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 13: Kitimat, Bear-Viewing Stands, Hartley Bay, Humpback and Fin Whales

Our adventure begins in the Haisla First Nation community of Kitimat, where we’ll set sail and begin our photographic journey south into the heart of Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest. Late this afternoon we’ll go ashore for our first taste of coastal temperate rainforest. To prepare for tomorrow’s adventure, James Thompson, our Photography Expert, will give us his “Wildlife Photography 101” talk tonight after dinner. We’re up early to spend a full day at bear-viewing stands operated by the Gitga’at First Nation. We’ll have good chances of observing both black bears and the iconic Spirit bear fishing for salmon in a small coastal stream. We’ll spend the majority of the day quietly observing and photographing the salmon, bears, and other wildlife from the viewing stands at the edge of the stream. While in this region, we’ll visit the Gitga’at First Nation community of Hartley Bay. En route, we’re hopeful that we’ll encounter the large groups of humpback whales that are increasingly found congregating in this area. In Hartley Bay, we’ll enjoy a walking tour of this beautiful boardwalk community and learn about the Gitga’at Nation. We’ll spend this afternoon sailing and photographing whales in Squally Channel and Taylor Bight, and he hope this includes fin whales, the second largest mammals on the planet!

DAYS 46: Whale Research Station, Khutze Inlet, Grizzly Bears, Fjordland

To learn more about the amazing recovery of whales in this region, we’ll visit Cetacea Lab, a small whale research facility on that southern tip of Gill Island. Here we’ll learn about ongoing research, including their whale photo-identification program. Our next stop is Khutze Inlet, renowned for its waterfalls, snow-capped mountain peaks, and wildlife. We’ll use our inflatable skiff to explore this expansive coastal estuary ecosystem, which provides excellent habitat for spawning salmon, black bears, grizzly bears, waterfowl, and wolves. We plan to spend all afternoon here, leaving lots of time for bear viewing and photography. This is a great place to break out our tripods and get some amazing wildlife and landscape images. Continuing our journey south through Princess Royal Channel, we’ll travel to Kynoch Inlet, inside Fjordland Recreation Area. Besides its stunning beauty, Kynoch is a great place to watch for bears coming to the estuary to feed on salmon.

DAYS 79: Klemtu, Traditional Big House, Sailing, Wildlife, Bella Bella

Vast landscapes, towering granite mountains, cascading waterfalls, scenic narrow passages, and an abundance of whales dominate this region of the Great Bear Rainforest. We’ll have plenty of time for photo sessions, sailing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. We’ll be en route to the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation community of Klemtu, where we’ll be welcomed with a guided tour of their traditional Big House. We’ll learn about the deep history of this indigenous nation and their present-day initiatives to protect their culture, community, and economy. On our last evening together, we’ll have one last image review session and a grand finale slideshow. Travelling the remaining distance to Bella Bella on our final morning, we’ll hope for last-minute wildlife sightings and enjoy pristine landscapes and seascapes. Once we arrive, we’ll say our farewells to the Great Bear Rainforest and new friends before disembarking and heading to the Bella Bella Airport.

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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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