In celebration of World Oceans Day on June 8, here are some places to go and explore and learn about Climate Change and how you can help slow it.
Victoria, British Columbia
World Oceans Day was originally proposed in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development and the Ocean Institute of Canada at the Earth Summit in Brazil. Continuing to foster Canada’s commitment to environmental conservation, Victoria, the waterfront capital of British Columbia, is a sustainable leader, as well as a natural beauty, making eco-friendly whale watching a popular outdoor activity in the destination. Prince of Whales, which celebrates 30 years in 2023, offers guests climate-positive whale tours. In 2022, Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours won numerous sustainability awards from both the National Marine Educators Association and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). The brand was also the first in the industry to join “1% for the Planet” to adopt carbon neutrality and to implement a per-guest wildlife fee to support research and conservation efforts. Additionally, Orca Spirit provides carbon-neutral tours and has received multiple awards for its ocean-friendly practices. It is also the only whale-watching company in Victoria to use ultra-quiet, ultra-clean Yamaha four-stroke engines that create minimal disturbance to marine wildlife. Travelers can make their own adventure when venturing out via kayak or SUP to explore the harbor at their leisure. Book a harbor tour through Victoria Harbour Ferry and get an up-close historical look at the Gorge Waterway. The opportunities truly are endless!
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara, one of California’s most desired coastal destinations, is in the running to become a whale heritage site to help further protect the various whale and dolphin species that use the Santa Barbara Channel as a feeding ground. To appreciate these majestic creatures safely, consider taking a tour with CONDOR Express, a responsible whale-watching company that has been in business since the 1970s when the end of the whaling era in the region saw whales coming back to the channel. For alternate ways to explore the ocean, embark along Santa Barbara’s more than 100 miles of coastline to kick back at one of the many beaches, try your hand at surfing or stand-up paddleboarding, book a sailing excursion, or embark on a guided or self-guided kayaking experience.
SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County, California)
From the 80 miles of pristine beaches to the 27 natural bodies of inland water, SLO CAL has ample opportunity to get out on the water for leisurely activities and adventures alike. Explore any of the natural habitats that surround the region, such as launching a kayak in Morro Bay to paddle through the Morro Bay Estuary or hopping on a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) in Pismo Beach to wander through the Dinosaur Caves. To get the most out of the county’s water sources, try fishing at one of the many protected open spaces and check “learn to surf” off the bucket list at the site of the World Surf League’s Pismo Beach Open and SLO CAL Open in Morro Bay.
City Cruises San Diego
Along the California Coast, the ultra-popular maritime activity of whale watching kicks off for the summer season in late June, providing a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see the seasonal migration of blue whales and other wildlife, including Minke Whales, Fin Whales, dolphins, sea lions and marine birds. San Diego City Cruises‘ seasonal Whale & Dolphin Watching Adventure experience runs from June through September following the migratory patterns of blue whales from Central America to California. Changes in ocean temperature and the abundance of krill, a prime food source, over the past few years have attracted far more blue whales to San Diego’s coast than in the past. Since blue whales tend to be found farther out to sea than their gray-whale cousins, it’s recommended to venture on a boat trip vs. viewing from the shore in order to catch a glimpse of these incredible leviathans. Alternatively City Cruises Whale Watching cruises are also offered from Mid-December to April when gray whales make a 10,000-mile round-trip journey from Alaska to the lagoons of Baja California, where the females give birth to their calves. During this time of year, with 70 miles of coastline directly in the migration path, San Diego is an ideal destination to see this impressive parade of gentle giants. In partnership with the San Diego Natural History Museum, guests onboard can learn about wildlife with narration from expert captains and volunteer naturalists. With whale sightings guaranteed, passengers get a free pass for another cruise if a whale isn’t sighted. In addition to whale-watching cruises, City Cruises offers premier dining excursions, happy hours, and private charters.