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What Month Is Best to See Whales in Canada?

a man riding on the back of a boat in a body of water

What Month Is Best to See Whales in Canada?

The best months to see whales on the West Coast of Canada are March through October.

Therefore get your comfortable waterproof clothes ready as whales are truly a sight to behold as these majestic creatures love to put on a show.

They also produce enchanting sounds that are beautiful, relaxing yet haunting to some as they effortlessly glide through the water in synchronized swimming.

And when they exhale, it’s like experiencing the grandeur of The Niagra Falls as they shoot water vapour into the air.

However, to have a mind-blowing whale-watching experience depends on these various factors:

1. Time of Day

You can see whale species like Orca, Humpback, Gray, and Minke from March to October.

But it doesn’t matter the time of the day that you schedule your whale-watching tour as whales are always ready to give you a good show during the summer and fall.

However, the lighting and weather conditions can determine the time you can watch the whales.

Why? When it is too sunny it can be challenging to enjoy the whales giving you a performance due to the glare. Similarly, heavy rains reduce visibility.

Here is a table showing some of the common whales on the West Coast of Canada and the best month to go watch these gorgeous oceanic creatures.

Whale Species Best Time to See Locations
Orcas July to September Vancouver Island, BC; Quebec; Newfoundland and Labrador
Humpback Whales June to October Vancouver Island, BC; Quebec
Gray Whales March to April Vancouver Island, BC; Washington State
Minke Whales May to October Vancouver Island, BC; Quebec; Newfoundland and Labrador

Tip: Check the weather forecast so that you can plan your whale-watching tour on days with clear or partly cloudy conditions. This will make it easy for you to have a good show with proper lighting.

2. Oceanographic Features

Oceanographic features are the physical and chemical structures of the ocean. These include water temperature, salinity, currents, and depth.

It is what makes the ocean habitable for whales. 

Therefore by understanding oceanographic features, you can predict where you are likely to see whales. 

Here are tips to help you understand how to leverage oceanographic features so that you can have a front seat during whale watching:

  1. Book your whale-watching tour with a company like White Rock Sea Tours that understands oceanographic features.
  2. Stay informed on current oceanographic conditions to help you understand when to visit as a shift may cause the whales to migrate.
  3. Be flexible with the time your tour guide allocates you as it may be the most suitable time to whale-watch considering the water temperatures, upwelling zones, and current patterns.
  4. Practice responsible whale-watching by observing them from a safe distance.
  5. Avoid stressing the whales by making loud noises or by throwing objects at them.
  6. Do not pollute the oceans by throwing trash as it can interfere with the whale’s behaviour. If the whale consumes the trash for an extended period of time, it may die.
  7. Dress appropriately by wearing comfortable breathable and/or water-resistant clothes to allow you to enjoy the whale-watching experience.
  8. Be patient. Whale watching is just like being on a Safari. The chances of watching wild animals hunt are high but you still have to move around the park searching for them. So be patient, take time to scan the waters and wait quietly for the whales to surface.

a little girl sitting on a boat

3. Migration Patterns

The best months for watching whales are hugely influenced by migration patterns because they need to migrate with seasons to reach feeding and breeding grounds.

As a result, you should learn about their migration patterns by asking experts or the tour company you’re using to schedule the whale-watching tour.

Enjoy Whale-Watching in Vancouver & Surrey, BC, with White Rock Sea Tours

To enjoy memorable moments of whale watching in Vancouver & Surrey, BC, schedule a tour using White Rock Sea Tours.

We create an itinerary that will help you capture breathtaking sights. 

And since we operate in prime locations where whales love to show off theory snorkelling skills, you will definitely get a chance to hear the relaxing melodies of whale songs.

Additionally, you will enjoy the breathtaking sights of whales as they perform their mesmerizing synchronized swimming surrounded by water vapour, a sight worthy of being on the Nature Canada cover.

And the icing on the cake is that we have a tonne of information and facts about whales that will make you feel like you are Dr. Sylvia Earle, the American marine biologist, explorer, and author.

Reserve your whale-watching spot with us today and let us be part of creating these lifelong captivating memories for you and your family.