Do you have a FAQ (frequently asked question) about Whale Watching? Well you’ve come to the right place. Here are some common questions and their answers. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

SpringTide partners with the most extensive international whale-spotting network available to ensure the highest sighting rate. We work together with land and water observers to provide continuous information throughout the day.  We also have extensive radio communication between US and Canadian companies to help ensure regular sightings.

It happens. We can’t control wild animals, nor can we always know where they’re going to be. Most days, we have a pretty good idea of where to go as our whale-spotting network is always on the lookout for sightings. Every now and then though, nobody’s home when we come knocking. In that case, we invite you to come on back for a free trip — space and Transport Canada required crew on board permitting. We call it our “It’s a Fluke” program.  You’ve come a long way to watch Whales in their native habitats and we’re willing to go a long way to make that happen for you.   We will  happily invite you out with us until you see a whale, but please, don’t ask for a money back guarantee.. these wonderful creatures are wild after all!

Humpback and Orca Whales are seen most regularly and Minke and Gray Whales are seen now and again.

In the waters surrounding southern Vancouver Island, we’re most likely to see Whales from April to October. Time of day and weather do not appear to have any predictable influence on Whale behaviour, they are wild animals after all!

Although motion sickness is rarely an issue, we do appreciate that it can sometimes be a concern for guests.  The great thing about our vessels is that you can be outside in the fresh air and looking out into the distance… a good idea if your tummy is starting to complain.  Our staff and crew members are on hand to give helpful tips and advice on how to minimize effects and help you to enjoy your trip.

Before departing on your adventure we suggest that those prone to motion sickness may wish to bring along some medication that has worked well for them in the past.   Another idea is to purchase a ‘motion sickness travel band’ or a packet of ginger candy when you check in at our office.   And, don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions at all about the kind of ride you might expect on each of our boat types – we are happy to work together to find a great solution for you!

Our tours go rain or shine, however, we do not depart if weather conditions are deemed unsafe.  Unpredictable sea and weather conditions can sometimes cause the trip to be bumpier and windier than expected. Whilst this is rarely an issue for safety concerns and often an exciting and adventurous addition to a tour, we ask that our guests take this into consideration when making a reservation. The safety and comfort of our passengers is our number one priority and our staff and crew members are always on hand to answer any questions and to help make the experience enjoyable and memorable for all!

Something you should know for windy or rainy days .. Zodiac passengers wear a Transport Canada approved flotation suit which is designed for just that… flotation. These suits are not designed to be waterproof. It is quite possible that ocean spray or rainwater can enter the suits through seams and zippers and result in your own clothing and shoes becoming wet. You may wish to plan on a change of clothing if you are heading out on the town after your excursion.

Usually yes, however, out of an abundance of caution during the current pandemic we have paused serving drinks and would ask that you bring your own water bottle aboard.

We offer a 3-3.5 hour Marine Wildlife Tour by Zodiac from November to March. SpringTide also arranges Private Charters for harbour/dinner cruises year-round.  And of course, if you’re in the market for some fresh fish, we’re proud to offer you the most recommended Sport Fishing Charter in Victoria! The Fishing Charters are not currently available but we anticipate resuming later in 2022  Find out more under the “Tour Info” tab.

The boats used for these adventures are not wheelchair accessible. Please call us if you need assistance.

Tours aboard Marauder IV, our 61ft Motor Yacht, can be an experience of a lifetime for guests of all ages.  Zodiacs, however, are not recommended for anyone with chronic neck, back hip or knee problems, for expectant mothers, for people in frail health or for children under the age of 7 or less than a height of 1.4 meters (4.5 feet).

Although there are no specific warnings or restrictions for Marauder IV, guests need to be aware that the Ocean is unpredictable. A safety briefing presented at the beginning of every tour provides important information regarding your safety and comfort. The boat is constantly in motion and people can lose their footing if they are not careful when moving around the vessel.  Basic precautions should be taken aboard any vessel while on the water.

One year when we (Dan and Joanne) were vacationing on San Juan Island, we picked up a local publication. Its name was “SpringTide”, and on the cover was a photo of a completely arresting coastal scene. We were smitten. When we bought our 36’ Uniflite, we renamed her SpringTide.

We like the different meanings for the word, too. Not only is it the name of our boat and our business, but we find inspiration in its natural meaning as well.

A true spring tide occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are in alignment, causing an immense gravitational force on the planet. Ocean levels around the world rise to their highest and ebb to their lowest during these times. A spring tide happens once a month – and it doesn’t just affect the Ocean. Plants, animals and people are composed mostly of water, meaning spring tides affect our energy levels and activity patterns, too! For Sport Fishers, marine activity is at its highest state during a spring tide. It’s good for us…and it’s great for the Orcas.

Back in the day, Marauder IV was a well-known Sport Fishing Charter vessel based at the Vancouver Westin Bayshore Hotel. She was kind of like royalty, offering Salmon Fishing Charters to the rich and famous. She’s still recognized in our waters by people who remember her from her big city life. We’ve left her name intact because…well…it’s catchy. It gets people talking, too!

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