When we first decided to start a business as Lutra Wildlife, even before we had our company name, we began creating the basis of our first tour, a tour that would focus on amazing Killer Whale viewing around Vancouver Island (the best place in the world to see Killer Whales).
Unlike numerous other tours already running in this area, we didn't want to spend just one or two day trips looking for these animals, whilst simultaneously trying to take in all possible highlights of the terrestrial habitats of this region too. As experienced naturalists, we know this comes at the cost of quality time spent on the water; the best time to see Killer Whales is not necessarily the best time to see Grizzly Bears, and vice versa.
Sometimes you can get lucky and see Killer Whales on your first experience with these coastal rich waters; our 2016 tour we saw them on the first morning of the tour whilst taking the ferry to Vancouver Island! However, most of the time the whales are on the move, and it requires time and patience to get those perfect moments, when the sea is calm, the whales are relaxed and the light is delicious. For this reason we tailored our itinerary to provide as much sea time as possible, including a 5-day exclusive live-aboard charter in one of the most consistent Killer Whale watching areas in the world. Without time, you wouldn't necessarily get those memorable moments that seem to be impossible to capture; for example, in 2016, Day 3 on our live-aboard vessel - after already having had great views of Killer Whales and Humpback whales the two previous days - we found ourselves alone, cruising beside a family of Killer Whales, enjoying playful juveniles and hearing amazing calls from the hydrophone. Here is some video footage from this moment.
And even though we focused on Killer whales, they weren't the only wildlife that we got great views of in 2016 ... These rich pacific waters are also home to many other marine animals, such as Humpback whales, Pacific White-sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoise, Steller sea lions, sea otters and many species of sea birds, and it’s coastal forests are home to Black Bears, Wolves, Black-tailed Deer, Elk and numerous forest birds ranging from hummingbirds to eagles.
Since this epic tour ran in 2016, we've tweaked the itinerary to provide even more time in areas that have proven to be good for Killer Whale activity, and we are really excited about what 2018 and 2019 will have to offer.
Check out our Tour Gallery to see some of the amazing wildlife highlights from our 2016 trip (and stay tuned for live updates from the up-coming 2018 tour!). Also, if you'd like to learn a little bit more about Killer Whales we've created a new page for stories and information.
If you would like to join our 2019 tour, please register your interest soon.