Killer Whale and Marine Mammal Photography Tour - British Columbia, Canada
Photograph Killer Whales, Humpback Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises, Sea Lions, Seals, and Sea Otters on an amazing West Coast adventure!

Join John for an Orca Marine Photo Tour on the West Coast of British Columbia
Trip Departure Point: Port McNeill, British Columbia, Canada
Trip Conclusion Point: Port Hardy, British Columbia, Canada

Trip Dates: August 18th - 26th, 2017
Trip Cost:
$5095 Cdn + gst from Port McNeill to Port Hardy (includes accommodation, dinner, and breakfast in Port McNeill on the 18th/19th)

Trip Availability: SOLD OUT

Contact John to reserve a spot on the 2017 Orca Marine Photography Tour now!

Orca Marine Photo Tour
Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Steller Sea Lions, and Orcas


I'm excited to revisit this 8-day tour through the magnificent coastal waters of Johnstone Strait off the north end of Vancouver Island for the first time since 2011. Reports from other photo groups doing this trip the past few years have been increasingly drool-worthy, so I knew I had to add it back in to my tour arsenal again for 2017. Simply put, this tour takes us through one of the premier places in the world to view and photograph orcas (killer whales). And if that's not enough to hook you, then how about this? The northern tip of Vancouver Island is one of the richest marine mammal enviroments on the planet, particularly in late summer when the Pacific Ocean delivers nutrients in enormous quantities to the numerous channels and inlets of the region.

So what does that mean for us photographers? That we're likely to see and photograph not only orcas (killer whales), but also dolphins, porpoises, and sea lions that assemble to feed on the Pacific salmon that are returning to their natal rivers, as well as humpback and minke whales, seals, and a wide variety of coastal seabirds feeding on the nutrients stirred up by the strong tidal currents. And if that's still not enough, consider that this trip takes us into the heart of Canadian sea otter territory -- who wouldn't want to come photograph baby sea otters floating with their mothers in the kelp?!

Participants can expect to get great photo opportunities with orcas, steller sea lions, and harbour seals, along with excellent chances at humpback whales, minke whales, pacific white-sided dolphins, dalls porpoises, sea otters, and a host of bird species.

The Ocean Light II was chosen for this trip because the boat and crew have the reputation of being the best at what they do when it comes to operating wildlife photography trips on the B.C. Coast. You can expect professional service, superb guiding, good food, and clean, comfortable quarters. We will photograph from the main boat deck, as well as from a motorized inflatable if conditions allow us to. The photography will be challenging on the water; you can expect to photograph with and without tripods/monopods in a variety of weather conditions.

There will probably not be much, if any, time off the boat during the trip. However, the Johnstone Strait area is often very calm, and when it's not, we will seek out more sheltered areas.

We have chosen to limited the group size to six participants (plus John) to maximize your space on the boat decks and in the inflatable and to provide you with the best trip possible.

Orca Marine Photo Tour
Sea lion bull, an orca at sunset, and a breaching humpback, all photographed during my 2011 Marine Mammal Photo Tour


Itinerary

This itinerary is a sample only – the exact itinerary of our trip will be dictated by factors such as weather, tides, and photo opportunities, with the crew working within the parameters of safety, time, and the highlights of the area.

Participants will be expected to arrive in Port McNeill (it is a $40 taxi ride from Port Hardy airport to Port McNeill -- participants can purchase connecting flights to Port Hardy from Vancouver International Airport) on August 18th prepared for an early morning departure on the 19th. After boarding, we will head towards Johnstone Strait and the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. This area is regarded as one of the best places in the world to observe killer whales in
their natural habitat.

We will spend three-four days in this area focusing on orcas (and whatever else we come across -- it's a fantastic area for humpback whales, sea lions, dolphins, and seals), with our evenings spent anchored among the numerous islands and bays of the Broughton Archipelago. We will then travel toward northern Vancouver Island at the tail end of the trip in search of sea otters and other marine mammals in the nutrient-rich northern reaches of the Johnstone Strait region where Queen Charlotte Sound meets Queen Charlotte Strait. On my last tour here in 2011, we had a phenomenal encounter with a pod of transient killer whales in this area, as well as over 30 sea otters. We also have a high likelihood of running into humpback whales, grey whales, sea lions, seals, porpoises, and dolphins. We will focus on wildlife viewing and maximizing our photographic opportunities.

The trip concludes in Port Hardy on the morning of the 26th after breakfast.

This trip requires a low to moderate level of fitness, though participants must weigh less than 250 pounds (115 kgs) to ensure safe travel in the zodiac. The majority of the photography will be done from the deck of the Ocean Light II and from a zodiac, with or without tripods/monopods (you can expect to be hand-holding for much of the photography). The photography is challenging, but it's also very rewarding! Maximum six participants (plus John).

The Orca Marine Photography Price does include accommodation and dinner/breakfast in Port McNeill on the 18th/19th. It does not include taxis/transfers to and from the Port Hardy airport.

All Canadian Wildlife Photography Tours are non-smoking tours. Participants will be required to sign a waiver.

Please note that a $1000 non-refundable deposit via cheque or email bank transfer is required to reserve your spot on an Orca Marine Photography Tour. The balance owing, including gst, is due 120 days prior to your trip departure and is also non-refundable, however, upon cancellation, this balance owing may be transferred to another workshop or tour if John is able to fill your spot. We highly recommend all workshop and tour participants purchase independent trip cancellation insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances.

Contact John now to reserve a spot on the 2017 Orca Marine Photo Tour

Stay Tuned for More Information on John's 2018 Wildlife Photography Trips and Tours

Contact John if you are interested in more details as they become available for 2018 photo tours and workshops