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“Really fun way to spend the day!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Prince of Whales Whale Watching

Prince of Whales Whale Watching
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Zodiac Whale-Watching Adventure in Victoria
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Prince of Whales is the largest and most environmentally sustainable whale watching and eco-adventure company operating out of both Victoria and Vancouver. With a fleet of both open and semi-covered boats, we are better able to match a tour to your desires. Join us out of Victoria for a fun and adventurous Zodiac tour or climb aboard the world-famous Ocean Magic II. Both of these tours operate for 3 hours. Want to see whale watch off the coast of Vancouver Island AND see the beautiful Butchart Gardens all in one day? Join us on our Ultimate Day Tour out of Vancouver or our Whales and Gardens Tour out of Victoria. We also offer float plane options allowing you to travel from Seattle or Vancouver to Victoria, saving you time and energy planning. We are happy to accommodate overnight visitors to Victoria.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Stroller parking, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Lockers / storage, Stairs / elevator
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Really fun way to spend the day!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2014

We booked the "Ultimate Day Trip" as they call it that leaves from the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver. A short walk from the Loden hotel where we were staying.

It is a bit pricey....but wow....they deliver.

We start at 8am for a briefing and outfitting...good weather...so all we needed was a poncho. Boarded the boat at 9am and after a safety briefing we were cruising out of Vancouver straight away. Great views of the surrounding areas and kind of cool going right up alongside these giant container ships.

TIP -Make sure you wear long pants and layer!

Our crew was very enthusiastic and took the time to constantly work their way around the boat to the various groups of people. Fortunately our group was only 26 people so I think we had a bit more personal attention.

Started out of Vancouver on a southerly course down the Straight of Georgia and cut through some islands where we saw some seals and bald eagles.

The crew got reports from other whale watchers that Orca pods were sighted on the eastern side into US waters near San Juan island so they high tailed it down there though the Haro Straight. I'm American and even my cell phone stopped roaming...smile.

Sure enough...these wonderful creatures were making their way north again and feeding on Salmon along the way. We were treated to wonderful views and one even made a giant breach and turn-over flop back into the water.

The thing to remember about the whales and wildlife in general is that they are NOT employees of a tour company nor are they in a zoo. Thus there is always going to be a chance that you may not have a good viewing or any spotting at all for that matter. So the people that give bad reviews to this company based solely on the fact there was bad luck that day with the whales are just complete pity-party people in my opinion.

After seeing the whales we proceeded up to Victoria (with spectacular views of the Olympic mountains) to spend a couple time there and have lunch about 1pm.

The tour includes tickets and bus ride up to Butchart Gardens. There are multiple buses so you can decide where to spend more of your time depending on your tastes. If you are really into flowers and botany I'd eat lunch on the go and get up to the gardens ASAP.

The gardens has their own boat dock on the north side and our vessle was there to pick us up for our return trip around 5pm.

We took a complete different route back along the west side...again...just great views everywhere to be had. We sat in the back of the boat in the open air relaxing after a long fun-filled day.

Highly recommended for people who like to be outdoors!

Visited June 2014
Thank silversuntan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Victoria, Canada
1 review
“Beautiful Day on the Water with Prince of Whales!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2014

Had an amazing time out on the ocean. The views of the coast and the olympic mountains to the south are indescribable. Our captain Jen was extremely knowledgeable, she gave a us a ton of information about the wild life in the area, and even a bit of a history lesson! We saw lots of seals and porpoises, and a few bald eagles and eagles nests as well. Great value for money, a truly fantastic experience.

Visited May 2014
Thank Clamingtonsteel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
“Whale hat trick!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 15, 2014

Went out a few weeks back with skipper Mark! What an amazing experience! We saw 2 pods or resident orca's, a pod of transient orca's and a mom and baby humpback! The humpback's surfaced about 10 feet from the boat! What an incredible experience, I will never forget it! Truly fantastic!

Visited June 2014
Thank Lauren H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Zooming Zodiacs - nothing but fun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2014

We set out in hopes of seeing Orcas - no luck. Despite this, we had a great time. The Zodiac is a fun boat. Our skipper looked after us well, keeping a look out for wild life - we did see dolphins and sea lions. Buzzing around the Strait of Juan de Fuca was great, beautiful. There was some slow go time near shore. That provided time to stand and check our surroundings.

The Zodiac can be a bit rough when going over bumpy water - everyone in the boat enjoyed the bumps. A little like a roller coaster. The skipper will slow down if you show him the hand signal. They prewarn against having neck or back injuries - I do have preexisting conditions but was fine. Do pay attention to the warning. I did have to engage my core muscles to support myself.

They provide artic/expedition suits, beanies/caps and gloves. They are needed when the speed is up. The wind still got through the suit in places so be well dressed underneath. I chose not to wear my beanie - my face was sunburnt. Put a layer of sunscreen on - you are on the water for a few hours.

Go for a trip if you have the money - the Zodiac can get to the whales if they are out - so are superior to other boat watching outfits. It was a fun ride and beautiful.

Visited May 2014
Thank PlayLive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
stockholm, sweden
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great staff & security but expensive”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 14, 2014

We had a full day out with Prince of Whales. The planning of the trip- including looking for whales, Victoria and the Butchart gardens was perfect and the staff were very nice and gave a lot of information in a relaxed way. The boat was also comfortable and felt safe. Having seen a few Orcas on 100m distans was not the big reward though, but rather the full day at sea - as it was a nice day.
I must say though, that Having paid almost 600 Canadian dollars for me and my son for the trip it was a minor chock they charge you extra for a cup of coffee on board...

Visited June 2014
1 Thank chillixx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PrinceofWhales, Front Office Manager at Prince of Whales Whale Watching, responded to this review, August 8, 2014
Dear Chillixx,
I’m so happy to hear you had such an excellent tour with us! I agree with you that seeing whales, while certainly being the highlight, is not the only portion of the tour that is rewarding.
The reason we charge money in the pantry is because part of the proceeds are donated to the Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC). This is a centre that aids in the rescue and rehabilitation of wild animals; a centre we support and hope to spread awareness about.
Thank you for your review, if you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me at fiona@princeofwhales.com. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time here, and have safe travels back home.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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