Inlets of the Grizzly - the Great Bear Rainforest Boat Tours in Spring
Choose from our 6-day or 8-day or 9-day cruises into the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest in Spring aboard our 54-foot ship Great Bear II
These trips feature Grizzly Bear viewing and photography, Whale Watching and Photography, Bird Watching and Photography, Landscape Photography, and First Nations culture on our boat tours in the Great Bear Rainforest on British Columbia's West Coast.
Our 6-day, 8-day, or 9-day Grizzly tours in May and June will take you into the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, primarily into Heiltsuk and Kitasoo Xai'xais Territories on the central coast of British Columbia. Here we will experience amazing wildlife viewing and whale watching amidst some of the most powerful and soul-stirring landscapes on earth.
Our 54 foot ship Great Bear II is equipped with all the latest navigation and safety equipment, an 18-foot hard-bottomed zodiac for guided trips ashore and shoreline exploration, as well as kayaks and a row boat for enjoying the serenity of our spectacular coastal anchorages.
OUR SMALL GROUP SIZES ARE BEST FOR WILDLIFE VIEWING
Although we have had private charters with as few as 1 guest for special photo assignments or couples celebrating their special anniversary, our scheduled trips and private charters have a maximum of 5 guests.
We believe that our smaller group sizes allow our guests to really discover the heart beat of this unique and soul-stirring wilderness.
Thoughtful, quiet, 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.
FOCUS OF "INLETS OF THE GRIZZLY ~ the GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST in Spring
Join us on one of our boat- based tours through the heart of B.C.'s Great Bear Rainforest in spring. We will encounter powerful landscapes, unparalleled wildlife viewing, whale watching, bird watching and the unique cultures of Heiltsuk and Kitasoo Xai'xais First Nations on these cruises along the west coast of British Columbia.
From Bella Bella where these trips begin, we will head north, keeping watch for marine mammals such as Sea Otters, Orca, Humpback Whales, Pacific White Sided Dolphins, Dalls Porpoises, Elephant Seals and Stellar Sea Lions. We will scan shorelines for bears, deer, and wolves.
As we head further north and then east, we will enter the fiords where waterways are defined by polished granite walls that rise thousands of feet out of the sea and at this time of year, are laced with waterfalls that seem to fall from the sky.
At the end of these fiords are river estuaries that are carpeted in wildflowers and teeming with new life. The lush, protein rich sedge grass in these river estuaries is the primary food of Grizzly and Black Bears, as they emerge from hibernation and home to birds that have come here to breed, nest and raise their young.
Bears just out of hibernation, some with cubs in tow, come to the lush river estuaries of these coastal mainland inlets to feast on the protein rich sedge grasses, the roots of plants such as skunk cabbage, and the earlier Salmon berries. After a long morning of feasting, the bears are sometimes so tired that we see them sitting or lying down to eat.
On these wildlife-viewing tours in "the Great Bear Rainforest in Spring", you will have opportunities to learn about the true nature of Grizzly Bears that will help dispel the many myths around the alleged ferocious behaviours of this iconic species. Witnessing the many natural behaviours of these peace loving Grizzly Bears, will demonstrate their emotional intelligence, their sentience, and their trust in and respect for humans that treat them respectfully.
Grizzly Bears are not carnivores as the myths propagate. Here in the Great Bear Rainforest they are omnivores, with a huge variety of plants to choose from, from berries, sedge grass and tender roots and even barnacles in spring and early summer. They primarily eat berries and roots in mid summer with a slow change over to salmon with some berries and roots in late summer and fall.
Spring in the Great Bear Rainforest is the best time of year to see Grizzly mothers with cubs. Watching bear cubs as they play, taste new food, swim and learn from their mothers by watching her every move, are moments we never forget.
Along the passageways that we will travel it will also be possible to enjoy the mesmerizing behaviors of Humpback whales as they seem to fly out of the sea in a full breach or as they lunge or bubble-net feed. A photograph of water streaming off their massive tails as they slip beneath the water, is sure to be treasured.
We may see Resident Orca as they follow the migration of the largest of the wild Pacific salmon. Transient Orca are often seen along these waterways as they come here in spring in search of young marine mammals. Seeing a playful young Orca interacting with their pod, makes any day on the water, very special.
As we travel it is common to have porpoises or dolphins ride on the ship's bow wave!
OTHER MARINE MAMMALS
Sea Otters, often seen at the beginning and end of these trips, are always a favourite to observe and photograph. Seeing them clean their faces like a cat does or roll in the water to rinse off, or crack their shell- fish dinner on a rock on their chest, will be a lasting memory.
In certain areas, near their haul outs, we will see Stellar Sea Lions. Their playfulness, curiosity and fishing techniques, make the acrobatics of these marine mammals a delight to watch and photograph.
The many species of birds that come to the river estuaries at this time of year, to nest and raise their young are sure to impress you and warm your heart. There is nothing like the sight of baby Mergansers or Golden Eyes riding on the back of their mother. Seeing the amazing colours of Harlequin Ducks or trying to photograph the elusive, red-listed Marbled Murrelet as they dive for their dinner, definitely gets everyone's attention.
Whether listening to the symphony of songbirds as we float down lazy rivers or hearing the beat of Bald Eagles' wings as they take off from their perch above us, or the scolding cry of a Belted Kingfisher as they pass by, you will come to understand why spring in the Great Bear Rainforest is the best time for bird watching and photography enthusiasts to join us.
POWERFUL LANDSCAPES OF IMMEASURABLE BEAUTY
These trips take place in May and June in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest when the rugged mountain peaks of the coastal range are stilled draped in snow.
WATERFALLS and WILDFLOWERS
For those that enjoy landscape and macro photography, June in the Great Bear Rainforest provides endless opportunities for both. Cloudy days, mists from nearby waterfalls, and even a gentle rain, all seem to magnify the colours and beauty of the carpets of wildflowers at this time of year.
Simple reflections of sedge grasses mirrored in the inky waters of tidal channels, soft sunlight backlighting moss draped branches, and tiny pink flowers dancing in even the most gentle breeze, all contribute to the magic in this ethereal rainforest.
The melting snow high up in the Coastal Mountains is sending water falling over thousands of feet of polished granite, feeding creeks, rivers and the spectacular river estuaries. Everywhere we look, we are surrounded by powerful landscapes of immeasurable beauty!
CULTURE OF FIRST NATIONS PEOPLES
As we travel through the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest in spring to these Inlets of the Grizzly, we will be travelling through the territories of the Heltsiuk People of Bella Bella and the Kitasoo/Xai'xais of Klemtu, the stewards of these lands for millennia.
THE BEST OF B.C.'S WILD PLACES KEEP OUR GUESTS RETURNING
At night as you fall asleep beneath your cozy duvet in the comfort of your stateroom, with the soothing sounds of a nearby waterfall or, a distant wolf singing a soulful lullaby, you will remember your day and understand why our guests keep coming back to these Inlets of the Grizzly in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest!
"The magnificent landscape: fiords, forests and granite cliffs are all apart of our heritage. But the bears... ahhhh...the bears! You could not have planned it any better!" ~ John and Marnie, Victoria, B.C.
"Passionate, enthusiastic, welcoming... plus we saw SO much wildlife! Thank you very much!" ~ Julie, U.K.
Experience the Wild ...in Wilderness !
First class BC wilderness cruises, coastal tours and charters on the West Coast of British Columbia aboard the 54 ft. Great Bear II, out of Vancouver, BC.
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