What is the best time to watch whales?

May 21, 2024
fleuve bergeronnes soleil

This is a question that comes up a lot in the industry and is virtually impossible to answer. All times are equally good!

As the marine mammals that come to visit us are here to feed and can stay in the area for weeks or even months, we can see them both in the morning and in the evening.

What could influence the quality of observations does not depend on the time of day, but rather on the weather conditions.

The wind

Wind is probably one of the worst enemies of whale watching cruises. Obviously, when the wind picks up on the river, the conditions on the water are really difficult. Waves can considerably limit our movements and compromise the safety of the cruise. If conditions look too difficult, we always reserve the right to cancel a departure.

Even though we are in the middle of high season, and there are dozens and dozens of whales offshore, the wind and waves could prevent us from getting to the observation sites.

Fog

Tides

Tides can sometimes affect whale behavior. In the St. Lawrence River estuary, tides can differ up to 5 meters in a few hours. When the tides are rising, there can be an influx of nutrients from the depths and encourage whales to feed closer to the surface. Their behavior can therefore be much more active, and sometimes even group together in large groups of several individuals.

To check the tides, and know if your cruise is on a rising or falling tide, we recommend that you consult the Government of Canada tide forecasts.

Tide forecasts - Government of Canada

Escoumins tide diagram

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