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WHY DISCOVERY MARINE SAFARIS?



Making a choice for a whale watching company may not be simple. In addition to location and price, considerations likely include comfort, frequency of sightings, and wanting your choice to be environmentally sound. Below we summarize what Discovery Marine Safaris has to offer:

Ethics

Since establishing in 2007 we have adopted the ethics of our sister company Stubbs Island Whale Watching located 200 km to the north. They are BC’s first whale watching company and are highly respected as leaders in environmentally responsible whale watching. Our overall approach is highly respectful of the environment – striving to have your wildlife adventure count for the good of research and conservation and to have our operations be environmentally sustainable.



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Expertise

Our Captains have extensive experience in operating vessels around marine wildlife, adhering to guidelines and avoiding disturbance. Onboard naturalists have studied biology and receive intensive training in local marine mammal science from our Education and Conservation Advisor. All of our crew have marine emergency duty training and undergo regular safety drills. We love where we live and - we love what we do! We enjoy sharing our local knowledge to enhance your stay in the Campbell River area. Our Grizzly Bear tours are conducted in partnership with the Homalco First Nation, in their Traditional Territory, giving you the greatest access to expertise about both the cultural and biological importance of the bears.

Location

Departure is from Campbell River, conveniently located on central Vancouver Island; just 1.5 hours’ drive north from the ferry from Vancouver British Columbia. Campbell River is a seaside town providing travellers with many other attractions, events and amenities. We are within minutes of the beautiful Discovery Islands. Seas are sheltered and the scenery is simply breathtaking. Rough seas and seasickness are an absolute rarity!

Vessels

Our vessels are Coast Guard approved and were chosen for their comfort, safety, and environmental advantages. They offer:

  • Ample viewing space and seating both inside and on the decks.
  • Great comfort - with lavatories, snack station (lunch included in your tour), and interior heating.
  • Fuel efficiency and engine design leading to a smaller carbon footprint and less noise entering the marine environment.
  • On-board hydrophones whereby the Orca may be heard communicating underwater.
  • Custom designed in 2009 specifically for wildlife viewing.

Wildlife

  • Campbell River is known as “The Salmon Capital of the World” and as a result we have the great privilege of frequent sightings of the many animals that depend on this keystone species, including bears; Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, Dall’s and Harbour Porpoises; Pacific Harbour Seals; Steller and California Sea Lions; and the “Northern Resident” Killer Whales / Orca (inshore fish-eaters).
  • Our area has become one of the most predictable places in the world to see the mammal-eating Killer Whales known as “Bigg’s” or “Transient” Killer Whales. This is believed to be because of the increase in their favourite prey, Pacific Harbour Seals which are abundant in our area. Researchers report that this distinct species of Killer Whale now appear not only to be sighted more frequently but that are now often in bigger groups and appear to be more vocal after a kill.
  • There are also individual Humpback Whales that appear to have a preference for our area, feeding on aggregations of small schooling fish concentrated by the currents of our area. 
  • Because of the rich marine habitat of our area, we are able to offer both Grizzly Bear and Whale Watching adventures - providing you with the potential of seeing several of BC’s iconic, wild predators with one company.
  • See our great frequency and diversity of marine mammal and bird sightings in our Sightings Log.

Research and Conservation

Our company aims to make the experience of whale watching count for the sake of research and conservation. The combined efforts of Discovery Marine Safaris and our sister company Stubbs Island Whale Watching, include: