You’ll meet a lot of friendly characters on any visit to New Brunswick. This includes the locals who wave you good morning on the road, the tour guides who share their pride in the beautiful province, and it will also include the 12 species of whales that live off the coast in the Gulf of the St. Lawrence.
These marine mammals are gentle giants, more than willing to share the waters with boats and the eager visitors who want to say hello. It’s hard to describe the feeling of seeing a 40-foot whale surface next to you and blow a misty spout of water over your head. Seeing that split tail rise out of the bay, hearing it slap against the water, there’s just nothing else in the world quite like it.
There are a number of ways to experience whale-watching, all of which will take you on an unforgettable first date with these massive animals.
You can, for example, search for whales in a speedy, 25-foot Zodiac Hurricane. The Whales by Zodiac™ tour takes you into the whale feeding grounds, to bring you face-to-face with the wild. The real excitement hits when a 65-foot finback whale sends a 30-foot-high spout of salty water into the air and the wind tosses it right back into the boat. That’s what the old salts call a 'Fundy facial!'
Maybe you’d rather travel back in time, and experience the same wonder at seeing whales that some of the first European explorers did. Hop on a replica tallship from the 19th century, the Jolly Breeze. Set your sails and see if you can’t spot a marine wonder from the deck.
Or you can kayak your way along the rugged coastline of the Bay of Fundy with Bruce Smith, a 25-year veteran of outdoor guiding and education. On his Seascape Kayak Tour, he’ll help you understand the unique features of this UNESCO Biosphere. Watch fin, minke, and humpback whales as they feed, and marvel at the size of the animals in comparison to your kayak. You can’t get much closer to whales than this.
No matter how you choose to experience New Brunswick’s whales, make sure you bring your camera for that Facebook-perfect shot. But if you forget, don’t worry. These are memories you’re not likely to forget.
To start planning your whale watching excursion, visit the Tourism New Brunswick website