• Spirit bear safari, Canada

Itinerary Summary

9 Days
Sep - Oct 2020
Small Group Safari
Duration Price When Destination Type
9 Days £7400 Sep - Oct 2020 Canada Small Group Safari
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Spirit Bears & Humpback Whales of British Columbia

Explore the wild coastline of British Columbia on a 68 foot yacht on the lookout for the elusive spirit bears and enormous humpbacks, as well as sea lions and orcas.

On this trip you venture through the wild valleys of Canada’s far western edge. Here, trees as old as they are tall tower over you, beneath them rivers bubble with spawning salmon. This astounding environment plays home to a whole host of British Columbia’s wildlife; including the legendary spirit bear. You can also see grizzly bears fishing the rivers, and wolves prowling in the shadows, as well as eagles nesting in ancient branches and humpbacks plying through pristine fjords. On this safari, you join the incredible wildlife of the region as you traverse calm waters and a maze of forests searching for wildlife.


What makes this trip extraordinary

  • Witness grizzly bears and spirit (Kermode) bears in their natural environment.
  • Discover First Nation culture.
  • See porpoises, Steller sea lions, humpback whales and more.
  • Venture through dramatic examples of the natural world, view impressive granite cliffs and stunning waterfalls, as well as salmon rich rivers and huge fjords.

Embedded Video Overview

Spirit bears, whales & wolves; a 9 day adventure exploring the coastline of British Columbia

from $9,435 per person sharing, excluding international flights

Day by day

Day by day

Day 1

Vancouver - Bella Bella

You fly today from Vancouver to Bella Bella; an isolated village on the central coast of British Columbia, and home of the Heiltsuk Nation people. You’ll be staying at the Shearwater Resort and enjoy a welcome dinner on arrival.

Overnight: Shearwater Lodge (D)

Day 2

Bella Bella - Great Bear Rainforest

Today you board the Island Roamer, a comfortable 68-foot ketch; home for the next seven nights. Sailing from Bella Bella, you head towards the sheltered inlets of the Great Bear Rainforest, stopping each night in a different secluded anchorage. The first stop is the Fiordland Conservancy, which offers some of the most dramatic examples of glacially gouged scenery on the British Columbia coast. Sheer granite cliffs rise more than 3,000 feet, and waterfalls plummet from their faces into the sea.

Overnight: Island Roamer (B, L, D)

Days 3-4

Fiordland Conservancy

You navigate through fjords, passing native communities and exploring remote estuaries up close and hoping to see grizzly bears attracted by spawning salmon. The combination of lush vegetation and salmon-rich streams in Fiordland makes it ideal grizzly habitat. Black bears are also prolific in these ancient forests, and wolves are also present, though elusive.

Overnight: Island Roamer (B, L, D)

Day 5

Fiordland - Princesse Royal Island

The native guide shares history and cultural traditions, including a tour of the ceremonial Big House, painted with totems. Afterwards, you sail northward, hugging the indented shoreline of Princess Royal Island. This is the best-known area for seeing the rare, all-white Kermode bear, also called spirit bear, reflecting its legendary status among the Tsimshian peoples as a creature to be revered. Spirit bears are actually a unique subspecies of North American black bear in which about one in every 10 bears is white or cream-colored due to a recessive gene. You go ashore to visit Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy and hope to spy the pale bears against the evergreen backdrop along the creeks and estuaries. Only 400 or so spirit bears are thought to exist, living exclusively along this portion of the British Columbia coast. The campaign to save the Great Bear Rainforest has heightened efforts to conserve this dwindling habitat from further logging, the greatest threat to the future of the bears.

Overnight: Island Roamer (B, L, D)

Days 6-8

Princess Royal Island

These three days will start with a cruise with excellent chances of spotting porpoises, orcas, Stellar sea lions and humpback whales, who will often try to entertain visitors with breaching, spy-hopping or slapping their flippers. You will also go ashore in search of spirit bears, enjoy a soak at Bishop Bay Hot Springs, accessible only to boaters. On the third day you’ll join a Gitga’at native guide who’ll take you to locally known wildlife viewing areas; hopefully spotting more black bears and spirit bears.

Overnight: Island Roamer (B, L, D)

Day 9

Princess Royal Island - Vancouver

Your voyage ends in the Gitga’at community of Hartley Bay, where you will have time to walk the boardwalk trail to the lake, or visit the community big house prior to departing by floatplane to Prince Rupert. On arrival, you transfer to your group flight for Vancouver.


2020 Departures

This small group safari is limited to approximately 14 travellers to ensure an intimate experience.

Trip date Prices from
Sep 10 - Sep 18 2020 £8225
Sep 18 - Sep 26 2020 £8225
Sep 28 - Oct 06 2020 £7400

Talk to one of our specialists for further details on our small group safaris in Canada.

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