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Great Bear Nature Tours See Grizzly Bears in the Great Bear Rainforest

4 nights

From May through to October, travel to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island to the central coast of British Columbia. Known as the Great Bear Rainforest, this area is one of the best places in the world to see grizzly bears and other wildlife such as wolves, black bears, otters, pine martens, mink and bald eagles.  The Great Bear Lodge is located in rich grizzly bear habitat in the Nekite Valley and you can view the bears either by boat or by using one of the many viewing stands along the river.

The Lodge has just five bedrooms, all en-suite, and in keeping with the management philosophy of low-impact ecotourism, features wind and solar power. Your hosts will prepare wilderness-gourmet meals during your stay, using the best local seafood and produce available. Enjoy a glass of wine on the deck at night as you watch the moon rise over the mountains.  Due to the size of the lodge you are assured a very special and personalised experience.

 

The Breakdown

Here's a day-by-day guide to your itinerary. Feel free to ask us to add other days or ideas and excursions by adding them to your wishlist, so we can give you the best price.

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Day 1

Port Hardy to Great Bear Rainforest

Departing from Port Hardy at 3pm, you will leave for a pristine wilderness. Transportation is by...

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Day 2

Great Bear Rainforest

In the morning, you will be on the trail of the grizzly bear again after some good coffee and bre...

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Day 3

Great Bear Rainforest

As your stay at the lodge continues, you begin to settle into the natural rhythm of the valley. T...

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Day 4

Great Bear Rainforest to Port Hardy

After your parting session with the bears you will enjoy lunch at the Great Bear Lodge. You will...

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Day 5

Port Hardy to Vancouver

Transfer to your connecting programme, or to Vancouver Airport for your flight home....

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Day 1

Port Hardy to Great Bear Rainforest

Departing from Port Hardy at 3pm, you will leave for a pristine wilderness. Transportation is by seaplane. Journeying to your site is a spectacular adventure in itself, traveling past the breathtaking scenery of the central coast and over the rich waters of Queen Charlotte Strait, the home of orca, grey and humpback whales.  Upon arrival at the lodge, settle into your private room and in the late afternoon, your grizzly bear experience begins.  There are a range of different viewing sites, and will choose one according to where the bears have been most active. Estuary sites are reached by boat, while river sites are reached by a bus along a wilderness track. The viewing blinds on the river have been constructed with the photographer in mind, and are optimal and comfortable places from which to view bears. Returning to the lodge that evening, you will be treated to a wilderness-gourmet meal.

3 nights at The Great Bear Lodge.

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Day 2

Great Bear Rainforest

In the morning, you will be on the trail of the grizzly bear again after some good coffee and breakfast. A typical viewing session lasts three hours. Viewing sessions are not strenuous, requiring guests only to step from a boat onto an undeveloped shoreline or to walk 50 feet down wooden stairs from the bus to the viewing platforms.  After a morning of adventure, you will return to the lodge for lunch and a chance to relax. Spend the early afternoon exploring the surrounding area with a guide. A popular activity is the interpretive rainforest walk, examining bear signs and the general ecology of the area. In mid-afternoon you will venture out to see the bears before returning to the lodge for dinner. On clear nights, the stars are amazing.

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Day 3

Great Bear Rainforest

As your stay at the lodge continues, you begin to settle into the natural rhythm of the valley. The bears are generally most active in the early morning and late afternoon hours, which is why viewing sessions are focused on these times.  Over the course of your stay you will be taken to a variety of sites, depending on the bear activity.  For the afternoon recreation today you may take a guided sea-kayaking tour of the estuary, or a boat cruise to explore the glacier-carved inlet. Or you may prefer to relax and enjoy the view from the lodge.

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Day 4

Great Bear Rainforest to Port Hardy

After your parting session with the bears you will enjoy lunch at the Great Bear Lodge. You will be
scheduled to return to Port Hardy in the afternoon between 4pm and 6pm.

1 night in Port Hardy.

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Day 5

Port Hardy to Vancouver

Transfer to your connecting programme, or to Vancouver Airport for your flight home.

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The View

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This is a selection of hotels for this itinerary. Some areas have many more choices; please use the search function above if you wish to find an alternative hotel.

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Whether you would like to book this exact holiday or to tailor-make it to better suit you, please give one of our knowledgeable experts a call on 020 8776 8709 or send us an email.


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We are here to make sure we tailor-make your holiday to suit your specific requirements and our friendly, knowledgeable staff are all ready to help.


Booking your holiday with us doesn't end when we send your confirmation out to you, either. Talk to us about adding excursions or room upgrades or even restaurant recommendations; we are here to offer advice all the way up to your departure date. Even when you have left the UK, we are still here to help. For example if your flight that we have booked is delayed or cancelled due to ash cloud, strike, etc, it is down to us to re-arrange your travel. We will do everything we can to make sure your holiday runs smoothly. And better still, we are fully bonded with ATOL and ABTA, so your money is completely protected.

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to a significant concentration of coastal grizzly bears. During Spring (May and June), grizzly bears come down from the mountains to graze on the sedges, succulents and grasses that make up the dense bio-mass of the river estuary. There you can observe and photograph the grizzly bears from boats, floating quietly in the estuary sloughs. Coinciding with breeding season, you can often see large males interacting with females. Additionally, the estuary is bustling with other bird and animal life at this time of year.  The return of tens of thousands of salmon marks the beginning of the autumn season in mid-August. Great Bear Lodge has constructed a series of enclosed viewing stands along the river, providing a variety of settings to view and photograph grizzly bears as they gorge on fish in anticipation of their coming hibernation.

PRICE INCLUDES:  Accommodation in a private room at the Great Bear Lodge, with washroom
• Interpretive discussion and welcome orientation for wildlife viewing
• Morning and afternoon bear viewing sessions, guided by a wildlife biologist
• Wilderness-gourmet meals including complimentary wine and beer
• Transportation (usually float plane) to and from the Great Bear Lodge (departing Port Hardy)
• Slide shows and video presentations on the local natural history
• Guided hiking, boat cruises or sea-kayaking
• Rubber boots and rain gear, if required • Binoculars for wildlife viewing

NEED TO KNOW:  The minimum age is 15 years, unless the group books the whole 5 rooms in which case there is no age limit.  Flight departs Port Hardy 1500 and returns there between 1600 and 1800.

TAKE WITH YOU: Camera and camcorders. Tripods are recommended for wildlife photography. Electricity is available for recharging batteries (but not for hair-dryers!).  Warm clothing: thermal underwear, multiple layers, including gloves, extra socks and a warm hat. It is important to wear warm clothing even for summer viewing, as we sit still in a shaded location for a number of hours. Rain gear and rubber boots, if available. Great Bear Nature Tours will provide these items for guests, if needed, however they may be more comfortable in their own. Waterproof trousers are recommended in addition to jackets,  especially for spring viewing.   Please do not bring perfumed toiletries.

BOOKING AND CANCELLATION POLICY: (Differs and supercedes Frontier Travel's normal policy)

A deposit of 50% is due at the time of booking.  Balance 8 weeks prior to departure.

Due to the nature of operating in the wilderness, Great Bear Nature Tours reserves the right to cancel or delay a trip if the weather is extremely inclement. A refund will be provided however Great Bear Nature Tours/Frontier Travel is not responsible for expenses incurred by trip members in preparation for the trip (e.g., non-refundable airline tickets, hotel stays, etc.).
Guest cancellations: Upon notice of cancellation, the balance of the trip fee will be refunded according to the following schedule. We recommend that all guests purchase cancellation insurance.
• 30 days or more before departure: full refund less £100 per person
• 8-29 days: 50% refund
• 7 days or less: no refund

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This suggested itinerary is our recommendation but can be tailored to match your wishes and needs

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