Islands of the Spirit Bear & Humpback Whales Motor Yacht Cruise
Great Bear Rainforest, BC
- 8 Days
From $ 4,750.00 CAD
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Our Islands of the Spirit Bear & Humpback Whales Motor Yacht Cruise is an 8 Day adventure cruise aboard our 54 foot motor yacht. The cruise begins in Prince Rupert, northern British Columbia. Included in the price of this trip is the seaplane flight from Prince Rupert over the picturesque northern reaches of the Inside Passage to the First Nations village of Hartley Bay, where guests join our ship, a Transport Canada certified passenger vessel equipped with all the latest navigation and safety equipment. Our 16-foot hard bottomed zodiac is perfect for excursions and tours ashore, and our kayaks for exploring and enjoying the serenity of our coastal anchorages.
Our small group sizes of 2 to 6 guests provide our guests with a more intimate experience and our photographers with the best opportunities, while ensuring the least impact possible on the lands we visit and the wildlife we see. Our guests are never just part of a crowd.
Focus if this Islands of the Spirit Bear & Humpback Whales Motor Yacht Cruise
Whether it's watching tiny white cubs as they pick ripened berries... or watching the black bears as they come to fish in the creek below the viewing platforms... or witnessing the power of humpback whales as they seem to fly out of the sea in a full breach... or see Grizzly Bears as they fish for salmon, this is a trip filled with unparalleled wildlife viewing and whale watching.
September is a time of great abundance on the north coast as the wild Pacific Salmon return to the creeks and rivers to spawn, attracting many of the animals of the Great Bear Rainforest to feast on them in preparation for a long winter.
Humpback whales are gorging on herring as they prepare for their long migration to Hawaii. These lands of immeasurable beauty, with unique wildlife and First Nations cultures, are the focus of these cruise trips.
Spirit bears, black bears, grizzly bears and wolves
Walk the great creeks with our fully certified, bear viewing guide, (one of the founding members of the B.C. Commercial Bear Viewing Association), and marvel at the struggle of five species of returning Pacific Salmon. Travel up rivers and into the estuaries, in our 16-foot zodiac to witness these amazing ecosystems. As you sit quietly at the water's edge, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the rain forest, watch closely for Spirit Bears, Black Bears, Wolves and many species of birds, as they come in search of a salmon dinner.
As we travel south and into the mainland inlets off the Inside Passage you will have the opportunity to witness one of North America's most misunderstood carnivores, the grizzly bear, as they come to feast on the spawning salmon. Learn why the bears, wolves and birds are so important to this ecosystem and how they help feed the towering trees of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Humpback whales, orcas and porpoises
The larger channels traveled in the beginning of our trip, provide us with many hours of spectacular humpback whale watching. These magnificent whales are feeding, readying themselves for the long migration to Hawaii. Displays of tail lobbing, fluke slapping, bubble net feeding and full breaches are commonplace. Last fall we watched a group of 6 Humpbacks as they were forming perfect bubble nets — 29 times!!
The giant dorsal fins of the Orcas are always a cause for excitement. Although usually on the move, and not quite the regular performers that Humpbacks are, our guests always enjoy witnessing the orcas' apparent stealth and power. Often, as we travel, Dall's Porpoises will come to ride on the wake of our ship. As they speed along in the water beneath us or as they fly out of the water, all cameras are readied for a chance to get that perfect shot.
Our small group sizes are best for wildlife viewing
With each of our trips having very small groups of 2 - 6 guests, we make the least impact possible on the lands we visit and the wildlife we view... something that is extremely important to us. With our small group sizes, our fully certified guide(s) are better able to provide our guests with unparalleled wildlife viewing, while still ensuring the safety of the group. Our guests enjoy the most intimate experiences and our photographers, the best opportunities — they are never part of a crowd.
First Nations culture
This journey through some of British Columbia's most extraordinary landscapes is also through the traditional lands of three First Nations peoples. Our guests arrive by seaplane to the First Nations village of Hartley Bay, home to the Gitga'at People. A visit to their Cultural Centre and the opportunity to meet a Gitga'at artist are the perfect introduction to their culture. Included in this trip is one full day at bear viewing stands, led by our Gitga'at guide Marven Robinson from Hartley Bay, to see Black Bears and Spirit Bears and learn the importance of these animals to his people. A little more than midway in the trip, we will visit the First Nations of Klemtu, home to the Kitasoo/ Xai'xais people.
A visit to the Big House in Klemtu with its powerful carved and painted poles and beams is always a highlight of this trip. Our trip ends in the First Nations village of Waglisla (or Bella Bella). Before going to the airport, we like to visit the Koeye café for lunch and to learn why the Koeye is so important to the Heltsiuk people.
Take a kayak for a paddle or simply sit and relax
Take one of our kayaks for a paddle or share our double kayak and enjoy the spectacular beauty and serenity of each of our anchorages. Discover rich tidal pools, playful river otters and seals. If you are quiet, you may even hear the mournful howl of a wolf as it communicates with its pack. Simply sit and relax or set up your tripod for a photo of one of the coast's most magnificent inlets.
As the sun dips behind the mountains and a breeze scented with cedar, spruce and hemlock wafts by, you may see a Grizzly bear as it comes to the estuary's edge looking for a meal... you'll hear the scolding cries of gulls as they steal a morsel from the bear... you'll see the golden grasses of the estuaries, framed by the ebony granite walls... and if you listen closely, the sound of water falling over thousands of feet of polished granite into the inky sea.
Soak in pristine natural hot springs
Soaking in the pristine, natural hotsprings on the polished rocky shores of our anchorage, one can forget everything of the outside world. As the boughs of cedar trees hang from the forest canopy and the mist rising from the waters wraps around you like a blanket, the only sounds that you may hear may be the melody of songbirds, the distant howl of a wolf, or the blow of a humpback whale as it surfaces in the bay in front of you.
Although the weather on BC’s north coast is not always predictable, the sun seems to shine at the most crucial of times: whether the sun spotlights a white Spirit Bear as it gorges itself on ripening wild crab apples, or warms a hungry wolf as he patrols the shore, or highlights the giant pectoral fins of the humpbacks, as they seem to fly out of the sea in a full breach. Enjoy the calm of “Inside Passage” waterways and anchorages amidst some of B.C.’s most awesome scenery.
This nine day trip through the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest has been described by our guests as "Spiritually moving"... "A magical experience I will never forget"... "so many indelible memories!"
Our Islands of the Spirit Bear & Humpback Whales Motor Yacht Cruise begins and ends in Prince Rupert. Our departures also includes 1 or 2 full days at a bear viewing platform overlooking a creek where bears come to fish. A bear guide/Gitga’at interpreter from the First Nations village of Hartley Bay, will help lead your group when you go to the platform. Your First Nations guide will share his local knowledge with you, including explaining the importance of the Spirit Bear to his people.
What is included:
- Seaplane flights from Prince Rupert, B. C. to Hartley Bay and return to Prince Rupert.
- All meals from Lunch on First Day to Breakfast/Brunch on Last Day as well as snacks and beverages (British Columbia V.Q.A. wines served with dinner).
- Professional services of Captain/wildlife guide, Chef, Crew Person, and First Nations Guide
- Use of safety vests, hip or chest waders when necessary, kayaks, and other equipment.
- Fishing gear if you are interested in fishing (Fishing licences must be purchased prior to joining the ship).
- All bedding, linens and towels, except beach towels.
- A selection of shampoo, conditioners and body washes for showers
- All First Nations development fees, Park permits, limited access area fees, and land tenures fees
- All guided excursions ashore
- One or two full days (depending on which departure you choose) at Gitga’at bear viewing platform with Gitga’at guide
- Smallest group size of any of the charter boats -- 5 guests maximum on scheduled wildlife viewing departures.
What is not included:
- Applicable taxes
- Transportation from your home to Prince Rupert and return
- Accommodation in Prince Rupert before/after trip or as a result of travel interruption due to poor weather.
- Excess baggage charges (40 pound baggage allowance). Guests travelling on private, Custom charters should check baggage allowances with their seaplane flight provider.
- Extra medical insurance, travel interruption insurance or medical evacuation insurance -- all recommended when travelling in such remote areas.
- Gratuities for Captain, Chef, and Crew Person, customary in the chartering business.