Enter the realm of the Spirit Bear
Sail into the narrow, winding fjords of northern British Columbia and enter the domain of the rare Spirit Bear. Also known as a Kermode bear, it is a variant of the North American black bear and can only be found in the pristine wilderness of the Great Bear Rainforest. The forest is roughly the size of Ireland, stretches 250 miles across the central and northern coast of British Columbia and encompases a quarter of the world’s coastal temperate rainforest. Hike along its salmon-rich streams, enter forests of towering cedars, and see the protected region’s abundant wildlife. This Alaska itinerary aboard National Geographic Venture will enable you to:
A diverse and healthy population of wildlife species thrive in the rainforest. Search for mountain goats, cougars, grizzly bears, as well as subspecies and genetically unique populations like the coastal grey wolves. The seas teem with killer whales, sea lions, sea otters, and more. Sail into the narrow Grenville Channel, which pinches to less than a quarter-mile across and is a gathering place for killer whales. Zodiac and kayak to a salmon run where bears come to feed.
Joining us aboard is a cultural interpreter who will share the legends and lore of their people and the lands we explore. In British Columbia see a coastal longhouse built of bark-stripped cedar and a museum’s collection of First Nations artifacts. And in Ketchikan visit the Totem Heritage Center to view a unique collection of 19th-century Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian totem poles recovered from abandoned villages.
Circumnavigate Gribbell Island, what the Valhalla Wilderness Society has dubbed “Mother Island of the White Bear,” in search of this elusive spirit bear. It is believed that 10 - 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.
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, veteran naturalists, including a certified photo instructor and an undersea specialist, plus a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for the region is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience.