Icons of the Pacific Northwest

Killer whales, also known as orcas, are one of the most recognizable and beloved marine species on the planet. While killer whales can be found in all the world's oceans, they hold a special cultural significance in the Pacific Northwest and we are fortunate to share our local waters with more than one type of killer whale.

Bigg's Killer Whales

J, K, and L Pods

Common Killer Whale Behaviors

Every day and experience is completely unique and unpredictable! The beauty of seeing these magnificent orcas in the wild is that they are doing what they want to do when they want to do it. No two encounters are ever the same. Below are just a few of the many behaviors that orcas might exhibit throughout their day.

How do killer whales find food?

Orcas utilize echolocation, the animal version of sonar. High-frequency, extremely fast clicks are projected from the whale's forehead, or melon, and sent out into their environment. The sound vibrations that bounce back from objects are returned to the lower jaw which is then directed to the inner ear. Depending on the speed and intensity with which these signals return, the whales are able to perceive distance, speed, shape, texture, and composition of objects in their environment. This is important when hunting at night or in deep water where light from the surface does not penetrate.

How do we identify whales?


Learn more about the area's wildlife and scenery

The waters surrounding our three departure locations offer some of the most diverse whale and wildlife viewing on the west coast. Onboard each of our tours, an experienced naturalist helps identify all of the whales, wildlife, and rich history that this area holds.

Online Reservations

Make a reservation online with our secure system and receive an immediate email confirmation.

Online Reservations

Whale Report

See what we've seen on the water. There's a detailed account from every tour since 2003!

Whale Report