- Expert tuition from award winning photographer Sue Flood on this exclusive charter with Steppes
- Explore the Great Bear Rainforest and photograph black bears, spirit bears and grizzlies
- Sail aboard the Island Roamer along spectacular British Columbia coastline searching for humpbacks
- Spend two days at a bear viewing platform to photograph bears feeding on the salmon run
This is a unique opportunity to join an exclusive photographic cruise in British Columbia, sailing a section of the Inside Passage, now known as the Great Bear Rainforest. Some say, that black bears and grizzlies outnumber the people that inhabit this remote piece of British Columbia's coastline. Probably not the case, but bears certainly rule the roost and make for exciting photographic quarry with the west coast's towering mountains and lush, temperate forests providing a beautiful backdrop. The spirit bear also inhabits this region (actually it is a black bear with a recessive gene for snow-white fur). For ultimate bragging rights, a full frame photograph is a must-have. But let's not be bear-centric as the Inside Passage is also renowned for humpback whale sightings, Steller sea-lions, spectacular displays from birds of prey and a fascinating First Nation cultural history.
A Typical Day with Sue Flood in the Great Bear RainforesT
Sue Flood led a successful voyage to British Columbia with Steppes Travel in 2015 - this is what she has to say about the nature of the voyage she'll be leading with Steppes in 2017:
“The coast of British Columbia is spectacularly beautiful and offers some incredible photographic opportunities from humpback whales, bald eagles soaring above the stunning rainforest, grizzlies looking for salmon and magnificent scenery wherever you turn. Being based on board a yacht will allow us to make the most of the wildlife as we cover many miles along dramatic coastline. At all times, the wildlife will dictate the agenda of the trip; if we suddenly come across feeding humpback whales, we’ll be having a late lunch! Early morning light and stunning sunsets can be great times for photography, but a great photo opportunity can occur at any time of day and I’ll be on hand to ensure we make the most of every wildlife encounter. Whether you’ve a simple point and shoot or a more sophisticated SLR, you’’ll pick up tips on how to improve your photography, whatever your level of expertise. I'll be concentrating on composition, framing, use of light, and simply“capturing the moment”. I’ll be giving lectures on photo tips throughout the voyage, but will be available for informal one-to-one advice and feedback throughout so that you come back from this wonderful trip with images that do your memories justice".
Why should I join this tour?
This is a unique opportunity to travel around one of the last remaining protected habitats for bears with a world renowned photographer and expert naturalists. We have deliberately limited the number joining this group to 11 people plus your photographic leader, Sue Flood. The boat has capacity for 14 people but we are keen to give our clients extra space on board.
Do I have to be an experienced photographer to get the most out of this trip?
No you don’t. You don’t even have to be a photographer to join. Whether you have a simple point and shoot camera, or a sophisticated SLR, Sue Flood will be on hand to give you tips on how to improve your photography skills.
what if i am a single traveller?
We have set aside two cabins for single travellers with a supplementary cost of £1,500, strictly on a first come, first served basis. Once these cabins are sold, single occupancy of a cabin will be at double the cost.
Where will I stay?
You will be in comfortable hotels when on the mainland, but the Island Roamer yacht will be your home for seven nights while you navigate this truly spectacular coastline. Accommodations are typical for a sailing yacht with cabins arranged to fit to the contours of the vessel, with either bunk bed or double bed arrangements. Please note that there are shared facilities onboard and space is limited.
How fit do I need to be?
It is important participants are amenable to living in relatively close quarters of a small sailing boat and healthy and fit enough to enjoy long and relatively active days. You will need to climb in and out of zodiacs, walk along slippery shorelines and over uneven coastal terrain, as well carrying your own camera equipment. There are also optional activities such as sea kayaking.
How rough will the water be?
You will travel in protected areas most of the time. On still days, the west coast can be like sailing on a flat lake. There will be times when you will be crossing into open water where greater motion will be experienced.
What Wildlife will I see?
The Great Bear Rainforest is home to humpback whales, stellar sea lions, wolves, grizzlies, black bears and the elusive spirit bear. This wildlife resides throughout the coastal islands with only a few species found in localised areas. As with any wildlife viewing, there are no guarantees, however with an experienced naturalist guide on board we won't leave anything to luck.
Is September the best time to travel?
Yes, September is the peak of the salmon run in this area of the Great Bear Rainforest. The rich salmon spawning streams draw the bears in high numbers to the rivers, which allows for more predictable sightings and thus hopefully, offering fantastic photographic opportunities.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.