Everyone’s favourite, but our tours also see minke and humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins Dahl porpoises and sea lions.
On this ten-hour expedition a fast, covered boat heads west to Knight Inlet where we view grizzlies from the boat or viewing skiffs.
Hot or cold breakfasts with all the trimmings (included). Dinners can be roast chicken, pot roast, fish or a Buddha bowl.
See us about the Ecological Gardens, Big Tree Trail, U’Mista Cultural Centre, dancing at the ‘Namgis Big House and “Culture Shock”.
Our staff and free colour map tell it all! Biking, trail walking, kayaking, tour operators and festivals.
See a sample itinerary
Catch the 2:10 pm or a later ferry to Cormorant Island (check in time is after 3:00 pm). The last of six ferries to the Island leaves Port McNeill at 9:30 pm. Don’t worry, we’ll wait for you if you’re on the last boat at 9:30 pm – but please call ahead!
We’ll offer you a coffee or tea, a map of the Island and introduce you to local sights and attractions. You can also order dinner for the next evening at the lodge.
In the evening have dinner out at one of several restaurants.
Spend the day visiting the U’Mista Cultural Centre, the Ecological Gardens, the Big Tree Trail and the T’sasala Cultural Group. All are within walking distance of Alert Bay Lodge. Or take a morning whale watching trip.
Enjoy a glass of wine on the sundeck as the sun sets.
Full day grizzly bear viewing. The 12 passenger boat picks up near Alert Bay Lodge at about 7:00 am and returns at approximately 4:00 pm.
In the evening, enjoy a stroll east from Alert Bay Lodge along the ocean road into the residential areas.
Relax with a leisurely breakfast and say farewell to your fellow guests.
Check out time is 11:00 am.
On the way to the ferry do some last minute shopping
Johnstone Strait is busy: tugs tow barges, commercial and pleasure craft sail by. Hike our winding streets and you’ll see most homes have a water and mountain view.
Alert Bay Lodge is a west coast retreat lying off the pristine north-east coast of Vancouver Island, B.C. Located on the south shore of Cormorant Island, the lodge overlooks Johnstone Strait.
This narrow, glacier-carved waterway is home to a population of over 200 resident orcas, the largest pod in the world.
Cedar log in construction, the Lodge was originally a church. This legacy is reflected in the arched cedar beams that frame the expansive Great Room and the former pulpit which now serves as a second the dining room.
In the Great Room guests can peruse the library, relax by the woodstove and exchange stories with other guests.
Orcas are often spotted from the sundeck, which is a stone’s throw from the beach.
Across the Strait from the Lodge, the Vancouver Island Mountain Range rises from the shores of Vancouver Island, providing a stunning backdrop to our ocean view.
The lodge is busiest from mid-June to the end of September when orca and grizzly bear viewing is prime. We utilize a variety of operators for our bear tours and whale watching trips, most of whom pick up near the lodge. Please contact us to make sure we find the right tour for you.
Towards late September things start to wind down. There is an out-migration of sorts: the salmon have moved into the streams, the bears move into hibernation and the resident orcas head out into the open ocean. Most visitors to the Island follow this cycle.
Others come to enjoy the winter storms, savour the crisp air tinged with cedar and salt and read by the fire. Others simply find solitude in this small community. The U’Mista Culture Centre is open and our few restaurants and pubs keep varying hours.