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Snorkeling with Seals in Nanaimo from Vancouver

Thornhill, Canada
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Free Cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance
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icon6 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
Good for avoiding crowds


On this half-day excursion, you’ll have an incredible once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with seals in their natural element. Fly from Vancouver Harbor to Nanaimo for a quick boat ride to Snake Island, where you’ll jump into the water to snorkel with seals and other sea life on this unique adventure that is open to snorkelers of all ability levels.
  • A 4.5-hour excursion to snorkel with seals at Snake Island
  • Take a seaplane ride from Vancouver Harbour
  • Swim with seals (or near them) in the sea
  • See other animals such as bald eagles and Canadian geese
  • Learn about the biodiversity and history of the area from your guide
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All necessary equipment
Round-trip seaplane flights
Transport in Nanaimo
Food and drink, unless specified
Hotel pickup and drop-off

Departure Point

Vancouver Harbour

Departure Time

This tour departs in the morning and returns in the afternoon. Exact tour time varies by day. Please contact the local tour provider for exact departure time upon booking.

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
It’s just a short, scenic seaplane flight to Nanaimo from Vancouver, then a 15-minute boat ride to a small island where many seals make their home. You’ll be fully outfitted with a wetsuit, mask, gloves, boots, fins and snorkel to dive into the waters teaming with marine life.

If your new blubbery friends are sunbathing on the shore, you can make your way there to say hello up close and personal. Keep an eye out for majestic Canadian gees and bald eagles, too. You’ll have about two hours to spend in nature here, and then it’s a journey back to Nanaimo via boat and then sea plane to Vancouver Harbor.
Stop At:  
Harbour Air Seaplanes
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • Minimum age is 10 years
  • Passengers must be able to swim
  • Please bring a bathing suit and towel
  • OPERATED BY Harbour Air Seaplanes

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What is the maximum group size during Snorkeling with Seals in Nanaimo from Vancouver?
This activity will have a maximum of 9 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Snorkeling with Seals in Nanaimo from Vancouver.


10 Reviews
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Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-9 of 10 reviews
Nice flights in a seaplane from...
Elizabeth T
, Nov. 2017
Nice flights in a seaplane from Vancouver to Nanaimo and back and a great experience to swim around with the seals. Some seals were very curious and some quite guarded, but still let you get close enough for a good photo. Wet suits keep you warm even though it was 12C in the water. A fun day.
Not worth the price. Although the staff...
Melissa B
, Sep. 2017
Not worth the price. Although the staff was cordial, the boat was old, the seals looked scared and uncomfortable with us swimming in the area. The captain advised the swimmers to staff off the rocks and don't approach the seals. The captain dozed off, didn't pay attention to swimmers disobeying.
One word just amazing. Float plane...
, Sep. 2017
One word just amazing. Float plane experience is great and you make your own way to Nanaimo. From there I would recommend getting directions to the dive shop and be aware it won't be open when you first get there. There is a small mall there where you can grab a coffee while waiting. Then off to the dive shop to get kitted up - the girl explained everything and you didn't have to have any prior experience. The others on our trip all had their own transport so we were given a lift by the guide to the marina - about a 10 minute drive away. We then boarded a small boat for about a 25 minute sailing out to Snake island. On the boat there was complimentary water and a washroom. Once at our point we jumped in the water and were left to our own devices for about an hour swimming. We saw loads of seals and they swam in the water with us and were very inquisitive. Afterwards we were given space to change and then dropped back at the sea plane terminal where we then had time for lunch and a look round
Worth the price and then some. Great...
cally h
, Sep. 2017
Worth the price and then some. Great tour. Seeing the seals was magical. Swimming with them even better. And the tour includes round trip airfare on a sea plane. Can't go wrong there! The captain of my snorkel boat was amazing and gave me great pointers on the best way to get pictures of the seals underwater. It worked! Highly recommend this tour!
While this wasn't about riding in a...
Anne J
, Aug. 2017
While this wasn't about riding in a seaplane per se, that part was great because we got to see some gorgeous views. On the way back one passenger asked to sit up front with the pilot. Now I know for next time that is an option! Everyone at the diving was very friendly and helpful. Our wet suits kept us warm, we felt comfortable the whole time we were in the water. The water was somewhat murky apparently it is much clearer in the winter but when we went closer to the rocks where the seals were it was much clearer and we saw various fish, teeny tiny blue jellyfish, and purple starfish sorry don't know the proper names. Two seals swam under my husband. Fun experience and if you love seals, you'll have an even better time.
This was an amazing experience, you...
Philippa S
, Aug. 2017
This was an amazing experience, you really do get close to them. The water is cold but the equipment provided by outfitters kept you lovely and warm The equipment was very good quaility and they were very caring on making sure everything fitted correctly. Steve was great fun and made the day perfect. We did have a problem when we checked our booking as we were given no timings to find they had booked us in on the wrong day. Thankfully the concierge at the Shangla-La was able to sort the tour out and got them to scource a new provider for us with Outrigger Which turned out to be fab. But was very disappointed that first of all the lady was only offering the sea plane without the snorkeling part which was what the tour was all about.
Amazing experience! Everything from...
Dawn B
, Jun. 2017
Amazing experience! Everything from the seaplane to the actual snorkeling with seals! On our trip, there were varied levels of snorkeling experience. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the experience! Nothing was rushed and we had time to enjoy!
This experience is one we will never...
Tracy G
, Sep. 2016
This experience is one we will never forget - it was simply awesome. The crew looked after us very well from checking in, kitting up and getting to and from the seals - it was smooth and no fuss. From the moment we swam into the island cannel, the adult seals watched us intently, swimming around us curious but a little wary to come to close. The seal pups though had no reservations....they swam right next to us mimicking our actions, nibbling our flippers and gloves, looking into our masks, following us the whole way in the was amazing. The wetsuits provided were excellent and we didn't feel or give a second thought about the water temp. We will definitely do this again our next visit to Vancouver.
Amazing tour! Such a unique experience...
Carmen C
, Sep. 2015
Amazing tour! Such a unique experience with cute seals! The staff was very friendly and the boat ride out was equipped with beautiful scenery. The seals would jump into the water as we swam up to the island and then poke their head out and stare at us from 5 feet away!

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Product code: 3020SEALS

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