Rates and availability for Great Bear Lodge

Rates for 2021

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 2021 season. They are per person based on double occupancy in Canadian dollars and are all-inclusive (except tax of 5%). Please contact us for prices for single occupancy for autumn.

Spring (May 7 to June 29)
4 nights: CAD$3305
7 nights: CAD$5890

Summer (June 30 to August 19)
4 nights: CAD$2750
7 nights: CAD$4765

Autumn (August 20 to October 19)
4 nights: CAD$4730
7 nights: CAD$8735

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
– Interpretive walk or boat excursions
– Rubber boots, raingear, binoculars and a warm insulated suit, if needed
– Van transfers in Port Hardy
– Staff gratuities
– Final night at the Kwa’lilas Hotel in Port Hardy
– BC Conservation License Fee

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 is 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.

The lodge is available for exclusive booking for family getaways or group 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 16 people in September and October.

 We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for situations other than COVID-19.  This will help you if you do need to cancel within 30 days of 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.

Availability

Our tours depart on scheduled dates, every three days.  Check our booking page for availability.

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.

We have a recommended minimum age of 15 years, unless your family books the entire lodge. Please contact us to find out more about our tours in 2020 and beyond, or book your grizzly bear tour now.