Prince of Whales buys Telegraph Cove kayaking company

Prince of Whales has purchased the assets of Telegraph Cove-based North Island Kayak, a kayak tour and rental company.

“We have bought all the assets and will be keeping them in the north Island,” said Alan McGillivray, founder of Prince of Whales. The assets include a fleet of 130 kayaks and McGillivray said they intend to operate a similar tour operation that will complement the whale-watching operation they run in the small community 200 kilometres north of Campbell River.

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Prince of Whales started operating at Telegraph Cove Resort this year, replacing Stubbs Island Whale Watching that was forced to shut its doors and sell assets after a lease dispute with the resort.

McGillivray said the kayak tour business is a good complement to whale watching. “The customer base is pretty similar. They are tourists [who are] into the north Island and the wildlife,” he said. “And Telegraph Cove is ground zero for marine wildlife.”

The previous owners of North Island Kayak, Steve and Louise Emery, have purchased a kayak manufacturing business in Chemainus.

Prince of Whales has also been busy at its Vancouver offices, moving from the Westin Bayshore, where it has been since 2010, to Granville Island. That office, which has 25 employees, features a call centre, check-in location and the company’s third $3.5-million, 80-foot catamaran. The vessel that can carry 95 people is being built in North Vancouver and will be ready in the spring. The Salish Sea Freedom will be a sister ship to the Victoria-based Salish Sea Eclipse and Vancouver-based Salish Sea Dream.

McGillivray said the new vessel will be used to ferry whale watchers to Victoria during the day, where they will be toured through Butchart Gardens, before returning to Vancouver.

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