Lords of the Wilderness Bear Viewing

Go bear watching in Churchill & the Great Bear Rainforest

Witness polar bears and grizzly bears in their natural habitat and travel across Canada on VIA Rail’s The Canadian train. From the lush, abundant Great Bear Rainforest to the barren arctic tundra of Churchill – no safari better represents Canada’s immense diversity. Space is limited, so be sure to book early!

Suggested length

15 days / 14 nights

Price

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When to go

September – October

Time on train

3 days, 2 nights

Highlights of your trip

See grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest

Remote wilderness lodge experience

Sleep on board the iconic VIA Rail ‘Canadian Train’ 

Witness Churchill’s polar bears up close from a Tundra Buggy

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Visit Campbell River on Vancouver Island

Travel from Vancouver to Campbell River, located on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Campbell River is often called the Salmon Capital of the World.

Trip Itinerary

Speak to one of our Canadian Insiders about personalizing this trip. Some of our trips can be done in the reverse direction.
Indicates featured activities
Arrive in Vancouver
Day 01

Arrive in Vancouver

Welcome to our hometown — a famously lovely west coast city surrounded by mountains and the ocean.  

Fly to Campbell River
Day 02

Fly to Campbell River

This morning, depart Vancouver and fly to Campbell River to start your grizzly bear experience.   

  • Flight from Vancouver to Campbell River
Float Plane to the Great Bear Rainforest
Day 03

Float Plane to the Great Bear Rainforest

Your Knight Inlet Lodge experience begins.  

View Grizzly Bears
Day 04

View Grizzly Bears

Your Knight Inlet Lodge experience continues.  

Knight Inlet Lodge-Campbell River-Vancouver
Day 05

Knight Inlet Lodge-Campbell River-Vancouver

Travel back to Vancouver today.  

  • Flight from Campbell River to Vancouver Airport
  • Private Transfer from Airport
Explore Vancouver
Day 06

Explore Vancouver

Spend the day discovering all Vancouver has to offer. Enjoy a day at leisure or ask us about adding a guided sightseeing experience.

VIA Rail - Depart Vancouver
Day 07

VIA Rail - Depart Vancouver

Board The Canadian train in Vancouver and begin your journey east. Travel through the varied landscape of British Columbia's Fraser Valley.     

  • Private Transfer to Train Station
VIA Rail – Canadian Rockies
Day 08

VIA Rail – Canadian Rockies

Continue northeast through the mountains of British Columbia and Alberta — keep your eyes peeled for bears and elk!  

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Prices

Get your personalized quote as prices vary by departure date, train-service level and hotel class. Prices shown are our lowest rates per person, based on double occupancy, and exclude taxes.
Comfort Level
Hotel Accommodation
3 to 3.5 Star
VIA Rail Service
Economy Class
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Accommodations

These are examples of the places you can stay on this trip. Please get in touch to discuss your options and to check availability.
The Tundra Inn in Churchill in the snow

Tundra Inn

Example of a Comfort hotel in Churchill

The Tundra Inn is a charming, family-run hotel located in the northern town of Churchill. With comfortable accommodation and complimentary amenities, this is the perfect place to relax before or after your arctic adventure.

Personalize This Itinerary

Here are some of the most popular ways to personalize this journey.

Visit Victoria, BC

Visit Victoria, BC

Add a night or two to explore the old-world charm of Victoria, on Vancouver Island. Visit the famed Butchart Gardens, go whale watching, or explore the seafront parks and museums. We recommend a stay at the Fairmont Empress - Victoria's stately crown jewel. Photo credit: Destination BC

Your Questions Answered

Find out what is included in your trip and have all your questions answered. We are here to help.

What’s Included

Hotel accommodation
Meals whilst onboard the train
Unique guided activities such as dogsledding, cultural tours and more
Transportation to and from airports, timed with your flights
Electronic travel documentation package
Personalized Fresh Tracks Canada customer service support

Frequently Asked Questions

Our vacations are not typically ‘escorted.’ You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary but rather have the freedom of ‘independent’ travel.

This allows you, with the help of our Canadian Insiders, to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, timeframe and budget. We’ll guide you through the process and provide the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities tailored to your taste.

Your trip can be as rich as you’d like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can customize your trip and decide what you’d like to see and do.

If your trip is a special occasion, we’ll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you’re traveling with a group, we’ll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

Absolutely! We personalize all our clients’ trips to fit their exact tastes and needs. You can add days at locations that you’d like to explore and spend more time at. Or leave out certain areas that don’t interest you as much. Discuss your travel goals with our Canadian Insiders who make sure that your trip fits your needs and budget.

We partner with many hotels across the country that offer a variety of service levels and unique experiences. Choosing a hotel is based on local availability and personal preference, and our Insiders will help you find the perfect place to rest your head so that you can have the best experience possible.

All our trips are personalized to fit our clients’ schedule and budget. The price of your trip generally depends on the travel season, train service, accommodations, and the sightseeing tours you take. When you request a quote you’ll be provided with the detailed information you need

Most of our trips include stops to get off the train to explore Canada’s beautiful locations, national parks and unique cities. However, if you’re keen to maximize your time onboard, we’ll pair you up with the perfect train experience.

Because most Canadians typically do not use the train for commuting (as in the US or Europe), the two main rail providers in Canada are driven by tourism. You’ll experience the romance of true trans-continental rail travel, with a wide selection of services, accommodation types, and great food.

The safest way to see a grizzly bear in the wild is on a guided tour. Most times you will see the bears from a boat, not on land. Our guides understand bear behaviour and are equipped to keep you safe, which usually means maintaining a respectful distance (so, no bear selfies — bring a good camera with a telephoto lens) and making sure the bears know you are there. Guides also carry bear spray, VHF radios in case of an emergency, and they are trained in first aid. Always listen to your guide's expert advice for a safe and memorable experience.

The best time to see polar bears is in October and November, during the annual fall migration. The polar bears congregate on the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill waiting for the water to freeze so the annual seal hunt can begin.

The polar bear migration is a special occasion, and it offers visitors a high probability of seeing the bears in the wild. Our specialized tour operators know the landscape extremely well, and will take you to places where bears are commonly spotted. There is no guarantee of a sighting, however.

Most wilderness lodge accommodations also provide activities such as hiking, kayaking, wildlife viewing, helicopter tours and more. Some of these can be pre-booked through Fresh Tracks, and some are arranged directly at the lodge.

Motorcyclist under cherry blossoms
Free Hotel Night

Free Hotel Night And Tour in Vancouver

Enjoy a free hotel night in Vancouver — as well as a complimentary full-day tour — during your qualifying 2023 Canadian train vacation.

Travel between April 15 – October 31, 2023

Interested in other exciting Canadian cities? We can recommend free extras you'd love in Toronto or Calgary too.

Schedule a call with a Canadian Insider or call us at undefined.

Learn more ›

Insider Tips

Western Canada really has to be experienced to be believed! There's the snow-covered peaks of the Canadian Rockies and the uninhabited islands off the coast of BC. You can explore the sunny resort towns of wine country or temperate rainforests that are home to some of the world's most charismatic creatures. See crystal-clear waters, hoodoos and canyons, and some of the most incredible sunsets.

Lucy F

Lucy

Canadian Insider

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