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Cruise the Great Bear Rainforest with Paul Goldstein

Start date End date Days
Prices from
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
27/08/22 04/09/22 9 days £7,250 ex. flights £2,750 Paul Goldstein 10 Max LIMITED Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Paul Goldstein 1

Expert photographer

Expert tuition from award-winning wildlife photographer Paul Goldstein.

Brown Bears 2


Explore the Great Bear Rainforest and photograph black bears, spirit bears and grizzlies.

Island Roamer, British Columbia, Canada 3

Privately chartered yacht

Sail aboard the Island Roamer along spectacular British Columbia coastline searching for humpbacks.

Grizzly bears fishing salmon 4

Salmon run

Spend two days at a bear viewing platform to photograph bears feeding on the salmon run.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1


  • Day 2

    Vancouver – Terrace

  • Days 3

    Great Bear Rainforest

  • Day 4

    Douglas Channel

  • Day 5-6

    Princess Royal Island

  • Day 7-8

    Fiordland Conservancy Area

  • Day 9

    Bella Bella - Vancouver

Day 1


Arrive in Vancouver, renowned for its scenic beauty and endless outdoor activities.

Day 2

Vancouver – Terrace

Fly from Vancouver to Terrace, located on the banks of the Skeena River in British Columbia. Transfer to Kitimat to embark the Island Roamer, your home during your exploration of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Days 3

Great Bear Rainforest

Set sail for 6 days exploring the Great Bear Rainforest, one of the largest intact temperate rainforests in the world.

Day 4

Douglas Channel

Explore Douglas Channel keeping an eye out for humpback whales. If exciting behaviour like bubble netting is seen there will be no rush to leave humpbacks or indeed a hunting pod of Orcas. There are also seals, dolphins and a large array of coastal sea birds to enjoy in this area.

Day 5-6

Princess Royal Island

A highlight of this voyage will be the time spent on the shores of Princess Royal Island – the best-known area for seeing the rare Spirit or Kermode bear. Visit bear-viewing stands in this First Nations territory, strategically positioned to offer the best opportunity to photograph the bears.

Day 7-8

Fiordland Conservancy Area

Over these days, the Island Roamer will travel deep into the coastal mountains to explore the Fiordland Conservancy Area, an area protected within the Kitasoo/ Xai’xais First Nation territory.

Day 9

Bella Bella - Vancouver

The voyage ends in Bella Bella arriving at the Municipal Dock around midday. This is an isolated village on the central coast, home to the Heiltsuk First Nations people. Fly back to Vancouver where this trip ends.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

Island Roamer, British Columbia, Canada
Island Roamer, British Columbia, Canada
Island Roamer Cabin, Canada
Island Roamer, British Columbia, Canada
Island Roamer Salon, Great Bear Rainforest, Canada
Island Roamer, British Columbia, Canada
Island Roamer Salon, Great Bear Rainforest
Island Roamer, British Columbia, Canada
Island Roamer Wheelhouse, Great Bear Rainforest, Canada
Island Roamer, British Columbia, Canada

Our expedition vessel

Comprised of six two-person cabins (plus another two for the crew), Island Roamer is a 68-foot-long sailing boat that carries 12 passengers atop the waterways of British Columbia.

All cabins have limited storage space and there is electricity in each room when the generator is on (usually morning and afternoon). There is a comfortable salon with an extensive natural history library and two shared bathrooms with hot showers. Please note that the living quarters are typical of a small sailing boat and can be cosy. On deck, there is a covered seating area providing protection from all types of weather and a great spot to watch for wildlife, and the vessel has kayaks on board for exploring the Inside Passage’s creeks and waterways.

The advantage of her small size, however, is that the smallest of channels can be navigated giving superb access to incredible wildlife viewing.

Grizzly Bears, Canada
Grizzly Bears, Canada

The Great Bear Rainforest

British Columbia is one of the best regions in the country for bear viewing largely due to the Great Bear Rainforest. This extraordinary tract of pristine temperate forest covers the west and northern coast of British Columbia to Alaska and is home to a vast number of grizzly and black bears, and the elusive Kermode bear – the spirit bear. This region is also home to wealth of wildlife including whales, orcas, sea otters, dolphins, sea lions and a plethora of birds including the beautiful bald eagle.

Expert-Led Cruise FAQs

Why travel with Steppes to Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest?

This is a unique opportunity to travel around one of the last remaining protected habitats for bears with a world-renowned photographer and expert naturalists. We have deliberately limited the number joining this group to 11 people plus your photographic leader, Paul Goldstein The boat has capacity for 14 people, but we are keen to give our clients extra space on board.

What happens on a typical day?

Being based on board a yacht will allow you to make the most of the wildlife as the trip covers many miles of the dramatic coastline. At all times, the wildlife will dictate the agenda of the trip; if you suddenly come across feeding humpback whales, you will be having a late lunch! Early morning light and stunning sunsets can be great times for photography, but a great photo opportunity can occur at any time of day and Paul will be on hand to ensure you make the most of every wildlife encounter.

Is September a good time to travel to Canada?

Yes, September is the peak of the salmon run in this area of the Great Bear Rainforest. The rich salmon spawning streams draw the bears in high numbers to the rivers, which allows for more predictable sightings and thus hopefully, offering fantastic photographic opportunities.

What wildlife can I expect to see in the Great Bear Rainforest in September?

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to humpback whales, Stellar sea lions, wolves, grizzlies, black bears and the elusive spirit bear. This wildlife resides throughout the coastal islands with only a few species found in localised areas. As with any wildlife viewing, there are no guarantees, however with an experienced naturalist guide on board we won’t leave anything to luck.

How rough will the waters be during the cruise?

You will travel in protected areas most of the time. On still days, the west coast can be like sailing on a flat lake.  There will be times when you will be crossing into open water where greater motion will be experienced.

Do I need to be physically fit to enjoy this trip?

It is important participants are amenable to living in the relatively close quarters of a small sailing boat and healthy and fit enough to enjoy long and relatively active days. You will need to climb in and out of zodiacs, walk along slippery shorelines and over uneven coastal terrain, as well carrying your own camera equipment.  There are also optional activities such as sea kayaking.

Is this trip available for solo travellers?

Single travellers are welcome to join the trip as long as they are happy sharing with another passenger of the same gender.

What is the accommodation like?

You will be in comfortable hotels when on the mainland, but the Island Roamer yacht will be your home for seven nights while you navigate this truly spectacular coastline. Accommodation is typical for a sailing yacht with cabins arranged to fit the contours of the vessel, with either bunk bed or double bed arrangements. Please note that there are shared facilities onboard and space is limited.

Haven’t found what you’re looking for?


Includes / Excludes

Important Information

Activity Level
Moderate Activity
Single Supplement

Travelling on your own? Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places provides security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour expert.


To allow flexibility, our group tours do not include international flights as standard. We can arrange international flights on your behalf, please get in touch with our travel experts for a quote. All international flights from the UK are ATOL protected.

What is included

  • Accompanied by Paul Goldstein throughout
  • 7 Night / 8 Day Voyage Island Roamer on a full board basis
  • Accommodation in Vancouver and Bella Bella or Terrace (route dependant)
  • Internal Flights
  • Transfers (shared and private)
  • A second day at the bear stands

What is excluded

  • International flights
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa
  • Items of a personal nature

Why a Steppes expert-led group tour

1.Experience matters

We have been running insightful and groundbreaking group tours since our inception in 1989. We have worked with institutions such as the British Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum and run wildlife tours in conjunction with conservation agencies such as Fauna & Flora International, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Orangutan Foundation, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute.

2.Like-minded travellers

Steppes Travellers are like-minded people; interesting, interested and curious. Our group tours, usually consisting of eight to ten travellers, aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere – we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed.

4.Peace of mind

When you travel on one of our group tours, you will be looked after by our local agents and your tour expert with the back-up of our 24-hour emergency number and duty manager. All our holidays are fully bonded and protected – our ATOL number is ATOL 6495.

3.It’s about who you know

We have developed an enviable pool of expertise from which to choose our tour experts, who we carefully select based on their knowledge, companionship and personality. Often, these experts can use their influence to facilitate private access to sites not typically open to the public.

Our future tour dates

For further information about any of these tours please call 01285 880 980

Start date End date Days
Prices from
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
27/08/22 04/09/22 9 days £7,250 ex. flights £2,750 Paul Goldstein 10 Max LIMITED Reserve place

Reserve your place on this group tour

Our travel experts have a wealth of first-hand knowledge, so if you have any questions about this expert-led group tour, please get in touch. They would love to help. We hope you can join us on this tour.

01285 880 980

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Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise set us apart. So too our curiosity. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you, all the while ensuring we travel and operate sustainably.

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