Last week’s sighting of a grey whale in False Creek and of hundreds of dolphins in Lions Bay have given a boost to local whale watching companies.

Sofia Joensuu, a naturalist with Vancouver Whale Watch in Southwest Richmond, said yesterday there’s been an increase in calls. “It definitely sparks interest ... it makes people realize what we’ve got,” said Joensuu.

She added that the fishing village of Steveston, where Vancouver Whale Watch has operated for 12 years, is a great alternative to travelling all the way to Victoria for a tour.

Richard McFeeters, a tourist from Northern Ireland who was aboard the Vancouver Whale Watch boat yesterday, said he chose to leave from Richmond to save time.

“The shuttle picked me up from downtown ... it’s so convenient,” said McFeeters, who found the tour company on

With whale watching season beginning in mid-April, the odds of spotting a whale improve to roughly 98 per cent in June, July and August.

Most whale watching companies guarantee a sighting, which means clients who don’t see a whale can return for free at any time until they see one.

Latest From ...