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When is the Best Time to Go Whale Watching in Vancouver?

Taking a whale-watching tour is one of the best ways to experience Vancouver’s outdoors.

But when is the best time to go whale watching in Vancouver?

Let’s break down the seasons and find an answer.

a killer whale jumping out of the water along the vancouver bc coast

When is the Best Time to Visit Vancouver for Whale Watching?

Carving out the best time for a Vancouver whale watching tour depends on two crucial factors:


First off, there’s no better way to spend summer in Vancouver than out on the water.

Vancouver whale watching tours are no exception, and the warm and dry Vancouver weather between May and September is the perfect time to get out there.

You’re much more likely to encounter the city’s famed cold, wet and breezy weather between October and April.

⚠️ Warning! We are in high season (June-October 2023)

Tours tend to sell out in advance – I strongly suggest locking in your dates with buy now/pay later Vancouver whale watching tickets on Viator.

These tickets are fully refundable up to 24 hours before so there’s no risk in guaranteeing your spot.

Whale Migratory Patterns

Secondly, climate naturally has a dramatic effect on the migratory patterns of local whales.

Luckily, the whales happen to be most present while the weather is at its best.

The area’s famed killer whales are most visible between May and October. You can also expect to see the most humpback whales between April to November.

The slightly less common gray whales hang around from April to July, while when the elusive minke whale also shows up at the same time – staying until November.

Related: Is Whale Watching Better in Vancouver or Victoria?

a humpback whale spotted during vancouver whale watching tour

So When is the Best Time to Visit Vancouver for Whale Watching?

The best time of year to see whales in Vancouver is between late May and early September.

This accounts for both the weather present in the region and of course your probability of spotting whales.

The top whale watching tours in Vancouver are the following:

Each of these providers offer a year-round whale sighting guarantee. Regardless of season, Vancouver whale watching tours have a 95% success rate.

No whales? You’ll be provided with a free ticket to come back the next day!

All the links above also offer buy now pay later tickets.

Looking to see whales over winter?

You’ll have to book a Victoria whale-watching tour on nearby Vancouver Island which takes advantage of more open waters.


Still Wondering When Whale Watching Season is in Vancouver?

I’m trying to answer every Vancouver tourist question under the sun, and I’m happy to help you with any custom advice.

Just drop me a line in the comments below and I’ll get back to you!

Hope you enjoy your whale watching adventure ?

Related: Is Whale Watching in Vancouver Worth It?


I've used online guides on five continents to find the world's greatest travel spots and this is my chance to give back - with insider info on my home, the mighty Vancouver BC!

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