Great Bear Rainforest
Photography Tour

Salmon, Bears, Whales, and Ancient Forests

October 1  9  •  9-days / 8 -nights  •  6 guests

There’s no place like British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. This is a verdant landscape, a place where ancient, towering forests support more biomass than any other terrestrial ecosystem in the world.

Our Great Bear Rainforest Photography Tour takes us into the heart of this remote wilderness. With one-on-one coaching from coastal photography expert James Thompson, you’ll spend time learning how to capture the magic and interconnectedness of the Great Bear and its most iconic species, particularly bears, whales, and salmon.

We’ll explore landscapes and sunsets, wildflowers and waterfalls, and look for wildlife. We’ll meander up creeks in the ancient rainforest for excellent chances of viewing bears in their natural habitat and hope to catch a glimpse of the iconic spirit bear. We’ll go ashore in coastal estuaries and at salmon spawning streams and rivers. We’ll also look for encounters with the abundant populations of whales, orcas, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and sea otters that thrive in these coastal seas.

This tour is designed for photographers of all kinds, from those looking for an introduction to coastal photography to experienced photographers seeking an unparalleled photographic opportunity.

With so much to see, this expedition has a one-way itinerary, meaning less travel time and more exploration. We hope you’ll join us!

You exceeded our expectations in every way. It was a very special experience to be in such a vast and unspoiled wilderness, to see and hear it, to see the wildlife in their natural surroundings. The captain and crew shared their passion with us and made us even more aware of the special beauty of this wonderful place.”

– Ellen and Jack, New Jersey, USA

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Outer Shores is a proud member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of British Columbia and our crew are certified bear-viewing guides.

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Exceptional opportunities for viewing and photographing wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, and spirit bears, wolves, humpback whales, porpoises, otters, seals, sea lions, seabirds, eagles, ravens, and spawning salmon

Features one full day at bear-viewing stands operated by local First Nations, where we have excellent chances of observing bears, include the iconic spirit bear, fishing for salmon

Photo coaching sessions, image reviews, mini-workshops, and unlimited opportunities for honing your photography skills

Itinerary Overview

DAYS 12: Bella Bella, Klemtu, Traditional Big House

Our 9-day expedition through the Great Bear Rainforest begins in the Heiltsuk First Nation community of Bella Bella. As soon as we depart, we’ll be on the lookout for our first wildlife sightings, such as humpback whales, sea otters, elephant seals, and killer whales. Later, we’ll anchor in a small coastal estuary and go ashore for our first taste of coastal temperate rainforest ecosystems and spawning salmon in action. We’ll visit the Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation community of Klemtu, where we’ll be welcomed to this remote coastal community with a guided tour of their traditional Big House.

DAYS 3–6: Waterfalls, Fjords, Grizzly Bears, Humpback Whales, Whale Research Station

After an early morning inflatable boat excursion into Culpepper Lagoon, we’ll continue our journey deeper into the Great Bear. As we travel today, we’ll enjoy vast landscapes, towering granite mountains, and cascading waterfalls. We also expect to encounter more marine wildlife, particularly the humpback whales that are returning to this region in great numbers. Weather permitting, we’ll spend the afternoon exploring Carter Bay, another excellent place to encounter grizzly bears.  We’re up early on Day 6 to spend the day in search of bears in the Gitga’at First Nation, where we’ll have good chances of observing both black bears and the iconic spirit bear fishing for salmon in small coastal streams and estuaries. Throughout our journey, we’ll be on constant lookout for a glimpse of the secretive coastal wolves that inhabit the Great Bear Rainforest. While on the west side of Princess Royal Island, we’ll visit a small whale research station and learn about ongoing whale research in this region.

DAYS 79: Hartley Bay, Fjordland, Bears!

This morning we’ll get underway early and have breakfast as we travel to the Gitg’aat First Nations village of Hartley Bay, a picturesque boardwalk community with under 300 people. In the afternoon, we’ll travel northeast into Fjordland Conservation Area as we continue our circumnavigation of Princess Royal Island. As the Pacific salmon begin to make their way upstream to spawn, we’ll be on the lookout for the predatory species that are drawn to the shoreline to take advantage of this annual phenomenon. We’ll enter the glacier-carved fjords separating the outer islands and the mainland coast, in search of bears – grizzly, black bears, and iconic spirit bears – as well as the elusive coastal sea wolf. We’ll visit hot springs and take in the beautiful snow-capped peaks and cascading waterfalls of the region. As we travel the short distance to Bella Bella on our final day we hope for last minute wildlife sightings and enjoy the pristine landscapes and seascapes of the Great Bear Rainforest and Sea. Once we arrive, we say our farewells to the Great Bear Rainforest, and our shipmates and new friends.

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Departs From/ Returns To

Bella Bella, British Columbia

Cruise Distances

150 nautical miles (~275 km), or 25 nm (~46 km)/day


9 days / 8 nights

Physical Requirements


2021 Expedition Dates and Availability
October 1  9  •  9-days / 8 -nights  •  6 guests  •  $7,200 CAD


October 1 – 9


$7,200 CAD/Person




Bella Bella

Our prices are based on double occupancy, quoted in Canadian dollars, and subject to 5% Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST). All payments must be made in Canadian dollars, by cheque or credit card. All prices are subject to change without notice.

Check out what our guests have to say about this expedition!

“Thank you Russell, Erin, Liam, and James for another incredible journey into a place that will always stay with me – that has enriched my life – my love for our natural world has expanded and changed me forever – Passing Cloud – you are have also touched my heart.”

— Julie, BC, CANADA

“You exceeded our expectations in every way. It was a very special experience to be in such a vast and unspoiled wilderness, to see and hear it, to see the wildlife in their natural surroundings. The captain and crew shared their passion with us and made us even more aware of the special beauty of this wonderful place.”

— Ellen and Jack, NJ, USA

“Thank you for the amazing time aboard your vessel. Every aspect of my experience was overwhelmingly good. Being in such an ancient part of the world that is largely untouched has given more awareness to my spirit and I believe those around me as well.”


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    Office Hours

    Monday  Friday
    10:00 16:00 (Pacific Time)


    1-855-714-7233 (Toll-free)
    1-250-220-2311 (Local)


    PO Box 361, Cobble Hill, BC, V0R 1L0, Canada

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