Travel With A Challenge
"Just a three-minute stroll along the community wharf of the charming oceanside town of Sidney is an intimate experience of the marine environment aboard the most comfortable, environmentally-connected sightseeing vessel I have ever experienced, part of the custom-designed fleet of EcoCruising Boat Tours. The company is co-owned by retired marine biologist and informative raconteur, Brian Smiley. These tours are extremely popular with seniors and their grandchildren, accessible and barrier-free aboard a comfortable, stable 12-passenger vessel with a protective glass dome and soft sofas. Regardless of rain, breeziness or brilliant sunshine, Brian's Sidney Eco-Cruise of 1.5 to two hours is a memorable experience through some of the close-by offshore islands that make up the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, passages and wildlife hotspots that include seal pups and nesting bald eagles as well as tales of aboriginal and settler history.
This experience is easy and relaxing for all ages, and there will be never a dull moment while wildlife spotting and creating close-up photo ops through the ceiling to floor windows and open panels. As Brian describes the experience, 'it's like kayaking from a couch!' "
Source: Alison Gardner, Publisher/Editor of Travel With A Challenge web magazine,
April 2010 issue
Travel Junky Canada
“EcoCruising - Best Alternative to Whale Watching! We were originally thinking about going whale watching but have been before. We were looking for a boat tour that focused on other marine life and was cheaper then the $95 whale watching. Wow, did Eco Cruising Tours deliver!!
The cruise was more informative then any I have been on anywhere. Our guide was a retired marine biologist and showed the most amazing things that we would have not ever noticed. We saw eagles, baby seals, giant jellyfish, huge starfish, kelp forests, many marine birds, otters, raccoons, and beautiful islands and shorelines. This was all just in one and a half hours!!
On this tour you start seeing life and learning about it as soon as you leave the dock. On other whale watching tours we have spent up to 2 out of the 3 hours just traveling at high speeds to get to the whales. This tour was shorter but felt like we saw more. The boat is a very comfortable 12 passenger covered pontoon boat. It allowed us to stay out of the wind and possible rain in comfort. The boat was able to get very close to shore due to its shallow draft and even made a beach landing at a native shell midden. One reason we loved this tour was that we were able to get the whole family out aging 3-80 years old. The boat was easy to get on for seniors and safe for kids to run around.
All this for a fraction of what it would have cost to go whale watching. Our family is still talking about what we learned and saw (and touched and tasted) on this cruise. It was fun but also extremely educational. The waters and islands off of Sidney are part of Canada's newest national marine park the Gulf Island National Park. This cruise was the highlight of this trip for our family and one we will go out again if we are in the Victoria area again. Thank you Eco Cruising for showing us the natural wonders of the west coast and the emerald seas."
Source: A Trip Advisor member with Travel Junky Canada
"Rave reviews for today’s EcoCruise!! Many thanks for your usual top-notch services."
Mike King, Diamond Tours, Victoria BC
"Each year the cruise gets better and better, and I was so impressed with your knowledge and your kindness.Thank you again for a wonderful outing."
Marilyn Carroll, The Glenshiel Housing Society
"My family was most impressed with your knowledge and comfort as a guide. The EcoTour boats were up to the task of taking us on the tour in comfort while affording excellent views of what nature had to present. You were able to identify, discuss and adapt to what we saw knowledgeably and seamlessly. Excellent! "
Allan Sontra, Virgina, USA
"You took care of us in a most admirable way by showing us the wonders of the creation in, under and above the water. With your highly professional knowledge and love of nature, you showed us many things we would otherwise never have seen or learned. We thank you very, very much for this extra nice EcoCruise. We hope soon to be your guests again! "
Dietrich and Brigitte Puetter, Sidney BC
"We all had a great time on the EcoCruise. Our guide was excellent, and he kept us all entertained. He is very knowledgeable and we all found him very interesting."
Beth Truscott, Victoria, BC
"Thank you for the wonderful EcoCruise. All of the ladies had a fantastic time and could not stop taking about all of the things we learned. We will certainly pass the word around about your cruises."
Cheryl Hamilton, Red Hats, Vancouver BC
"A big 'thank you' for hosting our daughter’s birthday EcoCruise last weekend. It definitely was a unique and exciting adventure for the girls. Your interesting and humorous comments on local history and marine life were fascinating and much appreciated. Thanks again for an unforgettable experience! "
Bonnie and Ian Brown, Sidney BC
"Thank you from all the seniors and staff who went on your EcoCruise. Everyone had an exceptional time. You're a hit with all – entertaining and informative. Perfectly paced, your tour is nothing but laudable."
Linda Darby, The Glenshiel Housing Society, Victoria, BC
"Take the water shuttle to the Butchart Gardens -- a great, peaceful and scenic way to get there!! We also took the Celebration Cruise, a 2 hour ecocruise with cheese and wine. We saw harbour seals and eagles. The captain took us to a remote tranquil area where there was not another single soul. We couldn't have asked for more. Definitely the best, most wonderful and relaxing trip. And worth every penny!!"
A Trip Advisor Member, Seattle, WA