Vancouver Island Photo Tours

Grizzly bears, Black Bears, Orca Whales, Humpback Whales, Bald Eagles & other Wildlife
8-12 hours boat Tour with maximum of 4 guests

Grizzly bear Wildlife Watching Boat Tour into BEAUTIFUL KNIGHT INLET, The TRADITIONAL TERRITORY OF THE DA’NAXDA’XW AWAETLALA FIRST NATION, BRITISH COLUMBIA, Canada

Ethics, Experience, knowledge and time is the secret to good wildlife watching – and we have it all!

The Knight Inlet, marine based,  photo wildlife tour does it all in one full day from Port McNeill, Alder Bay or Telegraph Cove on the northern part of Vancouver Island with a maximum of 4 guests (5 with children) on board my covered, insured, safe custom built boat.

This Family & Photo Tour is mostly about the Grizzly Bears and the stunning scenery of Knight Inlet (Fjord). If the wildlife cooperates, we will watch grizzly bears, orca whales, humpback whales, dolphins, other marine wildlife, birds and the stunning scenery along the Great Bear Rainforest, Knight Inlet in British Columbia, Canada.

We are not just going bear watching in Knight Inlet. We design the tour as we go, as we like, depending on weather, tides, wildlife sightings and whatever helps to make it the very best day ever.

Important notes:!!! (Please also check my FAQ page)
No wildlife sightings can be guaranteed (expect nothing and be happily surprised). We see Grizzly Bears, Eagles, Seals, Sea Lions on almost every tour, whales on many, Dolphins on some of the tours.

The tour is not recommended for pregnant women or guests with back problems. I have never had anyone get seasick on my boat, which operates only in protected waters, not the open ocean. 

I can’t guarantee you wildlife, but I can guarantee that I will do everything in my power to make it the very best day for you.

A "typical day" on the Knight Inlet wildlife & scenery photo tour:

Depending on the time of year, tides, and weather, we usually leave from the northern part of Vancouver Island between 4:30 and 6:00 a.m., either from Alder Bay, Port McNeill, or Telegraph Cove.

Most of the time, we are leaving from Alder Bay Resort on northern Vancouver Island. (Google Maps).

I always try to be the first in Knight Inlet, so we can hopefully enjoy some undisturbed wildlife viewing. It doesn’t always work but trying it is the best way to make sure we are having an amazing day.

Depending on the time of the year, there will be other tour boats coming into Knight Inlet.

I greatly appreciate my colleagues on the water and we are always happy to share our bear and other wildlife views. 

We are more flexible so we can always look for other bears or check out other areas. My flexibility is the joker for our day and that part makes it very different from the bigger operators.

We can do what WE want and we always find agreement between 4 guests.

If the conditions are in our favour, we will start with a beautiful sunrise in Johnstone Strait, Blackfish Sound or Queen Charlotte Strait, depending on the route we have chosen to go.

Normally it takes about 1.5-2 hours by boat to reach the area where we start looking for the coastal grizzly bears.

If we see other wildlife, such as whales, dolphins, eagles, black bears or other wildlife en route, we will spend time with them.

However, we usually endeavour to get to the grizzly bears as fast as we can.

We may have to spend some time searching for the grizzly bears or wait and see for a while. During this time, we often have a snack.

Depending on the tides, we may have to leave even if we don’t find any bears. We will look for other wildlife and some beautiful scenery in Knight Inlet and return to the bears later. We will decide as soon as we know “what’s going on.”

I cannot guarantee wildlife sightings, but so far, we have seen bears on 9 out of 10 tours. We normally spend a good time with the bears or as long as my guests want to stay as long as the wildlife accepts us and we are not disturbing it.

We will decide together when we are ready to leave the bears behind.

We will take the time to have a delicious healthy lunch on the boat; normally, we serve as much from our own organic garden as possible. You will not be left hungry!

After lunch we have some more travel time back towards the Broughton Archipelago and if we still have time we will search the rest of the afternoon for whales, birds and other wildlife.

Sooner or later it will be time to go back home. Normally that is somewhere between 8-12 hours, a good average are 9 1/2 hours which is a long time to be on the water.

Some days we see a lot wildlife, sometimes not as much. But over all those years I never had anybody unhappy stepping of my boat. I have only one agenda all day and that is to provide you the best service possible. 

While I totally understand the disappointment from some guests when we don’t see everything as expected – at the end of the day it is nature and wildlife and it is totally out of my control, so is the weather. But we will make the very best out of the circumstances given to us on this day. Every day is different and we never know what to expect. But we have the best chances as I know the area inside out; we are using a great and safe boat, I’m out on the water almost every day, and I have a close friendship on the water with all other professional guides.

The base is set; all the rest is up to the “nature gods”.

Ambient Light tour boat used on photo tours
Grizzly bear watching the shoreline
grizzly bears knight inlet
wildlife watching knight inlet

Depending on the wind and weather, we may explore some inlets on the way back. These inlets are always full of surprises and amazing scenery.

We will also spend time in the Broughton Archipelago. This is where we keep our eyes open for humpback whales, killer whales, minke whales, dolphins, sea lions and bald eagles, and we will spend as much time as possible enjoying, watching and photographing the wildlife.

One of the biggest advantages of this tour is that we are not on a schedule. If “things are happening,” we are not leaving! 

You will be surprised how fast the day goes, normally, we stay out for over 10 hours if the wildlife cooperates, but we stayed out as much as 15 hours before (only if my guests agree!).

If you need to be home early then, we also can shorten the tour.

So far, we haven’t gone a day without seeing something very special. Even when we did not see bears, there was always something else to make it an incredible day. I never had anyone disappointed or not happy, and I sure want to keep it that way 😀.

It is an individual and private tour with a maximum of 4 guests, and you decide where we will spend your time. We are flexible and cater to your desires, although we have a rough outline for the day based on our experience.

We offer our wildlife & scenery photo tour because we love to share this amazing place with our guests. Rolf loves to show people around, share his photography knowledge and make sure you get some amazing photos to share back home.

Please understand that this is not a “learning photography” tour, the day is too busy, BUT Rolf will share as much of his knowledge, tricks and tips with you as possible and also answers your question, no matter if photography is related or not. You still will learn a lot about photography!

Knight Inlet is the longest inlet (fjord) along the British Columbia coast and is also part of the Great Bear Rainforest. It is very scenic and full of wildlife, but it also can be a bit unpredictable at times.

If the winds are too strong, we might not go into Knight Inlet and stay more protected. It normally wouldn’t be a safety issue, but it can be uncomfortable fighting wind, tides and waves.

So far, we have only had to divert TWO tours in the past seven years.

In case of high wind predictions, we will make a decision TOGETHER if we cancel the tour OR do the Broughton Archipelago photo tour instead. The Broughton is very sheltered and offers almost everything BUT chances to see grizzly bears are slim.

If Grizzly bears are not most important to you and you may prefer to do more whale watching, then I would recommend the Broughton Archipelago Photo Tour.

A spectacular wildlife tour with a wonderful host! Highly recommend - do not miss!

DESHIKAA2
Tripadvisor

A wonderful experience we'll remember for ever!

SALLYWOOLY
Tripadvisor

This was the highlight of our holiday and a day that we'll be talking about for some time!

JAMES BUFFORD
Tripadvisor

A spectacular wildlife tour with a wonderful host! Highly recommend - do not miss!

DESHIKAA2
Tripadvisor