British Columbia Sea Kayaking and Whale Watching
The north end of Vancouver Island where Johnstone Strait and the Broughton Archipelago meet, is a legendary British Columbia sea kayaking destination. One reason is that it’s home to the largest group of resident orcas, or killer whales, in the world! Over 220 of these sleek, beautiful blackfish cruise these waters from early July to late September, feasting on salmon and other fish. It’s also home to a large population of humpback whales, a species that frequently breaches with a dramatic splash, making for incredible whale watching. We usually see both species of whales while we kayak in these coastal waters.
In addition to killer whales and humpbacks, there are miles upon miles of forested shoreline where bald eagles perch and tall trees reach to the sky. In general, the birding on our kayaking tours is spectacular. Sea lions and seals swim in the sea, as do otter and a multitude of seabirds. Amid this magical land we set our camps up beneath towering cedars, spruce and fir.
Our camps feature stand-up, walk-in canvas tents, set up with cots for your comfort. The kitchen is set up beneath the trees and, logs and stumps make the perfect seats. Temperatures are moderate and our camps are chosen for their spectacular locations, perfectly spaced for each day’s paddling journey.
Exclusive Lodge-Based Tour at God’s Pocket Resort – We are the only sea kayaking company on Vancouver Island to offer a kayaking tour based at God’s Pocket Resort. Set in an isolated bay in God’s Pocket Provincial Park, the resort features individual cabins, delicious meals and is the ideal base for daily sea kayak explorations.
British Columbia Sea Kayaking Tours
Our signature trip for those with the time, is either of our 6-day sea kayaking tours. The 6-day Blackfish Waters kayak tour makes use of our three permanent camp set ups, where our standing-height canvas tents are set up for the duration of the season. Set on cedar decks, the tents boast spectacular views to the sea. This trip spends one or two nights at the same camp we use for our orca basecamp tour and your chances of seeing both orcas and humpbacks is very good.
Our 6-day Broughton Archipelago Expedition gets you further off the main kayaking routes. On this trip we spend about half our days in whale waters, and the other half weaving among the enchanted islands of the Broughton Archipelago. On two nights we set up camps in undeveloped areas, so this trip has more of an expeditionary nature to it.
If you are more interested in whale watching than kayaking, and/or you just want to kayak a bit less, then our basecamp tours are an excellent choice. We have camps in two locations. Earlier in the season, before the orcas or killer whales have arrived, we offer our 4-day Humpback Basecamp tour located on Swanson Island. This is a beautiful setting and we often view whales swimming by just in front of camp, blowing and sometimes even breaching.
From mid-July on our orca basecamp is the perfect choice. Our location is the best in the area for seeing the orcas because just in front of the camp is a “rubbing area.” This is a pebble-bottomed area of the sea where the orcas come to rub their bellies and sides. The water is quite clear, and it’s a real thrill when the orcas come by camp.
If you’re not one who likes to camp, or are simply looking for a more comfortable sea kayak journey in British Columbia, then our God’s Pocket Resort kayaking tour is the one for you! This 6-day trip spends nights at the remote, tranquil resort and each day we head out for paddles and walks among the islands of the area.
Kayaking with Orcas
Kayak with orcas in the BEST spot on the planet: Johnstone Strait in British Columbia. Over 220 fish-eating killer whales congregate in this part of Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage each summer to feast on the prolific salmon runs concentrated by the geography of the strait. The sheltered waters of Johnstone Strait create ideal conditions for any anxious paddler looking for sensational British Columbia sea kayaking, as these generally calm waterways also host other phenomenal marine life like dolphins, humpback whales, porpoises, seals, sea lions, sea birds, and a myriad of fascinating tidal animals as well as the famous orcas.
For those who prefer warm beds and real showers, our all-inclusive lodge-based trips at God's Pocket Resort a bit further north in BC inside God's Pocket Provincial Marine Park (rated by Jacques Cousteau as THE best cold water SCUBA dive spot in the world) are designed for those who wish to experience diverse wildlife, marine mammals and kayaking without having to camp. Sea Kayak Adventures in British Columbia operates exclusive use of the lodge for our mid-summer kayak tours. Additionally, for kayakers with prior experience, we also offer sea kayaking tour in Broughton Archipelago Marine Park, complete with a water taxi deep into the Broughton Archipelago and a 6-day paddle back to Johnstone Strait, BC
Why Kayak BC with Us?
Your vacation is our livelihood. Sea Kayak Adventures was born from the sheer love of sharing wilderness adventures with people like you. Our lives are devoted to creating the very finest kayak tour in British Columbia, which we have perfected since 1993. You itinerary is streamlined to maximize your orca and wildlife sightings and relish this natural world. You will be accompanied by charismatic guides who are knowledgeable, committed to your safety, and devoted to giving you memories you will treasure for life. Best of all, our respect for the wild orcas extends to our camping and touring practices. We operate under the strictest, “Leave-No-Trace” ethics. Even our Orca Base Camp remains eco-friendly without permanent structures or fueled devices, so you can enjoy the killer whales without harming their habitat. Rest assured that on a Sea Kayak Adventures trip, you will leave BC as pristine as you found it. (Read More about SKA Sustainability & our 100% Carbon Offsetting)
Green doesn’t mean lean! Camping with SKA means “getting away from it all,” without “leaving it all behind.” Our tours in British Columbia 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, from handcrafted fiberglass Seaward Southwind kayaks to easy-to-manage tents, sleeping bags, and sheets. You just need to bring your clothing! Read more about Camping Plus. Better still, all tours include a hydrophone so that when you see the orcas you can listen to their vocalizations while watching them breach and play in the Strait. Sea Kayak Adventures proudly adheres to all Be Whale Wise regulations.