Up north in the Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park, the people may be far away but the wildlife is anything but. Experience humpback whales and both grizzly and black bears on this unique Whales & Grizzly kayaking and base camp tour that shows you the best the region has to offer—both offshore and inshore. Hike through lush ancient rainforests and paddle along pristine coastlines. Discover the region’s rich First Nations culture and biodiversity as you explore and enjoy the incredible experience of witnessing bears venture from their hibernation homes out into Knight Inlet in search of food.
Experience British Columbia’s jaw-dropping scenery and captivating wildlife on this 5-day adventure through the remote reaches of Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park and Knight Inlet.
In the park, spend your days paddling through tranquil bays, trekking through old-growth forests and discovering the region’s deep-seeded indigenous culture and history. Humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins and seals swim in the waters off your campsite and sea eagles perch in in the towering tree line. Your journey then takes you to Knight Inlet, where you have the rare opportunity to witness wild grizzly and black bears up close as they feed in the inlet’s grasslands. As you journey, enjoy delicious meals with locally sourced ingredients and local wines along with the intimate knowledge of the area shared by our accompanying naturalist guide.
Approximate paddling distances may vary depending on weather conditions and group size. While we strive to adhere to the outlined itinerary, it may vary according to circumstances outside of our control such as inclement weather, sea conditions and campsite availability. Further, though there is a high probability that you will encounter whales on this adventure, but the proximity, frequency and quality of the sightings depend on the whales’ travel patterns.
Set off on your British Columbia adventure from Port McNeill, located along Vancouver Island’s stunning northern coast. Port McNeill lies only about a 30 minute drive south of the Port Hardy Airport. We recommend arriving a day before departure and staying the night at the Haida Way Motor Inn, where our SKA guides gather the guests together for an evening orientation. There, they also issue your dry bags in which you may pack your personal gear and neoprene wetsuit booties as well as answer any questions you may have remaining. If you arrive late, you may collect these items at the front desk along with instructions regarding the following morning’s meeting location. The Haida Way Motor Inn also has a restaurant open for both breakfast and dinner, and other dining options are available nearby.
Please Note: While we will do our best to adhere to the itinerary listed above, all kayaking trips are subject to weather, wind and waves and the schedule may change due to conditions outside of our control. Although there is a good possibility of seeing whales on this trip and your guides know the best places to find these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat, the frequency and proximity are entirely determined by their travel patterns.
Launch from Telegraph Cove
Your guide greets you early this morning at the Haida Way Motor Inn before escorting you to the Port McNeill harbor. There, set off on a scenic cruise to Swanson Island, passing the coastal community of Alert Bay and catching your first wildlife sightings.
Upon arrival, settle into our base camp—equipped with full-height canvas tents and comfortable cots— on Swanson Island. Relax with some lunch before embarking on your first multisport adventure: an afternoon kayaking through Blackfish Sound or paddling by other island groups nearby.
Return to camp for happy hour and enjoy a sample of local wines and freshly prepared hors d’oeuvres. After, indulge in a gourmet dinner and dessert surrounded by incredible views before sharing stories around a campfire. If you’re up to it, check out the ocean’s light display with its natural bioluminescence before heading to bed.
Discover Broughton Archipelago and Blackfish Sound by Kayak and Foot
Wake up to coffee and a warm breakfast as the sun settles into the rainforest. Start the day peering into the small world of tide pools or watching seals romp on nearby shores before hopping into your kayak. Each day, expect to paddle each morning for 2-3 hours as you explore the islands, inlets and channels of the southern Broughton Archipelago. Eagles ride the wind while humpback whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals ride the waves throughout the area.
After your morning paddle, spend some time relaxing and exploring the islands’ many natural beauties. See what wildlife can be found ashore with some short hikes and beachcombing before heading back out to the water for an afternoon paddle.
Your evenings are spent enjoying delicious snacks and drinks followed by a gourmet dinner. Then, fall asleep surrounded by nature’s soothing sounds and under a swath of stars.
Each morning you will wake to the smell of freshly-brewed coffee and tea as the sun slowly rises, with your guides up early preparing a warm breakfast. There’ll be plenty of time to explore the tidal pools while wandering along the beach or relax with a book accompanied by a steaming mug of coffee, before preparing to embark on the day’s adventure.
Evenings will be spent relaxing around the crackling campfire and listening to your friendly guides spin tales and impart local folklore, accompanied by the sounds of the surrounding wilds.
Grizzly Bear Tour, Explore Telegraph Cove and Return to Port McNeill
Wake early to an early breakfast before breaking camp and setting off toward Knight Inlet and its well-known bear-viewing habitat. As spring settles in, black bears and grizzlies begin waking up from their winter hibernation and heading out to the grasslands along the riverbanks in search of sustenance. Watch the bears overturning rocks seeking mussels and crabs, wandering the inlet and enjoying the sun after the long winter.
We return to Telegraph Cove by late afternoon whereupon you’re taken to Port McNeill. Enjoy some relaxation time before rejoining for an optional farewell dinner at a favorite local restaurant. We recommend staying in Port McNeill to ensure catching your return flight home.
Begin your journey home from Port McNeill at your leisure or choose to exten your stay in this charming coastal community.
Dates & Rates
2019 Dates Coming Soon!!!
- All meals as indicated on the itinerary
- Transportation to and from the launch site
- All kayaking instruction
- All kayaking and camping equipment
- Full service of our certified professional Guides and Adventure Consultants
- Grizzly tour
- Water taxi to basecamp
- Transportation to and from Port McNeill
- Hotel before and after the tour
- Meals before or after the tour
- Gratuity for guides
- Items of a personal nature.
ALL PRICES IN US DOLLARS. We will do our best to adhere to the itineraries and trip descriptions listed on our website. However, tour itineraries or sub-contractors (such as taxi, cruise boats or hotels) may change slightly due to reasons beyond our control including but not limited to Acts of God, wind, waves, inclement weather or other. We always welcome you to call us to clarify any item - often this is the best way to fully clarify expectations - call us collect or on our toll-free number. You will be sent pre-trip email with latest details within a month of your tour - it is your responsibility to check in with us prior to your trip to see if you have all the information you need. We will always do our best to provide you with the best possible tour and to fully meet your expectations to the best of our ability.
Images & Videos
FAQ & More
Humpback whales return from their breeding grounds in Hawaii early summer, and remain through autumn feeding on the local schools of fish. Our trips are scheduled only during the times when the whales have historically populated the area. Though once hunted to extinction from the area, humpbacks have returned to the area as a tremendous success story, and are sighted often!
All whales are acutely aware of their surroundings, and can use echolocation to track objects in the water. During our many years in Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound and hundreds of close encounters with humpbacks, we feel very safe being in their presence.
While we have a 98% success rate for seeing humpbacks, they are wild animals that roam at will and thus, sightings are not guaranteed. To increase your opportunities for seeing the humpbacks, or simply to enjoy even more whale watching, you may want to add an extra day to your vacation to participate in a Stubb's Island Whale Watching trip. Their motorized boat allows them to cover more area in search of sealife and and humpbacks throughout the waterways near Telegraph Cove.
If you fly into Port Hardy, you will need to arrange a taxi for the 35-minute drive South to Port McNeill. You can expect to pay about $45-60 CAD for the one-way fare, however rates do vary. We recommend sharing the ride with other members of the tour if you meet one another on the plane (or are on the same flight when departing). Please bring cash to pay the driver. The taxi companies change regularly, but we recommend Waivin Flags Taxi, 1-250-230-7655 and Town Taxi 1-250-949-7877 on the North Island.