Various Terminal Locations
See website for addresses
Various ferry routes
See website for schedules
Restrooms, Wheelchair Accessible
BC Ferries is one of the largest ferry operators in the world, moving more than 60,000 customers throughout coastal BC every day. With 25 routes, BC Ferries provides an essential link between the mainland of British Columbia, and the various islands and remote areas without road access. BC Ferries also serve as advocates for the coastal environment and communities where they operate.
BC Ferries have been regularly reporting sightings to the BC Cetacean Sightings Network (lead of The Whale Trail in B.C.) since 1975 and has been recognized as a top reporter by BC Cetacean Sightings Network. BC Ferries has also been working with the Port of Vancouver Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) program since 2014. BC Ferries partnered with the Port of Vancouver and Ocean Wise to develop a “Whales in our Waters” tutorial for mariners in 2019 and contributed to the “Mariners Guide to Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises of Western Canada” with Ocean Wise and Port of Vancouver in 2016. Joining The Whale Trail B.C. is another way BC Ferries helps build awareness of local whale species to contribute to their conservation for generations to come. With the funding support from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, BC Ferries has installed Whale Trail signs at several of terminals.
WHERE THE WHALES ARE
The animals you might see from the ferry terminals depend on the route you are on and the time of year.
Bear Cove – BC Ferries’ Port Hardy terminal is located on the north-east end of Vancouver Island, providing service to Bella Coola, Prince Rupert, and Bella Bella. Ferries from Bear Cove travel through both coastal and deeper waters, providing opportunities to see a wide variety of cetaceans. Humpback whales, killer whales, and harbour porpoises are common in the area and are often seen by BC Ferries passengers. As you travel further north, keep an eye out for less common species like northern right whale dolphins or even sperm whales.
Bella Coola – Bella Coola is a gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest, the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest. The region is home to an abundance of wildlife including the Spirit Bear; a unique and rare subspecies of white-coated black bear that holds a sacred place in the oral traditions and culture of the Indigenous Peoples on the central coast.
Blubber Bay – Once a whaling station in the 1800s, Blubber Bay is now the site of a BC Ferries terminal which serves the route travelling from Texada Island to Powell River. Northern resident and transient killer whales, humpback whales, and smaller species such as Pacific white-sided dolphins, harbour porpoise, and Dall’s porpoise are often seen by passengers.
Campbell River – the BC Ferries’ Campbell River terminal is located on the eastern side of Vancouver Island and is adjacent to the Discovery Passage. An area rich in wildlife, the waters surrounding Campbell River are home to multiple species of cetacean including killer whales, humpback whales, Dall’s porpoise, harbour porpoise, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and pinnipeds.
Duke Point – This terminal is located on Vancouver Island on the southeastern part of the city of Nanaimo. The terminal provides service to Tsawwassen in Metro Vancouver. Nanaimo is known for its rich culture, beautiful beaches and harbour to explore, and Nanaimo bars; a tasty chocolate, custard-layered treat.
Langdale – BC Ferries’ Langdale terminal is located on the southern Sunshine Coast adjacent to the Salish Sea. The Sunshine Coast region on the eastern shore of the Strait of Georgia is known for its mountain views, forest trails, and beautiful beaches. Killer whales, humpback whales, harbour porpoise, and harbour seals are all commonly seen.
Little River – Little River is a tributary of Little River Bay, with the BC Ferries terminal to the east of the river’s mouth. Killer whales, humpback whales, harbour porpoise, and harbour seals are often seen by passengers.
Prince Rupert – The busy waters outside of Canada’s fasting growing port are home to many species of cetaceans. Humpback whales use the food-rich area to bulk up during summer months before migrating south to Hawaii and Mexico to breed. Killer whales are frequently seen transiting the area, and many more rare species can be seen by BC Ferries passengers when traveling through deeper waters.
Skidegate – BC Ferries’ Skidegate terminal is located in Haida Gwaii on the south coast of Graham Island. The waters surrounding Skidegate terminal are home to multiple species of cetaceans with humpback whales, and killer whales regularly transiting the area.
Tsawwassen – BC Ferries’ Tsawwassen terminal is located at the southwestern end of a causeway that extends into the Strait of Georgia in the Salish Sea. You might be able to spot southern resident killer whales, humpback whales, and other smaller cetaceans.
WHICH ANIMALS YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE
MAP AND DIRECTIONS
Visit bcferrries.com for maps and directions to locations (terminals).