Explore The Wildlife of Northern Vancouver Island

Explore The Wildlife of Northern Vancouver Island

Sea Otter Viewing and Whale Watching Tour

Spend the day exploring the wildlife rich waters, islands and shores off northern Vancouver Island. Search for sea otters, humpback whales, orcas, Dall’s porpoises, Pacific white-side dolphins, Steller sea lions, bald eagles and a multitude of sea birds. Surrounded by sea and cedar trees, connect with the breathtaking beauty of the natural world.

Our signature 5 ½ to 6 hour tour showcases the unparalleled waters of the Pacific Northwest. The speed of our vessel allows us to cover a large area and provides us with greater opportunities to see as much wildlife as possible. We may not see all the above animals on every trip but our guides are well acquainted with the local waters and the best places to see wildlife. If a slightly shorter tour is more of what you are looking for consider our Evening Wildlife Viewing tour.

Sea otter tours

Departs daily at 10:00 am
From June 1 to October 3
5 ½ to 6 Hour Tour

$245 CAD per adult
$225 CAD per child
$1695 CAD private charter

Tour Details

  • Minimum age of 8 years old. All passengers 18 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Tours depart from Coastal Rainforest Safari’s office at 7185 Market Street in Port Hardy, BC on Northern Vancouver Island.
  • Please arrive 30 minutes before the tour’s departure time to be outfitted in floater suits and sign a waiver.  At the office, your guide will provide a safety briefing plus an overview of the tour and area we will be exploring. The boat is docked a short one minute walk from our office.
  • The open zodiac style vessel  has comfortable bench seating and has a small on-board toilet.
  • While there is comfortable seating for 12 passengers, our scheduled tours are limited to only eight guests – two people per bench seat so no one needs to sit in the middle. On private charters, you may choose to have as many twelve passengers.
  • Zodiac style boats are not suitable for people with a history of back or neck injuries, recent surgery, or are pregnant.
  • Please dress warmly. You will be provided with flotation suits, warm hats, and binoculars.
  • Plenty of wildlife photography opportunities are available but please do not bring tripods on board.
  • Lunch and warm drinks are provided on our 5 ½ to 6 hour tours.

Canadian Resident Customers

  • Full payment is required at the time of booking.
  • If you must cancel your tour with 14 or more days notice of your tour’s departure date, a full refund is provided
  • If you must cancel your tour with less than 14 days of your tour’s departure date the full amount of the tour is non-refundable.
  • All cancellations must be received by email.
  • If Coastal Rainforest Safaris Inc. has to cancel a tour due to circumstances beyond our control amounting to “force majeure” (such as natural disasters, “acts of God”, epidemics, health risks and pandemics, industrial disputes, unforeseeable technical problems with transport for reasons beyond our control or that of our suppliers, closed or congested airports or ports, fires, strikes, riots, civil disturbances, (a threat of) war, political instability, actual or threatened terrorist activity and its consequences), the full amount paid for the tour is non-refundable. Any expenses incurred by guests in preparing for a cancelled trip i.e. travel, hotel, etc would remain your responsibility.
  • In the unlikely Coastal Rainforest Safaris Inc. has to cancel or delay a tour for reasons other than “force majeure”, such as high localized winds or mechanical failure, guests will receive the option to re-schedule or to receive a full refund. Please note, expenses incurred by guests in preparing for a cancelled or re-scheduled tour i.e. travel, hotel. etc. remain your responsibility and are another reason we strongly encourage purchasing travel insurance.

We strongly recommend all customers purchase travel insurance for their trip that includes coverage for COVID-related cancellations and trip interruptions.

  • International Customers

    • Full payment is required at the time of booking.
    • If you must cancel your tour at any time, no refund is provided
    • All cancellations must be received by email.
    • If Coastal Rainforest Safaris Inc. has to cancel a tour due to circumstances beyond our control amounting to “force majeure” (such as natural disasters, “acts of God”, epidemics, health risks and pandemics, industrial disputes, unforeseeable technical problems with transport for reasons beyond our control or that of our suppliers, closed or congested airports or ports, fires, strikes, riots, civil disturbances, (a threat of) war, political instability, actual or threatened terrorist activity and its consequences), the full amount paid for the tour is non-refundable. Any expenses incurred by guests in preparing for a cancelled trip i.e. travel, hotel, etc would remain your responsibility.
    • In the unlikely Coastal Rainforest Safaris Inc. has to cancel or delay a tour for reasons other than “force majeure”, such as high localized winds or mechanical failure, guests will receive the option to re-schedule or to receive a full refund. Please note, expenses incurred by guests in preparing for a cancelled or re-scheduled tour i.e. travel, hotel. etc. remain your responsibility and are another reason we strongly encourage purchasing travel insurance.

     

We strongly recommend all customers purchase travel insurance for their trip that includes coverage for COVID-related cancellations and trip interruptions.

  • 5 star ratingAn amazing birthday present! I had an incredible day on the water viewing wildlife with Coastal Rainforest Safaris! I enjoyed the scenery and all the amazing wildlife, especially the whales. The staff were knowledgeable and followed all the recommendations for COVID-19 protocol. Lunch was delicious and I felt comfortable and safe on the water. It was a wonderful day and I highly recommend... read more

    diannehL3443RJ Avatar
    diannehL3443RJ
  • 5 star ratingBe awed and inspired by the beauty of nature What an amazing experience. We were treated to sightings of numerous humpback whales, stellar sea lions, porpoises, and sea otters. Our guide was knowledgeable of the area and wildlife. If you get the opportunity to go on a tour, I recommend you don’t pass it up!

    zoeelaine83 Avatar
    zoeelaine83
  • 5 star ratingOtters Everywhere!! Our day on the water with guide Tommy Child was amazing - his professionalism, traditional knowledge, and the abundance of wildlife made for an epic day. We set out of Port Hardy in a fog bank but were quickly clear of it and learning about ancient First Nations use of all that the land and waters had to offer.

    We were...
    read more

    AJWheel Avatar
    AJWheel
  • 5 star ratingA great tour of local wildlife! I took the 6hr tour from 10-4 and it was great. I don't expect any guides to produce wildlife for guests. I just expect that they put us in a position to see wildlife using their knowledge of the area. In this case our guide fully delivered. We saw a large pod of orcas, sea otters, 5-6 humpback whales, pacific... read more

    Justin C. Avatar
    Justin C.
  • 5 star ratingIncredible day on the water! Loved the small boat experience, only 8 of us passengers and it was perfect - we all had prime seating, and the ability to move around and to chat with the guide. Our guide (/owner) Andrew was incredibly knowledgable about the area, the wildlife, the history, and daily life. He led us on a 6-hour tour through open channels and... read more

    PamDuyn Avatar
    PamDuyn
  • 5 star ratingSpectacular wildlife experience Wow, did this trip deliver! Although the weather did not fully co-operate, we saw 2 black bears, hundreds of sea lions, 20+ sea otters, 2 minke whales, 28 northern resident orcas, 4 humpback whales, and Dall porpoises .
    Organization of the trip was very good and their equipment excellent.
    Covid-19 practices were also very good.
    Spectacular trip!

    ATL-YVR Avatar
    ATL-YVR
  • 5 star ratingAmazing!! We had a great afternoon trip with CRS, and would highly recommend it to all of our family and friends. We saw sea lions, porpoises, eagles and lots of Sea Otters which were what we were most hoping to see! The boat was comfortable and our driver was awesome!!

    HR1890 Avatar
    HR1890
  • 5 star ratingFun, informative and professional We had a wonderful time today with Andrew our guide, visiting the islands, coves and waters around Port Hardy. Andrew (one of the owners of the company) was a terrific host and guide, as he was very safety oriented, respectful of the wildlife and knowledgeable about the area. We saw Humpback whales, sea otters, sea lions, seals, bald eagles and... read more

    NorthVanPat Avatar
    NorthVanPat
  • 5 star ratingLifetime experience I highly recommend doing a tour with Coastal Rainforest Safaris! They obey the Covid-19 rules and It was a pleasure to listen to Mike. Beside the tour he also told us more about life in the sea and Indigenous history. We really enjoyed and Mike made sure we took great photos!

    Quest262151 Avatar
    Quest262151
  • 5 star ratingOutstanding sea otter and wildlife tour with Coastal Rainforest Safaris! We had a fabulous wildlife tour with Andrew! We saw dozens of sea otters, Dall's porpoises, humpback whales, stellar sea lions, seals, and orcas! Andrew is an excellent and knowledgeable guide, who went the extra mile (many miles, actually!) to locate a large pod of orcas that had been spotted in the area. It was such as bonus to see... read more

    debr832 Avatar
    debr832

Port Hardy Whale Watching and Sea Otter Viewing Tours

We are located in Port Hardy at the north end of Vancouver Island.

Adventuring with families, we love! Taking families out on our ocean experiences gives us a reflection of why we love sharing our environment with others. Traveling to Vancouver Island North will get you to some of the most remote places; a getaway:) #coastalrainforestsafaris #crs #gonorthisland #explorebc #explorelater #adventuringwithconfidence #bigred ...

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Sometimes the dolphins come over to say hi and get curious. Hatsawi - pacific white sided dolphins are abundant in this area. Sometimes called Lags, they truly bring a lot of excitement to the tour. #adventuringwithconfidence #coastalrainforestsafaris #crs #dolphins #indigenousbc #indigenouscanada #gonorthisland #explorevancouverisland ...

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A coastal safari in style. Adventuring with confidence. Ocean safari with conviction! #coastalrainforestsafaris #crs #explorevancouverisland #gonorthisland #explorebc #oceansafari #oceanadventures #oceanlove ...

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Mom can I have some! #iwantsome #canihave #looksgood #seaotter #wildlifeplanet #explorevancouverisland #explorebc #indigenousbc #indigenouscanada ...

45 5

#Repost @mosaicearthtravel
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A curious sea otter watching the world go by.⁠

Sea otters are an incredible success story of recovery in British Columbia. In the early 1900s, overhunting for the fur trade caused the species to become extinct in BC. Re-introduction efforts began in the early '70s, when 89 sea otters were successfully relocated from the Alaskan coast to the northern shores of Vancouver Island. Now, a population of over 8000 sea otters are thriving off the coast, bringing health to the ecosystem around them.⁠
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Spot these adorable creatures on our North Island In-Depth trip July 15 - 24th! We've teamed up with @CoastalRainforestSafaris to offer a full-day Zodiac excursion in the Western Queen Charlotte Strait as part of our 10-day itinerary. Link in bio!⁠

📸: Destination BC/Boomer Jerritt⁠

#thisgrandmosaicearth #localtravel #culturaltravel #localadventures #transformationaltravel #ecotourism #gonorthisland #vancouverisland #canada #britishcolumbia #seaotters #conservation
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Humpback Whale descending back into the depths. Taken on a trip with @coastalrainforestsafaris. Photo and caption my @ianharlandphoto
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#whalewatching #humpback #gonorthisland #explorevancouverisland #explorebc #explorecanada #indigenousbc #indigenouscanada #destinationindigenous #visitporthardy
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