Two local whale watching and wildlife tour businesses, mainstays of the Campbell River tourism industry, are merging.
Discovery Marine Safaris Ltd. and Campbell River Whale Watching Ltd., both of which operate out of Campbell River, announced in a press release that they merged on February 2, 2022.
Founded in 2007, Discovery Marine Safaris is one of Campbell River’s premier whale watching companies. Owners Heike and Wayne Garton are excited to enter a new phase in their lives, allowing them to do more adventure and exploration on their own, according to the press release.
“In taking this big step after some 40 years of combined involvement in the whale watching and marine wildlife industry on northern Vancouver Island, we are both pleased to hand over the helm of Discovery Marine Safaris to Stephen Gabrysh and Tyler Bruce, owners. from Campbell River Whale Watching,” Heike said.
“We couldn’t just pass the business on and leave to enjoy our retirement and new adventures, without thanking our local community and industry partners from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us over the past 16 years. It has been an amazing and rewarding journey for us – we sincerely thank you for being a part of it.
Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventure Tours was founded in 2008 with one boat. Since then, it has developed a fleet of seven ships. Gabrysh and Bruce purchased the business in 2018 and led it to become North Vancouver Island’s first carbon-neutral ecotourism business.
The two companies have a long-standing relationship and have worked together with mutual respect, sharing similar ethical and environmental values, according to the statement.
“We are delighted that a number of Discovery Marine Safaris team members will remain under new ownership so that long-time customers and industry partners will still be greeted by familiar faces,” Gabrysh said. . “Their experience and knowledge of the industry will help ensure a smooth transition.”
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