Why book with Tours of Exploration?
- We specialize in customized, personalized tours that can suit your needs, interests, and hobbies.
- This is one of our favourite regions on Vancouver Island to sell as it is deeply rewarding and intensely unique.
- We choose to work with local partners, not only to guarantee an immersive, culturally and naturally authentic experience; but also to economically support the area's local population.
- Book with confidence as deposits are risk-free and refundable.
2021 - 2022 Departure Dates and Costs
Daily departures are based on 2 or more persons.
The trip is fully customizable.
Contact us for cost as trip price varies with the season.
Day 1 Arrive Port McNeill
Use our route map to self-drive from Victoria or Nanaimo to the remote northern community of Port McNeill (a 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 travellers 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 is included. Dinner will be 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 is included. Return to our lodging. Dinner on your 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.