Johnstone Straight Sea Kayaking and Whale Watching

Enjoy an unforgettable six days in the heart of orca territory on this kayaking tour through the Johnstone Strait. These immense creatures come to feed on salmon off the northern coast of Vancouver Island, which is home to some of the most spectacular scenery in British Columbia. 

Spend your days paddling through the tranquil coastal inlets and channels of this sheltered wilderness, which provides habitat for not only orcas but also porpoises and sea lions. Hike through forests of old-growth cedars and witness First Nations pictographs while learning about the indigenous cultures that inhabited the region. In the evening, you’ll be treated to unforgettable sunsets with a glass of wine in hand as your guides prepare delicious meals over the campfire.

This tour is perfect for families with teens or novice kayakers and is conducted with our “leave no trace” policy. Our Orcas Basecamp is eco-friendly and tours include all camping and kayaking gear, including fiberglass Seaward Southwind kayaks and easy-to-assemble tents. All of our tours are fully-catered with gourmet meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and include daily happy hours. 

Images & Videos

sea kayak in bull kelp in ocean water
two grey harbor seals in water
green canvas tents in cedar forest
people hiking through a cedar forest
Kayakers passing a starfish perched on an exposed rock in the Johnstone Strait in British Columbia
Camp kitchen set up in a forest in Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Kayakers packing their boats before a day on the water in Johnstone Strait
Kayaker moving through a narrow channel over crystal clear waters in British Columbia
Sea kayakers with their paddles up celebrating the completions of their multi-day sea kayaking trip in British Columbia off Vancouver Island.
Sea kayakers leaving shore on a moody morning in British Columbia
sea kayak in bull kelp in ocean water
two grey harbor seals in water
green canvas tents in cedar forest
people hiking through a cedar forest
Kayakers passing a starfish perched on an exposed rock in the Johnstone Strait in British Columbia
Camp kitchen set up in a forest in Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Kayakers packing their boats before a day on the water in Johnstone Strait
Kayaker moving through a narrow channel over crystal clear waters in British Columbia
Sea kayakers with their paddles up celebrating the completions of their multi-day sea kayaking trip in British Columbia off Vancouver Island.
Sea kayakers leaving shore on a moody morning in British Columbia

Itinerary

Collapse all days

Day 0

Travel to Port McNeill + Evening Orientation Meeting

Begin your adventure in Port McNeill, a working fishing village that lies on the north coast of Vancouver Island. Most of our guests opt to stay at the Haida Way Motor Inn on the night before the tour officially begins. Your guides will host an orientation meeting at the hotel in the evening where you’ll meet your fellow travelers and can pick up your wetsuit booties and dry bags.

ACCOMMODATION : Haida Way Motor Inn or Black Bear Resort
MEALS INCLUDED : NA

Day 1

Transport to Telegraph Cove + Kayak to Base Camp

Early in the morning, you’ll be transported to our kayak launch site in the nearby town of Telegraph Cove where your guides will conduct a safety briefing and provide paddling tips. Once you’re feeling comfortable and confident about being in the water, we’ll launch into the thickly forested and sheltered waters of the Johnstone Strait. This is the heart of orca territory and home to the world’s only designated orca preserve. 

Depending on the weather, we will be staying at wilderness basecamps on three different islands, each of which is equipped with pre-assembled tents and sleeping cots. On arrival at camp, take the time to settle in and relax with a glass of local wine and hors d’oeuvres as your guides prepare a delicious dinner. The rest of the evening will be spent around the crackling campfire and gazing up at the starlit sky or the glowing bioluminescence in the water.

ACCOMMODATION : Camping
MEALS INCLUDED : Lunch, Dinner

Day 2-3

Sea Kayak the Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound

Wake to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee and tea as the sun slowly rises, followed by a warm breakfast prepared by your guides. As you’re waiting for the rest of the group to get ready, you can stroll along the beach and fossick in the tide pools or relax with a book while watching a pod of passing orcas. 

Our kayaking excursions over the next two days will take us into the Johnstone Strait’s prime orca territory and through the magnificent channels and islands of Blackfish Sound where humpback whales are occasionally spotted. You can expect to kayak for around 4+ hours each day, with plenty of floating rests and lunch stops. 

ACCOMMODATION : Camping
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4-5

Robson Bight Orca Preserve + Sea Kayaking + Hiking

Over the next two days, you will venture to the Robson Bight Orca Preserve and visit several First Nations pictograph sites that dot the region. We’ll be continually keeping our eyes peeled for orcas as they swim through the strait hunting salmon and your guides are equipped with hydrophones so you can hear them vocalizing to one another beneath the water. Seals and porpoises may also be spotted on our daily excursions, together with a variety of birdlife that includes soaring eagles. Each evening we’ll settle in at the campsite to toast the day’s adventures and hear tales from your guides recounting local legends.

ACCOMMODATION : Camping
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Telegraph Cove + Whale Museum + Return to Port McNeill

After your final breakfast at camp, we’ll begin our paddle back to Telegraph Cove, with a stop for lunch along the way. You’ll have the opportunity to visit the Whale Museum Interpretation Centre in Telegraph Cove before being transported to Port McNeill in the afternoon. It’s recommended that you spend an additional night in Port McNeill, which enables you to enjoy a farewell dinner with your group.

Please Note: The above itinerary is dependent upon the wind, waves, and weather and is subject to change at short notice. Basecamp tours are run back-to-back and you may be able to take a water taxi to and from the basecamp, depending upon the schedule. 
 
Although there is a very good chance of spotting orcas during the trip, the frequency and proximity of sightings are dependent on their travel patterns.

ACCOMMODATION : Haida-Way motor Inn or Black Bear Resort
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD) 
Jul 03, 2023 to Jul 08, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jul 10, 2023 to Jul 15, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jul 17, 2023 to Jul 22, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jul 24, 2023 to Jul 29, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Jul 30, 2023 to Aug 05, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 07, 2023 to Aug 12, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 14, 2023 to Aug 19, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 21, 2023 to Aug 26, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Aug 27, 2023 to Sep 01, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW
Sep 04, 2023 to Sep 09, 2023 $1,710£0€0$0$0$1,710£0€0$0$0BOOK NOW

Supplementary Information

TOUR INCLUDES: 

  • All meals while on tour
  • Transportation to and from the launch site
  • Kayaking instruction
  • All kayaking and camping equipment
  • Dry bags for your gear
  • Neoprene booties
  • Service of our certificied professional Guides
  • Full service of our Adventure Consultants

TOUR DOES NOT INCLUDE: 

  • Transportation to and from Port McNeill
  • Hotel before and after the tour
  • Meals before or after the tour
  • 5% Canadian Sales Tax
  • Gratuity for guides
  • Items of a personal nature

ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.

Reviews

0
No votes yet

Add your review

You may also be interested in...

Back to top