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“Just go to the Aquarium” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Wild Whales Vancouver

Wild Whales Vancouver
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
47 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Just go to the Aquarium”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2012

They have recently changed their leaflet to say that you get another trip if you see a Whale not see a Killer whale. We did not see Killer Whales on the trip and commented on this when we got back to the office and they were rude about it. We did get a voucher to come back for another trip but did not get a chance to use it and after the rudeness I dont want to.
It is an expensive trip and a long and cold trip.
I would suggest going to the aquarium instead.
The guide and captin were very friendly but the lady in the office was not. And it just is not worth the money.
We saw Seals and SeaLions and an eagle from afar. They took us to a grey whale which you could see the top of popping up but it really wasnt the whale I wanted to see as they are not very active and you do not see much.

Visited May 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank liltravellerAus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orca2009, Owner at Wild Whales Vancouver, responded to this review, 22 May 2012
Hi liltraveller88, thank you for your feedback. We change our brochure every year, we update our rates, schedule and this year we updated our guarantee. We adjusted the 2012 brochure to contain the guarantee we used in our 2010 brochure and on our website to ensure that all of our literature matched. We honoured our guarantee and provided you with a Guaranteed Sightings Voucher and booked you in for another tour. Your voucher allows you to return at any time in the future for another trip, free of charge, this voucher does not expire and you can use it any time in the future.
On a whale-watching tour, like any other type of eco-tour or safari, we are looking for wild animals in their natural habitat. This means that we have no control over their behaviour or location at a given time. We would love to be able to have Killer Whales and all the other different types of marine mammals we can observe throughout the year to show to our guests on every trip. However this is just not possible. In past years, we have seen Killer Whales on 85-90% of our daily tours, Grey Whales on about 5% of tours and Humpback Whales about 5% of tours.
Our tours are different everyday depending on the weather, the types of marine mammals in the area and their behaviour at the time we find them. The majority of our guests are interested in seeing all the species of marine mammal that we have in the area on a given day and we try to see as much as possible on a trip. Observing whales, seals, sea lions and eagles in the wild is far different experience to observing them in a captive aquarium setting, where they are trained to display certain behaviours and are reliably in the same location. However we believe that many people are enthusiastic about the chance to observe animals in their natural setting. Hopefully you will utilize your voucher in the future and take another chance at observing marine mammals in the wild.
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
21 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great - the tour guide was excellent”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2011

Had the most wonderful experience with Wild Whales. The tour guide was superb. She explained things very clearly, with knowledge and such passion. We were well aware that the group of killer whales we had hoped to see were out of the region, but we didn't expect to see humpback whales. I never dreamt that I would be eating my packed lunch whilst 2 humpback whales moved across the front of the boat - the Wild Whales team were well prepared, made sure we didn't disturb the whales and were just as informative about them.

Excellent experience. Thanks

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank kanaka79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hobart
Level Contributor
16 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Be Sure to ask about the length of journey before paying!!!!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2011

I am kicking myself for not asking how long the trip would be prior to departing! In summary the trip was 8 hours plus. 4 hours to our first sighting, 20 minutes in the area of the orcas (viewing from quite a distance) and 4 hours return to Vancouver!!! Had the check in staff informed us of the distance and duration of the trip we would most certainly have spent our time elsewhere......perhaps at the aquarium where me would have been close up with the sea life! They don't know exactly where they will spot the orcas or other sea life but they certainly have a good idea. I was well prepared with food thank goodness.......the snack is nothing but dry muesli bars and water.

I am sure if you: 1) Ask the duration of the trip.......avoid trips over 3 hours like the plague.....you are completely exposed to the elements...... 2) Take plenty of food and drink 3) Avoid taking children as the vessels are very small and completely exposed.................you will have a enjoyable time!

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank PanCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orca2009, Owner at Wild Whales Vancouver, responded to this review, 22 May 2012
Hi PanCanada,
Thank you for taking the time to submit a review. I am sorry you did not enjoy your trip. It is true that our trips vary in length from about 3-7 hours. This is stated on both our brochure and website. Since we are a dedicated whale-watching company and many of our guests are interested in viewing Killer Whales specifically we try and provide that opportunity whenever possible. It is rare that a trip will last 7 hours (usually trip length is 5.5 hours) however it does happen about 5-10% if the time. Once found we try and spend one hour with the animals on all trips. Killer Whales are social animals and travel in pods, if the pod is further away from Vancouver we will travel the extra distance to give our guests the chance to observe the animals they have paid to see. Killer Whales are always traveling in search of sufficient food resources and a pod can move 100km per day, therefore we do not know in advance how long a tour will be on a given day.
We always recommend our guests bring lunch with them on the tour and guests are given the opportunity to visit the Granville Island Public Market before getting on board the boat. Being situated next to a world-renowned food market with multiple take-away vendors we do not provide packed lunches for guests as most prefer to select their own lunch at the market. When making a reservation for the tour you also have the choice of booking for our open boat or our semi-enclosed boat. Our open boat is fully exposed to the elements, allowing 360 degree views, but our semi-covered boat has an indoor seating area at the front and open viewing deck at the back, which some people prefer.
Viewing marine mammals in their natural habitat is a unique experience and very different from observing captive animals in an aquarium. We cannot control the animals’ location or their behaviour. We are visitors to their world and we have to respect them and not interfere with their natural behaviours in any way. For this reason we follow the Pacific Whale Watching Associations guidelines for responsible viewing and maintain a 100-200m distance from the animals, shut down our vessel as often as possible and limit our time spent with the animals to a maximum of one hour. Again thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.
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Bournemouth, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Excellent day out- best day of my holiday!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 November 2011

I would highly recommend this trip if you are in Vanouver and wanting to see some Orca whales. Wild Whales Vancouver is an ecellent company to go with as they are central to everything so it was very easy to get to and locate on Granville Island.Most trips were out of the city or on Vancouver Island.

They provided us with the water-proof suits,snacks on the boat and binoculars. The guide was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the whales which made it an even more enjoyable day and a valuable learning experience. She was studying marine biology at Vanouver University so had a great knowledge of the whales and also the local area. We were recommended a fish and chip shack to go to afterwards which was amazing!! To top it off the weather was perfect and we saw at least eight Orca whales and were able to watch them for the good part of an hour. We saw a variety of other wild life such as a bald eagle, deer, seals and porpoise.

This was an invaluable experiene which I will never forget. I feel that the staff do everything to make the experiene once in a life-time and also promote the dangers whales are facing, and making people aware of these issues.

If I am in Vancouver again I will definatley go on this trip again. Thank you Wild Whales Vancouver!!

Visited August 2011
Helpful?
4 Thank Hannah N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
109 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Well Worth the Wait....”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2011

we planned this whale watching trip for over a month and were not disappointed with the day. Our trip was well organized and very informative. Thomas our guide was terrific! Our trip lasted 6 hours - we saw porpoises, sea lions, seals, 2 bald eagles, and a hump back whale that put on a great show for us. I would do this trip again

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank pamelakmeyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
orca2009, Owner at Wild Whales Vancouver, responded to this review, 22 May 2012
Hi Pamela,

Thanks for taking the time to review your trip with Wild Whales Vancouver last October. People often think whale watching season is over by October but we find that some of our favourite days on the water for the entire year are in October when we have a greater variety of species in the area. Hopefully you will get a chance to join us for another tour sometime in the future.
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