Common Whales to see on Canada's Coasts
Canada's coasts offer excellent opportunities for whale watching, with several species of whales being regularly sighted.
Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)
Humpback whales are frequent visitors to Canada's coastal waters. These majestic creatures are known for their distinctive body shape, long pectoral fins, and their acrobatic behaviors, such as breaching and tail-slapping. They are often seen feeding on krill and small fish, particularly in areas like the Bay of Fundy, Vancouver Island, and the Newfoundland and Labrador coasts.
Orcas (Orcinus orca)
Orcas, also known as killer whales, are highly intelligent and social marine mammals. They are famous for their striking black and white coloration. While they can be found in various regions of Canada's coasts, particularly in British Columbia, they are most commonly observed in the waters around Vancouver Island. Orcas are known to travel in pods and are skilled hunters, feeding on fish, seals, and sometimes even larger marine mammals.
Minke Whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata)
Minke whales are the smallest of the baleen whales, reaching lengths of around 7 to 10 meters (23 to 33 feet). They are commonly seen along Canada's coasts, including the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Bay of Fundy. Minke whales have a streamlined body and are known for their curious and playful behavior.
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus)
Gray whales undertake one of the longest migrations of any mammal, traveling from their feeding grounds in the Arctic to the warm waters of Mexico for breeding and calving. During their migration, they pass along the western coast of Canada. The waters off Vancouver Island, particularly in the Clayoquot Sound and Tofino area, provide opportunities to spot these impressive creatures during their migration.
Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)
The fin whale is the second-largest whale species after the blue whale. They can reach lengths of up to 27 meters (89 feet). Fin whales can be found in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and they are occasionally spotted along the coastlines of Canada. The Bay of Fundy, Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Newfoundland and Labrador coasts are known areas where fin whales are sighted.
These are just a few examples of the whale species commonly seen along Canada's coastlines. Other species, such as the beluga whale, sperm whale, and various species of dolphins and porpoises, can also be encountered in specific regions. Whale watching tours and coastal areas with vantage points provide opportunities to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitats, contributing to unforgettable wildlife experiences.Whale Watching Tour from Vancouver
Vancouver Whale Watching Safari
Half Day Whale Watching Adventure from Vancouver
Back to What Comprises the Canadian Rockies
Tour Canadian Rockies Home