A chance to experience the wildlife-rich regions of the Great Bear Rainforest and Johnstone Strait off the North Coastal areas of Vancouver Island. Guided daily excursions out of Port McNeill and onboard expedition boats on this Grizzly, Whale & Pacific Wildlife program.
2021 Departure Dates and Costs
Daily departures based on 2 or more persons.
Contact us for cost as trip price varies wwith season
Day 1 Arrive Port McNeill
Self-drive from Victoria or Nanaimo to the remote northern community of Port McNeill (5-6 hour drive). Enroute discover diverse island communities nestled between the mountains and the ocean shore and scenic vistas. On arrival, settle in to the Haida-Way Inn for the next 3 nights.
Day 2 Great Bear Rainforest (B,L,D)
In the wild and pristine region of Western Canada's Pacific Northwest, a select few travelers are afforded the incomparable thrill of close encounters with some of North America's most impressive creatures – massive grizzly bears. Each spring the Grizzlies are seen feeding on grasses near the inlet shores. Each fall, when millions of salmon make their final spawning run giant grizzlies gather at the spawning channels to fatten their already massive bodies in preparation for the imminent winter freeze. Bald eagles, grebes, Marbled Murlets, loons, herons and many others are frequently seen. We will depart by boat early for a full day program up Thompson sound and enjoy the added experience of hiking in the Great Bear Rainforest. Lunch included. Dinner on return to the lodge.
Day 3 Whales, Seals & Birds (B,L)
Breakfast at the hotel. A full day of wildlife activities aboard an expedition boat. Johnstone Strait is a narrow passage that separates Vancouver Island from the mainland. The Strait is set amongst steep fjords, small islands and lush rainforest with old growth red cedar and Sitka spruce up to 1000 years old. Subsurface upwellings and penetrating ocean currents result in a rich marine environment that is home to five species of salmon, numerous sea birds, Orca, minke and humpback whales, several species of dolphin, black bear, harbour seals and stellar sea lions.
This area is best known as the worlds prime Orca viewing region. We will search for resident and transient pods of Orcas as well as resident pods of killer whales that usually come to feed in July to early October. Binoculars are a must! Our full trained naturalist/certified skipper will ensure your journey is a memorable experience. Lunch included. Return to our lodging. Dinner on own.
Day 4 Departure (B)
After breakfast, check out of lodgings at Port McNeil and return to Nanaimo or Victoria.
It is highly recommended and easy to add a day to this program to include First Nations Culture in Alert Bay. Please ask for details.