Vancouver Island
Tours

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Our most recommended Vancouver Island Tours

Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

1. Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

After being collected from your downtown accommodation in a comfortable shuttle bus, you will venture down to the harbor where you will meet with your boat. After meeting your guides for the day, you will then depart from Victoria, setting off on your 3-hour whale-watching tour. Between April and October, you will have a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, and otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. The zodiac vessels used on your tour are definitely recommended for the more wild-at-heart. You can let the wind blow in your hair and be exposed to the true west-coast elements in an open style, 12-passenger vessel. At the conclusion of your exhilarating tour, you will be returned back to the harbor, at which point you will be driven back to your accommodation in downtown Victoria.

Victoria: The Butchart Gardens Tour

2. Victoria: The Butchart Gardens Tour

The famous Butchart Gardens exist on the site of an exhausted limestone quarry. The first garden, the Sunken Garden, was built when the Butcharts hired a Japanese landscape architect to transform the quarry space into something beautiful. On the 35-minute bus ride from Victoria, your experienced driver will provide an overview of Victoria’s history past, present & future. Once the bus gets you to Butchart Gardens, you will have the opportunity to explore the enchanting grounds for yourself. The gardens span 55 acres and provide a total sensory experience. The flowers and scents transform with the seasons, and you will have a spectacular experience no matter what time of year! As you wander the gardens, we encourage you to enjoy the view while sipping from a cup of coffee at one of the restaurants or seasonal cafés scattered across the grounds. The gardens have become a major attraction on Vancouver Island, and have been honored as a National Historic Site of Canada because of their international popularity.

From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

3. From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

After meeting at the pier or being collected from your Victoria hotel or accommodation, you will begin your carbon neutral tour led by certified marine naturalists whose knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife is unequaled in the industry. Come aboard to experience the wild! All tours are three hours in length and peak whale watching season is April through October. In this peak season, there is a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpbacks, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. Whilst onboard the boat you will also be offered complimentary coffee and tea, onboard bathrooms, certified marine naturalists, and indoor and outdoor viewing areas. In the event of an unlucky tour, you will be invited to join again for a complimentary second whale watching tour to bring your dreams of seeing these magnificent animals to life.

Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

4. Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

The waters off Victoria, British Columbia are known as the Salish Sea. Discover its wonders and rich marine environment with this ultimate whale and marine wildlife tour! Board a brand new high speed coastal explorer boat and set sail to look for orcas (also known as killer whales), humpbacks, harbor seals, California sea lions and over 127 species of marine birds!  Take a tour of the west coast aboard a luxurious coastal explorer, with two outside viewing areas and a fully heated cabin. Enjoy complimentary coffee and hot chocolate as you set off on an adventure to learn all about the local marine wildlife and important landmarks. From playful orcas to giant humpbacks, your experience is sure to be memorable. Discover the marine wildlife in the waters off Victoria with the help of marine biologists and learn about efforts to establish Victoria as a world renowned whale watching destination. 

Victoria Panoramic Seaplane Tour

5. Victoria Panoramic Seaplane Tour

Fly high above scenic Victoria BC and explore its beautiful scenery by seaplane. This thrill-a-minute tour will reveal a spectacular landscape and unforgettable aerial views. The Panoramic Seaplane Tour of Victoria will glide over the Olympic Mountains and along the Victoria waterfront to the white sand beaches of James and Sydney Islands. From here the tour heads north to the Saanich Peninsular and over the famous Butchart Gardens before returning back to Victoria Harbor. It is an experience not to be missed, especially if time is limited in Victoria and the photo opportunities just cannot be bettered. A fantastic day out for aviation lovers.

Victoria: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

6. Victoria: Sunset Whale Watching Tour

Depart in the evening from Victoria's beautiful inner harbor and head out into the Salish Sea in search of whales and other wonderful marine life. During the 3-hour tour, search for orcas, humpback whales, minke whales, and gray whales, that visit the Salish Sea in search of food. Encounter other marine life such as seals, sea lions, porpoises, otters and various marine birds. Listen to an inspiring and educational talk from the Marine Naturalists as they describe and interpret the spectacular environment, extensive history, and stunning scenery of the Salish Sea. If the weather cooperates, enjoy the stunning sunset views.

Victoria: Whale and Wildlife Semi-Covered Boating Tour

7. Victoria: Whale and Wildlife Semi-Covered Boating Tour

After gathering at the pier you will meet with your guides before boarding your boat. The vessel for this tour will be a semi-covered catamaran with both indoor and outdoor seating. This vessel offers both an indoor viewing area as well as multiple outdoor viewing decks, and includes on-board restrooms. Once hitting the water, you'll begin your over 4-hour experience which includes a 98% sighting success rate. Your team members will be excited to share everything that this natural treasure chest has to offer, as you make multiple wildlife stops throughout your journey. At each stop your guides will provide world-class interpretation and personalized service to help you best understand this unique ecosystem. Throughout the experience you will have the chance to encounter whales, seals, and eagles, among other residents of the region. At the conclusion of your tour, you'll make your way back to the tour starting point.

Campbell River: 6-Hour Whale Watching Boat Tour

8. Campbell River: 6-Hour Whale Watching Boat Tour

Discover an abundance of wildlife in the waters of the Salish Sea, Discovery Passage, and Johnstone Strait. Encounter Humpback Whales, Killer Whales, Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Bears, Steller Sea Lions, and so much more, on a 6-hour Whale Watching Tour, onboard either a Zodiac or Covered vessel with onboard washrooms. Begin at the Floathouse with a brief explanation of the wildlife you may encounter, a map of the general area of travel, and safety information. Travel to see a variety of wildlife in a well maintained, 12 passenger vessel. Enjoy a nature interpretation by your certified Naturalist Guide and Captain. Eat an onshore lunch of freshly made wraps, snacks of homemade baked goods and granola bars, and beverages such as coffee, hot chocolate, tea, and water. Don't forget to bring your camera and binoculars (tripods not recommended). Take in the calm and beautiful scenery while traveling through the narrow passages between the Discovery Islands and into Johnstone Strait, rather than into the open Pacific Ocean. Hear the vocalizations of Orca or Humpback Whales through the onboard Hydrophones (underwater microphones) if those opportunities arise (Orca and Humpback Whales do not communicate all day).

Nanaimo: Panoramic Seaplane Tour

9. Nanaimo: Panoramic Seaplane Tour

Experience the excitement of seaplane flying with this 20-minute flight. Depart from Nanaimo’s historic waterfront on this ideal introduction to seaplane aviation. Explore your surroundings from a new perspective and take in panoramic views of Harbour City with Mount Benson as its backdrop. Enjoy aerial vistas of some of the southern Gulf Islands including Newcastle Island Provincial Park located right offshore. Don’t forget to be on the lookout for wildlife such as seals and sea lions on the rocky coastlines along the Strait of Georgia.

Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

10. Vancouver: Victoria, Gulf Islands Cruise, & Butchart Gardens

View the spectacular British Columbia coastline by land and ship, followed by a stop at Butchart Gardens en route to the British-inspired city of Victoria. Board a BC Ferries vessel at Tsawwassen terminal for a 90-minute sail through the serene beauty of the Gulf Islands. Marine wildlife sightings from the outdoor ship decks are common, especially eagles, sea lions, and whales. Arrive at Swartz Bay terminal on Vancouver Island and continue to the enchanting botanical paradise of Butchart Gardens. Wander through a series of themed gardens, highlighted by the massive Sunken Garden complete with dancing fountain. The city of Victoria boasts many impressive architectural wonders, including the iconic Parliament Buildings and the waterfront Fairmont Empress Hotel. Visit the unique shops and cafes of Government Street and Chinatown. Stroll along the Inner Harbour for prime ocean views, and enjoy some free time to take in this culturally significant city. Return on the bus to Vancouver by ferry to conclude this diverse tour. Packed with ever-changing experiences of the Pacific Coast and Vancouver Island, this tour is a must-do for those who have not yet visited Victoria.

Frequently asked questions about Vancouver Island Tours

What are other things to do than Tours that are worth visiting in Vancouver Island?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Vancouver Island

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What people are saying about Vancouver Island

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 193 reviews

While it was a long day it was most enjoyable. There was plenty of information provided by our driver/guide that made it interesting. The ferry trip was fascinating and lots to see while onboard. Victoria was beautiful to see and the trip gave me a general look at the destination. We had a bit under 2 hours there, wish it was longer. It’s a long day to only get a short time there. But considering the ferry lineup and the time spent on the ferry it’s just how it is. Later in the day we did the Butchart Gardens which was a wonderful experience. Definitely a must see. I would have loved more time there too. We had 2 hours which gives you time to wander around.

I have tried Explorial in Switzerland following a friend’s referral and thought it would be good idea to try it here - loved it once again. It covered the right spots in a just-right walking time. Hope others can enjoy it too.

The Gardens were beautiful. The coach we travelled in was comfortable and had charging ports for your phone. Guide was terrific and very knowledgeable. Would recommend this trip to anyone.

Our tour guide/driver was extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

Experience was excellent despite not not seeing any Whales .