Tailor-Made

Bears, Waterways and Wilderness Safari

By car, boat, skiff and kayak, this safari takes you on a tour along the coasts of Alaska and Canada in search of incredible wildlife and pristine wilderness. You’ll be able to spot black bears, brown bears and a host of marine life living in the lakes, rivers and inlets of this breathtakingly beautiful region.

Duration 16 days
Price From $9,560
When Jun - Aug
Destination Alaska & Canada

Safari Overview

The waterways of Alaska and British Columbia are the focus for this safari, which allows you to experience a wealth of wildlife and immerse yourself in a world where land meets water. From black bears and brown bears fishing for salmon to breaching whales and playful sea otters, there’ll be opportunities for sightings on every stage of your journey. The trip takes in stays at remote lakes and private islands as well as scenic drives through national parks, with mountains, forests, glaciers and oceans passing by your window.

What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Explore lake, sea and inlet on guided kayak tours.
  • Stay at a selection of remote and secluded lodges.
  • Experience some of the most breathtaking terrain found in Canada and the USA.
  • Combine sightings of marine life with those of bears at lakes and rivers.

Gain a unique perspective on this Western wilderness by travelling through its serene waters.

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Day by day

Day 1

Arrive Anchorage

Today you will arrive in Anchorage in Alaska’s south-central region, bounded by the Chugach Mountains to the east and the Cook Inlet to the west, where you can transfer to your hotel and prepare for the coming days. Afterwards, you are free to explore the state’s largest and liveliest city at your leisure.

Overnight: Historic Anchorage Hotel

Day 2

Anchorage – Redoubt Bay

This morning you’ll transfer to the Lake Hood Seaplane Base, just a few miles from your hotel. From here you’ll board a floatplane and take a scenic flight to the remote Redoubt Bay Lodge, which will be your home for the next three days. As the lodge is the only accommodation within a 171,000-acre critical habitat area, you’ll get to experience the true wilderness and natural beauty that is quintessentially Alaska. Upon arrival, you’ll embark on a guided wildlife tour in search of bears and the other wildlife that frequents the area, including eagles and other birdlife.

Days 3-4

Redoubt Bay

Over the coming days you can experience the best that this wild region has to offer, following programs that the lodge’s staff will tailor to your specific interests. A number of wildlife-viewing activities are on offer, and you’ll be able to explore the area by foot, boat, skiff or kayak. July is the best month for bear viewing, when both black and brown bears will descend on the nearby lakes and rivers to fish for salmon. Your trained guide will know and when to find the best wildlife sightings within this untamed region.

Day 5

Redoubt Bay – Anchorage – Seward

Soak in the last few hours at the lodge before departing via floatplane for Anchorage, where you’ll pick up your hire car and begin the 125-mile journey to the southern port city of Seward. Your journey will take in plenty of sights as you travel along the Cook Inlet and into the glacier-filled Kenai Mountains. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife during the drive, including puffins, eagles and harbour seals. You’ll be passing through some breathtaking scenery, so make sure you have your camera at the ready and leave some time to pull over and drink in the views.

Day 6

Seward – Fox Island

In the morning you’ll take a relaxing boat ride from Seward to Fox Island, a private island that offers fantastic views of the surrounding Resurrection Bay. You’ll be staying at the Kenai Wilderness Lodge which operates just eight beachfront cabins, ensuring your stay will be a tranquil one. This region is famed for its sea kayaking, so feel free to take to the waters in the afternoon or simply sit back, relax on the outdoor decking and gaze out at the forests and mountains beyond.

Overnight: Kenai Wilderness Lodge B, L, D

Day 7

Fox Island

After breakfast at the lodge you can enjoy a full-day guided kayak tour around the entirety of Fox Island, exploring its rocky coves and looking out for seals, sea lions, sea otters and other marine life. You can even spot whales close to the shore here! Alternatively, you can take two half-day tours (both an afternoon and an evening paddle) or just a single half-day tour. The lodge also offers other activities, including guided walks and a variety of boat trips.

Overnight: Kenai Wilderness Lodge B, L, D

Day 8

Fox Island – Anchorage – Vancouver

Departing Fox Island in the morning, you’ll then embark on another scenic drive, this time a return journey back to Anchorage. The mountain ranges of the Kenai Peninsula will rise one after another as you traverse Moose Pass and cross some of Alaska's richest salmon rivers. Time permitting, make a stop at Exit Glacier - the only portion of Kenai Fjords National Park accessible by road – where you’ll be able to witness up close how glaciers reshape a landscape, and see plant life reclaiming the barren rock exposed by a glacier's retreat. On arrival back in Anchorage you’ll drop your hire car off and catch a flight to the vibrant Canadian city of Vancouver, where you’ll be met by our local representative and transferred to your hotel for your overnight stay.

Overnight: The Loden Hotel B, L, D

Day 9

Vancouver – Port Hardy - Farewell Harbour

This morning you’ll be picked up from your hotel and transferred to Vancouver Airport in time for your flight to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island. Met on arrival, you’ll then board a speedboat for your short transfer to Farewell Harbour Lodge on Berry Island, part of Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park. Journeying to the lodge is a spectacular adventure in itself, travelling past the breathtaking scenery of British Columbia’s central coast and through the rich waters of Queen Charlotte Strait, home to grey whales, humpback whales and orcas. Lunch will be served upon your arrival at the lodge, then in the afternoon, your grizzly bear experience begins. There are a number of different viewing sites, and your guide will choose one according to where the bears have been most active recently.

Overnight: Farewell Harbour Lodge L, D

Days 10-11

Farewell Harbour

The next two days will be spent exploring the beautifully forested island on which you’ll be staying, and the rich waters that surround it. After breakfast each day, you’ll have the opportunity to go on full-day or half-day excursions to track bears, view marine wildlife, go kayaking or walk through the hills. Your bear viewing will take you to one of several estuaries where you can watch the bears either from a zodiac (an inflatable boat) or on foot, depending on the tides. You can also enjoy an exploration of the incredibly rich waters of Johnstone Strait and the Robson Bight Reserve. By avoiding the use of viewing platforms, you’ll be able to view wildlife at eye level, without disturbing their natural habitat.

Overnight: Farewell Harbour Lodge B, L, D

Day 12

Farewell Harbour – Port Hardy – Tofino

Today you can partake in one more activity in this beautiful area: a half-day sea kayaking excursion, a bear viewing safari, a guided rainforest hike or a visit to U’mista Cultural Centre on Cormorant Island, the longest-running of British Columbia’s First Nations cultural centres which celebrates the heritage of the indigenous Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw people. You’ll then leave via speedboat back to Port Hardy, where you’ll pick up your hire car and begin your drive to Tofino. Depart Port Hardy heading southwest to Tofino on Vancouver Island’s rugged western coast. En-route, make sure to stop at Cathedral Grove and take in the splendour of 800-year-old Douglas fir and cedar trees. Situated close to the spectacular scenery of Pacific Rim National Park, Tofino is renowned as a prime location for both whale-watching and black bear sightings.

Overnight: Wickaninnish Inn B, L

Day 13

Tofino

Your first day in this incredible coastal location will be spent in search of wildlife in the Tofino and Clayoquot Sound area. As a prime whale-watching location, you’ll be able to join expertly guided boat tours to watch humpback whales, grey whales, seals, sea lions and sea otters. Kayaking, fishing and hiking are also on the menu, or you can simply relax and admire the spectacular scenery from the comfort of your lodge’s forest-view or ocean-view room.

Overnight: Wickaninnish Inn

Day 14

Tofino

During the winter, black bears in this area are in semi-hibernation. But come May, they leave their dens and head for the closest food source - the ocean! Today you’ll take a half-day black bear tour that will take you through the fjord inlets of Clayoquot Sound, where the bears forage in the intertidal zone and you can unobtrusively observe and photograph their behaviour. The tour will be conducted aboard an open-air, rescue-style, 24' rigid-hulled zodiac suitable for this calm-water programme. The vessel's shallow draft is especially good for manoeuvring in the small sheltered bays while you watch for bears and learn about this captivating environment from your guide. The afternoon is yours to spend at your own pace.

Overnight: Wickaninnish Inn

Day 15

Tofino – Vancouver

The final full day of your trip will be spent travelling from Tofino to Vancouver, taking in the beautiful scenery en-route. You’ll take your hire car with you on an hour-long ferry from Duke Point across the Salish Sea to Tsawwassen on the Canadian mainland, sitting out on deck and watching the world go by. From Tsawwassen you can then drive north to Vancouver and check in to your hotel, with the evening yours to explore this lively multicultural city at your leisure.

Overnight: The Loden Hotel

Day 16

Depart Vancouver

After checkout in the morning, you’ll be transferred to Vancouver Airport for your international flight home.

Trip Details

Trip information

This is a tailor-made safari that can be amended to meet your specific requirements including your preferred number of days, preferred dates of travel, standard of lodges and budget.

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