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Orcas and Grizzlies on Vancouver Island

Fly into northern Vancouver Island for easy access to some of the top wildlife viewing areas in British Columbia

Get to know the wild side of Vancouver Island on this 5-day getaway that includes two amazing wildlife experiences. Get up close to see grizzly bears in their natural habitat, surrounded by some of the most stunning natural scenery on the west coast; then cruise between windswept islands to see majestic orcas playing in the water. Stay in quiet Telegraph Cove, surrounded by an almost otherworldly natural beauty with nothing but the sounds of tranquil nature around you. A roundtrip scenic flight from Vancouver to Port Hardy makes this an easy wilderness retreat

5 Days from $4280/person CAD
Travel Details
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Day 1: Vancouver – Alert Bay

After making your way to Vancouver International Airport, head to the South Terminal 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 community with a thriving First Nations culture. You’ll be met by a guide at the ferry terminal and transfer to your accommodations.

Day 2: Alert Bay

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 in 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 – Grizzly Bear Expedition

You’ll depart at 6:45 am from Alert Bay for a full day on the water to seek out grizzly bears in their natural habitat. Your destination is Knight Inlet, a two-hour ride by covered boat into Johnstone Strait. Famous for its population of Grizzly bears, Knight Inlet is a long and deep glacier-carved fjord surrounded by snow-capped mountains and steep-sided, forested cliffs. Here you’ll 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 you 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.



  • Return scheduled flights between Vancouver South Terminal and Port Hardy airport
  • Return taxi transfers between Port Hardy Airport and Port McNeill
  • Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Ferry terminal to Alert Bay Lodge
  • 4 Nights accommodation on room only basis
  • 4 Breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • Admission to U’Mista Cultural Centre
  • Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to Alert Bay Ferry Terminal
  • Taxi transfer from Port McNeil to Telegraph Cove
  • Nature and Whale Watching Cruise (3-3.5 hours)
  • Water taxi transfer from Telegraph Cove to Alert Bay
  • Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to meet Grizzly Bear Tour
  • Grizzly Bear Expedition including lunch (8-9 hours)
  • Taxi transfer from Alert Bay Lodge to Alert Bay Ferry terminal
  • Taxes

Not Included

  • Return ferry passage to Alert Bay from Port McNeill (Approx. $13.00)
  • Gratuities to drivers
  • Meals not mentioned above
  • Personal expenses and insurance
Travel Details

Primary Location

Telegraph Cove, British Columbia


June - September

Pricing Details

Click Book Online above for dates, availability and to make your reservation request - if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!

  • Rates are based on double occupancy
  • Minimum age is 10 years old
  • Pre and/or Post accommodation may be required in Vancouver based on Air North flight schedule and availability
  • Pacific Coastal Flight Schedule :
    • Vancouver to Port Hardy: 8:45 -> 9:55, 15:35 -> 15:45
    • Port Hardy to Vancouver: 10:25 -> 11:32, 17:15 -> 18:25
  • Pacific Coastal Baggage Allowance: Guests are limited to one suitcase or duffle bag per person with a weight not to exceed 50 lbs (23 kg). Passengers may also bring a small carry-on bag with them
  • This package requires a 25% non-refundable deposit
  • This tour is subject to availability at time of booking
Options Extras

Optional Extras

  • Pre and Post accommodation in Vancouver
  • Rental Car for self exploration of Northern Vancouver Island
  • Additional Hotel nights on Vancouver Island

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