Stubbs Island Whale Watching

Stubbs Island Whale Watching

Stubbs Island Whale Watching
5
Eco ToursDolphin & Whale WatchingNature & Wildlife Tours
This location was reported permanently closed
About
Closed in January 2019 British Columbia’s first whale watching company was established in 1980. Orca (killer whales) and many other marine mammals frequent the Johnstone Strait and Robson Bight area. Telegraph Cove is located on Northern Vancouver Island.We invite you to join us for an exciting sea adventure from Telegraph Cove, the Whale Watching Capital of British Columbia! You’ll love our island, the magnificent mammals, the rare bird species you’ll see, and the friendly people you’ll meet. Depending on the time of year in British Columbia, you may see, Humpback whales, Dall’s or Harbour porpoises, Minke Whales, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Harbour seals, Stellar sea lions, bears, various birds and of course our famous Orca (killer whales).
Telegraph Cove, British Columbia, Canada
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles814 reviews
Excellent
729
Very good
60
Average
14
Poor
7
Terrible
4

emmielou11
London, UK24 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
I have always wanted to see whales and my husband and I spent a lot of time researching when we would have the best chance of doing this And which company to do it with.
We chose to do the 13.00 tour with the reasoning that, even though whales obviously move about, they would at least have a better idea of their rough area following the morning tours. We were not disappointed.
The weather was less than impressive but we were both prepared for this and nothing beats the experience of seeing the black fins emerge from the water. We saw around 25-30 orca and were lucky enough to see them breach a few times. It is almost impossible to get the perfect photo on only one trip and in trying to do so you can sometimes miss the beauty of the experience. Having said that, we did have a video recorder with us and put it to good use filming these incredible animals and the humpback whales we also saw.
The information we were given before and during the trip was excellent and clear and the talk given about the whales was interesting and engaging.
I only wish I could do this every day.
Written August 16, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PapaLazarou2013
Yorkshire Dales National Park, UK60 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Family
We first went on this trip in 1998 and had an amazing time. We returned 3 years ago with our 3 children and unbelievably bettered our first experience.

We had no hesitation in booking up again on our third visit to BC. We we rewarded once again.

Every trip we have made on the Lukwa has had a consistent theme.
The whales and other wildlife have been absolutely stunning, but that of course is to an extent down to chance. The dedication and sheer professionalism of the crew is not. They each clearly derive great enjoyment from seeing others marvel at the sights. The enthusiasm with which they can identify each whale and recount its family history and place within the eco-system is an education in itself.

Different family groups of Orca, porpoises harassing the Orca, humpbacks and the obligatory seals, sea lions, bald eagles and deer, all in the space of a few hours.

At the end, our skipper appeared almost reluctant to bring our trip to an end. We all left feeling that he only did so because there was another group, waiting at the pier about to be spellbound.

Thank you all once again, for such a fabulous day.

Written August 26, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

heron48
Lemont, IL231 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2011 • Friends
I scheduled a trip to Vancouver Island solely based on what I had read about Stubbs Island whale watching tours and the presence of orcas during August; knowing that seeing an orca, let alone other marine mammals, is always a luck of the draw thing. However all the hype and advertisng about the orcas around Telegraph Cove, led me to think that I'd for sure see them, but perhaps not get a postcard photo.

Well the first trip out we only saw a single humpback whale, no other marine mammal!!! Because there was not much to see, the captain and naturalist also seemed to be a bit down on their game. Not much dialogue during the three hours; although the naturalist did give a presentation inside for those folks who were interested and could fit inside. To say the least we were very disappointed. Luck of the draw?!

The next day, I felt I really needed to share my disappointment with Roger, the new owner. Roger was very cordial and gracious and we both agreed there is a fair bit of luck in what you may see. However, he was so gracious he did offer the four of us free tickets on the morning cruise, despite the "no guarantee" policy that is clearly printed on the tickets. We opted to take him up on his offer.

This trip was orders of magnitude more interesting. Lots of stories, the captain identified the various birds and in general made a point of keeping folks engaged in the tour. And we did see 11 orcas, not the postcard photos I had hoped for (that part for sure is luck of the draw), but still a great experience. Plus we could hear them communicate via the onboard hydrophones.

The marine mammals we did see on day 2 included, Dall porpoises, White-sided dolphins, humpback whales and of course the orcas.

The boat is very comfortable and there are plenty of snacks and beverages available. Only downside is the inside area can be a bit small if there is a full boat. This is where the naturalist gives her presentation and if there are too many folks, some may not hear what she is saying.

Bottomline is I'd definitely recommend this tour as Roger and his staff are really interested and concerned in doing what they can to maintain customer satisfaction. And even if you don't have good luck seeing animals, the scenery is beautiful.

The tip is don't do what I did and set your expectations too high, as with any nature tour, it really is a lose some/win some situation.
Written August 14, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kitti1
208 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2011 • Friends
August 1, 2011 was a beautiful day & we were very excited to be able to go on a whale watching tour that my friend had been on previously a few years ago. We were on the smallest/oldest of the boats which was beautiful & well maintained.

Unfortunately we did not see any whales or any other marine life but that is not my issue with the journey. While the captain (who was the previous owner of the company) & his wife were very personable & friendly people, we felt 'ripped off' when compared to what the people on the other boat received. We were shown a binder with pictures of what we were supposed to see & heard some sounds from a walkie talkie that were supposed to be from the whales. That's it for 4 hours on the water. We overheard snippets of the captain on the other boat give dissertations on various marine topics which the people on the other boat said was very informative & entertaining. We, on the other hand, paid handsomely for a 4 hour stint sitting in a boat on the water....period! After a couple of hours we felt like we were hostages who were going to be marooned on Gilligan's Island as there was virtually no communication. We had no marine biologist or naturalist on our boat but the other one did have as did the ones the previous day. We found this out from the other people staying at the B&B.

Telegraph Cove is quite interesting & enjoyable on it's own. IF you should decide to use this Whale Watching company, please ensure that you do not have Jim or Mary Borrowman as your captain/crew. Make sure you ask if there will be a marine biologist/naturalist on your tour. The people on the other boat received much more for their money than we did.
Written August 16, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

P H
Leiden, The Netherlands73 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2012 • Couples
We travelled 600 kilometres to take this tour.
It was a beautiful sunny day, things could not have been better. Crew was very nice. The naturalist provided interesting information. We spend a great afternoon on the water, enjoyed the views and saw bald eagles and some seals. Bit we didn't see any whales or orca's. The crew tried really hard, but it's just bad luck. I can understand that. They offered us a free tour the next morning at 9 in Telegraph Cove. Which is very nice when you are staying in Telegraph Cove, but i don't think anyone in our group was. Since they have relations with the whalewatch company in Campbell River there was maybe more they could have offered disappointed guests.....
Written June 28, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mhask
Dartmouth, MA14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We had a wonderful experience with Stubbs Whale Watching in Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. The staff was extremely knowledgeable and interesting. Captain Wayne skippered the boat and Jackie, the head naturalist, provided a lot of educational information. Jackie was very knowledgable about the wildlife in general and the whales we were seeing specifically. Both Wayne and Jackie were open and receptive to questions. They were very interesting to listen toand responsible in not crowding the animals, but waiting quietly for the whales to get close to the boat.

We saw loads of wildlife: bald eagles, Stellar sea lions, pacific harbor seals, humpback whales and orcas. We would recommend them without hesitation. Take the longest tour they offer.
Written September 16, 2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hebus
Brussels, Belgium39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2018 • Couples
At first, I wasn't that enthusiast to go for whale watching on a big boat.
But, the skipper got talent (thanks again), there were two marine biologists on board, we got plenty of intel!
The boat has as submarine mic, so we were able to hear orcas. That was magical!

The tour lasted more than 3 hours and we saw a lot of humback whales, orcas, seal, sea lions and two bald eagle (and seagul :))

And Telegraph Cove is so nice!

It was definitely worth it!
Written October 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Eef289
Roermond, The Netherlands467 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2017 • Solo
I saw lots of killer whales and 1 humpback whale. I wished we saw some killer whales a little bit closer, but that is probably not good or allowed. Still an amazing experience to see them!
Written August 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for sharing your experience with us Eef289. We are pleased you were able to see both Orcas and a humpback whale while out on your tour. We appreciate like many of our guests you would have liked to see the whales a little bit closer but you are correct in the fact that this is not allowed. We operate within strict guidelines in keeping with our dedication to ethical wildlife viewing, education and conservation and our Captains and crew work very hard to position and operate the boat in such a way that our guests can listen to and observe the natural behaviour of the whales without disturbing them - and as you noted it is still an amazing experience to see them!
Written August 14, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

alisoncox3
Derby, UK3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Couples
I did 2 whale watch trips with Stubbs island whale watching in July 2016 and LOVED both of them. As quite an experienced whale watcher I went there trying to manage my own expectations of what i might see but it was amazing. We saw loads of orcas, humpbacks, sea lions, seals and bald eagles. The crew which was different on each trip were all excellent and really knew their stuff. They also post photos they take on Facebook for you to download. Telegraph cove is an amazing place to whale watch as there really is only this company and its very uncommercial which is nice. Do yourselves a favour- go here in the summer if you love orcas and humpbacks.
Written December 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hi Alison, Thank you for the glowing review. Happy to hear you had great sightings. Hope you get a chance to visit us again in the future. Jennie
Written June 9, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kitwe50
28 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2016 • Couples
We left Telegraph Cove around 9:00 a.m. in the boat called Lukwa, with approximately 30 tourists and headed south down the Strait. The weather was sunny and warm, and the seas were very calm. Captain Wayne and the crew were very friendly and made the trip very enjoyable, due to their professionalism, enthusiasm, experience and detailed knowledgeable. Captain Wayne provided a running commentary, pointing out the different wildlife with lots of information and amusing stories. Also on board was a very knowledgeable and committed Dutch naturalist (lady), who regularly circulated around the boat, educating people on what they were seeing and the significance of wildlife numbers, effects of pollution and government policies, etc., etc. As the boat was not too full, we were able to see all the wildlife comfortably, without being squashed in the crowds! There were drinks and snacks available, paid for by making an appropriate donation. The boat also had two washrooms.

We saw several groups of seals sunning themselves on the rocks and then slowly passed a sea lion swimming parallel to the boat. We also saw Dall’s porpoises, pacific white-sided dolphins, a whole range of different sea birds and a pod of about 14 orcas, which were identified as a mixed resident school. We followed the orcas quite closely for about 20 minutes, as they played with each other, often almost emerging out of the water and then rolling over back into the sea. An underwater hydrophone was trailed over the side of the boat, so we could listen to the different sounds being made by the orcas. There was quite a collection of other boats also following the orcas! On the return trip, we came across several humpback whales, which were slowly surfacing and diving, each time raising their big fluked tails as they dived again. The trick was to be try and guess where they might surface again, looking for the blowhole plumes as they surfaced. Fascinating to watch, as we had never seen whales before. As we passed several of the islands, we saw quite a few bald eagles, some with juveniles. Our boat trip was a very enjoyable unique experience. TIP: Take wet weather gear just in case it rains and to keep warm, as our trip lasted nearly 4 hours. Always book early in the season, as we were told the trips do get fully booked during peak season.
Written October 25, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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