Open or Covered?


Here at Orca Spirit Adventures, we like to give you choices for your Victoria whale watching tour. During the high season, we have several whale watching tour departures every day, so you can choose the one that suits your schedule best. But more than that, we even give you the choice for what kind of boat you can use for your whale watching tour: a covered vessel or a zippy Zodiac. So, which one should you choose? Although both types of boat are safe, there are differences in the kind of experience you will get from them. Despite their differences, both types of boat are equally good for whale watching;  they both do the same tours. Here’s a bit of information to help you make your choice.

Comfortable, Warm & Kid-Friendly

Our covered vessels are perfect for those who like to travel comfortably and with convenience. They can hold from 1 – 170 passengers and have washroom facilities as well as a tea and coffee service.

We recommend covered vessels in several situations. It’s the best way to keep a large group together, and is also good for kids as they can move around the boat. For people with mobility issues, covered vessels are perfect because you don’t have to wear a cruiser suit (as you must do in our zodiacs). Photographers also prefer covered vessels because it gives them more angles and viewpoints. And with its indoor seating, covered vessels are a great choice for days when the weather isn’t playing along.

If you would like to learn more, check out our covered vessels fleet page.

Fast, Adventurous & Fun

The zodiac boat is a safe ocean-going craft that’s a fun and different way to experience whale watching. With a maximum of 12 passengers, the boat is never overcrowded. We even provide a full suit to protect you from the elements.

Because the ride can be a little bumpy, we don’t recommend the zodiac for those with back or bone density issues or for pregnant women. Otherwise, it’s an exhilarating ride that fully exposes you to the elements (at OSA, we call this “the full salt-air experience”). The zodiac is perfect for thrill-seekers with its fast speed and fully open experience.