Select a page

Wilds of the Great Bear Rainforest Photo Tour: Spirit Bears, Grizzly Bears, Humpbacks and More

Sept. 22 – 30, 2024: FULL!
Late Sept., 2025: Price TBD

Explore the rugged coast of British Columbia by boat and come face to face with the wild denizens of the Great Bear Rainforest, including the rare and beautiful spirit bear!

Join Max on the Wilds of the Great Bear Rainforest tour, a nine day adventure as we search the islands and inlets of Canada’s Pacific coast.  Fall is the perfect time to see spirit bears—found nowhere else on earth—as well as coastal grizzlies, as they feed on the thousands of salmon that head upstream to spawn. In addition to bears, we’ll search for, coastal wolves, humpback whales, eagles, otters and other coastal wildlife.

This is a photo adventure, emphasizing exploration and photography in the field rather than classwork. Max will be there to shoot alongside you and help provide optional instruction and tips on photography, including handling the more difficult aspects of forest photography and shooting from a boat. This photo tour is a great fit for anyone from amateurs to professionals looking to photograph one of the rarest animals on earth in one of the most beautiful, rugged coastal environments along the Pacific coast! This tour is limited to six guests, allowing for a more comfortable shooting environment and more one-on-one attention from your guides.

About the Spirit Bear

The spirit or Kermode bear is a subspecies of black bear that possesses a genetic trait that causes approximately one in ten bears to be born with white fur. They are truly “white” black bears, not albinos. The only place to find spirit bears is along the coast of British Columbia, particularly in the Great Bear Rainforest (which was set aside for conservation in part to protect this local icon). Only a couple hundred spirit bears are thought to exist.  Because of the small numbers of white bears and increasing pressures on their population (reduced salmon numbers, competition from grizzlies and bigger and bigger crowds of tourists), the spirit bear is NOT the sole focus of this trip.  While we hope to find the white bear, we hope to expose trip participants to the general beauty and diversity of this unique ecosystem.

What’s Included in the Price of Your Tour

  • Private accommodation (based on double occupancy), aboard the 70 foot schooner, Passing Cloud.
  • All bedding, including duvet with cover, sheets, and pillow(s) with cases complete your bed on board. Bath towels and facecloths are provided on board, with hand towels changed each day in the 2 bathrooms.
  • A selection of body washes, shampoos and conditioners are available.
  • Guided excursions off the ship, each day.
  • Use of fishing gear on board if you’d like to fish. (Tidal fishing license is not included and must be purchased prior to coming to the ship.)
  • Rubber boots
  • All meals, snacks and beverages while on board.
  • Photo advice and guidance from Max Waugh
  • The professional services of your Captain/Wildlife Guide, Chef, Crew Person (and First Nations Guide/Watchman on some of the trips).
  • Use of kayaks and other equipment on board.
  • Permit fees to visit limited access areas.
  • First Nations Tourism Development Fees.
  • Applicable taxes

What is NOT Included in the Price of Your Trip

  • Airfare to/from Bella Bella at the beginning and end of the tour.
  • Accommodation in Bella Bella before and after the tour.
  • Tidal fishing license if you wish to fish.
  • Surcharge for special diets may apply. Please inquire at time of booking.
  • Gratuities for Captain, Chef, Crew Person, customary in this business, as well as for First Nations Bear Guides when they guide with us.


2024 Tour: This tour is now FULL.
2025 Tour: Price TBD

Due to the limited number of spaces on the boat, participants MUST have a roommate… or pay double the cost.

See images from past Great Bear Rainforest trips here.

Register for the Wilds of the Great Bear Rainforest tour.

The 2024 tour is now full. To get on the waiting list for the 2024 tour or request a place on the 2025 tour, or if you would like to get on a future trip or schedule a customized tour, please contact me.

Looking for Travel Insurance? I am a World Nomads travel insurance affiliate: