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Strait of Juan de Fuca
Strait of Juan de Fuca

Strait of Juan de Fuca

Victoria, Canada

The basics

Boats ply across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the neighboring Strait of Georgia in search of whales. Orcas, minke whales, and humpbacks are the main attractions, though other creatures including sea lions, elephant seals, and bald eagles are often spotted here too. Most whale-watching tours depart from Victoria and include a naturalist guide who can share insights on marine environments and the wider Salish Sea, which incorporates the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia, and the Puget Sound. 

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Victoria Whale Watch Tour
Victoria Whale Watch Tour
star-4.5
$102.49 per adult
Traveler Favorite
💯 Recommend this tour
Best whale watching tour we have been on. The boat was perfect size, not too small or too big. Was able to get close to the whales and follow along them easily. Great crew, super informative. Great views of Olympia and the islands which is a bonus Be sure to bring extra layers and jacket. Even during a heat wave we were frozen on the water. Worth it.
Monica_M, Jul 2022

Things to know before you go

  • The Strait of Juan de Fuca is a must-see for whale watchers, with many different species present in the waters here. 
  • With the exposure to westerly winds, the waters in the strait can be rough—RIBs (rigid inflatable boats) are a popular option for their stability, speed, and ability to absorb bumps, making the ride a little smoother.
  • It can be colder and windier out in the waters of the strait; some tours offer hats and gloves for participants’ use; if they aren’t provided, be sure to bring your own. 
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How to get there

Ferries cross the Strait of San Juan de Fuca while traveling between Port Angeles, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia. The best way to experience the strait, however, is on a boat tour. Boat tours typically depart from Downtown Victoria on Vancouver Island. 

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Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Victoria

How to Spend 2 Days in Victoria

How to Spend 1 Day in Victoria

How to Spend 1 Day in Victoria


When to get there

The best time for whale-watching is between May and October. This is also when temperatures are warmest. 

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Juan de Fuca Marine Trail

If you don’t want to head out on the water, stay on dry land and follow the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Hugging the southwest coast of Vancouver Island, this 29-mile (47-kilometer) rain forest route runs parallel to the strait’s shoreline. Whales are sometimes spotted from the track but even if you don’t see them, the views of the coastline and the distant peaks of the Olympic Mountains make it worth the trek. 

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Strait of Juan de Fuca?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Victoria?
A:
As well as visiting the Strait of Juan de Fuca, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: