Wild Arctic - Canada

Why Canada?  Polar Bears, Grizzly Bears, Black Bears. Whales, seals, moose.

Here is a selection of our best-selling Canadian Wildlife Adventures & Extensions. Of course, there are lots of options & permutations... so contact us to tailor-make an adventure just for you.

Why a Canadian Wildlife Adventure?

Polar bears - the great ice bear, and the Arctic's most iconic species. See them in the summer amongst wild flowers, or in the winter snow.

 

Grizzly bears - the great bears of North America. Watch them fishing during the Great Salmon Run.

 

Black bears - smallest of the North American bear species. Rare white kermode ('spirit') bears are found only in British Columbia.

 

Summer - see 3 bear species & lots of wildlife, including Arctic foxes, moose, caribou, wolves, beluga whales, and plenty of bird species. 

 

Winter wonderland - during October & November, see Polar bears that gather around Hudson Bay, Churchill, waiting for the pack ice to form.

 

Canada Great Bear Adventure

Highlights:  Polar Bears. Grizzly Bears. Arctic wildlife; caribou, wolves, beluga whales & birds.
Is this for me?  For the adventurer who wants an in-depth bear & summer wildlife experience.

 

Canada Great Bear Adventure Highlights
   Day    Location
  1   Winnipeg
  2   Hudson Bay
  3   Hudson Bay
  4   Hudson Bay
  5   Hudson Bay
  6   Winnipeg
  7   Campbell River
  8   Campbell River
9 Knight Inlet
10 Knight Inlet
11 Knight Inlet
12 Vancouver
 
Adventure Highlights
 

Hudson Bay: Highlight is the Polar Bear, also known as the Great Ice Bear. Also chance to see other Arctic wildlife - caribou, Arctic fox, moose, Arctic hare, wolves & lots of birdlife, including snowy owls. Depending on season, chance to swim with beluga whales.
Campbell River: On beautiful Vancouver Island, British Colombia. Chance to go on a rafting adventure - June-July: into the Nimpkish wilderness to see black bears, elk, wild Pacific sockeye salmon, and soaring bald eagles; August & September: raft & snorkel with the salmon.

Knight Inlet: Home to one of BC's highest grizzly bear concentrations. Depending on season, see bears on the shoreline (watch via boat cruises), or watching them fishing during the great salmon run (watching from platforms).

 

NOTE: This adventure is available from July - September, with differing adventures/ locations within that period, to match wildlife movements. The below itinerary is ideally suited to start from mid August if you want to see grizzly bears fishing for salmon; if seeing/ swimming with beluga whales sounds more appealing, then you can arrive anytime from early July - late August.

 

EXTEND YOUR ADVENTURE: Want a complete bear experience? Finish this itinerary with a 3 night stay at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort on Vancouver Island for your chance to see black bears in a beautiful wilderness setting, and maybe even fishing for salmon if you get lucky.

             
Canada Great Bear Adventure Itinerary
   Day   Activities  
       
  1  

Arrive into Winnipeg.

Transfer from the airport to your hotel for the evening.

 
 
  2  

Transfer from your hotel to the airport.

FLY: Winnipeg - Churchill or Gillam.

Transfer from the Churchill airport to your lodge; if staying at a wilderness lodge, you will transfer by private charter to your lodge.

Afternoon at leisure, or a chance to go for a walk in search of wildlife.  (B)

 
 
  3-5  

Over the coming days, you will have the opportunity to explore the Arctic/ tundra environment.

Search for polar bears swimming or on rocks; and in September at Nanuk Lodge, look for mothers & cubs. During July-August, see Beluga whales, with a chance to swim & snorkel with them. When staying at the wilderness lodges, you will have the chance to go walking.  (B)

 
 
  6  

Your last breakfast in the sub-Arctic wilds. If staying at a wilderness lodge, charter plane transfer back to Churchill or Gillam.

FLY: Churchill or Gillam - Winnipeg.

Transfer to your hotel in Winnipeg for the evening.  (B)

 
 
  7  

This morning, transfer to the airport for your journey to Vancouver Island, British Colombia.

FLY: Winnipeg - Vancouver.

FLY: Vancouver - Campbell River.

Transfer to your hotel for the evening.  (B)

 
 
  8  

Today you will go on a rafting adventure - the specific adventure will depend on the season:

June-July: a full day trip into the Nimpkish wilderness to see black bears, elk, wild Pacific sockeye salmon, and soaring bald eagles;

August & September: raft & snorkel with the salmon!  (B)

 
 
  9  

This morning, transfer to the Float Plane Dock.

FLY: Campbell River - Knight Inlet (by sea plane).

On arrival, you will have an orientation, followed by lunch.

This afternoon, you will go on your first excursion in search of the wildlife in the area.  (B L D)

 

 
 
  10-11  

During your stay here, you have a range of activities & excursions available, some of which are weather dependant:

grizzly bear viewing from platforms or boats, excursions to see other wildlife, including marine wildlife in the Johnstone Strait, bird watching including Bald Eagle viewing, excursions to Thompson Sound & Bond Sound for wildlife viewing, forest walks in the Kwalate Valley, and kayaking tours.  (B L D)

 
 
  12  

Enjoy your last morning at the Inlet.

FLY: Knight Inlet - Campbell River (sea plane).

FLY: Campbell River - Vancouver.

Continue with your adventures, or connect to your onward flight home.  (B)

 

 
 
Canada Great Bear Adventure Photos
Canada Great Bear Adventure from only US$ 6,975
Want more Exclusivity? from US$ 13,995 to US$20,000+

 

Extend your Adventure
Explore different parks or regions, focus on particular species, relax by the beach, go scuba diving, discover local culture... it's your choice.
Below are some ideas. Contact us for specific recommendations just for you.
 

Clayoquot Biosphere Reserve, Vancouver Island - min 3 nights
Want to revel in the wilderness of Vancouver Island, with a chance to see black bears?
A remote and extensive area of temperature rainforest on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Stay at the exclusive Clayoquot Wilderness Resort.

Go out in search of wildlife, including black bears in late spring and throughout summer. Look for marine wildlife including humpback whales, grey whales and killer whales (orcas).  Enjoy short to long day hikes, river kayaking, ocean kayaking in inlets & coves. Horse-riding is a signature experience at Clayoquot.
Incl. return sea plane charter flight to/from Vancouver, accommodation, all meals at the lodge, all activities listed.
From US$ 4,896 pp for 3 nights.

   
 

Winter Polar Bears - min 5 nights
Want to see the Great Ice Bear in its winter white home?
This is your chance to get up close and personal with a polar bear in their winter wonderland. All options start with an overnight in Winnipeg, followed by a morning flight to Churchill.

If you choose to stay in the town of Churchill (the most cost-effective option), your daily polar bear & other wildlife viewing will be via tundra buggies.

If you choose to stay at either Seal River Heritage Lodge or at Dymond Lake Lodge (min 6 nights), you will go out on walking excursions each day in search of polar bears and other wildlife. The focus at the Seal River Heritage lodge is maximising wildlife viewing and photography opportunities, with meal timings adjusted to suit. Those staying at Dymond Lake Lodge will enjoy walks from the lodge, and also a tundra buggy viewing tour on their last day in Churchill. From both lodges you have the chance to see the Northern Lights on clear nights.
Incl. Winnipeg - Churchill return flights, airport transfers, accommodation, breakfast, most lunches, all polar bear viewing trips. For stays at Dymond Lake Lodge or Seal River Heritage Lodge, air transfers to and from the lodges are also included.
From US$ 4,395 pp for 5 nights.

 

 

 

 

Puffins, whales & icebergs, Newfoundland - min 2 nights
Want to see an abundance of seabirds, as well as whales?
For a marine wildlife extravaganza, travel to Witless Bay Ecological Reserve near St John's on the east coast of Newfoundland. From May to August, the islands around here see over a million pairs of breeding seabirds, including Atlantic puffins, kittiwakes, Leach's storm petrels, and common murres. Humpback whales and minke whales also make an appearance during summer, the best time being July. Icebergs are occasionally seen early in the season, but not necessarily ever year. Enjoy viewing wildlife via a boat tour - a larger comfortable boat with a heated cabin, or a small boat with just 10 passengers for a whale's eye view.

From here, for the adventurous, it's also possible to visit Cape St Mary's Ecological Reserve, a 2 hour drive to the south, for a chance to see seabird colonies from land. Here you can also see eider ducks, cormorants, guillemots, eagles and plenty more.
Incl. accommodation, airport & tour transfers, breakfast daily, and one boat tour per person. Not incl. flights to St John's.
From US$ 385 pp for 2 nights.

   
 
   
Prices

The long answer:  The World's wildlife & wilderness destinations are often expensive because of strict government controls, high park fees & complex logistics.  Amongst other things, it also depends on accommodation quality, location & exclusivity; what type of vehicles are used; whether you're flying around a lot; and how many days you spend in-country. 

 

Whatever your budget, we will recommend the best possible adventure to suit you.

 

  Great Bears   
  Luxury from:  US$   6,975
  More Luxury from: US$ 13,995
 
  Extensions  
  Luxury from:  US$ 385
  More Luxury from: US$ 672
 
     
     
     
  Seasonal Pricing  
 
J F M A M J J A S O N D
 
 
  Season   Peak   Closed      
 
    Seasons shown here are based on accommodation pricing, which is based on holiday as well as wildlife seasons.  For wildlife seasons & the best time to go, see our "Seasons" tab.    
     

Prices based on 2 people travelling, sharing a room.

 

Choose your own Private Safari or a Small Group - contact us for your tailor-made adventure!

 

No hidden costs - Guaranteed!  
We include everything possible to make your adventure as easy as possible.

 

Accommodation & responsible travel

We are strongly committed to the principles of responsible travel, and therefore recommend accommodations that are trying to do the right thing - by the environment, their staff & local communities, and their guests!  Environmental initiatives include using renewable energy such as solar power, using low-impact structures, reducing waste, and recycling wherever possible.  They support their local communities by providing employment as well as educational, medical, and other support; some even include profit-share arrangements. Many have, or support, anti-poaching units to de-snare and protect the wilderness areas within which they operate.

 

Great, so what's the difference between a luxury vacation and an even more luxurious or exclusive one?

       
  Standard/ luxury   More Luxury &/ or Exclusivity
  High quality Lodges.
In a classic or adventure lodge style.
Food is of a good standard.
Set in areas with good wildlife viewing.
 

Small & intimate lodges.
High standards of guiding, food & service.
Very best locations for wildlife viewing.

Often in areas accessible only by private air charter.

       
  Accommodation featured:   Accommodation featured: 
 

Lazy Bear Lodge, Churchill, Manitoba

Tundra Buggy Lodge, Churchill, Manitoba

Heron's Landing Hotel, Campbell River

Comfort Inn & Suites Hotel, Campbell River

Island Roamer, Bluewater Adventures, BC

Island Odyssey, Bluewater Adventures, BC

Knight Inlet Lodge, BC

Murray Premises Hotel, Newfoundland

Driftwood Cottage, Branch, Newfoundland

 

Four Points by Sheraton, Winnipeg

Seal River Heritage Lodge, Manitoba

Dymond Lake Ecolodge, Manitoba
Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, Manitoba

Great Bear Lodge, BC

Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, BC

Nimmo Bay Wilderness, BC
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Vancouver Island

       

We clearly explain what's included & what's not:

 

Inclusions: All your accommodation, most meals as listed, wildlife viewing activities with qualified Guide, all internal flights as listed, all airport transfers as listed, all park & conservation fees.

 

All government taxes, fuel surcharges, Park & Conservancy entrance fees are included and correct as at date of quote. However they are subject to government & local authority imposed changes, often without notice (!) and therefore beyond our control. We will always endeavour to minimise their impact and inform you if a supplement is required.

 

Exclusions: International airfares to & from your chosen destination. Visa fees, personal & travel insurance, excursions not specified, drinks unless specified, laundry, telephone or internet costs, gratuities, and all other personal expenses. Some airports now charge safety fees, which are payable directly at each airport upon departure. 

 

Additional things to consider: Busy times of the year normally have a supplement added by the accommodation providers - Easter, Xmas & New Year holidays.  These will be included in our costs - so no surprises when you get there!

 

Seasons

Q:  When is the best time to go to Canada?    
A:  It depends on what you want to see & experience

The wildlife season in Canada for tourism is only 6 months long, from June to November; spring to autumn, when wildlife is active. In any case, the rest of the year, you probably wouldn't want to be there in the sub zero temperatures and very short daylight hours!

 

So if you're constrained to travelling at a particular time, don't worry: we'll recommend the best places & parks - and the best locations within the the parks - to visit at that time.  

 

If you have specific interests - such as seeing polar bears mothers with their cubs, or the grizzly bears fishing for salmon - then you do need to travel at the right time of year, AND to the right area.

 

Guide to the wildlife seasons & the best time to go to Canada


 

June
Late spring, with days warming up.

Best time to see black bears.

Start of the grizzly bear viewing season.

Excellent time to see tiny newborn bear cubs, following their mother out of hibernation.

Great time for bear photography as you can get relatively close to them during zodiac (boat) cruises.

Marine wildlife viewing - seals, sea lions, porpoises, dolphins & sometimes even minke whales.
Lush, green vegetation with beautiful wildflowers.
Great time for birding. 

Best time to go cruising into British Colombia's most northern glacial fjords - Khutzeymateen, Canada's only Grizzly Bear Sanctuary. Chance to see grizzly bears, sea lions, orcas (killer whales), bald eagles and plenty of other wildlife.

Seabirds, including Atlantic puffins, nesting off the east coast of Newfoundland.

 

   
 

July - late Aug

During July, summer fruit abounds, and grizzly & black bears spend more time in the forest, making viewing a little more challenging, though you still have high chances of seeing a few bears during your visit.

Mid July is the start of the polar bear viewing season along Hudson Bay, Manitoba.

Wonderful season to visit the Hudson Bay area, when wildflowers abound & birdlife is plentiful.

See Arctic wildlife during the summer - caribou, moose, red & Arctic foxes, & even wolves.

You have the exhilarating opportunity to walk with polar bears during the summer season.

Unique chance to swim with Beluga whales in Hudson Bay.

July is the best time to visit Newfoundland for a chance to see nesting seabirds as well as whales.

August sees the start of the yacht cruises into the Great Bear Rainforest, lasting through to mid October.

 

   
 

Late Aug - September
Famous grizzly bear viewing season during the Great Salmon Run - 24 Aug to 16 October.

Grizzly bear viewing is from platforms as they catch fish returning up-river.

Choose from staying at a shore-based lodge, or a cruise along the Great Bear Rainforest for your grizzy adventure.

Excellent time for watching polar bear mothers with their cubs in the denning area in the Cape Tatnam Wildlife Management Area on Hudson Bay. You also have a chance of seeing black bears here, as well as wolves, and lots of birdlife.

 

   
 

October - November
October brings the end of the grizzly bear viewing season.

October is the start of the winter polar bear viewing season - see the great Ice Bear in its element!

Chance to see other Arctic wildlife, including caribou, Arctic fox & hare, wolves & even snowy owls.

Later in the season, you have a chance of seeing the Northern Lights, if weather conditions are right.

Mid November sees the departure of polar bears from the shores of Hudson Bay as the bay freezes over and allows their migration further north.

   

 

Whatever time of year you choose to travel, rest assured that when you choose to travel with us, we will advise you of the best locations, seasons and dates for your particular interests.

 

How can we help you?