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Orcas & Grizzlies Wildlife Tour #4
5 days · Victoria, BC → Vancouver, BC · Very Easy
Same as the above except that Day 1 includes a private sightseeing coach from Victoria and Day 5 includes air to Vancouver.
Explore pristine waters and wilderness areas to see Orcas ("killer whales") and grizzly bears off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. This self-guided tour is designed to provide you with authentic wildlife and cultural experiences while staying on a remote island in the Northern Gulf Islands. This area sports sheltered waters and plentiful land and marine life, including the largest population of orcas in western North America. At the end of the Strait lies Knight Inlet, home to a thriving population of grizzly bears.
During the course of your three full days on Cormorant Island, one day will be occupied by whale watching and another day will focus on grizzly bear viewing. We've set aside a third day to explore the Village of Alert Bay (pop. 1,200), one of the few remaining authentic coastal communities on the west coast of British Columbia. Day 1 and 5 are occupied by return transportation to Alert Bay from Vancouver or Victoria (included).
You'll be treated with a high level of service at the four room inn and will also be afforded time to explore the colourful village that is Alert Bay. Overlooking Johnstone Strait, the log lodge offers panoramic views of sunsets, mountains, local marine traffic and sometimes pods of orcas. A large common room and sundeck are favourite places for guests to gather, converse and dine. From the lodge, Alert Bay Village is two kilometres along the ocean-front road. On the way, you'll pass the 'Namgis Burial Grounds. From the Village the U'Mista Cultural Centre, Big Tree Trail and Ecological Gardens are short walks away.
- Once you book, we provide you with comprehensive predeparture information. Click here for an excerpt.
- In order to obtain the price quoted, we recommend booking at least 90 days in advance. Otherwise, additional charges for higher airfare may apply.
- 5 days, 4 nights
- Victoria, BC
- Vancouver, BC
- Activity Level
- Very Easy
- Max Group Size
- Singles, couples and families welcome
- 4 nights accommodation, bed and breakfast style.
- By bus to Port McNeil and then by a small coastal ferry to Alert Bay. Grizzly bear viewing and whale watching occur by motor boat. The return leg to Vancouver includes a taxi to Port Hardy and a commercial flight to Vancouver.
- Four breakfasts, one lunch and two dinners.
- Activity Notes
- This is a sightseeing tour. Restrictions on our wildlife excursions include those 8 years of age or younger and women in their final tri-semester.
This Vancouver Island Wildlife Tour includes:
- Accommodation for 4 nights in Alert Bay
- Meals: 4 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners.
- Bus from Victoria to Port McNeill (Day 1)
- Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Ferry terminal to Alert Bay Lodge (Day 1)
- Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to Alert Bay Ferry Terminal (Day 3)
- Water taxi transfer from Telegraph Cove to Alert Bay (Day 3)
- Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to meet Grizzly Bear Tour (Day 4)
- Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to Alert Bay Ferry Terminal (Day 5)
- Taxi transfer from Port McNeill to Port Hardy Airport (Day 5)
- Flight from Port Hardy Airport to Vancouver International Airport (Day 5)
- Full day excursion to Telegraph Cove including 3.5-hour wildlife and orca/whalewatching marine tour
- 9-hour grizzly bear viewing marine tour
- Admission ticket to U’Mista Cultural Centre
- Single supplement of $380
- Transfer from Vancouver International Airport
- Meals unless otherwise stated
- Taxi to the U’Mista Cultural Centre (about 2.5 kilometers from the lodge)
- Activities or equipment rentals unless otherwise stated
- Return ferry passage to Alert Bay from Port McNeill ($11.00)
- Alcoholic beverages
- Native Dancing at the Big House
- Deep sea fishing
View Midnight Sun Travel Orcas and Grizzlies (Victoria to Vancouver) in a larger map
Schedule & Prices
|Jun 21–Sep 21, 2017||$1,999||—||$380|
|May 15–Jun 20, 2017||$1,899||—||$380|
Orcas & Grizzlies Wildlife Tour #4 Itinerary
Victoria to Vancouver, via Alert Bay.
Day 1. Alert Bay, B.C. Travel with the Tofino Bus up the north island. A stop in Campbell River for lunch allows you to get out and stretch your legs. The bus drops off next to the BC Ferry Terminal in Port McNeill in time to make the 5:00 pm ferry sailing to Alert Bay. After a 35 minute voyage, catch a taxi (about $5.00) at the ferry terminal for the three minute drive down the ocean road to Alert Bay Lodge. You can also call the lodge from the ferry and the manager will try to get away to pick you up.
Accommodation: Four Room Ocean View Inn.
Day 2. Alert Bay, B.C. We've set this day aside for you to explore the village of Alert Bay. After breakfast, the lodge manager will provide you with a map highlighting attractions on the 5 kilometer long Cormorant Island, tickets to U'Mista Cultural Centre and a picnic lunch. The village can easily be explored by foot from your accommodation. Attractions include the Tourism Information Centre, shops and galleries featuring native art, and the U'Mista Cultural Centre which features historic and contemporary artwork, including the reclaimed First Nations potlatch collection (admission included). Up the hill lie First Nations dancing at the Big House (schedule permitting) and the Ecological Gardens and Big Tree Trail.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Four Room Ocean View Inn
Day 3. Alert Bay, B.C. We’ve organized this day to take you off Cormorant Island to historic Telegraph Cove, the departure point for your whale watching tour. The excursion begins with a transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to the 9:40 am BC Ferry sailing to Port McNeill. From this Vancouver Island town, a taxi will escort you to the Village of Telegraph Cove (pop. 20), where you arrive by about 10:30 am.
As your whale watching tour begins at 1:00 pm, you’ll have some time to explore Telegraph Cove. Once the northern terminus of a telegraph line that began in Campbell River and stretched from tree to tree along Vancouver Island's east coast, Telegraph Cove is one of the last boardwalk communities of eastern Vancouver Island. You’ll be able to stroll along the boardwalk, admire the historic buildings and perhaps decide to take lunch at the local pub. We also recommend visiting the displays at the Whale Interpretative Centre that highlight the biology, habitat needs and threats to orcas and other local marine mammals.
Your 3.5 hour wildlife watching tour departs Telegraph Cove at 1:00 pm. During the tour, the onboard naturalist will lead the search for orcas, humpback and Minke whales. Other marine life sighting opportunities include Dahl Porpoises, Harbour Porpoises, Pacific White Sided Dolphins and sea lions. Bald eagles and many species of birds are plentiful and, along the shore, black bear, deer and cougar may be spotted. You’ll also learn about how local whale watching practices conform to "Be Whale Wise" guidelines established by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
The tour returns by about 4:30 pm – plenty of time to stretch your legs for a few minutes before boarding a high speed boat to whisk you across Johnstone Strait back to Alert Bay, arriving there by 5:30 pm.
Accommodation: Four Room Ocean View Inn
Day 4. Alert Bay, BC. We depart at 6:45 am from Alert Bay for a full day on the water to seek out grizzly bears in their natural habitat. Our destination is Knight Inlet, a two hour ride by covered boat into Johnstone Strait. Becoming famous for its population of Grizzly bears, Knight Inlet a long and deep glacier-carved fjord surrounded by snow-capped mountains and steep-sided, forested cliffs.
Here we drift, paddle and motor quietly around an estuary, looking to spot grizzly bears as they feed on the sedges and grasses at high tide. Low tide brings more bears out, and we may see them turn over large boulders in their search for crabs, isopods and beach barnacles. On some tides we transfer to our flat bottomed skiff to get into the shallows. Please bring your binoculars and camera! Lunch is included.
Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch
Accommodation: Four Room Ocean View Inn
Day 5. Alert Bay, BC. After breakfast we'll call your taxi and get you on the right ferry to Port McNeill. Your up-Island journey continues when you’re picked up by taxi at the Port McNeill Ferry Terminal and escorted to Port Hardy Airport. Here, you catch an afternoon scheduled flight to Vancouver, BC.
Meals Included: Breakfast.
The order of activities on Day 2, 3 and 4 may vary due to weather conditions and logistics with our tour operators, Once you book, we provide you with comprehensive pre-departure information. Click here for an excerpt.