Why GUESTS CHOOSE "Ocean Adventures" and
our ship, "Great Bear II" for all of their coastal adventures.
SMALLER GROUP SIZES
While our scheduled trips and private charters have a maximum of 6 guests, we have had private charters with as few as 1 guest for special photo assignments or couples celebrating their special anniversaries.
We believe that our smaller group sizes allow our guests to really discover the heart beat of the unique and soul-stirring wildernesses in which we travel.
Thoughtful, quiet, patient wildlife viewing is practiced so that our guests can witness the natural behaviours of the wildlife and so that we can make the least possible impact on the wildlife and their wild homes, all of which are extremely important to us.
In Haida Gwaii, (where a maximum of 12 people including guides are allowed on shore at one time), our small group sizes not only allow our guests a more intimate experience, but also honours the agreement set out for all tour operators in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.
OUR SHIP GREAT BEAR II
Our 54-foot ship, Great Bear II offers unparalleled comfort and privacy as our guests experience British Columbia's most remote and spectacular locations. The ship's spacious layout and warmth of her wood interior can only be outdone by the magnificent views from her salon, dining table, and pilothouse. No huddling down below on rainy days... our guests can enjoy the awe-inspiring views from anywhere on the ship, no matter what the weather is doing. Great Bear II's spacious foredeck with cushioned seating, has room to relax and enjoy the scenery with still plenty of deck space for photographers to set up their tripods.
Our guests enjoy accommodation in private staterooms, (based on double occupancy) and single guests not wishing to share a room, may book single accommodation in the pilothouse, (which closes off from the rest of the ship at night). Each of the staterooms on board is well appointed with beautifully made beds, complete with duvets, pillows and linens. Large bath towels, facecloths, special reading materials and chocolates also await our guests.
Fresh hand towels are put out each day and complimentary natural personal care products by AVEDA, and hair dryers, are provided in each of the on board bathrooms. A newly installed water maker means guests can shower whenever they like.
The private staterooms and many amenities are often said by our guests to "have exceeded their expectations." With our small group sizes of 2 - 6 guests, the spacious layout of our ship, and our many amenities and services, our guest are sure to feel pampered... never just part of a crowd.
For more detailed information on our ship, Great Bear II,
click here or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAFETY ENSURED ON BOARD AND OFF
Our 54 foot ship, Great Bear II is fully certified as a passenger vessel by Transport Canada. Each year the ship undergoes rigorous safety inspections by inspectors from Transport Canada, by specialists in on board systems, and by our owner and Captain, Eric Boyum.
Ocean Adventures owner and Captain Eric Boyum is certified by Transport Canada and has over 35 years experience working and exploring the waters of B.C.'s coast. As a professional firefighter for 28 years, Eric was also trained in commanding emergency scenes, advanced first aid and CPR, and many kinds of technical rescues. This training along with his certification in Wilderness First Aid and his expertise in bear guiding, give our guests confidence when traveling with us.
Captain Brad Mason has spent most of his life near the water. Having grown up around lakes in Northwestern Ontario, he has spent a large portion of his time in the wilderness. He is a graduate of West Coast Adventure College where he completed the Level II Adventure Tourism program. He is now a part time instructor there teaching new students how to safely operate vessels and other marine related subjects.
Brad has been a certified Captain for many years and has spent the past 13 seasons in the whale watch industry as both a Zodiac Skipper and 60 Tonne Captain.
He is an active member of the Pacific Whale Watching Association as well as a Certified Level 1 Bear Viewing guide
Brad spends the majority of his winters traveling and has had wonderful adventures in Mexico, South and Central America. He is looking forward to sharing some of his experiences with you as well as creating new ones.
To further ensure your safety, at least one other member of our crew is certified in Marine Emergency Duties. All chefs are certified in Food Safety and are diligent in the cleanliness of the galley and the safe handling and storage of foods on board.
At the very beginning of each trip, our Captain and Crew give our guests a thorough briefing on ship safety and emergency procedures.
Qualified, professional bear guides(s) lead all excursions off the ship on bear viewing departures, and, on trips where bears may be encountered. Our guide(s) brief guests before their first on-shore excursion, on bear behaviour and our best practices when viewing all wildlife. To further ensure your safety on shore, we limit our group sizes to 2 - 6 guests. This enables our guides to provide the highest level of safety to our guests while ensuring the least impact on the wildlife we view, something that is extremely important to us.
A MORE INTIMATE EXPERIENCE
We welcome you aboard, to share with you, what we believe are global treasures. We want to spend less time traveling long distances each day, and have more time for you to really get to know the places, the wildlife and the people along the way. When our paths cross with nature's best: Grizzly bears feeding on sedges or salmon... Spirit Bears feasting on berries or fish... Humpback Whales breaching or bubble netting... the towering trees of the Great Bear Rainforest... a Peregrine falcon in flight... a meadow carpeted in wildflowers... OR we are invited to a First Nations feast, we have time to stop, and savour these life changing moments.
ECO CHARTER AND CONSERVATION LEADERS
Working side by side with First Nations
Ocean Adventures were among the first to sign working Protocol Agreements with the First Nations People whose traditional lands we visit. As our guests meet these coastal First Nations People, they are meeting our friends and our teachers.
Supporting Local Villages, Communities & Businesses
To support local villages and communities along the coast, we hire people there to work with us, we are sometimes led by First Nations guides to limited access areas, we buy fresh food locally, buy fuel when we need it, introduce our guests to new cultures, donate recycled cans and bottles for local fund raising, introduce our guests to local artists, and introduce our guests to environmental organizations that are active in the areas we visit. On route to meet us, we encourage our guests to enjoy some extra time visiting local museums, cultural centres, take part in local events, stay in local accommodation, buy local art, and enjoy local foods and beverages.
Actively Involved in Conservation and Environmental Projects
Since 2010, Ocean Adventures Charter Co. Ltd. has donated trips into the Great Bear Rainforest for fund raisers for various environmental organizations.
- In 2010 we donate a trip to Sierra Club of B.C. and Pacific Wild to take an extraordinary photographic exhibition by the International League of Conservations photographers, on the road.
- In 2011 we donated a trip to Valhalla Wilderness Society for their science based conservation throughout British Columbia.
- In 2012 we offered a 7 day / 6 night trip that followed (in part), the route of the proposed oil super tankers that would travel from the end of the proposed and hotly contested Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline that would bring bitumen to the Port of Kitimat in the heart of B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest. Donations were made to environmental organizations that referred guests to us for this trip.
- In 2013 we were offering a trip along some of the waterways that would be immediately impacted if the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway project was to go ahead.
- In 2014 we donated an 'Inlets of the Grizzly' trip to help raise money to stop the trophy hunting of bears in BC.
- In 2015, we donated an 8 day tour for two people to the Great Bear Rainforest, to raise money to help Pacfic Wild with their campaign to end the culling of BC wolves in south eastern BC.
- In 2015, we also donated a 6 day tour of the Great Bear Rainforest, to Raincoast Conservation Society, to aid in fundraising to stop the trophy hunt on the coast.
- In 2016: Private donations from owner/operator and crew members made to Eco Justice (ecojustice.ca) and Northern Lights Wildlife Society (wildlifeshelter.com) and Raincoast Conservation (raincoast.org) and countless hours working on ending the hunting of Grizzly Bears in British Columbia.
- In 2017: Donated 2 spots on an 8-day / 7-night trip on a "Great Bear Rainforest in Spring Trip" that raised money to end the hunting of Grizzly Bears in BC.
- In 2017: Ocean Adventures guest Doug B. donated 5 field cameras to Spirit Bear Reseach Foundation (spiritbearfoundation.com) that conducts locally relevant and ecosystem based research in the traditional territory of the Kitasoo Xai Xais People of Klemtu! Thank you Doug B. for your generosity!
- In 2017: Private donation was made to "Valhalla Foundation For Ecology & Social Justice" for the purchase of the ecologically important wetland, Snk'mip March Nature Preserve" at the head of Slocan Lake in the Kootenays.
- In 2018: Sponsored a presentation in Comox Valley by Sadie Parr of Wolf Awareness.
- In 2018: Donated $12,000 to stop the hunting of Grizzly Bears
- In 2018: Donated a 4-day trip to SEAS ("Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewardship") program in Klemtu. Shared an amazing trip with 4 of Klemtu's students and leader Vernon Brown. Thank you SEAS and Vern for all you taught us and for sharing this adventure in your territory.
- In 2019: Donating 5% of the cost of any trip booked by Furbearers supporters, to The Furbearers (thefurbearers.com)
- In 2019: Donating 5% of the cost of any trip booked by Wolf Awareness supporters, to Wolf Awareness (wolfawareness.org)
- In 2019: When Pacific Wild referred two supporters to us, we donated 5% of the cost of their trips to Pacific Wild
- In 2020: We have started a campaign to raise money to donate for the building of a outpost cabin for Coastal Guardian Watchmen in Kitasoo Xai'xais Territory.
If you've traveled with us in the Great Bear Rainforest, you've visited the inlet that the cabin will be built to help protect.
Please contact us to make a donation to help build this cabin that will be an outpost for KXX Guardian Watchmen.
- In 2020: Our team will also be involved in their own initiatives from creating photo art to support the building of the new cabin described above,
support The Furbearers with monthly donations, and involved in letter writing campaigns to end the B.C. government's "cull" aka slaughter of wolves, as a guise
to "protect" Mountain Caribou, while they allow industry to destroy the habitat of the Caribou.)
Our owner and Captain Eric Boyum will continue his work with Valhalla Foundation for Ecology.
- In 2020: When environmental organizations refer their supporters to us, we will continue to donate 5% of the cost of their trips to the organization that referred
All of us at Ocean Adventures are actively involved in wilderness and wildlife conservation and environmental projects.
We support long time friend and mentor Wayne McCrory of Valhalla Wilderness Society (www.vws.org) and Valhalla Foundation, as he and Valhalla continue to work tirelessly for more protected areas throughout B.C..
Founded in 1953, The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals (The Fur-Bearers) works to end the commercial fur trade and promotes co-existence with wildlife". Please visit (thefurbearers.com) and learn more about how you can support them by donating and learning to coexist with wildlife.
Seeking Coexistence and developing positive attitudes towards predators, the wolf in particular, and fostering an appreciation for the environment of which all of us are a part of, are the objectives of Wolf Awareness: (wolfawareness.org).
The inhumane culling of wolves in B.C. is currently a main focus of Wolf Awareness and Executive Director Sadie Parr. You can read more about this issue in: National Observer.
Please visit: wolfawareness.org to learn more and to take action."
See our links page for the environmental organizations that we support. For more information on projects that we are involved with, please feel free to contact us.
Tenure and Park Permits
Ocean Adventures was among the first to hold land tenures with the B.C. government for charter and wildlife viewing operations on the central and north coasts. As these areas changed to Conservancies under B.C. Parks jurisdiction, we worked together with the government to transition these areas into B.C. Park Use Permits.
We are also licenced by Parks Canada to operate in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve.
A Founding Member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of B.C.
Ocean Adventures was a founding member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of B.C., an organization that was formed, to set standards for safe and ethical bear viewing by commercial operators.
LESSENING OUR FOOTPRINT
Reducing Water and Energy Consumption
On board our ship, Great Bear II, in the office, and at home, we are reducing, wherever possible, water, power, and fuel consumption. Our trips are designed to travel less distance each day and at slower speeds — allowing our guests more time on shore each day and allowing us to cut down on fuel consumption. At home, we travel fewer miles each week in our vehicles, and at slower speeds, which helps reduce stress and fuel consumption. On board the ship and off, we are reducing water consumption, even though we are a part of an often wet ecosystem. We are happy to say that our vessel the Great Bear II is now equipped with a desalinator which allows us to make pure fresh drinking water from the ocean. On board the ship our electric flush toilets use minimal water, with all waste from the toilets being stored in holding tanks until they can be pumped.
As much as possible, we use local, home grown, in season, fruits and vegetables. During our trips in Haida Gwaii, for example, our chef buys local organic produce, grown on the islands. Only B.C. VQA wines are served on board and at home. Buying locally and buying British Columbia products not only supports our local economies, it also cuts down on energy for transportation. Our cleaning supplies come to us in concentrated form — requiring less space and energy for transportation.
Re-use and Re-cycle
On board our ship, at home, and in our office, we re-use and re-cycle, and as often as possible, buy products using less packaging. When traveling the coast on board the ship, we often donate some of our re-cycled cans and cartons to local fundraising. Ocean Adventures has stopped our printed version of our newsletter, (called "Reflections"), and have gone electronic with our Great Bear II BLOG on our website. Paper used in our office is 100% re-cycled as are the paper products used on board the ship. In 2008 we started using fabric napkins at dinner, lessening our use of paper napkins by over 500 pieces.
More Natural and Organic Foods and Products
As often as possible, on board the ship and at home, we shop for natural and organic foods and products. Our chefs use only organic fertilizer for our on board herb garden. When our chefs shop for beef and chicken, they buy naturally fed meats and poultry. All seafood served on board is wild and locally caught. Our Chefs use whole grains, natural sweeteners and organic/natural products as much as possible. On board the ship and at home, we use natural cleaning products from Shaklee and our guests are treated to the natural care products from Aveda. As well as being healthier for everyone using them, they are also completely environmentally friendly.
Smaller Group Sizes (2 - 6 guests)
Although we have had private charters with as few as 1 guest for special photo assignments or couples celebrating their special anniversaries, our scheduled trips and private charters have a maximum of 6 guests. With our smaller group sizes, our fully certified guide(s) are better able to provide our guests with unparalleled wildlife viewing, and better able to ensure the safety of our groups and the wildlife we are viewing.
Our guests enjoy the most intimate experiences and our photographers, the best opportunities, while we make the least possible impact on the wildlife and their wild homes, all of which are extremely important to us.
Lessening our Footprint is a work in progress...
as we look for more ways
to tread more softly on the earth.
"The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit."
~J. W. Krutch
and a comment from one of our guests...
"Your love of these lands and these people is palpable and moving."