Humpback Whale, Paul Goldstein, BC, Canada

Great Bear Rainforest Voyage with Paul Goldstein

  • EXPERT-LED CRUISE
Start date End date Days
Prices from
ex. flights
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
05/09/24 13/09/24 9 days £7,950 £3,950 Paul Goldstein 11 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Paul Goldstein 1

Expert tuition from Paul Goldstein

Photograph bears in peak salmon run season under the guidance of photographer Paul Goldstein.

Grizzly Bear, Playing in River, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC, Canada 2

Great Bear Rainforest

Set out in search of the mystical spirit bear, grizzlies, black bears, coastal wolves, as well as orca, river otters and bald eagles.

Bear near Island Roamer, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC 3

Island Roamer

Sail the remote coastal fjords onboard the Island Roamer, exclusively chartered by us.

Humpbacks Bubble-Netting, British Colombia 4

Bubble-Net Feeding

A chance to witness the impressive technique of humpback whales bubble-net feeding, photographed by Paul above.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Day 1

    Vancouver

  • Day 2

    Vancouver - Terrace (Great Bear Rainforest)

  • Days 3-4

    Great Bear Rainforest

  • Days 5-6

    Princess Royal Island, Spirit Bear Conservancy

  • Days 7-8

    Khutze Inlet and Fiordland Conservancy

  • Day 9

    Bella Bella - Vancouver

Day 1

Vancouver

Arrive into Vancouver, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2

Vancouver - Terrace (Great Bear Rainforest)

Take an early morning flight to Terrace where you will be collected and transferred to MK Bay Marina in Kitimat. Here, you will meet with crew, ready to board the Island Roamer, your home for the next seven nights. After a welcome briefing and safety orientation, settle into your cabin before setting sail into the Great Bear Rainforest.

Days 3-4

Great Bear Rainforest

Days will be spent exploring Wright Sound, Squally Channel and Whale Channel; the waters collectively known as the Douglas Channel. Journey through these channels on the lookout for humpbacks, orca, seals, dolphins and coastal sea birds including bald eagles. Keep an eye out for fin whales which have been seen in recent years.

Days 5-6

Princess Royal Island, Spirit Bear Conservancy

One of the most exciting parts of the trip, two days will be spent in the Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy on Princess Royal Island. Established as a protected area in 2006, the conservancy now has a healthy population of bears, coastal wolves, sea otters, Sitka deer and eagles. To maximise wildlife viewing and photography opportunities, your trip includes a permit for an additional day spent at a bear-viewing platform that are strategically positioned along the river – usually visitors here only have single day access. With Paul’s guidance, photograph the bears feeding on spawning salmon. Additionally, a native Tsimshian guide will lead rainforest walks giving context to the local flora and fauna seen along the way.

Days 7-8

Khutze Inlet and Fiordland Conservancy

Explore Khutze Inlet and the Fiordland Conservancy where bears and coastal wolves can be spotted. Venture deep into the Fiordland Conservancy, a marine park where fjords, waterfalls and glaciers are home to grizzlies, attracted to the spawning salmon. This area also attracts a wide variety of sea birds, such as American dippers, Bonaparte gulls, common mergansers, and bald eagles.

Day 9

Bella Bella - Vancouver

Disembark the Island Roamer in Bella Coola, a remote community home to the Heiltsuk First Nations people, before boarding a flight back to Vancouver.

Our travel experts can tailor this itinerary to suit you.

Humpback Whale, Paul Goldstein, BC
Humpback Whale, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC
Grizzly Bear on River, Paul Goldstein, BC
Grizzly Bear on River, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC
Humpback Whale, Paul Goldstein, BC, Canada
Humpback Whale, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC

Expertise and Experience

It’s the expertise of Paul and the crew who really take this trip up a notch, providing context and knowledge that you can’t get from a guide book. Smart phone or DSLR, learn composition techniques, how to adapt in certain lights, using filters and the best ways to capture moving wildlife. As well as photography techniques, you’ll learn intricate details of the wildlife and flora, answering the what, where and why.

Spirit Bear, Canada
Spirit Bear, Great Bear Rainforest
Bear on River, BC, Canada, Paul Goldstein
Bear on River, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC
Grizzly Bear, Playing in River, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC, Canada
Grizzly Bear, Playing in River, Photographed by Paul Goldstein
Grizzly Bear and Cub, BC, Canada, Paul Goldstein
Grizzly Bear and Cub, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC
Spirit bear in the forest of Canada
Spirit bear, Great Bear Rainforest

Spirit Bear Conservancy

One of the most exciting parts of the trip, two days will be spent in the Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy on Princess Royal Island. Established as a protected area in 2006, the conservancy now has a healthy population of bears, coastal wolves, sea otters, Sitka deer and eagles. To maximise wildlife viewing and photography opportunities, your trip includes a permit for an additional day spent at a bear-viewing platform that are strategically positioned along the river – usually visitors here only have single day access. With Paul’s guidance, photograph the bears feeding on spawning salmon. Additionally, a native Tsimshian guide will lead rainforest walks giving context to the local flora and fauna seen along the way.

Grizzly Bears Feeding, BC, Paul Goldstein
Grizzly Bears Feeding, Photographed by Paul Goldstein
Bear, Khutze Inlet, BC, Canada
Bear, Khutze Inlet, BC, Canada
Whales in Distance, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC
Whales, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC

Coastal Fjords and Wildlife

Venture into Khutze Inlet and the Fiordland Conservancy in search of grizzlies and, if the stars align, coastal wolves. This spectacular marine park of glacial-carved fjords, waterfalls and estuaries is where salmon come to spawn, attracting hungry grizzlies to the waters edge. A wide variety of sea birds, such as American dippers, Bonaparte gulls, common mergansers, and bald eagles also inhabit this region.

Bear near Island Roamer, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC
Bear & Island Roamer, Photographed by Paul Goldstein, BC
Island Roamer, British Columbia, Canada
Island Roamer, BC
Island Roamer Salon, Great Bear Rainforest
Island Roamer, Salon, BC
Island Roamer Salon, Great Bear Rainforest, Canada
Island Roamer, Salon
Island Roamer Wheelhouse, Great Bear Rainforest, Canada
Island Roamer, BC
Island Roamer Cabin, Canada
Island Roamer, Cabin

The Island Roamer

The Island Roamer is a compact 68-foot sailing boat that can navigate small channels, giving superb access to incredible wildlife viewing. She is a working yacht, so space inside is cosy but perfectly comfortable. There is a salon with a natural history library and two shared bathrooms with hot showers. On deck, the covered seating area provides protection from all types of weather and is a great spot to watch for wildlife. She also has kayaks on board for exploring the remote creeks and waterways of British Columbia’s Pacific Northwest.

Comprised of six two-person cabins (plus another two for crew), Island Roamer can accommodate a maximum of 13 passengers.

Group Tour FAQs

Why travel with Steppes Travel to see bears in Canada?

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 crew and photographic leader, Paul Goldstein.

In addition to Paul, there will be a resident local guide accompanying you on this trip, meaning a ratio of one guide per five clients, you can be assured of receiving personalised and insightful narrative on all the wildlife seen.

What happens on a typical day?

Most days will be active, spent in search of wildlife, with plenty of time to photograph wildlife. Early morning and late afternoon light is perfect for photography so there will be some early starts in order to try and get the best sightings and shots. There will be some short day and night walks. Regular rest stops will be made to stretch legs and take photographs.

What wildlife might I see?

The Great Bear Rainforest is home to humpback and orca 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 onboard we won’t leave anything to luck.

Is September a good time to travel to Canada?

Yes, September is the peak of the salmon run in this area. 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.

Do you have to be an experienced photographer to join this tour?

Whether you have a simple point and shoot camera or a sophisticated SLR, Paul Goldstein will be on hand to give you tips on how to improve your photography skills. Therefore, you don’t need to be an experienced photographer to join. The maximum group size of just 11 people will allow Paul time to spend time with you at the different locations to help you get the perfect shot and develop your wildlife photography skills.

Is this tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide 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 our tour experts.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement of £3,950 will apply.

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

The on-shore terrain may be uneven, so a certain level of mobility is required.

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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.

Flexibility

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 whilst in Canada
  • Domestic flights within Canada
  • 1 Night accommodation in Vancouver
  • 7 Nights full board accommodation onboard the Island Roamer
  • Daily excursions with Paul Goldstein
  • Onboard expert naturalist guide
  • A two day bear-viewing platform permit in the Kitasoo Spirit Bear Conservancy

What is excluded

  • International flights
  • Visa
  • Gratuities
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Meals in Vancouver

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.

Nicaragua's Caribbean coast
Lake Van, Turkey

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.

Other available dates

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

Start date End date Days
Prices from
ex. flights
Single Supplement Tour Expert Group Size Status
05/09/24 13/09/24 9 days £7,950 £3,950 Paul Goldstein 11 Max AVAILABLE Reserve place

Explore similar expert-led group tours

With an average group size of just eight to ten people our group tour itineraries enable you to travel to some of the most intriguing regions of the world in the company of expert guides in the field and, of course, with likeminded people.

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge, curiosity and expertise set us apart, driving us to create remarkable holidays and Beautiful Adventures tailored perfectly to you, carefully curated to help protect and conserve our planet.

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