Is October a decent time to see orca pods in Vancouver, B.C.? I've gone whale watching in early spring in Seattle, Washington; mid-summer in Monterrey, California; and lower Alaska in late summer, over the past few years, and I've yet to see any orcas. (I've seen plenty of humpback, grey, and minke whales)! So I've booked a trip to go whale-watching in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) this Saturday (October), and was hoping maybe the Fall season would be more fruitful?

I know you can never predict the sightings of a wild creature, but I was wondering what the migratory patterns of orca pods are in October in the Pacific Northwest, and what the possibilities are that they may be passing through Vancouver? Any personal experiences of seeing orcas in Vancouver in the Fall?

2 Answers 2


Is October a decent time to whalewatch for orca pods in Vancouver, B.C.?

Wild Whales Vancouver claims Fall may be the best time:

Posted on September 12, 2016 by admin

The tree lines are sprinkled with burnt orange and red leaves, the air is a tad crisper, and there’s sadness on the kiddie’s faces as they lug their book bags to and fro. Summer holidays are over here in Vancouver, BUT WHALE SEASON IS NOT! With many warm days left in our forecast we are looking forward to our fall whale watching season – which from some staff’s point of view is the best, most plentiful season for whale watching 😉

All four of our vessels are running in full swing and we’ve been sighting whales on over 90% of our tours this season. Almost daily we’ve been seeing orca, with the majority being our ‘transient/Biggs’ ecotype. These are the marine-mammal-eating orcas and boy, have they definitely lived up to their name this season. With an exceedingly healthy population of Pacific harbor seals glittering our coastline our guests have been witness to orca dinner parties semi-regularly. It’s as wild as it sounds.

This is a guide from Vancouver Whale Watch:


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    WOW!!! Thank you so much!!! I hope this isn't an advertising publicity lure... haha. But I'm pleased with the information! I'm excited! I guess I'll report back! Thanks, again! Commented Oct 4, 2016 at 23:00

Pnuts provided an excellent answer above ^^^. I'm just providing a delayed update on what my personal experience was (for others who might be wondering about their chances to see orcas in October in Vancouver). Originally, this was just going to be a comment, but I wanted to add some photos.

YES, I finally saw not one, but saw 3 orcas!!!! One mother and 2 calves. And we heard them before we saw them! They apparently were not from a local pod, but were transitory ones migrating south for the winter, and were of the mammal eating variety. It was an incredible experience! I felt like I was walking on air for quite sometime. (Oh, and there was plenty of other wildlife too -- bald eagles, seals, sea lions, etc). Just bundle up! It was pouring rain when I was out there, but so worth it!

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