Tours From Seattle

CRUISE PUGET SOUND

Hop on the high-speed Victoria Clipper passenger ferry from Downtown Seattle as it cruises through Puget Sound enroute to Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Shortly after arrival, you’ll start your watching adventure with us. Come for the afternoon, or stay a few nights at one of our partner hotels!

The nearby Juan de Fuca and Haro Straits are home to a variety of different species of whales and wildlife! You’ll have plenty of opportunities for encounters with these magnificent creatures during your three hour tour.

SEATTLE TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

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VICTORIA CLIPPER FERRY

The high-speed passenger-only catamaran whisks you from Seattle’s Puget Sound to Victoria’s Inner Harbour in under three hours, and offers convenient in-terminal border crossing services.
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SALISH SEA WILDLIFE

Almost 200 species of mammals and birds call the Salish Sea waterways surrounding southern Vancouver Island home, relying on its delicate marine ecosystem for food and habitat.
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RACE ROCKS ECO RESERVE

Race Rocks is a designated Marine Protected Area. To preserve its special ecosystem of plants, animals and biological diversity, access is restricted to scientific and educational purposes.
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Location

146 Kingston St, 950 Wharf St.
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Vessel Type

Covered, Open - Zodiac
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Minimum Age

Zodiacs: 6 years and up
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Tour Duration

3 Hours (+ ferry and transfers)
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Frequency

Daily Tours
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Departures - Covered

10 am, 2 pm
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Level of Difficulty

Easy, suitable for all ages
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Availability

April 1st - October 31st
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Departures - Zodiac

9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, 5pm

TOUR INFORMATION

Routes vary depending on whale sightings and weather. A typical route takes us along Victoria’s scenic waterfront to Oak Bay and the Chain Islets, where we pause to watch harbour seals and seabirds. From there, we often head east to San Juan Island, or north along the Saanich Peninsula. When whale sighting reports come in, we typically alter course towards whales within range of the boat. Round trip distance is usually 50 to 80 km.

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.

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 whale sighting success rate is over 95% .

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  Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, Minke whales, and Gray whales.

Where do I board the boat?
Depending on which tour you’re on, boarding will take place at one of our two locations.

  • Covered Vessels: 146 Kingston Street, below the Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA
  • Zodiac Vessels: 950 Wharf Street in Victoria, BC at the Harbour Air Seaplane terminal

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?
Drinks and snacks are available for purchase on board covered vessel tours.

What is your cancellation policy?
24- hour cancellation policy

  • Guests must book their ferry trip aboard the Victoria Clipper separately from their whale watching tour. Tour costs do not include ferry fees.
  • 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
  • You can cancel any Victoria whale watching tour if you contact us at least 24 hours before your scheduled departure time
  • Disclaimer: Tour departures and packages can be subject to time change and are weather dependent

What's Included

  • 3 hour, 100% carbon neutral whale watching tour
  • 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)
  • 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
  • $4 Wildlife Conservation Fee that contributes to the 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, expectant mothers, or children under the age of 6

What to bring

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

WHAT MIGHT YOU SEE

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CLIPPER FERRY SCHEDULE

Date RangeDepart Seattle Arrive VictoriaDepart VictoriaArrive Seattle
January 1 - May 167:30 am10:30 am5:00 pm7:45 pm
May 17 - June 30 (Fri - Mon)7:30 am10:30 am11:30 am2:15 pm
3:15 pm6:00 pm7:00 pm9:45 pm
May 17 - June 30 (Tues - Thurs)7:30 am10:30 am11:30 am2:15 pm
July 1 - September 8 (Thurs - Mon)7:30 am10:30 am7:00 pm9:45 pm
July 1 - September 8 (Tues - Wed)3:15 pm5:00 pm6:00 pm7:45 pm
September 9 - January 5, 20208:00 am10:45 am5:00 pm7:45 pm
Tour Rates
Adults18+
$139
Youth13-17
$109
Children3-12
$99
Infants0-3
FREE
Victoria Clipper Ferry
Reserve
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Tour Map

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RESPONSIBLE WHALE WATCHING

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.
  • Maintain a distance of 200 meters from killer whales and 100 meters from all other whales in Canadian and US waters
  • Operate at no more than 7 knots when within 1 km (0.65 mile) of a whale
  • Travel at the same or slower speed as the whale’s speed, and travel parallel to the direction whales are traveling
  • Limit time in the vicinity of a particular group of whales to 60 minutes
  • Respect marine protected areas by adhering to Go Slow Zones and minimum distance guidelines around rocks, landmasses, historic sites and wildlife
  • Turn off sonar, depth sounders, fish finders and other underwater transducers when in the vicinity of whales
  • Get closer without disturbing marine life by using a camera with a zoom lens