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Orcas and Grizzlies Wildlife Tour
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Orcas and Grizzlies Wildlife Tour

offered by supplier M05918 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 5 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 8 people
Destination(s): British Columbia  
Specialty Categories: Wildlife Viewing   Ecotourism  
Season: June - September
Airfare Included: Yes
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1999 Canadian Dollar (CAD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2290 Canadian Dollar (CAD)

Join our “Orcas & Grizzlies Wildlife Tour” and explore pristine waters and wilderness areas to see Orcas ("killer whales") and grizzlies off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. The setting for this Eco-adventure is the remote coastal wilderness that encompasses Johnstone Strait, a deep and narrow glacier-carved passage between the east coast of Vancouver Island and the BC mainland. This area sports sheltered waters and plentiful marine life, including the largest population of orcas in western North America.

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. 1,300), one of the few remaining authentic coastal communities on the west coast of British Columbia. Please note that the scheduling of activities on these three days may vary from the itinerary (below).

Alert Bay Lodge is a four room inn that overlooks Johnstone Strait, enabling panoramic views of sunsets, local marine traffic and sometimes pods of orcas. A large common room and its sundecks are favourite places for guests to gather, converse and dine. Please note that availability for this package is subject to room at the lodge.

In Johnstone Strait, orca and grizzly bear viewing seasons coincide from June 15 to September 20. During this period wildlife activity is at an optimum. However, these mammals may still be seen in a two week period on either side of this season.

Day 1: Alert Bay, B.C.Catch your morning or early afternoon flight from Vancouver South Terminal to Port Hardy, on Vancouver Island. Upon arrival at Port Hardy airport, catch a taxi to 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.
- Meals: Dinner.
- 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.
- Meals: Breakfast.
- 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.

Member discount:
10% discount for InfoHub customer.  Request a free gift certificate.

Airfare is included in the tour price.

On this five day, self-guided tour, we include a full day grizzly tour, a half day orca tour, entrance to U’Mista Cultural Centre, 4 breakfasts, two lunches and one dinner. Also included is transportation to the Village of Alert Bay beginning and ending with a flight to Vancouver, BC.

Price Excludes:
- gratuities and 5% GST.

About This Supplier
Photos: Next »
Location: Canada
Joined InfoHub: Nov 2005

M05918 provides active, small group tours of Vancouver Island, the Canadian Rocky Mountains and northern Canada. Groups are limited to 8 people. Our customers are generally 25-55 years of age and seek experiences centered on walking, hiking and wildlife observation in parks. Our "adventure sampling" or...

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