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- Witnessing grizzly bears & orcas in the wild
- Exploring the beautiful scenery around the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, Canada
- Participating in experiences at the Farewell Harbour Lodge
- Enjoying gourmet meals prepared with local ingredients
- Learning about local culture from the First Nations, Kwakwaka’wakw
- Visiting one of the most pristine places on earth
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Description – Bears, Whales and First Nations Culture
In Johnstone Strait, we witness the sea teeming with wild salmon as they try and elude their mighty predator, the blackfish, or Orca, whose northern resident pods congregate in these waters from July to September as the salmon return to spawn in their natal rivers. Earlier in the spring, we seek out other marine life such as the Steller sea lion, Pacific White Sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoises and Humpback whales.
In our backyard (British Columbia, Canada) is the southern Great Bear Rainforest with some of the most spectacular and wild rivers on the BC coast, whose wild salmon nourish the planet’s largest intact temperate rainforest. A key benefactor of the annual spectacle of the salmon spawn are the region’s wild grizzly bears. The grizzlies will forage on sedge, roots and berries in the spring and summer in the broad, braided estuaries as they await the fall feast of salmon. Farewell Harbour Lodge takes guests on daily excursions into the heart of these systems in search of wild bears at home in their natural ecosystems.
Of course, a visit to the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest wouldn’t truly be complete without experiencing some of the wealth of First Nations Kwakwaka’wakw (pron. Kwok-walk-a-walk) culture that surrounds us at Farewell Harbour Lodge. The Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations have inhabited this region for thousands of years, developing artistic and cultural traditions that are admired for their subtlety, grace and beauty. Many Kwakwaka’wakw creations were found in some of the world’s leading art museums.
Day 1 – Arrival
Upon arrival at Farewell Harbour Lodge, you’ll be warmly greeted by our staff and provided with a short orientation, lunch and then settled into your rooms before heading out onto the water for an afternoon marine mammal viewing excursion. After your afternoon excursion, join your fellow travellers in our dining room for a glass of premium BC wine or beer before a sumptuous supper. After supper, sit fireside in the lounge for an evening slideshow on some aspect of coastal ecology.
Day 2 – Bear Viewing
The following day, after an early morning breakfast, you will head out on your first full-day excursion. With daily excursions for both bears and marine mammals we offer both options on any given day.
Typically, guests opt for a bear viewing excursion on their first full day.
Our bear viewing excursions can take us deep into one of several different river systems in search of wild bears. We typically travel 90 minutes to a system by a covered water taxi before disembarking onto one or two smaller zodiacs. By zodiac we will motor quietly or propel silently under oar to position ourselves for optimal viewing of bears foraging on the river or in the estuaries. In some systems, we will disembark the zodiacs and proceed on foot or on small motorized vehicle and explore the lush rainforest in search of bears. We seek bears in their natural environment and view from small zodiac or from land on the same eye level as the wildlife around us. We can’t guarantee sightings but our trained staff benefit from many years of experience with bears in the wild.
Day 3 – Marine Wildlife Viewing
Our marine excursions take us into famed Johnstone Strait. Literally at our front door, Johnstone Strait is renowned for its Northern Resident Orca population. The Orca come into these waters mid to late July and stay into late September and early October although exact timings can change from year to year.
Prior to July and continuing throughout our season, our marine excursions take us on a search for majestic Humpback whales, thrilling Dall’s porpoises or Pacific White Sided dolphins in addition to the many Bald Eagles and seabirds. Our marine excursions can also afford an opportunity to learn about the cultural traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nations as we pass ancient villages sites, mysterious and moving rock art called pictographs and other evidence of a rich history and vibrant presence in the region.
Day 4 – Departure
Our last day affords one more opportunity for a short morning marine excursion or an opportunity to relax around the lodge, try sea kayaking or go on a rainforest walk before the water taxi departs for the short trip back to Alder Bay and ongoing connections. Once again, our complimentary shuttle can transport guests back to Port Hardy Airport for flight connections back to Vancouver Airport.
Anyone over the age of 10 years old who is active and mobile with a curiosity and passion for the natural world is suitable for our tours.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Lodge” tab_id=”1449223591510-29ce0fb2-4171″][vc_column_text]ACCOMMODATION – Farewell Harbour Wildlife Adventure
The lodge, owned and operated by the Brockway and McGrady families, is located in Farewell Harbour on Berry Island on 10 acres of beautifully forested land. With the exception of the lodge property and 3 adjoining acreages, Berry Island is within the border of world renowned Broughton Archipelago Marine Park, which is located between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia with Queen Charlotte Strait to the west and Knight Inlet to the east. Farewell Harbour is a beautiful protected anchorage along the famed inside passage route to Alaska and we may see the twinkling anchor lights of a few yachts moored further out in the bay in the evenings. In fact, Farewell Harbour was named in 1870 by Commander Pender and officers of HMS Beaver, a Royal Navy surveying vessel. It was Commander Pender’s last survey stop and his crew had ‘fared well’ here before also bidding ‘Farewell’ to the BC coast for the long journey around Cape Horn and back to England.
The primary lodge building and common area features a comfortable lounge and dining room, bar and a large brick fireplace surrounded by large windows and a wrap around deck boasting spectacular views of the harbour with its south and west exposure (great sunsets!). The expansive decks continue as a boardwalk along the shore, leading to eight, private oceanside suites with ensuite bathrooms, a cozy stove and two extra-long double size beds. A ramp leads off the main lodge to our floating accommodation featuring four additional rooms each with a private bathroom for twelve rooms in total.
All guest rooms and common areas have unique design features incorporating natural cedar and local materials and art from the area that offer a distinctive, relaxing ‘west coast’ feel.
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- Round trip water taxi from Alder Bay to Farewell Harbour Lodge and complimentary round trip ground shuttle from Port Hardy Airport or hotels to Alder Bay if required
- 4 days/3 nights accommodation in private room at Farewell Harbour Lodge with private ensuite bathroom and shower
- Welcome briefing and orientation to the tours,viewing opportunities and facilities
- All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and snacks starting with lunch on day 1 and ending with lunch on day 4
- All transportation on all wildlife excursions
- Half day marine tour excursion on arrival day
- One full day excursion to one of our grizzly viewing areas
- One full day on marine tour excursion or an additional grizzly viewing excursion
- Short optional excursion on marine tour, sea kayaking or rainforest walk (shinrin-yoku/forest
bathing) on departure day
- Evening guide presentations/slideshows
- BC Government Hotel Tax
- $10 per person carbon offset fee (see our website for more details on our carbon offset program)
- 5% GST
- Gratuity for staff (recommended $40 CAD per person, per day)
- Items of a personal nature (laundry, phone calls, etc)
- Alcoholic beverages (except for wine with dinner)
- Travel insurance (health insurance mandatory, trip cancellation/interruption highly recommended)
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2020 Dates: August (Covid-dependent) – October 09, 2020
Price: $3520 CAD per person/$2650 USD per person (Plus 5% GST), double occupancy (3n/4d)
(5/6/7 Day programs available for a fee)
2021 Pricing: $4545 CAD per person/3395 USD per person (Plus 5% GST), double occupancy
(5/6/7 Day programs available for a fee)
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