Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
October 12, 2004
How rough? Very! Risk of getting sea sick? Yes! Risk of falling down? Substantial! I held on with both hands. There is a washroom on board, but no food service. Bring along a lunch and a supply of ginger cookies (to prevent sea sickness). Also bring your non-alcoholic beverage. I had water, but hot tea would have been really nice.
The also have an open Zodiak called Lightship 1. You have to wear special dry suits and warm clothing to ride that boat, but in any case, the people who did got very wet as did their camera bags. It is only for the athletic!
This company guarantees you will see whales. Our boat spotted about 33 along with some dolphins, bald eagles, and some land animals. Along the way, the fantastic scenery entertained us as we passed along the coast of Vancouver Island (Vistoria) and many others. Our captain slowed from time to time for scenery and wildlife, but kept to all the wildlife watching rules of the WWOANW, which looks out for orkas and other creatures.
Honestly, I had camera problems. My new digital, a Canon, couldn't compete with a 35mm in getting shots of fast-moving whales. By the time the shutter clicked, the whales were beneath the sea. Also, the effort of holding on to the boat made photography difficult. When at the whale watch positions, the engine is turned off and the boat rolls in the waves. At that location, we saw larger whale-watch boats out from the Seattle area. I affirmed my decision to choose the smaller and lower to the water Explorathon.
I had a very good day out, but my Viking ancestors gave me the good genes, so that I don't get seasick. It would be a very hard time so late in the year (late September) if you were sick. I won't recommend this boat to those who have trouble getting around, have recently had major surgery, or have trouble with balance. You get banged around too much. A group of French firemen, who'd been out on a big party the night before, felt none too good and many people stayed on the open aft deck to get fresh air.
From journal Escape to Vancouver
January 29, 2002
Steveston is about a 30 minute bus ride south of downtown Vancouver, a lovely fishing village with some great old buldings and good seafood at the harbor. This is where the only whale watching company that operates from Vancouver is located. When you get off the bus, walk directly to the docks and you will see the sign for the whale watching tour. First you have to go to the office in a nearby building where you get into your funky orange overalls that will prevent you from the wind and salty water of the ride on the ocean.
When everyone is ready they take you to the inflatable boat (don't worry, they say it's safe :) ), and the 40 minute ride begins to the straight where the orcas like to hang out. On the way there you see eagles, seals, sea lions, and more animals. The guides are professional naturalists and they are just as enthusiastic and excited as every passenger that is there for the first time. They answer questions and tell you about the animals you see, as well as the places you see from the boat. Steveston is located at the delta of the Fraser river, and it's incredible to ride over the line that separates the sea water from the river. (I won't describe it more specifically, because it is such a unique site and i never imagined it is like that. See it for yourself!)
When we got to the straight there were already a couple of other whale watching boats there from Victoria, and we discovered a large pod of whales very soon. First they were a bit further away, you could see their fins and the water splashing but not much more. But then they started swimming towards us, they came closer and we could see them better. Then they swam further away again. We hung out there watching them for about 30-40 minutes and then started heading back to Steveston.
And then... the most thrilling thing happened. The whales came following us, and the whole pod swam around our little boat. There was a pair of whales that played their games with us, they swam towards us and then swam under the boat and came back right next to us. It was an incredible experience. I will never forget it in my life. I can't wait to go back to them!
See their official site at www.vancouverwhalewatch.com Their phone number is (604) 274-9565. Whales are in the area only May through October, so that is when you can take the tour.
From journal Vancouver with Hungarian eyes
by Rico and the Fiddler
Misison Viejo, California
May 10, 2004
The tour boats are large Zodiac-style inflatable boats that put you close to the water and can move quickly to where the whales are. We encountered about a dozen whales on a perfectly still morning. Several of the whales came within 10 yards of the boat. Forget about Shamu or Willie; seeing these creatures in the wild at close proximity is simply amazing. The thrill that went through my body the first time we heard them surface and blow was incredible. This tour is worth every penny.
From journal At one with the Killer Whale in BC
February 21, 2004
From journal Culture, Dining and Shopping