Whales & Bears 5+ Days

It’s not so much wildlife viewing. Viewing implies observation over participation, like looking through a window; watching over a fence, or through a pair of binoculars. Safe and separate. It’s common, but it’s not how we do things here. On Vancouver Island North, a better phrase is Wildlife Immersion. Every inch of Vancouver Island North is teeming with wildlife, creatures great and small; the land up here still belongs to the wild things.


Travel to Vancouver Island North

Days 1-6
Days 6-7
Days 7-10
Days 1-6

Gain a deeper understanding of the full marine ecosystem of the Vancouver Island North region on a multi-day marine mammal eco-tour, departing from Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill, Port Hardy, and Alert Bay. Luxury linens welcome guests at off-grid wilderness lodges, thick camping mattresses on raised beds furnish standing room tents on base camp tours, or go mobile and set camp at a new location each night on expedition-style trips.

All options have a similar focus: marine wildlife. Whales are often the stars of the show, with the hopes of seeing both orca and humpback whales. Trips may also encounter Dall’s and harbour porpoise, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Minke whales, Steller sea lions, and Pacific harbour seals.

Check out Days 6-7
Days 6-7
Natural History

The small-but-mighty community of Telegraph Cove is a top-10 winner of ‘best towns to visit’ in a poll of Canadian travel writers. It is among the last surviving boardwalk communities on the west coast and it has built its current identity around its strong connection to the marine environment. Learn about the biology, habitat needs and threats to local marine mammals at the Whale Interpretive Centre. Exhibits include skeletons of killer whale, river otter, Pacific white-sided dolphin, and a 60 foot long fin whale.

Make your way up to the Quatse Salmon Centre in Port Hardy for another look at the underwater world. Hands on exhibits and hatchery tours tell the hardship of the life of a salmon and their importance to the marine ecosystem.

Additional Activities

Day 6-7

Check out Days 7-10
Days 7-10
Multi-day bear viewing tour

Truly get back to nature at a remote wilderness lodge on a multi-day grizzly bear viewing tour. Lodges provide cozy comforts like plush beds and gourmet meals in the heart of the wilderness. Tours depart from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island North, or from outside of the region.

Viewing excursions head out from the lodges multiple times each day along the rivers and estuaries of BC’s mainland coast. Quiet patience is what often pays off in a grizzly sighting from the blinds built on the river bank. Watch natural bear behaviour as they forage and interact in their territory. This is nature in its element.

Check out Days 1-6
Getting here & Getting around

Port McNeill is located 5 hours and 15 minutes from Victoria, 3 hours and 40 minutes from Nanaimo, and 2 hours from Campbell River.

For information on Vancouver Island North see Drive BC provincial highway information.

Waivin’ Flags Taxi & Bus Service
Mount Waddington Regional Transit
Drive BC – Provincial Highway Information
BC Ferries
View On Google Maps
Explore Vancouver Island North
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