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1. Do you really see whales?

Absolutely! Sooke Coastal Explorations is proud to announce that we have a success rate of almost 95% for the season.

2. What time of year is best for watching whales?

While whale viewing success rates vary season-to-season, we consistently find our Southern Resident Orcas April through November. Transient Orcas are also frequently sighted throughout the year, but most often during the winter months when there are plenty of seals and sea lions to lure them. For the last few years, Humpbacks have been reliably sighted September through January, while the elusive Gray whales are only occasional visitors as they are in transit seasonally. And, during the summer months we can usually find a few Minke whales.

3. How close will we get to the whales?

As a proud member of the Whale Watch Operators Association Northwest, Sooke Coastal Explorationsí number one priority is protecting the safety of the whales and other marine wildlife, as well as our passengers. When we're within 100 yards of a whale we turn off our engines. As we drift along, whales will often swim right up to the boat. So, itís up to the whales how close we get.

4. What else do you see on a trip?

In addition to Minke, Humpback and Gray whales, you may see harbour seals, elephant seals, dall's porpoise, harbour porpoise, California sea lions, stellar sea lions, bald eagles, common murres and cormorants.

5. What happens if we don't see a whale?

Viewing sea life in their natural habitat is an incredible, unmatched experience, but the travel patterns and behaviours of these feral creatures are unpredictable. For this reason, we canít guarantee you will see whales or wildlife on every tour. But, to offer our passengers the most enjoyable wildlife viewing experiences possible, we are part of a sophisticated, successful whale-spotting network. This gives you the best opportunity to view sea life in their natural environment.

6. What should we bring?

We provide Protective Floatation Suits for your safety. This will help keep you warmer and drier, but we strongly recommend you wear warm underclothes and flat closed-toed shoes.

We will be traveling at speeds of 30 miles per hour or more, so warm socks and a sweater or jacket will help you enjoy the outdoors even more.
  • Warm clothing
  • Proper footwear
  • Tight-fitting hat or toque
  • Gloves
  • Sunglasses or other eye protection
  • Sunscreen Ė it will protect you from sunburn and windburn
And, donít forget your camera!!!
  • Bring your camera and/or video camera
  • We recommend that you bring a plastic bag to keep your camera dry while weíre moving or if itís raining
  • We always bring the boat to a complete stop for photo opportunities

7. How long are the trips?

Most Sooke/Victoria trips are 3 to 4 hours, but this will vary with weather and other conditions.

8. Should we make a reservation?

There is so much do and see throughout Victoria, Sooke and surrounding area that we highly recommended reservations that we can offer you the best departure time that fits your busy schedule.

9. When should we check in?

Thirty (30) minutes prior to your scheduled departure time.

10. What is the Sooke Coastal Explorations cancellation policy?

Cancellation Policy is 72 hours prior to trip departure time, unless agreed upon in advance with the office staff.