VICTORIA -- Whale watching tours are returning to Victoria just in time for Canada Day.

Tour company Prince of Whales will be taking passengers out on its newest, largest catamaran on Wednesday in search of whales and other marine life.

The vessel Salish Sea Eclipse is big enough to have groups of people on board with physical distancing protocols in place.

There's 190 seats onboard and the company says it will reserve empty seats between all passengers.

"We will be operating at about 50 per cent capacity this year," said boat captain Bill Moore.

"You must have some form of a face covering – whether you bring your own or we’ll provide you with one – to be worn onboard when distancings are less than two metres."

Passengers will be allowed to remove masks on the outside decks only. Crews will be enforcing all protocols throughout the journey.

Moore says the crew is excited to get back out to enjoy some scenic outdoor recreation.

The Salish Sea Eclipse sets sail at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.