Frequently Asked Questions
+ Why should we choose to go out with this company?
1. Our Boats
BC Whale Tours has the largest and longest range Zodiacs in the whale watching industry. Custom designed and built by the company owner, Captain Harold, our vessels offer the latest technology in safety, speed and environmentally friendly design. Each vessel has private washrooms and with a 12 passenger maximum per tour, guests have lots of space to move around with unobstructed views and an intimate experience with their proffessional guide.
2. Our Crew
Our guides consist of international marine biologists and local naturalists who have worked in the industry and marine environments for many years. We are all dedicated to providing our guests with the best possible expereience of the west coast by incorporating an educational aspect to our tours while operating industry leading vessels.
3. Our Reputation
With +500 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor, a 5-star rating on Facebook and another 5-star rating on Yelp, we let the public feedback do the talking for why you choose BC Whale Tours for your West Coast adventure!
+ What should we wear?
We recommend that you dress for the weather of that day, bring an extra wind-breaker layer and closed toed shoes. We have a lot of storage on board our vessels to stow away your extra layers if they are not needed.
+ Are there snacks or drinks available on board?
We do not provide food or bevearges on our tours but you are welcome to bring your own food/drinks aboard as our vessels have washrooms and trash cans available. Strictly NO glass bottles.
+ What if we don't see whales?
Although it is rare, sometimes we do not find whales - it is apart of the adventure of looking for animals in their natural habitat. In the event we do not find whales on you tour, BC Whale Tours is the only company to offer guests a complimentary return tour with us on a stand-by basis that is good for life as well as a 20% refund of your total tour cost. Please Note that conditions apply. For all the details go to our Whale Guarantee Page
+ What is the difference between the boats?
The main difference between our vessels is that BC Nova, BC Orca and BC Luna offers indoor and outdoor seating while BC Tika only offers outdoor seating. BC Luna is most recommended for families traveling with children under 2, seniors, and those with physical limitations or medical concerns because she offers the most indoor seating. Regardless of which boat you choose, your sightings will relatively be the same, they all have private washrooms, they all have a maximum capacity of 12 passengers, and they are all custom designed and locally built to ensure the safest and funnest experience here on the west coast in all marine weather conditions.
+ How sea sick do people get?
Another advantage of our vessels is that our guests rarely get sea sick. Sea sickness is much more common on slower, lager vessels with guests sitting indoors or on the top deck of a vessel with a wide swinging motion - all features you will not find on a BC Whale Tours custom built vessel. However, if you are feeling nervous about sea sickness, we highly recommend that you avoid skipping meals prior to your tour and avoid high acidity foods and beverages (coffee on an empty stomach being one of the worst combinations). Check in with us about the sea conditions the morning or evening prior to your tour departure. It is up to your discretion if you feel that motion sickness medication works best for you and you must purchase the medication ahead of time as we do not provide it. If you start to feel queasy out on the water, utilize our outdoor seating options, focus on deep breathing and watching the horizon line. Always let your captain know if you are going to be sick for safety reason and so that they may help to improve the quality of your tour accordingly.
+ Do you feed the whales?
No. They are wild animals and our goal is to postively interact with them in their natural habitat without any negative impact.
+ Can I touch the whales?
+ What time of day is better for seeing whales?
There is no true answer to this question. We are looking for wild animals in their natural habitat and their behaviour, location and marine weather conditions vary drastically from day to day. The time of year you are planning to go out plays the most important factor in this equation. Our goal on every tour is to show all of our guests as many marine mammal specise as possible with a priority on whales and orca/killer whales.
+ How early should I come down to the office if I've already booked online?
Please arrive at our office on 1234 Wharf st. 30mins prior to your tours' departure to check in with our incredible customer service agents & Matt. Our office location is 1234 Wharf street, which is the Victoria Regent Hotel's address ~ we are directly behind them in the harbour.
+ Is there any group discounts?
We do offer discounts for large groups, which come in the form of chartering the whole vessel. To find out more about our group discounts and charter rates please contact the office to talk to one of our amazing guest service agents ~ CONTACT US
+ How far in advance should I book?
we do recommend you book as soon as you can to ensure you book a seat on the tour and vessel that you desire. During our busy summer season (June through till end of September) we do recommend you book a week head of time. We do fill up quite quickly during this period.
+ Is there any age restrictions?
Our open vessel, BC TIKA does have a height restriction of 4 feet (1.2m), which is typically the height of a 5 or 6 year old. For younger individuals we do recommend BC LUNA. BC LUNA is a perfect vessel for young children and older adults.
+ What vessel is ideal for younger children & older adults?
BC LUNA is our floating limousine with the highest safety rating of any vessel in the industry. She is perfect for very young children, older adults.
+ How long are the tours?
Our tours are advertised as a 3 to 4 hour adventure. This sometimes can be longer due to the distance to cover to get to the whales location. Hence our vessels have long range capabilities. We do recommend you come prepared for a potentially longer trip, which includes water and a light snack. Our sunset tours (June to Aug 20) are a 2 to 3 hour adventure, as we do leave at 6pm and are limited with time due to daylight hours.
+ Is it ok for pregnant women to come on a tour?
We recommend BC LUNA, as she is our heaviest and most stable vessel. We do allow pregnant women on our open boats, however safety and comfort is very important to us. It is dependant on weather conditions, and ultimately the captains call. Please contact us so we are aware of a pregnant passenger.