"Jenn & Chris’ passion for the bears and love of the place is evident at every turn. We never felt the bears were even aware of us, let alone under any stress by our presence"
Shawn R. 2019
Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions. Take some time to read through them – perhaps someone else has wondered the same things as you? If you still have questions feel free to email us at anytime.
All of our tours offer excellent photographic opportunities. Our photography tours are very similar to our standard tours but to accommodate the additional gear of photographers – and to maximize shooting angles from our inflatable boat – they are limited to fewer participants (normally 6 clients plus the photography guide).
Why would I choose to travel with Ocean Light Adventures?origin2021-11-21T17:28:39-08:00
Ocean Light Adventures has been in operation on the BC Coast for over 30 years and our experience and expertise in the areas that we visit is unsurpassed. We keep our groups small and intimate so that we can move about in our wilderness settings more efficiently and safely. Our boat, the Afterglow I is a beautiful, spacious and comfortable yacht and it is expertly maintained and fully equipped. We have passionate, experienced, professional crew who will make sure your trip an amazing one.
Can I pay by credit card?origin2021-11-21T17:27:21-08:00
No, sorry we do not accept credit cards. For Canadians, you can pay by personal cheque (check) or by Interac e-Transfer. For International travellers we ask that you pay by direct wire transfer using a service called Wise (www.wise.com). More information will be available at time of payment.
As a single traveller, will I have to pay a single supplement?origin2020-05-03T04:39:17-07:00
No, we do not charge a single supplement. However you will most likely have to share a cabin (two separate bunks) with another guest of the same gender, or you may be lucky and get a cabin to yourself, it all depends on the make-up of the other guests.
How close will we get to the bears?origin2020-03-15T22:36:41-07:00
Within the Khutzeymateen Sanctuary bear viewing guidelines have been set up. We must follow the guidelines and approach the bears to within safe distances. We will get ample opportunities to view and photograph the bears from a favourable distance. On our Great Bear Rainforest trip, we will explore grizzly habitat in the inflatable and are governed by BC Parks and First Nations guidelines. For our spirit bear viewing we observe the bears from a stand set up on the edge of the river.
How much time will we get for bear viewing?origin2020-03-15T22:33:51-07:00
Bear viewing on the coast is often dictated by the tides. We will spend as much time as possible viewing the bears. We will move from one bear viewing situation to another throughout the day and the majority of each day will be spent with the bears.
What is the maximum group size?origin2020-03-30T01:53:29-07:00
Ocean Light Adventures offers trips that are fantastic for families. We are a family run company and are always willing and excited to get family groups on board. Gwaii Haanas National Park on Haida Gwaii is an amazing family destination because of the variety of activities available and the small distances needed to travel. As well, the wildlife is incredible and the opportunities for active pursuits such as kayaking, hiking, fishing and exploring are unsurpassed.
Can I bring my laptop?origin2021-11-21T17:20:51-08:00
Yes, the boat has a number of regular household outlets for charging batteries. Other electrical appliances such as hair dryers can be used but may need the generator so check with the crew before using.
Are rubber boots absolutely necessary?origin2020-03-17T15:43:44-07:00
Rubber boots are absolutely necessary on all of our trips. You will wear them on all shore excursions and whenever it is raining. We do have many extra pairs of rubber boots on board which we lend out to our clients. If you want to borrow boots just let us know in advance.
Is a sleeping bag necessary?origin2021-11-21T17:19:09-08:00
A sleeping bag is absolutely necessary as well as a sheet and pillow case. Ocean Light Adventures also has extra sleeping bags on board which are available for use. If you want to borrow a sleeping bag please bring an extra sheet as a liner and let us know in advance. We encourage you to bring your own sleeping bag because we have no facilities to wash the borrowed sleeping bags between trips.
Will I need a tripod?origin2021-11-21T17:18:15-08:00
Please do not bring a tripod on our Khutzeymateen trips, there will be no opportunity to use it as all shooting is done from the inflatable and it is too heavy to bring on the float plane. On all other trips, you can bring a tripod and it may be useful in certain situations. Note that on many of our trips we follow the bears’ daily activities and therefore move about quite a lot- a beanbag can be useful when shooting from the zodiac. On the Great Bear Rainforest trips, we utilize bear viewing stands on the edge of the river and tripods will be useful. On the Marine Mammal trip it is good to have a tripod to set up on the deck of the Afterglow I to photograph the various marine mammals.
Can you accommodate my dietary restrictions?origin2021-11-21T17:16:19-08:00
Yes, we can accommodate many dietary restrictions as long as we know about it in advance. We strive to serve healthy organic food, seafood fresh from the ocean (whenever possible), homemade soups, breads, salads and baked goods. We can take care of most of your food allergies, intolerances, likes or dislikes. If your needs are great, the cook will do their best to accommodate but be warned that the cook is just one person and serves a group meal that can be adapted slightly to meet the needs of individuals. The cook can not make 8 individual meals. If your dietary needs are many, this may not be the trip for you. Please contact us in advance of booking to discuss.
When do I have to pay for the trip?origin2021-11-21T17:14:24-08:00
Yes, we HIGHLY recommend that you take trip medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance and trip evacuation insurance. Ask your insurance agent or your travel agent for options available to you. Your current policies may have a travel clause that covers you. Read the fine print to see what your coverage is in BC as a resident or non-resident. Thoroughly review the Ocean Light Adventures cancellation and refund policy on the website before you book your trip.
Should I bring hiking boots?origin2021-11-21T00:56:42-08:00
Hiking boots are not necessary on any of our trips – they are heavy and add to your overall weight. Every time you leave the Afterglow I and get into the zodiac to go ashore you will wear your rubber boots. For most people on the short distances we walk, rubber boots work well. When you are on the Afterglow I you need comfortable shoes with a non-marking sole to wear both inside and outside.
Is alcohol allowed on board?origin2020-03-17T15:42:50-07:00
Yes, we serve wine with dinner and we invite you to bring your own spirits or liquors if you choose. However our boat policy is that no alcohol will be consumed until the anchor is down for the night and there are no more plans to go off the boat either in kayaks or the inflatable.
Do you offer custom tours?origin2020-03-30T01:51:03-07:00
Yes, we can customize a trip to meet your needs. We can offer special prices for full boat bookings and can facilitate any dreams and desires. Just contact us with your thoughts and we can work to put something together for you.
Will we see grizzlies in Haida Gwaii?origin2020-03-17T15:42:39-07:00
No, there are no grizzlies on Haida Gwaii, but the black bears found there are among the largest on the planet. They feed on the rich intertidal zones and salmon and other food is always plentiful. The black bears are very tolerant as there is no hunting allowed in Gwaii Haanas National Park.
Will we fish on tours with Ocean Light Adventures?origin2021-11-21T00:54:27-08:00
Yes. In Gwaii Haanas we will try fishing for halibut, lingcod, and salmon as well as crabs, when possible. On our Khutzeymateen and Great Bear Rainforest trips we will try fishing for Dungeness crabs and, if opportunities present themselves, for salmon and halibut. If you want to participate in fishing you must purchase a saltwater fishing license before you arrive at the boat.
What is a Spirit Bear?origin2020-03-17T15:42:26-07:00
Spirit Bears are extremely rare, white-phased forms of the American Black Bear (Ursus americana) – it is thought that between 200 and 300 exist on the planet. The white coat colour is controlled by a recessive gene which, for some unknown reason, occurs in higher frequency on a remote and tough to access roadless portion of the northern coast of British Columbia. On a few islands in this region between 10 and 20 percent of the bears are white Spirit Bears. During our Great Bear Rainforest Explorer tour we work very hard to find Spirit Bears and have a very high success rate.
I like to kayak. Are there kayaking opportunities on all your tours?origin2021-11-21T00:53:22-08:00
No, there are not opportunities for kayaking on all our trips. Our Gwaii Haanas trips offer the best kayaking experiences as there are many different bays and coastlines waiting to be explored by kayak. Our Marine Mammal Explorer trips also offer sheltered kayaking while the Afterglow I is at anchor.
Do you offer mothership kayaking tours and why would I choose to go on one of these?origin2021-11-21T00:52:32-08:00
Yes we offer mothership kayaking tours in conjunction with certified kayak guides. These trips allow you to get more kayaking opportunities while enjoying the comfort of the Afterglow I. We will use the Afterglow I to transport you to great locations from which you can do a longer paddle. The boat will meet you at a designated spot and you can then enjoy the luxury of the motor yacht, your own cabin and delicious meals.
How close will we get to the whales on the Marine Mammal Explorer trip?origin2020-03-17T15:42:04-07:00
There are strict guidelines for boat traffic around orca whales and other marine mammals. We must adhere to these distances as best we can. However, at times the whales can and will approach us. We will also have a hydrophone on board that will allow us to listen to the whales when they’re close or far away.
Are there facilities on-board to dry clothing/gear that may get wet during daily activities?origin2021-11-21T00:48:40-08:00
Yes, there are drying lockers on the aft deck where we hang all the wet gear each night to dry. In order to keep the inside of the boat dry and comfortable we do not bring wet gear into the main living area or cabins. Cotton clothing is not recommended as it takes a long time to dry.
Do I really have to stay within the suggested weight restrictions for my baggage?origin2021-11-21T00:47:05-08:00
Yes we request that you stay within the suggested weight limits. We choose to use float planes to transport our guests to and/or from the boat but the planes have weight restrictions. Our fresh food is also brought in on the float planes. The Afterglow I, while being spacious, is still a boat and storage space for extra gear is always limited. Please follow the list of suggested clothing and equipment carefully and remember your stay on board is just 3 or 7 days. If your gear exceeds the weight limit it may get left behind or you may be charged for an extra float plane!