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Consumer Protection BC

Orcas & Grizzlies Wildlife Tour #1

5 days  ·  Vancouver, BC return  ·  Very Easy

On this self-guided wildlife tour, local guides escort singles and couples to pristine wilderness areas with historic high populations of grizzly bears and orcas. On this particular trip, Day 1 and Day 5 include air to and from Vancouver, and transfers on Vancouver Island.

Tour Summary

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 wildlife 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 a grizzly bear viewing tour. 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.


Please note:

  • Once you book, we provide you with comprehensive predeparture information.
  • In order to obtain the price quoted, we recommend booking at least 90 days in advance. Otherwise, additional charges for higher airfare 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.
5 days, 4 nights
Vancouver, BC
Vancouver, BC
Activity Level
Very Easy
Max Group Size
Singles, couples and families welcome
4 nights accommodation, bed and breakfast style.
By commercial flight to Port Hardy, taxi to Port McNeill and then by a small coastal ferry to Alert Bay. Grizzly bear viewing and whale watching occur by motor boat which pick up at a dock just down from the lodge. The return leg to Vancouver includes a taxi to Port Hardy and a commercial flight to Vancouver.
Four 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. Days 2,3,4 and interchangeable and activities such as the bear watching can be changed right up to the night before the tour due to weather, tour operator logistics and other unseen circumstances.

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This Vancouver Island Wildlife Tour includes:

  • Accommodation for 4 nights in Alert Bay
  • Meals:  4 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 1 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
    • Taxi transfer from Port McNeil to Telegraph Cove
    • 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 Port Hardy Airport
  • 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 $485
  • 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 ($13.00)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Gratuities
  • HST

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)