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Consumer Protection BC

Orcas & Grizzlies Wildlife Tour #3

5 days  ·  Vancouver, BC → Victoria, BC  ·  Very Easy

This version includes air from Vancouver on Day 1 and a coach to Victoria on Day 5.

Tour Summary

Explore pristine waters and wilderness areas to see Orcas ("killer whales") and grizzlies 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. 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. 

The setting for this eco-adventure off Vancouver Island is the remote coastal wilderness that encompasses Johnstone Strait, a deep and narrow glacier-carved passage between the east coast of the Island and the BC mainland. 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. 

Overlooking Johnstone Strait, the log lodge offers panoramic views of sunsets, mountains, local marine traffic and sometimes pods of orcas. From the lodge, Alert Bay Village is two kilometers along the ocean-front road. On the way, you'll pass the 'Namgis Burial Grounds. From the Village the 'Mista Cultural Centre, Big Tree Trail and Ecological Gardens are short walks away.

Please note:

  • Once you book, we provide you with comprehensive pre departure 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 air and coach costs may apply.
    • Orcas are classified as either transient or resident. The resident whales return to the Johnstone Straight area in late June and stay in the area to feed all summer long. This is the best time to see Orcas.
    • May 15 to  June 20 we offer a wildlife viewing tour where our focus will be more on the local wildlife in the area such as humpback whales, bald eagles, dolphins, Stellar seal lions, Harbour seals, and migrating birds . Transient Orcas can bee seen in the area as they hunt for seals and dolphins, but they have a very large range and can be stealthy hunters and hence, a bit more illusive. We offer a 10% discount on all tours booked from May 15 to June 20 when the Orcas sightings are a bit more scarce.
Duration
5 days, 4 nights
Departs
Vancouver, BC
Arrives
Victoria, BC
Activity Level
Very Easy
Max Group Size
Singles, couples and families welcome
Accommodation
4 nights accommodation, bed and breakfast style.
Transport
By commercial flight to Port Hardy, taxi to Port Mcneill and then by coastal ferry to Alert Bay. Grizzly bear viewing and whale watching by motor boat. The return leg to Victoria includes a public coach.
Meals
Three breakfasts, one lunch and one dinner.
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.

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Included

This Vancouver Island Wildlife Tour includes:

  • Accommodation for 4 nights in Alert Bay
  • Meals:  3 breakfasts, 1 lunch and1 dinner.
  • Transfers:
    • Flight from Vancouver International Airport to Port Hardy Airport
    • Taxi transfer from Port Hardy Airport to Port McNeill
    • Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Ferry terminal to Alert Bay Lodge
    • Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to Alert Bay Ferry Terminal
    • Water taxi transfer from Telegraph Cove to Alert Bay
    • Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to meet Grizzly Bear Tour
    • Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to Alert Bay Ferry Terminal
    • Transfer from Port McNeill Ferry Terminal to restauarant
    • Bus from Port McNeill to Victoria 
  • 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

Not Included

  • Single supplement of $380
  • Meals unless otherwise stated
  • Transfer to Vancouver International Airport
  • 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 ($9.00)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities
  • 5% GST

Optional Activities

  • Native Dancing at the Big House, Thursday to Sunday during July and August ($15 per person)
  • Deep sea fishing (about $100 per hour)
  • 39' classic sailboat day or overnight tour (prices start at $330 for the day)