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A bear catches a fish as it swims upstream

Voyage to Great Bear Rainforest: Native Culture & Wildlife in the Land of the Spirit Bear

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Venture
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Sail into northern British Columbia's tiny, meandering fjords and enter the domain of the endangered Spirit Bear. Also known as a Kermode bear, it is a subspecies of the North American black bear that is found exclusively in the Great Bear Rainforest's pristine wildness. The forest is nearly the size of Ireland and was named one of National Geographic's "Lifetime Places." It runs 250 miles along British Columbia's central and northern coasts, encompassing a quarter of the world's coastal temperate rainforest. Hike along its salmon-rich streams, through forests of towering cedars, and observe the plentiful animals in the protected territory.
Alaska native clan house and totemsAlways having adventures together!Hiking with a groupA bear catches a fish as it swims upstream
Highlights
  • Kayak deep into verdant fjords and along wildlife-rich shores
  • Look out for grizzly, black, and Kermode bears
  • Soak in rustic wonderful hot spring pools
  • Experience the silence as you stand among towering, monumental cedars
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ketchikan, AK, USA | Embark

Arrive in Ketchikan and head to the Totem Heritage Center to view the priceless collection of 19th-century totem poles. This afternoon, board the National Geographic Venture.

Day 2: Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up in Prince Rupert, a scenic harbor town on British Columbia’s rugged northwest coast. Get immersed in First Nations history at the Museum of Northern British Columbia, built in the style of a coastal longhouse. Breathe in the scent of cedar beams and peruse an impressive collection of ornate carvings, weavings, ceremonial objects, and regalia. Visit the North Pacific Cannery Museum, a collection of cannery buildings located in pristine wilderness surroundings that highlight BC’s economic, cultural and natural development over the last century.

Day 3-6: Exploring the Great Bear Rainforest

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Over the course of the next four days, we will cruise deep into the fjords and deep valleys that carve into the Coast Range looking for black and grizzly bears. We will be accompanied by a cultural interpreter who knows the area intimately and will share with you the legends of their people. We will circumnavigate Gribbell Island, what the Valhalla Wilderness Society has dubbed “Mother Island of the White Bear,” in search of this elusive bear. It is believed that between 10 to 20 percent of bears in this region are born with the recessive gene that causes the white fur; fewer than 400 are estimated to exist.

British Columbia has one of the highest proportions of protected land of any jurisdiction in the world. Almost 15% of the land is protected, with a wide range of provincial parks, national parks, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We will go ashore and explore several remote locations where few people venture. Pack your swimsuit, and conditions--and wildlife--permitting we will stop to experience one of the rustic hot spring pools found in the area. Discover hidden gems by Zodiac and kayak, navigating the tidal narrows that lead to the spectacular Foch lagoon and gliding into rugged valleys of Owyacumish Bay--all while constantly scanning the rocky shoreline for bears.

Day 7: Cruising and Union Passage Provincial Marine Park

Sail alongside pods of killer whales, see foraging brown bears as we sail north through the narrow Grenville Channel, a dramatic navigational experience. Not only does the channel narrow to less than a quarter of a mile across, but a slight bend in the passage makes the waterway seem to disappear into the hills ahead and behind the ship. Here, we will drop our Zodiacs and kayaks to explore the salmon run at Verney Falls in Lowe Inlet Provincial Marine Park on our way to Ketchikan. 

Day 8: Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada | Disembark | Seattle, WA, USA

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark and transfer to the airport in Prince Rupert. Board a charter flight to Seattle for your connecting flight home.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Venture

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,730
Rates are subject to change without notice. Book early to get the best rate.
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Category 1
Located on the main deck. Approximately 136 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
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Category 2
Located on the main deck. Approximately 136 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and two portholes. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
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Category 3
Located on the upper deck. Approximately 151 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk and a large view window. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
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Category 4
Located on the upper deck. Approximately 151 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, a writing desk, sliding glass door and small, private balcony. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.
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Category 5
Located on the observation deck. Approximately 185 sq. ft. Cabins feature two lower single beds that can convert to a Queen, large view windows, an expanded bathroom, writing desk, ample storage space, and a convertible sofa bed to accommodate a third person. Each cabin has individual climate controls. Botanically-inspired toiletries and hair dryers are also available in each cabin.

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability. 

Rates are capacity-controlled and are subject to change without notice.
Included
  • 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages
  • All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Use of snorkeling equipment, wet suits, and kayaks (where available)
  • Services of the expert expedition team and guest speakers
  • Shore excursions, sightseeing, entrance fees, and special access permits
  • Taxes, service charges, and tips (except for ship’s crew, at guests’ discretion)
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Additional Hotel Nights 
  • Private Transfers
  • Rubber Boots: Please bring your own. 
  • Expedition Extensions 
  • Laundry 
  • Air transportation (except when indicated in the itinerary, as included)
  • Passport, visa, and immigration fees
  • Special and unique excursions such as scuba diving, flightseeing, etc. (where offered)
  • Alcoholic beverages (alcohol is included on select ships)
  • Items of personal nature
  • Phone and Internet Service
  • Gratuity for ship’s crew, at guests’ discretion (crew tips are included on select ships
  • We strongly recommend our guests to take Travel Protection Plan. A Plan with comprehensive coverage to protect you from cancellation fees, costs incurred due to trip delays/interruption, damaged or lost baggage, medical assistance, and evacuation during your travels

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