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Whale Watching in Canada

Where to Go Whale Watching in Canada

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10 Classic Canadian Hikes | Canada's Most Scenic Drives | Scuba Diving in Canada

With all that coastline, there are plenty of places to go whale watching in Canada. The main whale watching destinations are in British Columbia on the west coast and in Newfoundland, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on the east coast.

Choose to whale watch from smaller, faster Zodiac boats, larger cruise boats (better for children), kayaks, or even get right up and personal by snorkelling with the whales.

1. British Columbia

Photo © Grant Faint/Getty Images

Types of Whales: The coast of British Columbia has one of the highest populations of Orcas (killer whales) in the world. You can also see gray whales, minkes and humpbacks.

Whale Watching Season: The best time to see whales in B.C. is between the beginning of April through October; however, gray whales begin to appear in March as they migrate from the Bering Sea to the waters of California's Baja Penisula

Where to Go Whale Watching in B.C.: The most whale watching tour operators are on Vancouver Island. The closest whale watching to the city of Vancouver is in Steveston, about a half hour away.

Book a Vancouver whale watching tour with Viator

Book a Victoria whale watching tour with Viator

2. Quebec

Photo © Scott McLean

Types of Whales: Belugas, minkes, humpbacks. Lucky whale watchers may even see - at up to 25m (82ft) in length - the largest known mammal, the blue whale or the second largest whale, the fin whale

Whale Watching Season: May through October

Where to Go Whale Watching in Quebec: Many ports along the St. Lawrence. Croisieres AML offers whale watching about 2.5 hours from Quebec City in Tadoussac and Baie-Sainte-Catherine or nearby on the southern shore in Rivière-du-Loup and Trois-Pistoles. More adventurous travelers can go north to Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada or Forillon National Park of Canada, in the Gaspésie.

3. Newfoundland & Labrador

Photo © Ali Lindley/Ocean Quest Adventures

Types of Whales: Newfoundland offers the chance to see one of the most extensive variety of whales in the world: belugas, minkes, pilots, humpbacks, sperm and the more elusive but sometimes spotted blue or fin whales

Whale Watching Season: May through September.

Visitors in June/July may be lucky enough to see icebergs and whales in the same trip.

Where to Go Whale Watching in Newfoundland & Labrador: Ocean Quest Adventures near St. John's offers a range of tours and accommodation.

Photo of man snorkelling with whale courtesy Ocean Quest Adventures

4. Nova Scotia

Photo © Scott McLean

Types of Whales: Finbacks, minkes, and humpbacks

Whale Watching Season: May through October. Finbacks and minkes arrive in May and humpbacks in June.

Where to Go Whale Watching in Nova Scotia: Most whale watching outfitters in Nova Scotia are along the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton. Love Boat Whale Cruises offer whale watching out of Cheticamp.

5. New Brunswick

Photo © Paul Souders /Getty Images

Types of Whales: Finbacks, minkes, humpbacks, Sei whale and the occasional North Atlantic Right Whale

Whale Watching Season: May through October.

Where to Go Whale Watching in New Brunswick: Campobello Island, St. Andrews and Grand Manan Island are three of the most popular spots to whale watch.

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