Getting to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island
Our tours depart from Port Hardy, which is located on the northern end of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Tours are scheduled to depart from Port Hardy by seaplane at 3pm, so our guests typically check in around 2pm. Tours are scheduled to return by seaplane to Port Hardy at approximately 4.30pm, however wilderness weather may delay this on occasion. Due to the possibility of delays, we recommend that you plan to stay the night after your tour in Port Hardy. Starting in 2021, the final night in Port Hardy will be included in your tour price.
Listed below is information on how to get to Port Hardy to join your grizzly bear tour, as well as accommodations in the area. The lodge itself is located in the Great Bear Rainforest on the mainland coast of British Columbia. Your tour includes your seaplane flight from Port Hardy to Great Bear Lodge.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office to assist you further in your travel planning.
Vancouver Island becomes more rugged and forested the further north you travel. Many of our guests choose to fly from Vancouver directly to Port Hardy, while others enjoy the scenic drive. Rental cars are available in Port Hardy and Vancouver, as well as other communities on Vancouver Island.
Pacific Coastal Airlines offers direct flights from Vancouver to Port Hardy, typically one in the morning and one in the early evening.
Website: Pacific Coastal Airlines
Phone Number: 800-663-2872 (toll-free) or (604) 273-8666
Vancouver Island is accessed by ferry service from the mainland. The most direct route is via the town of Nanaimo. Ferry service is from the Horseshoe Bay terminal located in a northwestern suburb of Vancouver and from the Tsawwassen terminal south of Vancouver. The drive from Nanaimo to Port Hardy is approximately 5 hours at a leisurely pace. The ferries can be busy during holiday periods, so we recommend that you reserve in advance if you are driving to Vancouver Island. Port Hardy is also the departure point for ferries to Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii and Bella Coola.
Website: BC Ferries
Phone Number: 888-223-3779 (toll-free) or (250) 386-3431
Vehicle Reservations: 888-724-5223 (toll-free) or (604) 444-2890
If you are driving up from the United States, crossing the border into Canada requires no special procedures but proof of citizenship is required. Travel time from Seattle to Port Hardy is approximately 12 – 14 hours.
Accommodations in Port Hardy
Kwa’lilas Hotel: First Nations destination hotel, offering 85 guestrooms and a curated selection of authentic local Aboriginal arts and culture. (855) 949-8525
Quarterdeck Inn & Marina Resort: Hotel located on the fishing boat marina at Port Hardy. 1-877-902-0459 (toll-free) or (250) 902-0455.
Glen Lyon Inn: Hotel overlooking Port Hardy Bay and the Seaplane Base. 1-877-949-7115 (toll-free) or (250) 949-7115.
Bear Cove Cottages: Self-contained cottages overlooking Queen Charlotte Strait. (250) 949-7939
Dolphin House B&B: Friendly B&B on the waterfront at Coal Harbour, located 20 minutes outside of Port Hardy. (250) 949-7576
Ecoscape Cabins: Environmentally friendly cabins with modern conveniences. (250) 949-8524
Other activities on northern Vancouver Island
k’awat’si Tours: First Nations-guided tours departing from Port Hardy to get out on the water to view wildlife, roam remote beaches, or listen to stories and learn how to weave cedar or make drums. These tours are operated by members of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation, on whose traditional lands Great Bear Lodge is located.
Mackay Whale Watching: Whale-watching tours departing from Port McNeill, 30 minutes drive south of Port Hardy.
Cove Adventure Tours: Transportation and guiding services to remote beaches on Northern Vancouver Island, as well as custom eco tours.
Kingfisher Wilderness Adventures: Specializes in kayaking trips to Vancovuer Island and the Great Bear Rainforest.
SeaWolf Adventures: Boat based wildlife viewing and cultural tours on Northern Vancouver Island.
U’mista Cultural Centre: Extensive potlatch and totem collection houses in a museum whose purpose it is to ensure the survival of all aspects of the cultural heritage of the Kwakwakaʼwakw.
If you need more information about how to get to Port Hardy, please don’t hesitate to contact us.