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Starting mid-July our most popular basecamp, our glamping site on Swanson Island in the heart of Blackfish Sound northeast of Vancouver Island will host mixed and private groups . Tour includes:
- Starts and ends in Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island
- 4-day tours, all-inclusive
- Around-the-clock wildlife and whale watching from your kayak and camp
- Customized kayaking excursions based on the group desires
- Locally-inspired, fresh and delicious camp food
- Warm-water showers and a wood-fired hot tub overlooking the ocean
- Spacious walk-in tents w/ cozy beds, a hand-wash station, and toilet at each tent
- Family-friendly with highly-trained guides and a hygiene camp manager

'At times, the silence will only break by the noisy breathing of the whales.'
Glamping and expedition style kayaking

Enjoy one of our eco-friendly ‘glamping’ tours- The Whales and Wilderness Glamping in the heart of Blackfish Sound also known as the “whale superhighway" or The Johnstone Strait Ultimate- an exclusive wilderness paradise. Both tours are based from beautifully established camps overlooking the ocean, surrounded by old growth forest and wild beaches. Wildlife watching can be enjoyed during daily kayak excursions and from camp. Highlights include a hot shower, wood-fired hot tub overlooking the sea, large tents on platforms, thick Therm-a-rest mattresses or real beds, cozy bedding, full size pillows, hot water bottles, gourmet camp food prepared by your onsite chef and your guides, a bright covered dining area and so much more help to make this a true ‘bucket list’ tour. 4 days full of paddling, relaxing and exploring. Your knowledgable guides will share their passion for the area and its inhabitants allowing you to truly connect. An included motorized whale watching tour or a visit at an orca research station is a unique experience allowing you new insight to the world of the whales.

Our adventures are suitable for everyone and are designed to cater to all levels of experience and fitness. For those new to kayaking and or camping we help to introduce you to the sport in a fun and safe manner. All that we ask is that you welcome adventure with an open mind and are able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected.

Our groups are small, in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Our guides who have extensive training and experience are experts at helping you to experience the natural and cultural history of the area, all the while ensuring your fun and safety. We provide everything you need for the adventure including high-quality kayaks, paddling and camping equipment. Join us for a once in a lifetime kayaking adventure.
"I've always wanted to visit Johnstone Strait. Like many people who go, it has been a lifelong dream of mine to see Orca, and this part of the world is one of the best for it. So, as a solo traveller and not really knowing what to expect, I jumped on a plane from London (UK) to experience all that this wilderness had to offer. I'm very used to wildlife holidays - I'm originally from South Africa - so I know to arrive with low expectations as both wildlife and weather are unpredictable. Go on this trip with the right mindset and you will not be disappointed - the location by itself is breathtaking and I consider myself extremely fortunate to visit a place of such natural beauty! Anything else you see or experience on top of this is a plus. On our trip we were lucky to have three glorious days of weather and calm seas with great wildlife sightings including: Orca, Bears, Minke Whale, Sea Lions, Dall's Porpoise, Eagles, super pods of Harbour Dolphin on our water taxi in! It was magical, truly magical. Visiting the Cetus Research & Conservation Society at Eagle Eye was a highlight of the trip for me. We had a beautiful 50 minute hike through the forest and learnt about all that this fantastic organisation does to preserve the environment for all marine mammals in the strait and the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve. While up at the viewing point we were bowled over to witness a wonderful display of Orca behaviour while hunting -something that will stay with me for many years to come! The food on the trip was plentiful, varied and tasty! As far as camping goes the ablutions were luxurious - you have access to a hot shower which is a massive plus. Our guides were knowledgable and very generous, ever-smiling hosts! Nothing was too much trouble for them. I highly recommend the Johnstone Strait Ultimate with Spirit of the West - it was a pleasure dealing with them from start to finish and I'll be doing it all over again next year!"
Gina from London, UK
“Back for a second trip with Spirit of the West. In 2013 my wife and I went on the Desolation Sound expedition with Spirit of the West. We had such an awesome time that we decided to sign up this year for their Johnstone Straight Expedition. We were a bit worried that in our memories we had inflated what a good time we had in 2013, and that if it didn’t go as well this time, it would spoil our memory of the previous trip. We need not have worried. We had another great trip. Spirit of the West does a great job. They use quality equipment, provide delicious food that are a wonder in the wilderness, are very well organized, and are responsive to special needs and concerns. This outfit does not cut corners. Whereas some companies might provide fake pancake syrup, SOW provides real maple syrup. It is details like this that make them exceptional, and it is the reason they are getting such excellent reviews. Most important of all they have great guides. We lucked out and got one of the same great guides we had in 2013. Ryan is a superb. He loves his work and it shows in everything he does. This time we did not luck out with the weather. It rained most days. But in the end it did not matter. Despite rain and soggy tents Ryan kept our spirits up. His enthusiasm is truly infectious. He has an extensive knowledge of the natural world which he never tired of sharing with us. I must have asked him a million questions, most of which he knew the answer to. How does he remember so many details? Kayaking next to Humpback Whales was a spectacular experience that I will never forget. We also saw Porpoises, dolphins, sea lions, seals, a sea otter, tons of birds and lots else…”
David from Oregon, USA
"A trip that made dreams come true! I was so impressed by the level of professionalism, skill and warmth our guides (Graham and Marnie) had towards all our group members, every minute of every day. The level of organization behind the scenes left us with a seemless experience of relaxed fun and adventure. The equipment was of a great standard and the food was amazing - A standard not found in most full kitchens let alone expected in the Canadian wilderness. I could not fault the trip we had such pleasure to be a part of and I would highly recommend Spirit of the West to anyone considering kayaking in the BC area. Prior to our trip we had timely and helpful responses to many questions I had about what to expect and how to prepare and every step of the trip was paced perfectly for each individual participating - quite a feat with such a diverse group. The beauty and magic of the trip will stay with us for ever. Thanks so much Graham and Marnie and also to the whole Spirit team!"
Donna & Emily Melbourne, Australia