If you fancy something a bit different to your usual London hotels, why not hop on a plane and explore Canada’s natural landscape and see some of the most breathtaking wildlife on the planet. With the North Pacific Ocean to the west, the North Atlantic Ocean to the east and the sub zero waters of the Arctic Ocean to the north, Canada provides the perfect stop off for more than 30 species of whale. The vast country is surrounded by around 202,000km of coastline, which means there are plenty of prime whale watching spots to witness these magnificent creatures. Whether you are heading east or west, hopefully you can take a trip to one of the following areas to witness a whale up close. British Columbia’s whale watching season lasts from April all the way through to October.
The east coast on the side of the Atlantic Ocean is arguably the best stretch for whale watching as more than 20 species – including beluga, white and humpback – like to swim offshore as well as meander in towards bays lining the coastline.
Gaspe Bay – If you are holidaying in Quebec, take a trip eastward from Quebec City to Gaspe Bay, at the mouth of St. Lawrence River. The St. Lawrence River is a vast waterway which runs through the Quebec and Ontario and provides ample wildlife watching along the way. Spring and fall are the best times to catch species including the giant humpback which play and breach in the area.
Newfoundland and Labrador – Slightly north of the St. Lawrence River is another popular spot which juts further into the Atlantic. The whale watching season here lasts from May through to September and in the summer months of June and July, you can also see icebergs floating down from Greenland. Newfoundland’s extensive whale list includes sperm, humpback, pilot and minke whales.
Nova Scotia – Nova Scotia’s peak whale watching season lasts from July to August, although many visitors like to take tours which seek out deeper waters for a wider variety of species. Usually, smaller species such as pilot whales like to visit the island, just south of Prince Edward Island.
Although fewer species of whale visit the west coast which lines the North Pacific Ocean, millions of visitors are attracted to this side of Canada for a chance to see larger whales like grey and humpback whales as well as Orca (killer whales) which are a firm favourite for many whale enthusiasts.
Vancouver and Victora – The most whale watching tour operators can be found on Vancouver Island. Many whale watching tours are easily accessible as they operate minutes away from major urban sprawls. Porpoises and dolphins visit the area as well as humpback, grey and killer whales. If you are lucky, you may be able to spot a killer whale in mid hunt, a sight of extreme intelligence and skill.
Tofino –Every year, visitors to this small British Columbian town can witness thousands of grey whales as they pass through on their way to Alaska. These mammoths of the ocean are like elegant buses as they glide through the water. To catch this migration, head to Tofino in March, however other whales can still be spotted until October.