hour Wildlife & Whale Discovery Tours with multiple departures daily, including six-hour and full-day Whale Watching Tours. The longer tours allow more time to explore the Salish Sea, Discovery Passage and Johnstone Strait to find humpback whales, killer whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, sea lions and other marine mammals, with a stop for a delicious locally sourced lunch along the way.

When viewing wildlife in the wild, it is impossible to guarantee specific sightings. So, if the sole purpose of your visit is to see orcas, our recommendation is to book the Full Day Whale Watching Tour. The focus of this tour is finding orcas, with time to view other marine mammals and wildlife on the way.

As summer progresses, the salmon migrate back to their natal location to spawn, signalling the start of the Grizzly Bear Viewing season and a choice of daily tours into Bute and Toba Inlets on the central coast of mainland British Columbia. To reach either location, one travels aboard a comfortable, high-speed covered vessel. Once on land, you are met by your First Nation Guides and welcomed to their traditional territories before being transported through towering rainforests to multiple viewing platforms along the river. Here, deep in the Southernmost reaches of the Great Bear Rainforest, all your senses come alive as you quietly watch grizzlies searching for salmon along the river and listen to the sound of the wild.

It is these experiences and memories that last a lifetime!

Travel Tip: Allow yourself time to explore. The region is steeped in history, rich in culture, and surrounded by five provincial parks and forested trails, with easy access to the ocean and all its wonders.

For more information, visit campbellriverwhalewatching.com

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Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventure Tours has a long history of delivering exceptional Wildlife Viewing and adventure Tours.  Since 2008, we have been a key player in Campbell River’s tourism industry, but our years of experience goes far beyond that.


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