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.
The animals you might see from the ferry terminals depend on the route you are on and the time of year.
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.
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.
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.
Visit bcferrries.com for maps and directions to locations (terminals).