The Khutzeymateen Inlet is one of British Columbia’s most northern glacial fjords, with characteristic steep cliffs, thick forests and rich estuary ecosystems. The Khutzeymateen Valley is Canada’s only grizzly bear sanctuary and is home to British Columbia’s most important coastal bear population.
We voyage along the Inlet's winding shores and expect some wonderful bear viewing in the new Khutzeymateen Conservancy. We look forward to exploring the outer islands, watching Steller sea lions on the hunt and at play. While ashore, we walk along rugged beaches and take the time for hikes to see bog flowers. Each day, we enjoy our time for incredible sea kayaking among rock studded anchorages.
Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear tour itinerary
Day 1 - We will meet on the Prince Rupert dock. We depart Prince Rupert harbour for the beauty of Chatham Sound and its collection of islands.
Day 2-3 - We explore the islands of Chatham Sound. Porcher, Stephens and Dundas Islands are the largest in the area. We will walk remote beaches, hike up to a view point and search for sea lions, orcas and humpback whales. There are some lovely areas to explore by kayak or zodiac. Day 4-5 - Khutzeymateen Inlet - We tie up Island Odyssey at a remote floating camp, and proceed by zodiac to see the famed grizzly bears of Khutzeymateen Inlet. Our trip focuses on bear viewing in the Conservancy, along the shores of the Inlet. In order to minimize our impact, we leave the Sanctuary at the head of the Inlet, to the bears.
Day 6 - From fiord-like Portland Canal, we now return to the outer islands and lower topography of Chatham Sound. Remote Green Island still has lightkeepers manning the lighthouse and living on the tiny island. If the weather allows, we may go ashore for a visit. Day 7 - We return through narrow Venn Passage to Prince Rupert. Venn Passage has an incredible collection of petroglyphs – native rock carvings – including the famous ‘Man who fell from heaven’. Accompanied by a local Tsimshian Guide, we plan to see these ancient carvings and learn of their history. We will tie up in Prince Rupert by midday.
• Black Bear, Grizzly Bear
• Bald Eagle
• Black Oystercatcher
• American Dipper
• Chestnut-backed Chickadee
• Humpback Whale
• Orca (Killer Whale)
• Stellar sea lions
The Island Roamer is a custom 68-foot ketch, launched in 1983. The boat's design, safety and comfort make her perfect for these trips. She features 8 private cabins (double occupancy), 3 heads with hot showers, a large comfortable lounge with an extensive library, and a well-equipped galley. On deck, the large covered seating area provides protection in all types of weather. The Island Roamer is large enough for comfort, privacy and safety, and small enough to create a good rapport among passengers and crew.
A certified Canadian Ministry of Transport passenger vessel, Island Roamer has all of the safety equipment, electronic navigation aids, and features you would expect from a vessel of her standard. All of our cabins have adequate storage space for your bags, personal items and jackets. Coat hangers and life jackets are stowed in every cabin for your convenience. There is electricity in each room, so you can charge your camera batteries and enjoy a reading light in the evening.
We have 8 private cabins, based on double occupancy. At the time of booking, you may request a type of cabin you would like - single berths or if you and your traveling partner prefer, a double berth cabin. Single travelers do not have the choice of the double berth cabin. Specific room bookings are up to the crew once you have arrived onboard the vessel.
On our Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear tour, as in all of our destinations, our itineraries remain flexible. This allows the crew to take time to enjoy wildlife sightings, spend more time at an ancient village site, or simply cater to the interests of the group.
Usually on the Pacific Coast we have a good variety of constantly changing weather. Expect a mixture of sunshine, rain and wind on most trips. You will require waterproof rain gear and rubberboots as most of our landings will be wet, where you will be stepping into the water and onto the beach.
We travel in protected areas most of the time. On many days of the summer this coast is like sailing on a lake - flat and calm. Sometimes we cross into open water for short periods of time where we may experience greater motion. If you are prone to motion sickness it is a good idea to bring sea sickness medication. Check with your doctor.
All of our meals are served buffet style. We can usually accommodate most special dietary concerns if we are given sufficient advance notice.Typical DayIn the morning, you might expect to have breakfast served around 8am. If you are an early riser there is always the opportunity for a morning kayak around the secluded bay we are anchored in. After the meal, a shore excursion will take place - Either to search for wildlife, look at intertidal zones, or go for a culture/nature hike. We will load into the zodiacs and take off to see what nature has in store for us. Bring your backpack, water bottle and camera! You never know what you will see on these outings.
We come back to the boat for a gourmet lunch served by one of our amazing chefs. At this time, the skipper might take us to our next destination, while we look for more wildlife along the shores, or try to find pods of whales. The crew will be explaining all the places we are passing and all the species that you might see flying, swimming, or walking near the vessel. If something is of interest we will stop or slow down to enjoy. We are never in any hurry. We travel to all of our destinations only when the weather and wildlife is consistently good - And our skippers are experts and finding exciting things to show you. A stop at an ancient village site is always a unique experience for our guests. After lunch, we might spend some time relaxing, while the crew puts up the sails and takes you through a passage or strait. This would be a good time to reflect in a journal or take a book from our extensive reading library. If we are lucky, you may see some Humpbacks frolicking in the waters around the boat. If this happens we turn off the engines and float silently among them - quite spectacular. Before dinner we might do a light hike to bear stands to view some grizzly or black bears feeding on the salmon, or enjoy an afternoon kayak. We serve dinner and then might go for a dip in some remote hotsprings along the coast, and then come back to the boat and enjoy some BC wine.
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