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Grizzly Bears of the Great Bear Rainforest

8

days

starting from US $3,780per person

Get this trip plan customized to cover everything you want to see.

Learn which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.

The Ultimate Grizzly Bear Viewing Safari On Canada’s West Coast

Grizzly bears are one of the most majestic predators on the planet, and there are not many places in the world where you can observe them up close, in their natural habitat. The Great Bear Rainforest, a vast stretch of wilderness on Canada’s remote west coast is also one of the most beautiful – and remote places – to visit. You can only get there by small boat or floatplane, and the area is an ecological paradise – from the big mammals (grizzly and black bears; humpback and orca whales), to the schools of migrating salmon and the bald eagles that feed on them, down to the infinitely diverse and colourful tidal estuaries. It is also an area rich in Indigenous culture and history.

Trip at a glance

8 Days / 7 Nights

Arrive Vancouver 2 nights Vancouver 1 night Port Hardy 3 nights Lodge 1 night Port Hardy Depart Vancouver

Grizzly Bears of the Great Bear Rainforest - Map

Availability

MayJunJulAugSepOct

Places Visited

VancouverPort Hardy

Accommodation Style

HotelLodge

Activity Level

Easy

What you'll love about this trip

Expert guides and small group size - 16 guests maximum

Seeing grizzly bears up close in the Great Bear Rainforest

Spectacular float plane rides

Stay in a cozy wilderness lodge with gourmet meals

Common Questions

What are the best months to see the polar bears?

The peak bear viewing months in Churchill are October and November. As the bears wait for the ice to freeze on the Hudson Bay. But you can see the bears and other wildlife (like beluga whales) throughout the summer.

Where do we sleep at night?

You can choose to stay in a cozy hotel in the town of Churchill or sleep aboard the 'Tundra Buggy Lodge'. It's a converted and comfortable Tundra Buggy from which you can view bears round the clock.

Are the tours suitable for children?

Family friendly tours geared towards kids and adults leave each season. Ask your vacation advisor for more information on these special trips.

How cold will it be?

Temperatures range from 24-35 degrees Fahrenheit in October, and about 3-16 degrees in November. In October, the snow is just starting to accumulate.

What if I don't want to buy winter clothing?

No problem - we can arrange for clothing rentals to be waiting for you when you arrive.

This trip in pictures

See grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Journey by float plane.
Stay in a cozy floating lodge.
The wilderness is right at your backdoor.
Bear viewing excursions may be by boat or viewing platform, depending on the season
Explore misty channels by boat.
With any luck, you'll see a mother and her young.
Keep your eyes open for humpback whales.
See noisy colonies of sea lions.
Explore Vancouver for a day as part of your trip.

Accommodations

Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodations. Please call us for the full list and to personalize your experience.

Great Bear Lodge

Great Bear Lodge

Great Bear Lodge is located 50 air miles from Port Hardy, British Columbia, at an outstanding wildlife viewing location. This is a place of spectacular beauty where one can still find the silence and solitude of true wilderness. The charming, wind and solar powered floating lodge has eight bedrooms. The common area is a comfortable place for relaxing and listening to natural history presentations from our wildlife biologists.Natural wood decks surround the lodge, a perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine while enjoying the beauty of the scenery. Gourmet meals in the dining room are made from fresh, often organic, local ingredients.

Get your Polar Bear tour organized and arranged for you

Get your trip plan
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
Schedule a call or call us directly toll-free:
1 877 395 5671

Sample Itinerary

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.

Day 1 – Arrive in Vancouver
Today you arrive in the beautiful coastal city of Vancouver. Surrounded by mountains, ocean and forest, Vancouver is one of a kind. Tonight you settle into a welcoming Vancouver hotel – the comfortable atmosphere, welcoming staff and beautiful views make for a great first night.

Overnight in Vancouver.

 

Day 2 – Explore Vancouver

You have 3 activity options to choose from today in Vancouver:

 

• Option 1: Vancouver Food Tour
Discover Gastown’s best eating and drinking establishments. Savour gastronomic delights and learn about the neighbourhood’s storied past. Experience some of Vancouver’s hottest restaurants that local foodies adore.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Mountain Adventure Tour
Enjoy an amazing tour to the temperate rainforest of Vancouver’s North Shore. This is a full-day excursion into the stunning nature that surrounds the city, with stops including the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Salmon Hatchery.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 3: Vancouver Cycle Tour
Following Vancouver’s extensive cycle lane network, this cycle tour highlights the best of Vancouver food, history, and culture. Visit the Stanley Park seawall, savour a snack at Granville Island Public Market and see historic Gastown and Chinatown. Choose from a regular pedal or electric bike. Activity rating: Moderate

 

Overnight in Vancouver.

 

Day 3 – Vancouver to Port Hardy
This morning you will be taken by private transfer to Vancouver Airport’s South Terminal for your flight to Port Hardy. Enjoy the bird’s eye view of British Columbia’s rugged coast line on your journey to the northern tip of Vancouver Island. Upon arrival make your way to your Port Hardy hotel. Be sure to get lots of rest, tomorrow your Great Bear Lodge experience begins.

Overnight in Port Hardy.

 

Day 4 – Port Hardy to Great Bear Lodge
Leave the noise and distractions of modern life behind, today you welcome the relaxation and silence of the remote wilderness. Your friendly guide meets you to assist with your transfer to the Great Bear Lodge. Board your seaplane for your first adventure – the views of Queen Charlotte Strait and the central coast are breathtaking. Your friendly hosts are waiting to welcome you to the lodge and show you to your private room. In the late afternoon your first wildlife viewing session begins. It’s nearly impossible to describe seeing your first grizzly bear – breathtaking, thrilling and humbling all in one moment. This evening you’re served a fresh gourmet meal prepared with the best local produce and seafood available – enjoy complimentary wine or beer with your meal. Learn where the grizzly bear fits into the local ecosystem before relaxing by the fire and enjoying the sounds of the forest.

Overnight at the Great Bear Lodge.

 

Days 5 to 6 – Great Bear Lodge
The Great Bear Lodge promotes low-impact eco-tourism by using wind and solar power, taking special care not to disturb the bears or their environment. Scheduled morning and afternoon bear viewing sessions coincide with times when the bears are the most active. Accompanied by an experienced wildlife biologist, observe bears roaming freely in their natural habitat as you cruise by boat through nearby estuaries or watch from specially designed viewing areas. Keep a close eye for other wildlife such as wolves, otters, bald eagles, black bears, pine martins and mink. Daily guided activities, such as boat cruises and a popular interpretative rainforest walk, are offered between morning and afternoon viewing excursions – and a delicious brunch awaits you back at the lodge.

 

If you travel in late summer and fall you’ll witness the incredible sight of thousands of migrating salmon from a series of enclosed viewing stands along the river. Watch as the grizzlies hunt for fish in preparation for their coming hibernation.

Overnight at the Great Bear Lodge.

 

Day 7 – Great Bear Lodge to Port Hardy
This morning you go out on your final bear watching session. Be sure to bring your camera along for those last great photos! Return to the lodge for a farewell brunch before boarding your seaplane for your journey back to Port Hardy. Enjoy another evening in this fishing community.

Overnight in Port Hardy.

 

Day 8 – Port Hardy to Vancouver – Depart with Fond Memories
This morning, return south to Vancouver to connect with your flight home. Much too soon, you leave the clean air and colourful sights of Canada behind as your vacation comes to an end.

Get your Polar Bear tour organized and arranged for you

Get your trip plan
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
Schedule a call or call us directly toll-free:
1 877 395 5671

What's Included In Our Prices

These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

Accommodations:
• 2 nights hotel accommodation in Vancouver
• 2 nights hotel accommodation in Port Hardy
• 3 nights accommodation at Great Bear Lodge with private bathroom and shared shower facilities

Vancouver Experiences:
Choose 1 of 3:
1. Vancouver Food Tour
2. Mountain Adventure Tour
3. Vancouver Cycle Tour

Bear Lodge Experiences:
• Welcome orientation briefing at lodge
• Wildlife biologist guide
• Evening interpretative program
• Bear viewing trips, and additional guided activities such as rainforest walks or boat tours

Meal Inclusions:
• Full board meals while at the Great Bear Lodge, including wine and beer

Transfer Inclusions:
• Private airport transfer from Vancouver Airport to Vancouver hotel
• Private airport transfer from Vancouver hotel to South Terminal for flight to Port Hardy
• Roundtrip air between Vancouver and Port Hardy
• Return transfers between Port Hardy and the Great Bear Lodge (by floatplane)
• All transportation to bear watching sites at the Great Bear Lodge

Other Inclusions:
• Great Bear Lodge provides rain ponchos and rubber boots, if necessary
• First Nation fee
• BC Provincial Bear Viewing License Fee
• Brown Bear Research Network contribution
• Digital Travel Documents
• Gratuities for private transfer and tours (unless otherwise noted)
• Gratuities for staff at Great Bear Lodge
• Fresh Tracks Canada customer service – from the time you book, you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.



Not Included

• Canadian sales taxes
• Trip Cancellation & Medical Insurance (highly recommended)
• Airfare to/from Canada
• Meals, except at the Great Bear Lodge

Ideas to customize this trip

Think of this trip as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

• Additional activity packages include extra bear viewing trips, and one of the following daily activities: guided hiking or boat cruise
• Ask us to arrange a car rental, and drive Vancouver Island with stops in Victoria, Parksville or Campbell River, up to Port Hardy for your bear viewing adventure

Get your Polar Bear tour organized and arranged for you

Get your trip plan
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
Schedule a call or call us directly toll-free:
1 877 395 5671

Trip Start Dates

2022 Trip Start Dates*
May 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31
June 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30
July 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30
August 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29
September 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28
October 1, 4, 7, 10, 13

* Call for availability – some dates are sold out

Pricing For This Trip

Our prices vary by departure date, hotel class, transportation, and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our Canadian Insiders to get your personalized quote, or hit the button below.

Bear Viewing Adventure
from US $3,780 to US $6,230 per person

On our Wilderness Adventures, you'll enjoy days with experienced naturalist guides, some meals, seamless connections, and accommodations suited to the unique Canadian surroundings.

Get your Polar Bear tour organized and arranged for you

Get your trip plan
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
Schedule a call or call us directly toll-free:
1 877 395 5671

Why book your trip with us?

Fresh Tracks Canada Team
  • We make planning a trip to Canada really easy!
  • We are experts in creating personalized itineraries.
  • Our itineraries are built around your specific needs, interests and budget.
  • We promise friendly and personal service every step of the way.
  • Consider us your personal contact in Canada before and during your trip.
  • We're based in Vancouver with first-hand ‘insider’ knowledge of Canada.
  • Over the past 20 years, we have personalized more than 15,000 Canadian vacations.

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Get your Polar Bear tour organized and arranged for you

Get your trip plan
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
Schedule a call or call us directly toll-free:
1 877 395 5671
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