Frequently Asked Questions
We have implemented a number of procedures and policies to ensure the safety of our staff members and all of our guests. You can find our COVID-19 policies here.
We offer an assortment of tours on and off the water!
- 4 hour Whale and Wildlife Tours on Zodiac or Covered Vessels
- 4 hour Ocean Rapids tour on Zodiac Vessels
- 6 hour Whale Watching Tours on Zodiac or Covered Vessels
- 6-7 hour Spring Bear and Waterfall Tours
- 7-8 hour Whale Watching Tours on Zodiac or Covered Vessels
- Full Day Kayaking Tours with Wildcoast Adventures
- Full Day Grizzly Bear Tour
- Winery and Distillery Tour
- Brewery Tour
The Full Day Whale Watching Tour gives us the luxury of time! The main focus of this tour is the sighting of Orca which means that on some days we may travel further distances to see them as we have the time to do so. However, we do make every effort to spend quality time with other wildlife such as Humpback Whales, Dolphins, and Bears along the shorelines. The extra time allows us to spend more time with the animals that we encounter along the way.
We still look for and see Orca on our 6 hour whale watching tour! We just do not have the ability to travel as far to find them!
- Grizzly Tour: 10 years old
- Rapids Tour: 9 years old
- 4 hour Covered Boat: No minimum
- All other marine tours: 4 years old
- Winery and Distillery/Brewery Tours: 19 years old
We strive to accommodate every person who dreams of joining us on a tour and we have had multiple guests in wheelchairs join us. However, given the nature of our location and functionality of our boats it can sometimes be difficult.
We have partnered with Access 2 to provide a discounted or free ticket (depending on the tour) to someone who accompanies a person with an Access 2 card. You can find more information about the program here.
Please give us a call in the office to see if we are able to accommodate your needs!
Yes! All of our vessels have a washroom on board except for Rocket that typically runs our 4 hour tours
- We provide floater suits on zodiac tours.
- Lunch is provided on all of our tours 6 hours and longer.
- Experienced guides and Transport Canada approved vessels
We have never had anyone get seasick on our Zodiac vessels! You’re surrounded by fresh air and Zodiac vessels glide through the water for a very smooth ride!
If you’re worried, we recommend taking a non-drowsy ginger tablet (like Gravol)
A reusable water bottle*, an extra layer of clothing, sunscreen, extra snacks, sunglasses, camera, binoculars, and a mask or buff.
*we have a water refill station available! We are making efforts to eliminate all single use plastic from our operations.
There are benefits to both the AM and PM tours! Sometimes the morning tour comes across wildlife that moves too quickly and is gone by the afternoon. There's also something special about being one of the first boats out on the water! Sometimes the afternoon tour is the only one that comes across certain wildlife. As well, there have been multiple boats out on the water and so we have a pretty good idea where the wildlife for that day is by the afternoon!
It's ultimately hard to say which is better, and it really just depends on what fits into your schedule the best! There's unfortunately not a definite answer as wild animals tend to do whatever they please!
- Transient Orca (the mammal eaters) stay around all year long! Sometimes they disappear and aren’t seen for days.
- Northern Resident Orca (the salmon eaters) haven’t frequently made their way down to Campbell River in the last few years, but we travel far enough to see them (almost!) every day on our 7-8 hour Whale Watching tour from mid-to-late July until September.
- Humpback Whales are around our area from May to November!
- The best time to see Grizzly Bears feeding on the salmon is September and October, but we have always had great sightings in August as well!
- We see Black Bears and Grizzly Bears along the shoreline from April to June.
- In our area, we tend to see: Humpback Whales, Orca, Dall’s Porpoise, Harbor Porpoise, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, California Sea Lions, Eagles, Harbor Seals, Black Bears, Grizzly Bears, and a number of different sea birds!
- We pride ourselves in going above and beyond to ensure that our guests see as much wildlife as possible on one of our tours. However, because they are wild animals we cannot guarantee that you will see every single mammal mentioned above.
- If we do not see a whale on your Full Day Whale Watching tour with us between July 1st and September 15th, we will take you out again at no charge, on a stand-by basis, until we do see one.
- If we do not see a Grizzly on your Grizzly Bear tour with us between September 10th and September 30th, we will take you out again at no charge, on a stand-by basis, until we do see one.
- Guarantees are applicable to full fare paying clients and are valid for 24 months, non-transferable
- 100 metres away from most whales, porpoises, and dolphins except if they are in a resting position or with their calf, then it’s 200 metres
- 200 metres away from Orca
- 400 metres away from Orca in Southern Resident Killer Whale critical habitat. We don’t actively watch this group and they’re very rarely in our area.
- In addition to the viewing distance enforced by the DFO, we collaborated with another local company to create a Code of Conduct to ensure that whale watching tour operators are going above and beyond to maintain safe practices for whales and marine mammals
We go to two separate locations to see Grizzly Bears!
- The Orford River in Bute Inlet with our partner, Homalco Wildlife Tours
- The Toba River Valley in Toba Inlet with our partner, Klahoose Coastal Adventures
There isn't actually very much walking involved! For both of our Toba Inlet and Orford River tours, there is a van that takes us from platform to platform. Occasionally, we make the walk between the platforms but it's never usually more than 150 metres and it's never at a quick pace. There are a number of stairs to reach each viewing platform and there are two ramps that can be very steep depending on the tides: one to get from land to our office, and one from the boat to land. Both of these ramps have railings and can be done at your own pace.
Both of our Grizzly Bear Destinations are world class. Our Bute Inlet Tour is hosted by the Homalco First Nation, while the Toba Inlet tour is hosted by the Klahoose First Nation.
We have been working with the Homalco First Nation for many years, since they started operating 15 years ago. In 2019 we partnered with Klahoose to extend our product offering, and be able to accommodate more guests without taxing one system. While the Klahoose are newer to the commercial bear viewing business, their territory has always populated by bears, and the nation is not new to running successful businesses!
On both tours we have 3 hours on land, to view bears along the river. We travel by van to various viewing platforms. Both Tours include a great lunch, snack, and tea and coffee. Both tours offer a Grizzly Guarantee!
The Orford River, where we view the bears, is 98 km (by water) from Campbell River. Bute Inlet offers the opportunity to check out the nearby Tidal Rapids, a very unique natural phenomenon. The minimum age on this tour is 10 years old.
The Klite River, where we disembark to view the bears is slightly further away, at 107 km from Campbell River. The earlier departure allows more time at the end of the tour to view marine wildlife and whales. Toba inlet is famous for spectacular waterfalls and dramatic mountain backdrops.
Whichever tour you decide, you will not be disappointed!
Online through our website, by email, calling our office, or visiting our Floathouse!
Customers will receive a full refund or credit to gift voucher if we have received notice of cancellation 48 hours prior to tour departure. However, during this time, if you are showing ANY symptoms of COVID-19 or believe you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19, we will refund your money right until the time of departure. If you are concerned about COVID-19 please check out this self assessment (https://bc.thrive.health/). Customers will also receive a full refund or credit in case of operator cancellation due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. No-shows will be charged the full price. Gift vouchers have no cash value. For accommodation packages, we require notice of cancellation 72 hours prior to hotel check-in. Contact us by phone to cancel or inquire about a cancellation.
- We are carbon neutral!
- We will always go the extra distance to ensure that you see a variety of wildlife while out on our tours
- We have a fleet of boats and a number of different tours and departure times to fit your busy, travelling schedule
- We’ve partnered with Wilderness International to donate $1 to protect 1m2 of old growth forest for every guest that joins us
- We care about the environment and take pride in our sustainability policy
- We supply a generous lunch and snacks such as fresh fruit and baked goods
- We share sightings and wildlife information with other local tour operators
- In 2019, we partnered with another local company to formalize a Whale Watching Code of Conduct. This conduct, signed by everyone of our guides, goes above and beyond federal regulations to demonstrate our commitment to the well being of these magnificent animals.
We are an active member of the North Island Marine Mammal Stewardship Association
- We are highly devoted to the safety of our guests and have up-to-date electronic communication and navigation equipment, GPS (global positioning system), and electronic charting. As well as new full-length thermal survival floater suits that keep you warm, dry, and safe!
- We are Certified Silver by Sustainable Tourism 2030
- In the past two years we have been honoured to receive the following awards:
- Sustainability award - Tourism Vancouver Island (2018)
- Readers choice Adventure Tour Company -Black Press Media (since 2016)
- Campbell River Tourism Award Campbell River Chamber of Commerce (2018)
- Tourism Employee of the Year (Sherry Heggie) Tourism Vancouver Island (2019)
- Finalist, Maritime Excellence – Eco Star Awards (2019)
- Finalist, Educational Leadership – Eco Star Awards (2019)
- Certificate of Excellence – Trip Advisor
- Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards - Tourism Business of the Year (2020)