If you long to kayak with orcas, you've come to the right place. This tour is the only one of its kind to spend a full 6 days in whale territory. While some people are content to simply watch whales, sea kayakers yearn to experience them. Maximize your orca experience in the breathtaking scenery of Vancouver Island's inside passage. Here in Johnstone Strait, summer home of the northern resident orcas, paddle whale-rich waters and explore the the marine wonders of their ecosystem.
If weather permits, you'll stay at three different base camps on three different islands on the heart of the orca loop. Full-height canvas tents with sleeping cots await you at each of these wilderness base camps, so you can enjoy the orcas without the hassle of making and breaking camp or hauling a tent. Part of your tour will be spent in Blackfish Sound, home of orcas and a high concentration of humpback whales!
You will depart from Telegraph Cove in Port McNeill while our expert guides showcase the beauty and wildlife of the area. The whales may steal the show, but the Strait holds an entire ecosystem to explore. Peer at sea stars and anemones through crystal clear waters from your kayak, paddling glassy calm coastal inlets and channels in this sheltered wilderness. Learn about orcas from the guides' nature talks and the on-board library while friendly sea lions lounge on outcrops or take to the waves to get a closer look at you. Pass playful dolphins and curious porpoises, whose acrobatic water antics are mirrored by the aerial displays of eagles and sea birds. You will also observe First Nations pictographs, hike through forests filled with Old Growth Cedars, and learn about the aboriginal cultures that inhabited these lands. (If you would like to paddle the Broughton Archipelago, which is near Johnstone Strait but not a haven for orcas, head over to our Broughton tours.)
Green doesn’t mean lean! Camping with ROW Sea Kayak Adventures means "getting away from it all," without "leaving it all behind." Our tours are fully-catered with gourmet meals prepared daily from scratch like our fresh salmon bake, and daily happy hour with wine and hors d’oeuvres. We provide all of the camping and kayaking gear, so you just need to bring your clothing! All tours include a hydrophone so that when you see orcas, you can listen to their vocalizations while watching them breach and play in the Strait. ROW Sea Kayak Adventures proudly adheres to all Be Whale Wise regulations.
While we have a 95% success rate for seeing orcas, they are wild animals and because of this, we are unable to guarantee a sighting. To increase your opportunities for seeing the orcas, you might consider staying an extra day after your tour to experience the Stubb's Island Whale Watching trip that is operated by skiff. Their motorized boat allows them to cover more ground in search of orcas and humpbacks throughout the Johnstone Strait area.