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Great Bear Rainforest – Fall

Salmon, Bears, Whales, and Ancient Forests

August  October 2020

There’s no place like British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. Encompassing more than 64,000 square kilometres (24,700 square miles), it’s the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world, a place where ancient forests support more biomass than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet.

Our Salmon, Bears, Whales, and Ancient Forests expedition takes us deep into the heart of this remote region, where we’ll observe, photograph, and learn about its ecosystems and most iconic species such as wild Pacific salmon, grizzly bears, spirit bears, whales, and wolves.

See grizzly bears foraging in majestic estuaries and have opportunities to view both spirit bears and black bears fishing for salmon. Explore salmon-spawning streams and estuaries on foot and in sea kayaks or inflatable skiffs, and learn how bears and wolves are critical for maintaining the Great Bear’s “salmon forests.”

Sailing deeper into the region’s inlets and fjords, we’ll scan the cliffs for mountain goats and have excellent chances to see humpback whales, fin whales, and other marine species. We’ll also visit several coastal First Nations communities where we’ll learn about the cultural histories of this region and meet the people whose ancestors have lived here for millennia.

Join us in the Great Bear Rainforest for an expedition of a lifetime – we look forward to welcoming you aboard!

“Everything was impressive about this trip. Every day stunning adventure, scenery, megafauna, and the friends we’ve made and been able to share the days with. We will share with all our friends an understanding and realization of a pristine and vulnerable coast.”

– Sharon Sullivan, British Columbia, CANADA

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

Enjoy sailing, sea kayaking, inflatable boat excursions, and interpretive shore walks through coastal estuaries and ancient temperate rainforests

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

Bella Bella, British Columbia

Cruise Distances

300 nautical miles (~540 km), or 35 nm (60 km)/day

Duration

9 days / 8 nights

Physical Requirements

Moderate

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2020 Expedition Dates and Availability

August-October 2020  •  9-days / 8-nights  •  6 guests

Date

August 18-25

Price

$5,695 CAD

Availability

WAITLIST

Starts/Ends

Bella Bella

Date

August 26-Sept 4

Price

$6,495 CAD

Availability

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Starts/Ends

Bella Bella

Date

September 4-12

Price

$6,495 CAD

Availability

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Starts/Ends

Bella Bella

Date

September 13-21

Price

$6,495 CAD

Availability

WAITLIST

Starts/Ends

Bella Bella

Date

September 22-30

Price

$6,495 CAD

Availability

WAITLIST

Starts/Ends

Bella Bella

Date

October 1-9
Photography Tour

Price

$6,495 CAD

Availability

WAITLIST

Starts/Ends

Bella Bella

You may also be interested in our Great Bear Rainforest Spring sailings!

May 2020

Date

May 6-13

Price

$5,295 CAD

Availability

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Bella Coola

Date

May 14-21

Price

$5,295 CAD

Availability

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Starts/Ends

Bella Coola

Date

May 22-29

Price

$5,295 CAD

Availability

Suspended

Starts/Ends

Bella Bella

NOTES ON PRICING

Our rates are priced per person and 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!

“This trip was more than I could have asked for as a person living in a world where the future of our planet and all of her inhabitants is in question.  This trip gave me hope – not only that the Great Bear Rainforest still exists, but seeing the conservation work people are doing first hand, including providing the opportunity for this beautiful place to be seen and to inspire others. Anyone wanting to experience adventure, inspiration, the most natural beauty, profound animal encounters, once in a lifetime photography experiences, and the trip of a lifetime with genuine and amazing people who truly care about you having the best excursion possible – travel with Outer Shores.”

— Barbara, AB, CANADA

“Every time I come aboard, the Passing Cloud feels more and more like home. This is partly due to the heart and soul of this ship, but mostly because of the people on board. From the mystical Kermode (Spirit) bears to the breaching whales, this trip has been a journey like no other. To the ship, the crew, and our undeniably charismatic Captain Russell, thank you for the trip of a lifetime.”

— Lauren, MT, CANADA

“We leave the Passing Cloud looking at the world through different eyes. Russ and Volker shared so much knowledge, Devon created magic in the galley, and Matt took care of our every need. We were able to put ticks in every box of our wish list – yes, even the elusive Spirit Bear, and we will remember this experience always.”

— Marion and Glen, ON, CANADA

“Awesome, stunning, and surreal. I’ve waited for years to cruise this area and was not disappointed! I will come back to these cruising grounds again and it will be aboard Passing Cloud. Russ, Joel, Volker, and Graham – you are an awesome team that will never be equalled.”

— Rick, ON, CANADA

“Thank you for a truly awesome trip. The highlights – there was almost nothing but highlights – the bears, the whales, the natural world, the sounds, the seas – above all the companionship.”

— Ashley, BC, CANADA

“Dear Matt, Joel, Graham, Rosie….and Russell. You have been awesome in taking me on a heavenly expedition that has greatly furthered my love for the Great Bear Rainforest and BC! Thank you for sharing your passions. I will remember you, our experiences together, and especially how you took my grandson Sam under your wing.”

— David, PA, USA

“Everything was impressive about this trip. Every day stunning adventure, scenery, megafauna, and the friends we’ve made and been able to share the days with. We will share with all our friends an understanding and realization of a pristine and vulnerable coast.”

— Sharon and Hans, BC, CANADA

“We approached this trip with such anticipation and the reality exceeded all our hopes so our memory banks are full of inspirational recollections. So many wonderful experiences made extra special by sharing with others; our wonderful crew and new friends.”

— Peter and Anne, UK

“Leaving Passing Cloud and the Great Bear Rainforest after an amazing journey – both physical and spiritual. The ship, crew, and of course Russ, have transcended our expectations with a truly spectacular environment.”

— Renée, MT, CANADA

“The inspiration provided by this trip will live on for years to come. Highlights: Spirit bear, humpback whale breaching near Whale Point, the Crew (Graham, Molly, Joel, and Russ). Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

— Owen, BC, CANADA

Preparing for your visit to Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest and Sea

The Great Bear Rainforest and Sea is a globally significant region with respect to wildlife, ecological, cultural, and conservation considerations. Below is a list of websites that will help you prepare for experiencing and understanding the issues and complexities of the Great Bear region.

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Office Hours

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

Telephone

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

Address

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

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