Day 1: Vancouver - Telegraph Cove
After making your way to Vancouver Inter- national Airport, head to the South Termi- nal and check in at Pacific Coastal Air for your flight. Your 70 minute flight crosses Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage and lands at Port Hardy, near the Island’s north tip. At Port Hardy Airport, a taxi will be waiting to escort you to Port McNeill. Here you’ll board a coastal ferry as a foot passenger for a 35 minute voyage to Alert Bay, an island commuity with a thriving First Nations culture, A lodge employee will meet you at the ferry terminal and escort you to the lodge. Please advise the manager what time you would like to take dinner.
Day 2: Telegraph Cove - Grizzly Bear Expedition
Today is yours at leisure to explore the village of Alert Bay. After breakfast, the lodge manager will provide you with a map highlighting popular attractions on the 5 km long Cormorant Island and tickets to U’Mista Cultural Centre. The village can easily be reached by foot from the lodge. You may choose to visit the Alert Bay Tourism Information Centre, shops and galleries featuring native art. Experience the wonder of the U’Mista Cultural Centre with its examples of historic and contemporary artwork, including a First Nations reclaimed potlatch collection. Should time allow, marvel at First Nations dancing at the Big House, or tour the Ecological Gardens and Big Tree Trail - a series of easy walking trails located at the top of the island approximately 2 km from the Village.
Day 3: Telegraph Cove - Nature/ Whale Watching Cruise
Today after breakfast depart Alert Bay for an exciting eight-hour excursion to Telegraph Cove including a 3.5-hour whale watching tour of the inlets, islands and waterways in Johnston Strait and the Broughton Archipelago. After a taxi ride to the ferry terminal and a short ferry ride to Port McNeill, spend a short time touring Telegraph Cove, its small shops and the fascinating Whale Interpretative Centre that highlights the biology, habitat needs and threats to orcas and other local marine mammals (admission by donation). Lunch can be taken at Telegraph Cove. In the early afternoon, you embark on your whale watching tour. As the on-board naturalist narrates, your skipper leads the search for orcas, humpback and minke whales as well as other marine life such as Dahl porpoises, harbour porpoises, Pacific white-sided dolphins and sea lions. Bald eagles and many species of birds are plentiful in the region and black bears, deer and cougars may be spotted along the shore. After your whale watching tour the last leg of the excursion whisks you from Telegraph Cove by high speed boat to cross Johnstone Strait. You arrive back in Alert Bay by late afternoon. This nature-focused excursion is a must-do for anyone who loves the great outdoors.
Day 4: Alert Bay
We depart at 6:45 am from Alert Bay for a full day on the water to seek out grizzly bears in their natural habitat. Our destination is Knight Inlet, a two hour ride by covered boat into Johnstone Strait. Becoming famous for its population of Grizzly bears, Knight Inlet a long and deep glacier-carved fjord surrounded by snow-capped mountains and steep-sided, forested cliffs. Here we drift, paddle and motor quietly around an estuary, looking to spot grizzly bears as they feed on the sedges and grasses at high tide. Low tide brings more bears out, and we may see them turn over large boulders in their search for crabs, isopods and beach barnacles. On some tides we transfer to our flat bottomed skiff to get into the shallows. Please bring your binoculars and camera! Lunch is included.
Day 5: Alert Bay
After breakfast we’ll call your taxi and get you on the right ferry to Port McNeill. Your up-Island journey continues when you’re picked up by taxi at the Port McNeill Ferry Terminal and escorted to Port Hardy Airport. Here, you catch an afternoon scheduled flight to Vancouver, BC.
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