Whale Watching, Butchart Gardens,
Butterfly Gardens

Whale Watching, Butchart Gardens & Butterfly Gardens

Combine an exhilarating 3 hour whale watching adventure on a covered vessel or open-air zodiac, with a trip to the tropics, filled with over 70 species of butterflies, and then off to one of the world’s most spectacular floral gardens for afternoon tea.

Call Our Office To Book – 1 888 672 6722

PACKAGE HIGHLIGHTS

WHALE & WILDLIFE WATCHING TOUR

Every three hour whale watching tour is led by a certified marine naturalist whose knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife is unequaled in the industry.

BUTTERFLY GARDENS

\Stroll through the lush tropical jungle containing seventy-five species of free-flying butterflies, flamingos, whistling tree ducks and other exotic animals.

BUTCHART GARDENS

Over a century ago, Jennie Butchart began building what is now one of the world’s premier floral show gardens, laced with stone pathways and trickling streams.

Package Information

After an exhilarating 3 hour whale watching adventure on either a covered vessel or zodiac, grab a CVS shuttle to The Butterfly Gardens. Stroll through this warm, humid wonderland filled with plants native to tropical rainforest environments. Walk the trails past organic vanilla beans growing on the vine, papaya trees, coffee plants, ginger and other organically grown foods of the world.

Next stop Butchart Gardens for afternoon tea! Over a century ago, Jennie Butchart began building what is now one of the world’s premier floral show gardens. We invite you to take a walk through the beautifully manicured grounds laced with stone pathways and trickling streams. The gardens change dramatically from season to season, and offers activities for everyone, from greenhouse tours to a living fossil walk, ice skating, dining and more.

How old do you have to be to go on a tour?

Our covered vessel tours welcome people of all ages, but the zodiacs are restricted to those that are 6 years old and above.

Can you pick me up from my hotel?

Yes! Orca Spirit Adventures offers a courtesy shuttle service for all guests. We’ll pick you up at your downtown Victoria hotel—and when your whale watching adventure is over, we’ll drop you back at the hotel, or if you prefer, anywhere in the Victoria city core.

How far in advance of my tour does the shuttle arrive?

The day before your tour we prepare our shuttle schedule and will contact you directly to provide you with a time frame in which the shuttle will get you from your hotel. Pickups are anywhere from and hour and half to thirty minutes before the schedule tour departure time depending on the hotel location.

Is there parking near the departure dock?


Wharf Street Departures
Yes, there are pay parking lots at this office as well as street parking.

Coast Hotel & Marina by APA Departures
There is a parking lot at the corner of the Quebec Street and Montreal Street about a half block from our office. As well, there is another lot at the corner of Kingston Street and Menzie Street.

What is the boat ride like?

Exciting and sometimes quite adventurous. Depending on the weather and conditions on the water, the experience can be wild and wet, smooth and dry, or any combination of the two. A typical zodiac trip experiences more ocean spray, and passengers can be splashed at some point along the route. Morning tours and those on covered vessels are usually the calmest.

What is the best time of year to see whales

While it is possible to see whales at any time of the year, there is a peak season from May through October. During this peak season our sighting success rate is at 95-98% for viewing resident Orca pods near Victoria. In addition to Orcas, see the other wildlife that we view in the Victoria area.

Will we really see whales?

Southern Vancouver Island is the best place to see whales in the wild! There is a chance of seeing a number of different species of whales including resident and transient orcas, humpback whales, Minke whales, and gray whales in addition to other wildlife including but not limited to seals, sea lions, bald eagles, cormorants, and the Race Rocks Lighthouse resident sea otter – Ollie! All of this being said, these are wild animals that we are viewing and so there is the chance of them being a little more elusive some days, which is why we offer our Whale Guarantee. In the event of a no-whale trip, you are invited back with us for a complimentary tour. No rush, this is a life-time guarantee as we want to bring all of our guests’ whale watching dreams to life.

Where do I board the boat?

  • Depending on which tour you’re on, boarding will take place at one of our two locations. You’ll be notified in advance of the departure location at either:
  • Our private dock, approximately 70 yards from the Orca Spirit Adventures office in the Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA, at 146 Kingston Street in Victoria, BC
  • At the Harbour Air Seaplane terminal at 950 Wharf Street in Victoria, BC
  • Wild Renfrew Guest Services at 17310 Parkinson Road, Port Renfrew BC

What should I wear?

During the summer (June through August), light summer tops and pants or shorts are fine, but it’s a good idea to bring layers such as a fleece jacket or sweater. It is surprisingly cool traveling quickly over the ocean. On cool days, evening trips and during the spring (April – May) and fall (September – October), long pants, sweaters, snug fitting hats and warm footwear is recommended.

Can I bring a camera?

Yes! If you are joining us on a zodiac tour, we recommend talking to captain before your tour as he may recommend that you put it in the dry storage beneath your seat depending on the wind, weather, and sea conditions on the day of tour. Onboard covered vessel tours, if we experience inclement weather you can leave it in the heated indoor cabin, protected from the elements.

Are there bathrooms on the boat?

There is a bathroom onboard all covered vessel tours.

Are there snacks and beverages available for purchase on board?

Snacks and pop available for purchase for $2 on board during covered vessel tours.

What is your cancellation policy?

24 hour cancellation policy

  • Due to limited daylight and shortened hours, tour packages including the Butchart Gardens and Butterfly Gardens become only available if done over two days January 7th to March 31st and November 1st to December 31st.
  • Guests must check in at least 30 minutes prior to departure time at their specific check in location
  • Passenger boarding begins 15 minutes prior to departure time
  • Tour departures and packages can be subject to time change and are weather dependent.
  • The Zodiac is not recommended for those with neck or back injuries, expectant mothers, or children under the age of 6
  • Cancellation Policy for all tours and packages: 24 hours
  • Disclaimer: Tour departures and packages can be subject to time change and are weather dependent
  • Guests must check in at least 30 minutes prior to departure time at their specific check in location
  • Passenger boarding begins 15 minutes prior to departure time
  • The Zodiac is not recommended for those with neck or back injuries, expectant mothers, or children under the age of 6

What's Included
  • 3 hour, 100% carbon neutral whale watching tour
  • Admission to Butchart Gardens and Butterfly Gardens
  • Afternoon tea at Butchart Gardens
  • Free hotel shuttle pick-up & drop off
  • Choice of open zodiac or covered vessel*
  • Full length cruiser suits (XS to XXL) for protection from ocean spray and cool air (Zodiac tours only)
  • A hydrophone (underwater microphone) for listening to whales
  • Certified Marine Naturalist/Biologist on board each tour
  • Wildlife identification kits
  • Whale Sighting Guarantee
  • Complimentary coffee & tea on board covered vessel tours
  • Blankets and binoculars
  • $2 donation towards restoration of the salmon in the Salish Sea
  • A safe and comfortable experience backed by our perfect safety record

*NOTE: Zodiac is not recommended for those with neck or back injuries, or expectant mothers, or children under the age of 6

What To Bring

Sunglasses, camera, tight fitting hat, sunscreen and a sense of adventure!

Please Be Aware

We believe that it’s possible to provide an educational experience to guests while respecting the whale’s natural habitat. Orca Spirit has always taken special care to practice respectful whale watching by following strict guidelines around vessel speed, viewing distance, and radio and engine usage.

Tour Rates
Whale Watching, Butterfly Gardens, Butchart Gardens, & Tea
Adults 18+ $234
Youth 13-17 $172
Children 5-12 $127
Whale Watching, Butterfly Gardens, & Butchart Gardens
Adults 18+ $190
Youth 13-17 $131
Children 5-12 $102
Whale Watching, Butchart Gardens, & Tea
Adults 18+ $224
Youth 13-17 $167
Children 5-12 $122
Whale Watching & Butchart Gardens
Adult 18+ $183
Youth 13-17 $126
Children 5-12 $97

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