Badge of Awesome Communities invites you to share your favourite things to see and do in cool destinations around the world. We caught up with the folks from Eagle Wing Tours — one of our featured attractions from Victoria, B.C. — to learn about what they have to offer.
What makes Eagle Wing Tours awesome?
WE TAKE YOU TO ANOTHER WORLD. We call it our big blue office. It’s the Salish Sea—the straits, sounds, inlets, estuaries and islands that stretch from the Strait of Georgia to Puget Sound to Juan de Fuca Strait. It nourishes an astounding diversity of marine life. From the dense swarms of plankton at the base of the marine food chain to the apex predator of the ocean—the killer whale—this is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world.
WE INTRODUCE YOU TO THE LOCALS. The finned, furry and feathered ones, that is. What do we see? Every tour is different, and that’s the fun of it. Every time we leave the harbour, it’s like shuffling a deck of cards to see what hand nature deals us. Killer whales, seals and porpoise are seen year-round. Sea lions are here most of the year. Humpback, minke and (occasionally) grey whales are here to feed through the summer. The feathered locals include bald eagles, cormorants, grebes, murres, auklets, puffins, loons and a wide assortment of gulls, ducks and shorebirds.
YOU GET A THRILL OF A RIDE. Getting there really is half the fun. You have two styles of Transport Canada-approved boats to choose from: open and semi-covered. Each one offers something a little different. Are you looking for the exhilaration of wind in your face? Check out our high-speed open scarabs. New hairdo guaranteed. If you prefer more shelter from the elements, our semi-covered catamarans provide the best of both worlds with a heated indoor cabin and plenty of viewing space on the outer decks.
WE TREAD LIGHTLY. Seeing whales and other marine wildlife in their natural environment is exciting. But we don’t want to get too close, approach too fast or make too much noise. That could disrupt natural behaviours, cause unnecessary stress or even risk injury to the animals. As a member of the Pacific Whale Watch Association, we promote and follow a detailed set of regulations and guidelines for safe and responsible wildlife viewing.
EDUCATION IS PART OF THE FUN. At Eagle Wing, we’re all very passionate about the Salish Sea and its wildlife. And we share that passion with you. As we observe the animals, we talk about their behaviours and life histories. We show you how to identify individual killer whales and tell you their background and family stories. We shamelessly tug on your emotions. You learn how everything is interconnected, and how fragile this ecosystem is. Overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, increased marine traffic and climate change are taking their toll. We know that greater awareness leads to solutions. Inspiring and empowering you to protect the ocean—no matter where you live—is at the heart of our conservation mission.
WE GO THE EXTRA MILE. Sometimes literally. Not only do we offer more comprehensive tours and an incredibly experienced and dedicated crew, our company is well-known for extending tours as needed—depending on weather, and location and behaviour of whales. Just to ensure you get an amazing experience. Nature is flexible, and so are we!
WE THINK AND ACT GREEN. We practice what we preach. From fuel-efficient, low underwater-noise engines to paper conservation and composting, we strive to minimize our impact on the environment. As Canada’s first and only 100% carbon-neutral whale watching company we measure our carbon footprint, reducing what we can and offsetting what we can’t. Our many efforts are noticed. We’ve been rated Gold by Green Tourism Canada since 2013 and we’ve won multiple national and regional sustainable business awards.
WE DIRECTLY SUPPORT RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION. We were the first whale watching company in Canada to join 1% for the Planet, where we donate 1% of our total sales to local marine conservation organizations. And we were the first whale watching company in Victoria to add a sustainability fee per passenger to directly support research. The funds go to the Center for Whale Research, the Pacific Salmon Foundation and other conservation non-profits.
WE LOVE WHAT WE DO. And it shows. Read for yourself on Trip Advisor, where we’ve been Victoria’s #1-ranked whale watching company since 2007. From the moment you call us for a reservation to the end of your tour and beyond, your safety, comfort and enjoyment is our top priority. It’s a win-win. You get lifetime memories and a new way of looking at the ocean, and we get our guests to fall in love with this very special place and its wildlife, one person at a time. That sounds pretty awesome to us!