Join Us for a Spirit Bear Photo Tour in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia
Trip Departure Point: Terrace, British Columbia, Canada
Trip End Point: Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada
Trip Dates: September 13th-21st, 2023
Trip Cost: $9595 + gst from Terrace/Prince Rupert, BC (all-inclusive from Terrace, including accommodation and dinner in Terrace on the 13th)
Trip Availability: (2 of 6 spots remaining)
Trip Leader: Colleen Gara, Canon Canada Instructor
Following hot on the heels of very successful Spirit Bear Photography tours from 2011-2019 and again in 2022, we’re pleased to once again be offering a once-in-a-lifetime week-long tour into the Great Bear Rainforest on the British Columbia coast in search of spirit bears (white kermode bears – a black bear with a double recessive gene that is only found in a small area on the B.C. Coast), black bears, humpback whales, bald eagles, coastal wolves and salmon in 2023. Join Canon Canada instructor Colleen Gara aboard the AfterGlow along one of the world’s most spectacular coastlines for a tour that includes some unbelievable opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography in some of the best bear viewing locations in the world!
The tour will explore the inlets, bays, estuaries, and old-growth forests of the mystical midcoast of British Columbia, including Gribbell and Princess Royal Islands, the ancestral home of the rare white Kermode Bear. The surrounding mountains and rainforest are home to grizzly bears, wolves, wolverines, black bears, spirit bears, deer, and beavers and we will walk trails and explore creeks to watch spawning salmon and to search for and hopefully photograph spirit bears, black bears, and potentially grizzlies or even wolves. Guests can also expect to have excellent opportunities photographing humpback whales during the trip.
Due to extreme weather conditions (it is called the rain-forest for a reason) and rough terrain, and to increase our chances of seeing a spirit bear, we will utilize native-built and licensed viewing platforms and areas in certain situations. So while spirit bear sightings are never a guarantee, we have set up this tour to try to maximize our chances of encountering a white kermode bear. We have also limited our group size to six participants (plus me) with the intent of increasing your overall enjoyment of the trip, and we are staying the entire week in the main region where spirit bears are most commonly seen.
The AfterGlow was chosen for this trip because the boat and crew have the reputation of being the best at what they do when it comes to operating wildlife photography trips on the B.C. Coast. You can expect professional service, superb guiding, good food, and clean, comfortable quarters. We will use the boat as a base, and a motorized inflatable to transfer people between the boat and the shore, as we explore one of the last unlogged temperate rainforests in the world.
Expect this to be a unique and exciting photo tour that will challenge every skill you have as a wildlife photographer. You will likely shoot hand-held and from a tripod in a wide variety of situations and weather conditions.
This itinerary is a sample only – the exact itinerary of this trip will be dictated by factors such as weather, tides, and photo opportunities, with the crew working within the parameters of safety, time, and the highlights of the area.
Participants will be expected to arrive in Terrace, BC (serviced by air from Vancouver, BC) on Day 1 prepared for an early morning departure on Day 2 from Terrace for a transport via van to the port community of Kitimat where you will meet up with the AfterGlow. The boat will then immediately head out towards the best bear and whale viewing areas.
The rest of the trip will be spent exploring the Great Bear Rainforest and enjoying the splendor of the surrounding area. Opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography will occur on each day; however, please be aware that the weather conditions and the location of wildlife will dictate the frequency of such activities.
Note that unlike many other spirit bear photography tours, we will be spending the majority of our time in prime spirit bear country where there are fewer grizzly bears, increasing the likelihood of spirit bear sightings. This trip also offers more ‘creek’ days — where you hike up creeks looking for wildlife — than almost any other boat-based tour in this region.
On our final day, we will return to Prince Rupert via water taxi for the conclusion of the trip.
This trip requires a good level of fitness and will involve hiking with gear on uneven and wet terrain on unmarked trails and through the bush. Participants should be mobile enough to climb ladders and get in and out of a zodiac and to carry their gear over rough rainforest trails for up to four kilometers at a time. Weather conditions may be variable and participants must be prepared for adverse weather including torrential rain and cold temperatures. Although conditions may be difficult at times, the rewards are worth it, as you become part of just a small percentage of people who have explored the wonders of the Great Bear Rainforest! Maximum six participants.
The Spirit Bear Photography Price includes all days in the First Nations licensed viewing areas, as well as accommodation and dinner in Terrace on Day 1 and breakfast on Day 2.
All Canadian Wildlife Photography Tours are non-smoking tours. Participants will be required to sign a Waiver and a Terms and Conditions Cancellation Policy, and to provide proof of vaccination for this trip.
Please note that a $1250 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot on a Spirit Bear Photography Tour. The balance owing, including gst, is due 90 days prior to your trip departure and is also non-refundable; however, upon cancellation, this balance owing may be transferred to another workshop or tour if John is able to fill your spot.
We highly recommend all workshop and tour participants purchase independent trip cancellation insurance to protect against unforeseen circumstances.