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Search for grizzly bears, black bears and the rare Spirit Bear on this sailing tour into The Great Bear Rainforest


Explore the Great Bear Rainforest along the coast of British Columbia on this sailing tour in search of the elusive Kermode or Spirit Bear.  The Great Bear Rainforest is islands and intricate waterways beneath towering mountains and lush, coastal temperate forests.  The wilderness is alive with eagles, ravens, salmon, bears and wolves and ten thousand year old native cultures.  The description 'Great Bear Rainforest' was created because the region holds the largest remaining areas of original coastal rainforest left on the entire Pacific coast.  This cruise offers the opportunity to adventure along these waterways, venture inside the forest, seek out wildlife, meet native guides and learn why the Great Bear Rainforest is one of the last gems on the Pacific Coast. This area is home to the magnificent grizzly bear, a species that requires large areas of habitat undisturbed by human activity. These great bears, once roamed across North America but due to the advance of civilization, diminished food supply and continued hunting, they are now threatened in their remaining range. 

The highlight of the tour is the opportunity to view the rare white Kermode bear.  These primeval forests are the only habitat of the Kermode, or "spirit bear". An elusive and rarely seen wonder, the Kermode is a genetic throwback - a black bear with a "recessive" gene giving it snow-white fur.   Princess Royal Island is one of the few areas on the coast where one can find the Kermode. Only 10% of black bears in the area are Kermode, so though you can expect to see black bears, it will require good luck and perseverance to spot a Spirit Bear.  Besides the bears, The Great Bear Rainforest is home to a significant population of gray wolves and during your voyage there are excellent chances of seeing various species of marine mammals. Fitzhugh Sound and Whale Channel are good areas for viewing humpback whales. The coastline near Cape Caution supports a summer population of gray whales; and this entire coast is famous for its population of orcas.

The central coast region of British Columbia's scenic and intricate shoreline has a long history. Stretching from Vancouver Island, north along the mainland coast, it forms a significant section of the famous "Inside Passage" route to Alaska - a name that started with the gold rush of the 1800's. Many of the gold seekers stayed on the coast, attracted to the plentiful resources of fishing and the lush forests. Native peoples have lived along this coast for at least 10,000 years, and built a renowned culture based upon these same fish and trees.  You will visit and explore this incredible area with permission from the local Gitga'at, Kitasoo/Xai'Xais, and Haisla First Nations. In the concept of eco-tourism visitors respect local cultures and share a portion of revenues with local communities. 

STARTING AT
$5575.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Sailing Tours
SEASON

August to October

DIFFICULTY
Easy / Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
16
GUIDE INFORMATION

The crew are experienced sailors and naturalists with extensive knowledge of the area. They will teach you about the diverse natural history of the area.

RESTRICTIONS
Not Applicable
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Requirements: Duffel bag, sleeping bag or sheets and blankets, pillow case.

Comments: $100 Sustainability fee applies to all tours.

TRANSPORTATION

Trips originate and end in Bella Bella, BC. Bella Bella is accessible by air from Vancouver.

WEATHER

Summer temperatures are pleasant and average between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.  While guests should come prepared for some gusty winds and the possibility of rain, we usually experience clear skies and a good amount of sunshine. It always feels cooler on the water than actual temperatures may be.

REGION
Northern BC Coast
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

The fully equipped vessel has safety equipment, electronic navigation,  inflatable raft for onshore exploration and double kayaks are available for use.

SUGGESTED CLOTHING

Rain gear, rubber boots, warm jacket, hat, gloves, long underwear, long pants, shorts, warm socks, t-shirts, swimsuit, sweater, sneakers, hiking boots.

SUGGESTED ITEMS

Camera, binoculars, daypack, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottle.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The boat is a custom 68-foot ketch, launched in 1983. The boat's design, safety and comfort make her perfect for these trips. She features 8 private cabins (double occupancy), 3 heads with hot showers, a large comfortable lounge with an extensive library, and a well-equipped galley. On deck, the large covered seating area provides protection in all types of weather. She is large enough for comfort, privacy and safety, and small enough to create a good rapport among passengers and crew.

A certified Canadian Ministry of Transport passenger vessel, she has all of the safety equipment, electronic navigation aids, and features you would expect from a vessel of her standard. All of the cabins have adequate storage space for your bags, personal items and jackets. Coat hangers and life jackets are stowed in every cabin for your convenience. There is electricity in each room, so you can charge your camera batteries and enjoy a reading light in the evening.

Featuring 8 private cabins, 3 heads with showers, large salon and lounge areas, extensive reading libraries, galley, - These vessels are perfect for our adventures. Guests continually comment on how the vessel was more than suitable for their needs. To add to the comfort, gourmet food is served, complimentary wine each day and a wilderness setting all give a great ambiance to these special voyages.

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

All meals from lunch on the first day to breakfast on the last day.  A professional cook is in charge of all the cooking during the trip.  We carry ample quantities of fresh vegetables, fruits, meats, grains and dairy products for the duration of the voyage. Meals are served buffet style.  We are confident that you will be very impressed with the variety and excellence of the meals that are prepared for you. Complimentary wines are served with dinner. There is no bar onboard to purchase additional drinks. Guests are responsible and welcome to bring their own cocktail, beer and soft drinks.

8 day tour, available late August - October
$5575.00 / per person - CAD
Aug 27-Sep 3, Sep 22-29, Sep 28-Oct 5, Oct 6-13, 2018.
PAYMENT INFORMATION
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.

A $500.00 deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 75 days before trip commencement.
CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
You will receive a full refund, minus $100 administration fee (per person), for cancellation more than 75 days prior to departure. No penalty if you transfer to another trip. If you give notice of cancellation 75 days or less prior to departure, no refund is given. We do strongly recommend travel insurance. We strongly recommend purchase of trip cancellation insurance.

8 day tour, available late August - October

Day 1

We meet at the top of the Municipal Dock on the Bella Bella waterfront and leave mid-day to begin our adventure. Note: some departures begin/end in Prince Rupert.

Day 2

Day 2-7: Over the next 6 days, we will travel to a number of areas around the Central Coast such as Campania Sound and Whale Channel - excellent areas for spotting humpback whales and Steller sea lions. We may go ashore in the Gitga’at (Princess Royal Island) Conservancy. We will cruise over to Bishop Bay to enjoy a relaxing dip in the hot springs and spend a day with a Gitga’at native guide, taking us to his favourite bear viewing area. With patience and some luck we will see black bears and the elusive, white Spirit Bear! We may visit the First Nations village of Klemtu or Hartley Bay to see their ceremonial Big Houses. We will voyage deep into the coastal mountains to explore the Fiordland Conservancy where, beneath towering rock bluffs and waterfalls, we will search remote estuaries to see grizzly bears feeding on spawning salmon. 

Day 8

We arrive in Bella Bella late morning. Participants can catch the Pacific Coastal Airlines late afternoon flight back to Vancouver.