5 Breathtaking Canadian Whale-Watching Destinations

Humpback whale tale dripping with water in British Columbia off the Sunshine Coast.
Photo by M. Cornelius/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for great whale watching destinations, Canada has plenty of impressive options. Maybe you’ve done some whale watching before, or perhaps it’s your first time—but regardless, each whale watching trip is unique and pretty magical. So, if you’re planning to head East, West, or further into the Great White North and would like to get up, close, and personal with nature, consider checking one of these destinations out.

Robson, British Columbia

Kinney Lake in Mount Robson Provincial Park near Valemount, BC.

Photo by Carrie Cole/Shutterstock

Robson Bight Ecological Preserve is home to Canada’s only sanctuary for killer whales. The centre hosts over 200 orcas in a “misty, primeval environment” which sounds pretty awe-inspiring if you ask us. The best part? If you’re daring enough, you can take a kayak tour with the orcas that lets you experience them up close in their natural state without disturbing them.  The gentle creatures flock to the area to feed off the large supply of salmon, the reserve does their best to preserve the area. Robson is the serene nature lovers’ dream!

Tadoussac, Quebec

Tadoussac, Quebec, Canada

Photo by Jane Rix/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for the whaling adventure of a lifetime, but can’t make it up to the Arctic—Tadoussac is a must-see destination. When the warm fresh waters of the Saguenay River meet with the icy cool salt waters of the St. Lawrence River, a massive amount of krill rise up. The result is that humpbacks, minkes, blue whales, and white belugas swim in for a giant feast that is usually unheard of in these areas. August and September are your best months for checking out blue whales.

Churchill, Manitoba

Aurora Borealis with twilight - Hudson Bay, Canada.

Photo by Steven Blandin/Shutterstock

Nested on the west shore of the Hudson Bay in Northern Manitoba, Churchill is a fun destination, and is one of the few areas settled by humans where polar bears can be watched in the wild. Churchill also happens to offer excellent beluga whale watching, is a great place to experience the northern lights, and is a hotspot for birders. So if you’re looking for whale watching, but would love a few nature lovers’ bonuses thrown in, Churchill is a great bet.

Somerset Island, Nunavut

A curious polar bear perches atop a chunk of ice on an arctic ice floe, not far from snow-free, solid land on Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada.

Photo by City Escapes Nature Photo/Shutterstock

If you’re looking for the best Beluga watching in the world, visiting Nunavut is an adventure you can’t pass up. Somerset Island is an uninhabited island located on the shore of the Northwest Passage, and is home to Arctic Watch Wilderness lodge—a resort that’s just 500 miles north of the Arctic circle, and offers the experience of a lifetime when it comes to marine wildlife watching. See belugas, muskox, polar bears, and plenty more, and keep in mind that Nunavut is home to many wilderness lodges, so you’ve got plenty of options for similar destinations.

Cape Breton Highlands, Nova Scotia

Ocean shore (Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada)

Photo by Vadim.Petrov/Shutterstock

Offering up excellent hiking and golfing alongside the beauty of plenty of marine life, Cape Breton Highlands is a whale watching destination that’s great for pleasing a range of travelling tastes. Zodiac boats will carry you alongside the rugged coastal shores seeking out whales, dolphins, seals, leatherback turtles, puffins, and plenty more. Plus, the scenic beauty of the East Coast is unlike anything else in Canada.

Also on RNR: