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Jumping Orca, Canada

Kayaking with Orcas from Vancouver Island



8 Days

Prices Start from

£2,415pp (ex. flights)

In a magical journey to the north-eastern tip of Vancouver Island, witness one of the most remarkable marine mammals on Earth from an extraordinary water-top vantage point (and take a detour to spot grizzly bears).

Navigate the strait by kayak in the company of expert naturalist guides who are experienced in reading gull behaviour and following fish patterns, bringing you close to one of nature’s most awe-inspiring spectacles – the orca whales.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Orca, Canada 1

Kayak with Orcas

Spend hours each day in pristine waters, paddling out in search of orca and other marine life.

Grizzly Bear, Canada 2

Spot Grizzly Bears

Navigate the waters in search of grizzly bears as they fish for salmon in gushing rivers.

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 3

Explore Vancouver

In the company of local guides, embark on hand-picked tours or amble around the city.

Orcas, Canada 4

Camp near Orca

Gather around a campfire next to the ocean in a rustic but comfortable base camp.

Why we like it

Imagine yourself silently paddling a kayak in wait of killer whales rising to the surface, showcasing their unmistakable six-foot-tall dorsal fins, or listening to their unique song using state of the art equipment – these truly indescribable and thrilling moments are part and parcel of a base camp orca adventure. In a pristine place where the population of whales have not only made a comeback, but developed new fishing techniques that have astounded marine scientists, this once in a lifetime experience is suitable for all experience levels and families, too. Then, to top it all off, a separate expedition to scout for grizzly bears fishing for salmon turns this whale-centric trip in to the ideal itinerary for wildlife-loving wayfarers.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Canada on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Days 1-2


  • Day 3

    Vancouver - Port Hardy - Port McNeill

  • Days 4-6

    Port McNeill

  • Day 7

    Knight Inlet

  • Day 8

    Port McNeill - Port Hardy - Vancouver

Days 1-2


Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

In the company of local guides, embark on hand-picked tours or amble around the city independently.

Day 3

Vancouver - Port Hardy - Port McNeill

Days 4-6

Port McNeill

Orca dorsal fins, British Columbia, Canada

Spend hours each day in pristine waters, paddling out in search of orcas and other spectacular marine life.

Day 7

Knight Inlet

Grizzly Bear, Kodiak Island, Alaska

Navigate the waters in search of grizzly bears as they fish for salmon in the rivers of British Columbia.

Day 8

Port McNeill - Port Hardy - Vancouver

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

More details

Jumping Orca, Canada
Jumping Orca, Canada

Listen to Orca Whistles

Spend three memorable days kayaking each morning and afternoon, exploring the nooks and crannies of a pristine landscape while scouring for whales, eagles, seals, porpoises and other marine mammals or seabirds. With between 4-5 hours spent on the water each day, the chances of kayaking beside glossy six-foot-tall dorsal fins and watching remarkable salmon-herding practises are more than favourable. For a truly extraordinary experience, use a hydrophone to hear the enchanting whistles, clicks, low-frequency pops, jaw claps and pulsed calls of the pods.

Grizzly Bears, Canada
Grizzly Bears, Canada

Scout for Grizzly Bears

From the comfort of a flat bottom boat, journey to Knight Inlet to navigate its rivers and estuaries in search of the grizzly bears that are synonymous with British Columbia. With the goal of watching them pluck salmon from the rushing water (and the possibility of seeing mothers with their cubs fishing downstream), travel through the most renowned place in the country to see these normally solitary bears in iconic congregation. Set against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks, this is a remote region that houses the largest concentration of grizzlies in western Canada.

Kayak on the Water, Canada
Kayak on the Water, Canada

Camp Fires & Wave-Lulled Slumbers

In a place where alarm clocks are substituted with the morning sound of a humpback whale’s blow, there is little need for luxurious accommodations. The base camp is simple yet comfortable, remote yet homely, and sleeping arrangements are comprised of private tents with cot beds and mattresses. Showers are in the form of a rigged up bucket, and flushing facilities are shunned in favour of a loo with a view, but this back to basics stay is what allows for a true connection with nature. Rather expeditionary in feeling, expect crackling campfires, enchanting starlit skies, French-pressed organic coffee served on the shore and evenings spent learning about aboriginal legends before falling in to wave-lulled slumbers.

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada
Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, Canada

Wander Over Water & Climb Mother Nature's Staircase

Journey on foot through the seaport city of Vancouver, uniquely characterised by its conflicting backdrops of snow-capped mountains and sandy beaches. When not sipping your way through the local craft beer breweries, take a gondola ride to the top of Grouse Mountain (or hike its arduous “Mother Nature’s Staircase”), amble around the city on a guided gastronomy tour, or watch an ice hockey match to experience the electric atmosphere of the national sport. We can arrange skip-the-line access to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a remarkable glacier helicopter and kayaking experience, an exhilarating jet ski tour in Howe Sound or even a private sailing boat charter that takes in sweeping views of Vancouver’s majestic skyline.

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
From £2,415 Per person

When to travel

Canada in January

January is an undoubtedly cold time of year in Canada, with temperatures reaching negative daily. However, visiting during this time can be a good chance to avoid the overwhelming busy times of the festive season and school holidays.

Canada in February

Winter in Canada offers an array of sporting and cultural events both indoors and out. Banff, Whistler and Jasper offer phenomenal ski resorts or perhaps be a spectator of an ice hockey match, arguably the country’s favourite sport.

Canada in March

While March can be a good off-peak time to visit, it is worth being prepared for drastic weather changes. However, this also means lower costs and fewer crowds. The mountains are still open for the ski season and cities are ideal as they are fewer tourists.

Canada in April

April marks the start of spring across Canada, a time to avoid crowds and discover all that the country has to offer with comfortable temperatures on average.

Canada in May

May is a favourable time to visit Canada, with temperatures rising, avoiding school holidays and off-peak rates.

Canada in June

For many travellers, June is the ideal time to visit Canada. Just before peak season, the weather is favourable and most of the trails and seasonal activities will have opened.

Canada in July

Summer in Canada calls for longer days to explore the natural beauty that awaits outdoors whether it’s hiking, fishing or camping. Temperatures average around 25, making cities quite warm but head into the wilderness or by the coast and enjoy the open air.

Canada in August

Summer is considered the peak season with warm temperatures and all attractions open. It is worth noting this time of year can be quite busy as it is school holidays.

Canada in September

As autumn rolls in and temperatures lower, September is a great time to avoid massive crowds and experience all that the country has to offer in comfortable weather. September is also the beginning of the salmon run, a peak time to see the bears fishing.

Canada in October

Temperatures continue to drop in October, also bringing cloudy days and rain. The autumn foliage is in full bloom across the countryside. This can also be a good time to take advantage of off-peak rates, however, it is worth bearing in mind that the weather can vary and some coastal towns will have started to close for the season.

Canada in November

November is a good time of year to visit the cities of Canada. It is too late to view the foliage and a bit too early to skiing yet, but a good time to explore cities across the country, in temperatures averaging 5 degrees.

Canada in December

The build-up to the festive season is in full swing across the country. Snow may have already started, making the perfect scene for ice skating and markets.

Holiday Inspiration

Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

Are you ready to discover extraordinary once again?

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