Yeah…THE best! OK , so maybe I haven’t done a ton of whale watching in different locations but I’m still willing to say that Nova Scotia, Canada has the best whale watching in the world! And not just because I’m from there.
Why? Short answer: You get close to the whales!
For the long answer, let me rewind 22 years to my very first whale watching trip. In the Bay of Fundy off the coast of Brier Island, Nova Scotia. There was a frenzy of humpback whale activity and 12 year old me couldn’t believe the size of the whale that shot directly out of the water in a full breach spectacle mere feet from our tiny fishing boat. Watching these gentle giants playfully swimming around and under the boat was something I have never forgotten. Fast forward back to 2014 when I decided to go whale watching again. This time off the coast of San Diego. Although, I enjoyed my time and the crew were friendly, due to the amount of whale watching companies off the west coast of North America, there have been restrictions put in place in the Pacific Ocean that limit how close a boat can actually get to a whale. I don’t know the exact distance…but you need binoculars and a big zoom lens on your camera to see the whales. Not wanting the San Diego experience to be the last whale watching experience in my mind, I decided to go back to where it started for me: Brier Island, Nova Scotia and I took my nieces along for the ride. We booked a cruising with Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises. The same company I sailed with 22 years prior. Although, the boat is different, the captain is the same and the friendly east coast hospitality remains unbeatable.
And the Whales…oh, that whales! They put on just as fantastic of a display as I remember from 22 years ago. Playfully checking out the boat, many tail slaps and of course a full breach (that I failed to catch with my camera).
Since there are only a handful of whale watching vessels in the area, they are self governed on how close they can and will get to a whale. If the whale seems nervous and moves in a different direction, they will not follow it. But, if the whale is curious and comes over to the boat, they hold their position for the best viewing imaginable.
We enjoyed a beautiful sunset cruise in the Bay of Fundy. If you do this, make sure you dress warm and bring a blanket, the cruise home will be a little chilly!
If you’re visiting Nova Scotia in the summer months, I highly recommend that you go do this. You won’t be disappointed. The particular company that I went with dedicates a portion of its fees to fund it’s research of the animals and seabirds that inhabit the Bay of Fundy.
Want to know more about Brier Island Whale and Seabird Cruises? CLICK HERE
Where is your favorite whale watching location?
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I’m so jealous you went on a whale watching cruise there! We were driving around Cape Breton Island and saw some whales from the shore but couldn’t afford a tour at the time. We were also lucky enough to see orcas come right up to the shore in Sointula, north of Vancouver Island, and rub their stomachs on the rocks just metres from where we stood. Great experience!
Your photos are awesome. We’ll have to go back to Nova Scotia to check it out now. Thanks for sharing!
The first time that I was ever whale watching was also in the Bay of Fundy from St. Andrews-by-the-Sea and it was amazing – although it probably spoiled me for whale watching anywhere else! Your photos are incredible!!
Such precious photos. I guess my favorite location to watch whales is from a cliff in Big Sur. My mind can be changed though!
It looks amazing! I love the photo of the tail fin off the back of the boat. We’ve had great luck whale watching out of Boston or Provincetown but I do want to make it up to Nova Scotia some day so I’ll need to add whale watching to the “to do” list.
What beautiful creatures they are, I love how many shots you were able to get of them. This seems like such a fun experience, I can’t wait to follow in your footsteps and check these Nova Scotian (is that how you say it?) whales out!