Kayaking with Orcas

Kayaking with Orcas

Trip Highlights

  • Be spoiled by endless opportunities to encounter wildlife
  • Stargaze each evening from pristine, remote campsites
  • Disconnect and experience a full immersion in nature
  • Discover the joy of kayaking, or hone your paddling and navigational skills
  • Simply enjoy as our experienced leaders take care of the logistics

Trip Summary

Johnstone Strait off Vancouver Island is internationally renowned as the best place in the world to go kayaking with orca whales and observe and photograph one of nature’s truly magnificent mammals. The sleek, beautiful ebony and ivory orcas congregate in Johnstone Strait during the summer to feed, socialize and rub themselves on pebble beaches. We will be on the lookout for orca pods while exploring the strait, and will have our eyes to the skies at our campsites each night, as clear overnight skies and zero light pollution offer incredible star gazing opportunities. Although there can be no guarantees, our dates represent the most opportune time to sea kayak and have an encounter of the orca kind. Each day of our week-long trip presents another opportunity to reach our goal. Breaching, spouting, power-swimming orcas aside, paddling the incredible waters of British Columbia is a fulfilling adventure itself. Rugged coastlines and magnificent west coast rainforest are home to a plethora of wildlife, including black bears and bald eagles. Marine life includes seals, sea lions, dolphins, porpoises and the occasional humpback, minke or grey Whale. Altogether, the highlights of this adventure make for the ultimate coastal kayaking experience.


No experience required, but participants should have normal upper body strength, be in reasonably good physical condition and good health to allow themselves and the group to enjoy the trip to its full extent. Ocean kayaking is easy to learn and does not require great strength as much as it requires technique. The kayaks have a rudder system controlled by foot pedals allowing easy maneuvering. Our guides will give you instruction basic paddling techniques to enable you to paddle with confidence and ease. Many factors such as currents, tides, winds, animal sightings, group ability and what the group wants will determine how long we will paddle each day. Generally, you can expect to paddle for about four hours a day. This trip is completely camping-based. We will be staying in the back country each night. Flexibility, a love of nature, and an open mind are the keys to a great overall experience.


We will take the BC Ferry from Tsawwassen to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The crossing is about 2 hours. We will drive north along the Island Highway to our put-in point in at Johnstone Strait and our first night’s campsite for this kayaking bc trip.7 days

Meals:  D

Several factors, such as weather, tides, current, group ability, group goals, and the distribution of pods will ultimately decide our campsites, paddling time, and route, and as such, a day by day, precise itinerary is undesirable and impractical. We have developed an itinerary which focuses on the areas in Johnstone Strait and which presents the best chance of viewing orcas. By so doing, we hope to avoid the busier marine traffic around Telegraph Cove and the islands in that area. Along the way, there will be opportunities to explore the many coves, beaches, and marine life that characterize the strait. Different campsites are planned throughout our paddle.

Meals:  B,L,D

We will return to our put-in point, drive to the ferry terminal, and be back in Vancouver sometime in the evening. We recommend spending the night in Vancouver or at an airport hotel for flights leaving the next morning.

Meals:  B,L

What's Included

  • All meals while camping and kayaking
  • Experienced, wilderness first aid certified sea kayaking guide(s)
  • All group camping and first aid equipment, plus emergency radio or satellite phone
  • Return ferry ticket from Tsawwassen to Vancouver Island
  • All transportation while on Vancouver Island
  • The use of all sea kayaking equipment during tour (kayak, paddles, PFD, spray skirt, dry bags)
  • Camping fees

What's Not Included

  • Meals not listed in itinerary
  • Transportation to point of origin
  • Accommodation in Vancouver
  • Sleeping bag and sleeping mat
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips and Gratuities
  • Applicable taxes

Upcoming Travel Dates


Duration:7 Days
Province/Territory:British Columbia
Starting Point:Vancouver
Activities:Guided kayaking
Trip Code:ORC
Prices From:USD$1550
* All prices subject to applicable taxes