Travel through the stunning wilderness of Vancouver Island’s inside passage, which is one of the world’s best locations for humpback whale sightings, on this 5-day kayaking expedition. Slowly paddle through Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound while witnessing the magnificent creatures which inhabit these waters, be treated to gourmet meals and fine wines at pre-assembled base camps, and spend the evenings relaxing by the campfire with a never-ending starlit sky above.
Arrive into the waterfront fishing village of Port McNeill which is situated 30 minutes south of Port Hardy Airport on the northern coast of Vancouver Island. We recommend staying at the Haida Way Motor Inn where your orientation meeting will be hosted this evening. It’s an opportunity to meet your guides and fellow travelers, as well as be kitted out with dry bags and wetsuit booties. Get a restful night of sleep before you begin your kayaking adventure tomorrow.
Please Note: While we will do our best to adhere to the itinerary listed above, all kayaking trips are subject to weather, wind and waves and the schedule may change due to conditions outside of our control. Although there is a good possibility of seeing whales on this trip and your guides know the best places to find these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, the frequency and proximity are entirely determined by their travel patterns.
Launch from Telegraph Cove
Our day begins early as we travel from the Haida Way Motor Inn to our launch site at picturesque Telegraph Cove. It’s here that you will have your introductory briefing to learn the paddling techniques and safety measures required over the next few days. It’s then time to launch into the natural harbor of Telegraph Cove and slowly paddle into the vast wilderness of Johnstone Strait.
Weather permitting, we will kayak to three wilderness base camps on three different islands during this trip, each of which is equipped with pre-assembled, full-height canvas tents and comfortable sleeping cots. After arriving in the late afternoon, enjoy local wines and hors d’oeuvres during happy hour as your guides prepare a gourmet dinner and freshly-baked desserts, then relax around the campfire with your fellow kayakers. Relive the day’s adventures, gaze up at the never-ending starlit sky and witness the glowing bioluminescence of the ocean, then settle into your tent for a good night’s sleep.
Discover Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound by Kayak and Foot
Over the next few days, we will explore the channels and inlets of Blackfish Sound where humpback whales are often spotted while keeping an eye out for dolphins, seals, porpoises and soaring eagles as we kayak through Johnstone Strait. Most days will include more than four hours kayaking which will be broken up with floating rest breaks, lunch stops and optional hiking excursions.
Each morning you will wake to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee and tea as the sun slowly rises, with your guides up early preparing a warm breakfast. There’ll be plenty of time to explore the tidal pools while wandering along the beach or relax with a book accompanied by a steaming mug of coffee, before preparing to embark on the day’s adventure.
Evenings will be spent relaxing around the crackling campfire and listening to your friendly guides spin tales and impart local folklore, accompanied by the sounds of the surrounding wilds.
Explore Telegraph Cove and Return to Port McNeill
After breakfast at your wilderness base camp, we’ll spend the morning kayaking back towards Telegraph Cove where our expedition ends. Your guides will prepare lunch for you as we unpack the kayaks, then spend the afternoon exploring the unique shops, historical buildings and whale museum of Telegraph Cove.
In the late afternoon, we’ll travel back to Port McNeill where you can enjoy a hot shower before rejoining your group for a farewell dinner.
Begin your journey home from Port McNeill at your leisure or choose to exten your stay in this charming coastal community.
Dates & Rates
|Dates||Adult (USD)||Child (USD)|
|Jun 24, 2018 to Jun 28, 2018||$1,300£0€0$0$0||$1,170£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Jul 01, 2018 to Jul 05, 2018||$1,300£0€0$0$0||$1,170£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Jul 08, 2018 to Jul 12, 2018||$1,300£0€0$0$0||$1,170£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
Dates in bold are confirmed departures.
• All meals as indicated on the itinerary
• Transportation to and from the launch site
• All kayaking instruction
• All kayaking and camping equipment
• Full service of our certified professional Guides and Adventure Consultants
• Transportation to and from Port McNeill
• Hotel before and after the tour
• Meals before or after the tour
• Gratuity for guides
• Items of a personal nature.
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub-contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.
Images & Videos
FAQ & More
Humpback whales return from their breeding grounds in Hawaii early summer, and remain through autumn feeding on the local schools of fish. Our trips are scheduled only during the times when the whales have historically populated the area. Though once hunted to extinction from the area, humpbacks have returned to the area as a tremendous success story, and are sighted often!
All whales are acutely aware of their surroundings, and can use echolocation to track objects in the water. During our many years in Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound and hundreds of close encounters with humpbacks, we feel very safe being in their presence.
While we have a 98% success rate for seeing humpbacks, they are wild animals that roam at will and thus, sightings are not guaranteed. To increase your opportunities for seeing the humpbacks, or simply to enjoy even more whale watching, you may want to add an extra day to your vacation to participate in a Stubb's Island Whale Watching trip. Their motorized boat allows them to cover more area in search of sealife and and humpbacks throughout the waterways near Telegraph Cove.
If you fly into Port Hardy, you will need to arrange a taxi for the 35-minute drive South to Port McNeill. You can expect to pay about $45-60 CAD for the one-way fare, however rates do vary. We recommend sharing the ride with other members of the tour if you meet one another on the plane (or are on the same flight when departing). Please bring cash to pay the driver. The taxi companies change regularly, but we recommend Waivin Flags Taxi, 1-250-230-7655 and Town Taxi 1-250-949-7877 on the North Island.