One of the best places in the world to see whales is in the waters of Prince Rupert. Being in the presence of a Gray, Humpback, or Orca whale is an unforgettable experience that will last a lifetime.
The rain clouds held out for me as I stepped on board the custom built 100-passenger vessel operated by Prince Rupert Adventure Tours. I made myself comfortable in my coach style seat and looked out through the floor to ceiling glass. I was impressed that the vessel floors were carpeted and they had a refreshment bar in the back where you could buy drinks and snacks. There was ample outer deck space to roam around. This would be a luxurious way to experience whale watching for the entire family. I know this is going to sound strange but one of my favorite features of the vessel was the heated private electrical toilets. On a cold day, this surely makes a difference.
We zipped fast across the waters but surprisingly, the inside of the vessel was quiet enough to have a conversation. Along the way, a friendly and knowledgeable guide gave the passengers facts about the whales that we would be encountering. There were also self-help whale books for people to read. The guide made himself available to answer any questions passengers might have and to point out with his eagle eyes the location of the whales. I am actually amazed how they are able to spot the whales so quickly and to distinguish the type of whales and how many of them there might be.
We arrived at one of the whale watching locations near the North Coast’s sheltered Inside Passage. I waited on the outer deck to see these magnificent creatures. Although the outfitters can never guarantee a whale sighting due to the nature of wildlife, the captain is usually good at predicting where they are located and where they’ll come from.
I enjoyed the fresh cool air and the scenery of the Inside Passage. It was peaceful and I didn’t see another boat around. The guide spotted a Gray Whale in the distance. It seemed as though it might have been feeding as he was coming up and going back down frequently. There seemed to be two of them but they weren’t rising to the surface enough for us to see them completely. We waited there for a while but the captain decided to move to another location. And good thing we did because we spotted a Humpback Whale. The Humpback Whales are distinctively noticeable because of the white marking underneath their tails. This was a great spot for whale watching because other whales were frolicking with each other in the water. We even saw a couple of whales leaping out of the water. I never experienced seeing so many whales in one trip. It was great to sit back in comfort and enjoy the nature show.
Doug and Debbie Davis, the founders and operators of Prince Rupert Adventure Tours made a conscious effort to minimize disturbing the environment by custom building a more fuel-efficient vessel that would hold more passengers and require fewer trips. I am pleased to say that this is an eco-tourism company that tries to make a difference in their daily operations. They found the fine balance of meeting the growing need of tourism and sustaining the environment.
C2-215 Cow Bay Road
Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Tel. 1 (800) 201-8377
Tel. 1 (250) 627-9166