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  • Grizzly bear cub in Mussel Inlet.
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Quest for the Spirit Bear

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Kermode or Spirit Bear Kermode or Spirit Bear Randy Green

Priced from $5,075 CAD   Days: 8

The shores of the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia is a richly biodiverse region that is home to black bears, grizzly bears, Orca whales, humpback whales, eagles, ravens, wolves, salmon, beavers, deer, and wolverines.  It is also the only place on Earth where the elusive Spirit Bear lives. The Spirit Bear, or Kermode, is a black bear with a rare genetic mutation that makes its fur transluscent white.  The local First Nations people of the region, who serve as guides on this trip, consider the Spirit Bear to be sacred.  One of the Tsimshians' myths says that "Raven made one in every ten bears white to remind the people of the time when glaciers covered this land."

Check out our Spirit Bear Lodge of the Great Bear Rainforest tour!

On this truly unique 8 day trip, we explore the inlets, bays, estuaries and old-growth forest aboard a 68" ketch, as well as by kayak and on foot. Our knowledgeable captain and local guides will take us to the areas where we are most likely to spot wildlife, including the Spirit Bear. 

We hike the cathedral-like old growth forest, where trees are so large it takes sixteen people to encircle their trunks. We kayak in the crystal clear waters full of huge star fish, we float along the largest kelp forests in the world, we duck under water falls from glaciers, and we spot ancient First Nations carvings tucked into the trees along the shore.  We visit a bear stand inland at the mouth of a river, where we have opportunities for some of the best wildlife photography in the world.

Aboard our sailboat, whales often follow our boat playfully.  "I have looked into the blow hole of a humpback," says International Wildlife Adventures Director Susie Green.  "This trip is so moving it makes grown men sob in awe and wonder."

Read Susie Green's blog of her recent Spirit Bear cruise

See pictures from other travelers:  Spirit Bear trip pictures 


 

 

  • Itinerary
  • Date - Rates
  • Lodging
  • Map
Itinerary:

Day 0: Arrive Bella Bella
Arrive Bella Bella on your own. The hotel is not included. We will be happy to make the arrangements for you.   O/N Bella Bella

Day 1: Board boat
We meet our boat at the municipal dock at 11:00 AM. Once all provisions and gear are stored, we will have lunch and get under way.

Each passenger will be assigned a double berth - there are no single spaces aboard the boat. We board in time for an excellent lunch and spend some time getting our gear stowed. O/N Boat

Day 2 - 7: Aboard Island Roamer/Island Odyssey
This is a land of deep, glacier-carved fjords and deeper-still sounds filled with rich marine life. While we’re underway, watch for the spouts of humpback whales as they feed on huge schools of herring. Dall porpoise play in our bow wave and humpbacks breech in the glassy water. We’ll encounter many varieties of wildlife while on our “Quest for the Spirit Bear”.

Our entire cruising area is located in perfect bear habitat, with its old-growth hemlock, cedar forest, tidewater estuaries rich with grasses, roots and berries, sparkling salmon streams and very few human visitors.

Bear viewing on Gribbell Island

Our native Gitga’at guide will take us to some of his favorite bear-viewing areas where we hope to see black,brown and Spirit Bears. Due to rough terrain and to maximize our chances of a seeing Spirit Bear, we will utilize native-built viewing platforms. A 15-minute walk takes us to bear viewing platforms constructed by the Gitga’at, of the Tsimshian Nation. The platforms are located next to a picturesque creek that is frequented by Spirit Bears and black bears, including mothers and cubs. After a short wait, bears that have melted into the underbrush will re-emerge into the stream, looking for spawning salmon. While most bears we will see will be black, this is one of the best locations to expect the kermode bears. Time will be spent bear viewing from the platforms with sack lunches provided. We’ll return back to the boat in time for dinner.

Klemtu & Princess Royal Island

We may travel south, inside Princess Royal Island with time to stop at Klemtu, a little village of the Kitasoo tribe of the Tsimshian First
Nations tribe, and tour the big ceremonial house
with a native guide. We’ll also visit the Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy.

Explore Fjordland Recreation Area

The Fjordland Recreation Area encompasses Mussel, Kynock and Roscoe Inlets; glacially carved inlets have granite cliffs which soar to over 3000 feet. Everywhere, ribbons of waterfalls cascade down the sheer cliffs.

We will travel by Zodiac to the inlet estuaries for closer inspection. Of particular note is Khutze Inlet where we have excellent chances to view and photograph grizzly and black bears, including, occasionally, mothers and cubs. With some luck we’ll be able to make some very close approaches.

Other wildlife such as eagles (and, if we’re lucky, a wolf) gather along the stream banks to capitalize on the wealth of nutrition provided by the salmon runs.

Please be aware that the weather conditions and location of wildlife will dictate the frequency of activities. There are kayaks on board for those who would like to explore on their own.

Day 8: Depart boat, fly home*
We arrive this morning in Bella Bella Participants can make flight arrangement to return home anytime after 1 PM.

*Please contact our office prior to booking your airline tickets as this is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.

Date - Rates:
Dates:

Sept. 29-Oct. 6, 2016 ** two days at bear stands

Sept. 30-Oct. 7, 2016

Price: rates are in CAD and will be converted to USD at time of booking. 

Sept. 30-Oct. 7: $5,075 per person CAD based on double occupancy, plus 5% GST from Bella Bella plus $100 per person for sustainability fee. There is no single berth on the boat.

Sept. 29-Oct. 6: $5,275 per person CAD based on double occupancy, plus 5% GST from Bella Bella plus $100 per person for sustainability fee. There is no single berth on the boat. This trip includes 2 days at the bear stands.

Price includes lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8, the boat, and all activities and guide services.
$100 Sustainability fee is added at time of booking.

Not included: Guests need to arrive into Vancouer, BC night prior to flying into Bella Bella. Night in Vancouver, night in BElla Bella, air to Bella Bella from Vancouver.   

Registration: To confirm your space on this tour, please send a $600 deposit to our office. Balance is due 90 days prior to departure.

The day-to-day itinerary is subject to weather and animal activity. The above itinerary is a sample only. Flight delays can happen due to weather and neither IWA nor the boat operator is responsible for any additional costs due to delays.

Cancellation Policy: In the event you must cancel your reservation, refunds will be made according to the following schedule: Deposit of $600 CAD is nonrefundable, unless space can be resold, in which case a $150 Service Charge will apply. 90 to 61 days prior to departure, 50% of total is nonrefundable; less than 60 days prior to departure, 100% nonrefundable.

Insurance: Because many advance logistical arrangements have been made prior to the running of this trip, we must adhere to the above policy. In light of this, we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. A form will be sent to you upon request.


To book this trip, call:
800-808-4492 (US & Canada);
206-463-1943 (Worldwide)

Lodging:

GreenSusie Canada CABC 0918web600

 

Island Odyssey deckplan

Map:

spirit-bear-map

Image Gallery

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"We had an amazing trip, probably the best we have ever done...We had marvelous viewing of the spirit bear, in sunshine, on the second day of viewing and a wonderful close encounter with a rather large black bear...The boat and crew were amazing, so much better than another company that was touring about the same area. Sensational!"

Contact us

800.808.4492
(US & Canada)
206.463.1943
(Worldwide)

 or


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