Campbell River’s oldest whale-watching businesses — Discovery Marine Safaris and Campbell River Whale Watching — have merged.
Heike and Wayne Garton, owners of Discovery Marine Safaris for 16 years, hand over the helm to Stephen Gabrysh and Tyler Bruce, owners of Campbell River Whale Watching. The combined ventures have provided wildlife viewing on the North Island for three decades.
The owners said they had a long-standing relationship and collaborated on “mutual respect”, sharing similar ethical and environmental values and working together to achieve a code of conduct that goes beyond current government maritime regulations.
Gabrysh said a number of Discovery Marine Safaris team members will remain under new ownership. “Their experience and knowledge of the industry will help ensure a smooth transition,” he said.
The Gartons said they were retiring and wanted to thank the community and industry partners for their support over the past 16 years.
“It’s been an amazing and rewarding journey for us – we sincerely thank you for being a part of it,” they said.
New face at Niche Travel
Shari Lukens has joined Victoria-based Niche Travel Inc. as Director of Inbound Tours.
Lukens brings a range of professional expertise to his new portfolio – broadcast journalism, professional figure skating coach, civic policy and customer relations with Telus.
Niche Travel Inc., led by Cathy Scott, is a destination management company that caters to small group travelers and those seeking luxury cruises that offer upscale experiences.