FAQs about our marine adventure & Grizzly Bear tours

Here are some of our most frequently asked questions and answers. We try to update and add to these FAQs as often as possible but please don’t hesitate to contact us our team is always happy to answer your questions.

Do we travel in a Zodiac or an enclosed boat?

We travel in a comfortable aluminum boat that has an enclosed cabin and an upper deck, with plenty of room on the back deck to stretch your legs or be at one with the environment. The boat comfortably accommodates a maximum of 30 passengers.

What time should we check in at?

30 minutes prior to your Whale Watching & Wildlife Safari scheduled departure time.
45 minutes prior to your Grizzly Bear Expedition scheduled departure time.
30 minutes prior to your History on the Water Tour scheduled departure time.
30 minutes prior to a Private Charter scheduled departure time.

Can I bring my 5-year-old child on your whale watching & wildlife tours?

Absolutely children of all ages are welcome on our whale watching tours at Discovery Marine Safaris.  Our boats are safe and comfortable for all ages and we carry children’s life jackets onboard. The excitement of being out on the water  on the lookout for whales and other marine wildlife usually keeps our younger guests entertained.  But just in case we do have wildlife related books onboard for our smaller guests to enjoy.

The minimum age for the Grizzly Expedition is 10 years. Guests are required to be very quiet while in the viewing stands in order to avoid disturbing the bears who get disturbed by loud, sudden noises.

Do you do pick-ups from Quadra Island?

Yes we do, we pick up at Quathiaski Cove (Q-Cove). The dock is right next to the ferry terminal on the Quadra Island (the ferry route Campbell River – Quadra Island). This is a working dock and we don’t have a permanent spot at this dock. Look for our boats, they are looking for you.

Do you pick guests up from any other locations?

Special pick up requests can be made. But please phone our office to make sure that we can get our boats into that specific location.

What is Discovery Marine Safaris cancellation Policy?

For all our tours except for the Grizzly Bear Expeditions:
The FULL tour price will be charged to your credit card when cancelled with in 48 hours of your safari! Deposits are fully refundable if reservations are cancelled verbally or in writing up to 48 hours before your tour departure date. No refunds or alternate dates will be given for any reason if cancelled with in 48 hours of your tour.

For the Grizzly Bear Expeditions:
The FULL tour price will be charged to your credit card when cancelled with in 7 days of your departure. Deposits are fully refundable if reservations are cancelled verbally or in writing up to 7 days before your activity date. No refunds or alternate dates will be given for any reason if cancelled less than 7 days before your tour.

What to wear, what to bring?

Clothing: We always recommend our guests dress in layers and bring an extra sweater/wind jacket. It can get breezy on the water even on our hottest days. While we are traveling it is always more comfortable to be well protected against sun and wind. When seated in our enclosed cabin you are well protected and in a comfortable controlled temperature. But while out on deck and when wildlife viewing you may need warmer clothing. Our boat is spacious so there will be ample room for your back pack/bag to be stored.
In addition to clothing, we suggest sunscreen, sun glasses and a hat for protection against the intense July/August sun.

Drinks: We carry water onboard but request you bring your own re-usable water bottles. This helps us from an environmental stand-point as it reduces or eliminates the need for single use plastic bottles. You are also welcome to bring your own non-alcoholic beverages if you prefer.

Snacks: We suggest you have a meal before coming out on a tour. You are also welcome to bring snacks and or a sandwich to eat during the tour as the sea air can make you hungry.

Make sure your camera has good batteries and/or is fully charged and you have lots of film. You don’t want to miss any great photo opportunities.

Do you see whales?

Yes, we are very proud to announce that we have had a 98% sighting record over the last couple of seasons; it doesn’t get any better than that!

How close can we get to the Whales?

Seeing Orcas can be very exciting, and should always keep in mind NOT to disturb the marine wildlife in their habitat. This is very crucial especially while these giant marine mammals are hunting, mating, resting and of course while raising their young. We can get as close as a 200 yards, for more information and to understand it a little better please go to Be Whale Wise.

What is the best time to see Whales?

The best time to see Whales in the Campbell River / Discovery Passage area is June through to October.

What happens if we don’t see a whale?

You have to remember that we operate in the wild where the whales travel freely to forage and can cover great distances. So we actually can’t and don’t give a “guarantee”. However, in the unlikely event that you did not see any whales, we will happily issue a non-transferable stand-by ticket (based on availability) and have you back out on the water for free – we will always do our best to give our guests the best experience possible.

Is the Grizzly bear Expedition dangerous?

Certainly exciting but NOT dangerous! Once we are on land, you will travel in a comfortable mini bus to different viewing platforms. Our guides are trained and armed to ensure your safety at all times. The viewing platforms are fenced in, however you still have maximum wildlife visibility.

What is the best time of the year to view Grizzly Bears?

It can be good as early as the last week of August but is best in September to the end of October. It all depends on how much rain we had during the summer and if the salmon have returned to the rivers for spawning. 

Where do you see Grizzlies? I thought there are no Grizzlies on Vancouver Island?

That’s absolutely correct, although a few rogue bears have been known to make their way across; Vancouver Island has no Grizzlies. So we travel through scenic channels between Islands up into Bute Inlet on the mainland – It’s about a 2 hour boat ride from our Campbell River location and the journey is part of the adventure!