I embarked on an exciting whale-watching tour, setting sail from Inna Harbour in Victoria, Canada. The tour was organized by PRINCE OF WHALES, one of the reputable travel agencies operating in whale watching.
Named "Sunset Whale Watching," the activity commenced at 6 p.m. and lasted for an awe-inspiring 3 hours. As the sun wouldn't set until after 9 p.m., we were blessed with plenty of daylight to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
(Adjusting to the time difference has been a challenge, as the sunset occurs three hours later than in Japan, affecting my biological clock and potentially my health.)
When it comes to prime whale-watching locations, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, and British Columbia provinces top the list. Particularly, Victoria, Vancouver, and Nanaimo are considered the gateways to this breathtaking experience.
Whales hold a vital role in maintaining the ecosystem, and to protect these majestic creatures, the Canadian government has designated them as endangered species, mandating that ships maintain a certain distance from them.
Tour agencies have been actively promoting the significance of ocean protection and the welfare of their citizens. In the province of British Columbia, tour agencies that adhere to laws and regulations concerning whale protection are duly recognized. By partaking in such tours, we contribute to environmental preservation and sustainable practices.
※PRINCE of WHALES stands as one of these responsible agencies, actively involved in promoting responsible whale watching.
The best season for whale watching in B.C. is from March to October, while Sunset Whale Watching tours are available from April to November. However, please be careful as the operating period may vary depending on the tour or agency. Some agencies might offer year-round tours, so it's best to check online or other sources for availability.
During the tour, we spotted several groups of whales, but they didn't come very close to our ship. As you can see from my video, we couldn't witness their impressive bravery or the sight of their large tails. For the sake of whale protection and to comply with the law, we were unable to get too close to them. The ship's staff informed us that if whales approach the ship on their own accord, it is not considered illegal to observe them closely.
Luckily, some fortunate individuals had the opportunity to witness the whales' majestic appearances up close.
In Victoria, the average highest temperature is around 17 degrees Celsius in June. As a result, the agency recommended that we wear windbreaker jackets, sweaters, long pants, and closed-toe shoes. However, I must admit that even with heavy outerwear and down clothing, the sea wind on the ship's upper deck made it feel quite freezing.
The whale habitat is situated at least an hour away from the shore. I would suggest spending time indoors, where passengers can enjoy a free cup of coffee, while patiently waiting and relaxing until the whales make an appearance.