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Sea kayaking tours on Vancouver Island to view orcas

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Paddle with the orcas on this kayaking adventure in Johnstone Strait


Johnstone Strait off Vancouver Island, BC is the ideal location to go kayaking with orca whales and observe and photograph one of nature's truly magnificent mammals.


  • Orca whales
  • Vancouver Island
  • Island Highway
  • Johnstone Strait

The sleek, beautiful ebony and ivory orcas congregate in Johnstone Strait during the summer to feed, socialize and rub themselves on pebble beaches. On this kayaking with orca whales trip you will be on the lookout for orca pods while exploring the strait. Although there can be no guarantees, our dates represent the most opportune time to sea kayak and have an encounter of the orca kind.

Combine the exhilaration of kayaking beside these breaching, spouting, power swimming orcas, with rugged coastal scenery, magnificent west coast rainforest, and you have the ultimate personal and coastal kayaking experience.

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Local Guides
  • Small group
Availability July - August
Duration 6 / 7 days
Departs From NANAIMO, BC
Difficulty Moderate
Group maximum 10
Minimum age 10
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up Yes


1 710
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • International number: +1 778 348 1676

Availability (2024):
July 8-14
July 30-August 5
August 11-17
August 23-29

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What's Included

Find out what is included and what to bring.


  • Meals/snacks/beverages
  • Sea kayaks
  • Paddles
  • PFDs [life jacket]
  • Spray skirts
  • Dry bags
  • National or provincial park user fees unless otherwise stated
  • Camping fees
  • Cooking gear
  • Camp stoves
  • Tents
  • Meal preparations
  • Tarps
  • Major first aid supplies
  • Emergency radio or satellite phone
  • Accommodation in tent campsites on the beach

Suggested Clothing

  • Clothing suited to a variety of temperatures and weather conditions
  • Rain gear
  • Hat
  • Warm socks
  • Hiking boots
  • Sneakers
  • Swim suit
  • Towel

What to bring

  • Warm sleeping bag (required)
  • Sleeping pad (required)
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Daypack
  • Water bottle
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

Contact us for more Information about this tour


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Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


Guide information: All tours meet or exceed the industry standard for guides to client ratios. Tours with 5 or more guests will have two guides. Tours with fewer guests will typically have a single guide and may have a second guide. All guides are certified in wilderness first aid and guiding experience and certifications relative to the tour type.

Restrictions: Moderate level of fitness is recommended. No kayaking experience is required. Ocean kayaking is easy to learn. The kayaks have a rudder system controlled by foot pedals allowing easy maneuvering. Your guides will give you instruction basic paddling techniques to enable you to paddle with confidence and ease.

Transportation: Trips originate and end in Nanaimo, British Columbia.  Transportation to and from the kayaking area in Johnstone Strait is included.

Weather: Summer temperatures average between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.

colorful view of vancouver city at sunset

Arrival in Nanaimo. This denotes the day or days spent on Vancouver Island before the listed start date of the trip.

kayaking into the sunset in canada
Your guides will pick you up in Nanaimo for the drive north along the Island Highway to our put-in point in Johnstone Strait & our first night’s campsite.
orca near mountain range in canada

Several factors, such as weather, tides, current, group ability, group goals, and the distribution of pods will ultimately decide our campsites, paddling time, and route, and as such, a day by day, precise itinerary, is undesirable & impractical. We have developed an itinerary which focuses on the areas in Johnstone Strait and which present the best chance of viewing orcas. By doing so, we hope to avoid the busier marine traffic around Telegraph Cove and the islands in that area. Along the way, there will be opportunities to explore the many coves, beaches, and marine life that characterize the strait. Different campsites are planned throughout our paddle. On Day 7 we will return to Nanaimo.

Payment Details

Deposit and Taxes

  • Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
  • A 30% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
  • Balance of payment is due 75 days before trip commencement.


The 30% deposit on your tour holds your tour space and guarantees your spot on the tour. Your deposit is non-refundable in most circumstances. If you pay the balance before the 75-day due date, the balance, less the non-refundable deposit, is refundable except under circumstances outlined in the Cancellation Policy (provided upon booking). Your final balance payment is due 75 days before departure, and becomes non-refundable 60 days before departure. If you fail to pay the balance by the 75-day due date, you forfeit your deposit and lose your reservation. If you cancel within 60 days before the tour departure date, you forfeit your entire trip cost. This is necessary to guarantee that tours run when there are insufficient bookings after cancellations, and to cover the significant costs and commitments to run a tour.