Vancouver Island

Whale Watching Nanaimo Open Boat Tour

Badge of ExcellenceVancouver Island, Canada
Open Boat Nanaimo Whale Watching
  • 4 hours
  • Mobile ticket
  • Offered in: English


Head out into the Salish Sea from Nanaimo in search of the abundant wildlife that inhabits the area. Your guide is an experienced marine expert who will take the time to help you learn about the sea life around Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. This tour takes you to the habitats of killer whales (orcas) humpback whales, seals, sea lions, porpoises, and eagles.
  • Head out from Nanaimo for a half day of marine wildlife sightings
  • Guaranteed whale sightings, or your next trip is free
  • Stay dry and warm in the provided anti-exposure suits
  • Learn more about the area and its wildlife from a marine life expert

What's Included

  • Professional guide with academic background in marine biology
  • Captain is certified by Transport Canada
  • Toilets onboard
  • Anti-exposure suit provided
  • Sunscreen available
  • Binoculars onboard (shared between guests)
  • The listed price does not include parking, which costs around 7-8 dollars CAD for the day.
  • Lunch is not included.
  • Gratuities
  • Transportation to/from office

Meeting And Pickup

Meeting point

  • 90 Front St #5
    90 Front St #5, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5H7, Canada

    Our office is located on Front Street, the seawall along downtown Nanaimo's waterfront.

End point

This activity ends back at the meeting point.

What To Expect

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • Subject to favorable weather conditions. If canceled due to poor weather, you will be given the option of an alternative date or full refund.
  • Not suitable for pregnant women.
  • Minimum numbers apply. If there are not enough passengers to meet requirements, there is a possibility of cancellation after confirmation, in which case an alternative date or full refund will be offered.
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 12 travelers

Cancellation Policy

You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.

Traveler Photos

See more
Featured review
Great overall experience! Captain and the tour guide did a great job. The ride can be a bit bumpy at times, but it is to be expected given the weather conditions and the boat type. We had great views, and fully enjoyed our excursion.


119 reviews
Total review count and overall rating based on Viator and Tripadvisor reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers.
Showing 1-10 of 119 reviews
Aleksandra_R, Sep 2023
One of the most incredible experiences of my life. The crew was super friendly and knowledgeable. The boat was small but super fast! I was really happy with it and I would encourage anyone to book with them!
Awesome Tour
Gordon_F, Sep 2023
We saw so many Humpback Whales and Orcas! Guide was very informative. Trip was great! Would highly recommend this your company.
We found Orcas
Stephanie_H, Aug 2023
It took a while to find the orcas but the whole experience of boating around the islands, seeing the seals, bouncing around in the waves… was worth it.
Great day at sea
Line_K, Aug 2023
Meeting the orcas was amazing - and the whole area is really beautiful. Would do it again in a heartbeat.😊
Samantha_S, Aug 2023
Absolutely superb experience from start to finish. The staff were extremely friendly and enthusiastic about their work. The organisation of getting everyone onto the boats was very well executed and obviously been preplanned. The guide was informative, approachable and knowledgeable and constantly kept us updated on what was happening throughout the excursion. We were extremely lucky in that we saw both orcas and humpbacks. Highly recommend!
Great and informative tour
Brandon_S, Jul 2023
The marine biology educated guide was wonderful and enthusiastically knowledgeable on the wildlife seen. The captain secured my confidence in our safety and the wildlife’s. We saw humpback whales, seals, bald eagles, and other animals I can not recall.
Great overall experience!...
Yury_P, Jul 2023
Great overall experience! Captain and the tour guide did a great job. The ride can be a bit bumpy at times, but it is to be expected given the weather conditions and the boat type. We had great views, and fully enjoyed our excursion.
Dez is a great guild and...
Gerald_V, Jun 2023
Dez is a great guild and very knowledgeable and enthusiastic during our tour. 5 stars! The captain did a great job navigating and providing a fun ride. Overall had an awesome time.
Nicole_C, May 2023
This was a perfect day. Not only did we get SUPER lucky with the whales, the captain and the tour leader were both excellent. They answered every question we had, and always had the whales' best interests in mind while making sure we got to see them. Probably the best day of my life so far.
WOW! Awesome views even better Whale Experts
Ashlea_M, Oct 2022
WOW ! We saw orcas and humpbacks - but you can do that at any whale your, what made this one so fun was our instructor ! She was very helpful and kind, also VERY versed in whale and sea life and answered so many questions and added lots of fun facts. I got a little seasick and she offered ginger chews- the captain was also very competent !
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Thank you for your review, Ashlea! We are glad you enjoyed your tour - even with a bit of seasickness!
A whales tail
susan_w, Oct 2022
An absolutely awesome tour. We saw so many whales and other marine life. Awesome guide and captain. We'll do it again.
Response from Host, Feb 2023
Thank you for your review, Susan! We are glad you enjoyed your time with us! We would love to have you out with us again!
whale fun
Jane_W, Jul 2022
this was a great trip and lots of fun. we were luck and sore the Orcas and the hump back whale, weather was great which helps and Rebecca was really interesting with all her knowledge. It was even nicer that only 2 boats were out exploring, would definitely recommend
Great trip, saw 7 whales,...
Sheri_M, Jun 2022
Great trip, saw 7 whales, sea lions and seals. The guide was very knowledgeable and answered all my questions.
Up close!
L_M, May 2022
We saw Chainsaw, a 43 year old killer whale, 40 feet off our bow. We were with him and his mother for an hour.
Great experience and I would recommend it
Tamino_B, Oct 2021
My most memorable parts of this trip where definitely the time where we watched the whales and the boat drive (we had the seat in the front) which was pretty wet and cooled but still pretty cool 😁
Awesome 🤩
Barbara_T, Aug 2021
Had the best time ever. The naturalist answered all questions and had a close up encounter with the whale. Would recommend anyone to go ahead and book a tour Thank you Cheyenne for a wonderful trip that I’ll never forget Barb Traynor
Great day!
Connor_C, Aug 2021
We had a wonderful experience with the tour. Saw lots of whales and had a very knowledgable guide. Would 100% use this company again!
Saw many whales
Andersonfamily, Aug 2021
My son loved the experience and got to see 5 orcas and some humpbacks. He loved it the boat ride out was a bit rough for him he needed to change seats to back of the boat.
Very special and exciting!
Stardust, Jul 2021
An outstanding experience! How often does one see Orca pods and two Humpback whales at one time accompanied by helpful and inspirational comments by very knowledgeable naturalists!
Orcas and Humpbacks
Kelvin_H, Jul 2021
The naturalist was very knowledgeable and excited about her job and the whales. We got to see two species of whale and even had some time left to see sea lions. It was a great experience. Highly recommend

From $167.44

up to 24 hours before the experience starts (local time)

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