Rates and availability for Great Bear Lodge
Tours are 4 nights in length (3 nights at the lodge with a final night at the Kwa’lilas Hotel in Port Hardy), or two tours can be combined for a 7-night tour. Here are our prices for the upcoming season. They are per person in Canadian dollars and are all-inclusive (except tax of 5%).
Spring (May 7 to June 29)
4 nights: CAD$4075
7 nights: CAD$7250
Summer (June 30 to August 19)
4 nights: CAD$3465
7 nights: CAD$6010
Autumn (August 20 to October 19)
4 nights: CAD$5645
7 nights: CAD$10380
4 nights: CAD$9405
7 nights: CAD$17870
The price includes the following:
– Seaplane flight to Great Bear Lodge (departing Port Hardy)
– Accommodation in a private room with ensuite shower
– Morning and afternoon bear viewing sessions, guided by a wildlife biologist
– Wilderness-gourmet meals including complimentary wine and beer at the lodge
– Interpretive walk and/or boat excursions
– Rubber boots, raingear, binoculars and a warm insulated suit, if needed
– Van transfers in Port Hardy
– Final night at the Kwa’lilas Hotel in Port Hardy (accommodation only)
– Staff gratuities
– BC Conservation License Fee
– First Nations fee
The First Nations fee is contributed to the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation, in whose traditional territory we are thankful to operate.
The BC Conservation License Fee is to support bear management and research, and thus to ensure viable grizzly bear populations into the future. As of 2018, the BC government banned all grizzly bear hunting in the province. That was wonderful news! We’ve been working to make that happen for a long time, so are very excited that grizzlies are now protected across the entire province. With the grizzly bear hunt being closed, the ecotourism industry now has a responsibility to ensure that bear research and management are adequately funded, as the government and researchers will no longer be receiving revenue from bear hunting fees.
Our normal cancellation terms are:
- Full refund less $100 per person if cancelled 121 days or more before the trip
- 50% refund of total tour cost if cancelled 61-120 days
- No refund if cancelled within 60 days.
The lodge is available for exclusive bookings for family getaways or groups of friends. (What a lovely way to reconnect, with your own private resort in the middle of the wilderness). Contact us to find dates for which we have the entire lodge available, or use the booking form to dates with availability for 10 people in May through August or 18 people in September and October.
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance. This will help you if you do need to cancel your tour. There is also a very small possibility that your plane will not be able to fly to the lodge on your arrival day or from the lodge on your departure day, which is another good reason to have travel insurance. It only happens very rarely, perhaps once a season, but travel insurance takes the stress out of the situation if it does occur.
Our tours depart on scheduled dates, every three days. Check our booking page for availability for 2024. Our 2025 dates and rates will be available soon.
Spring (May 7 to June 29): After emerging from hibernation in early spring, the bears head to the estuarine grasslands to feed on the new growth of grasses and sedges. At this time, we view the bears from small boats. Spring is also the time when most of the mating activity occurs for the bears. Spring can be a great time for photography when the sun is out, as we are in the open estuary.
Summer (June 30 to August 19): As the berries begin to ripen in late spring, the grizzlies begin their summer pattern of moving between the estuary, the river and the scattered berry patches. We can have some great bear viewing in summer, but the bear sighting frequency is less than in the other seasons and there is a possibility that you may not see a bear. Summer is also great time for other animals, such as the harbor seals with their pups or the mergansers who may have a dozen or more ducklings with them. This is the best time of the year for fine weather. It is also a great time to combine a visit at our lodge with whale watching or kayaking tours provided by other operators in nearby Johnstone Strait.
Autumn (August 20 to October 19): The salmon move into the river during August, setting the stage for a feast for the grizzlies and other forest animals and birds. The salmon run peaks in September and continues into October. During the early part of the autumn season, in late August, the bears are very energetic as they are hungry and chase every fish. October is a also wonderful time to see the bears, when they are at their fattest and most relaxed before hibernating. Each bear will use its own fishing technique to catch the salmon, from chasing them through the water to carefully feeling for dead fish along the riverbank. At this time we generally view the bears from specially-constructed viewing blinds built along the river. The blinds have enough room to allow each person to set up a camera tripod in front of them. At times we will view bears from boats if they are in the lower river.