Yes, we did that excursion and we saw tons of Orca's, more so that the whales up in Juneau. We also left around 5PM, and it was extremely cold, but they provided warm weather parkas, and everyone used them, great time...
The orcas in the Vancouver/Victoria area are the best known and most studied in the world. They are called "resident" pods and are almost always present there. The scientists, and many of the tour operators, can actually identify them by letter and number just from seeing their back fins. If you want to see orcas that is definitely the best place to do it.
thank you, that sounds exciting. The tour does not leave till 7:00 p.m. as the ship get's in late, but at least it stay's light longer. I just confirmed my tour reservation.
One of the most interesting things researchers have learned about the Orcas near Vancouver:
The "resident" pods eat almost entirely fish. The seals in the are are not afraid of them at all.
But there are pods called "transient" pods that pass through the area, and they eat seals! So the seals are deathly afraid of them.
Each kind of pod has its own "language" of various sorts of clicks, calls, and noises.
The fascinating thing is that the seals have learned to recognize the orca languages. If they hear the resident pods they keep swimming. But if they hear the transient pods calling, they jump out of the water immediately!