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Your Great Bear Rainforest Kayaking Adventure begins in the remote town of Bella Bella, about 250 miles north of Vancouver on British Columbia's Central Coast. Here the Columbia III will await your arrival.
The simplest way to get to Bella Bella is to fly directly from Vancouver. You can also take the ferry from Vancouver to southern Vancouver Island, then drive to Port Hardy (on the northeast side of Vancouver Island) and either fly or take the ferry from there. Driving time from Victoria to Port Hardy is approx. 6 hours. Flying time from Vancouver to Bella Bella is approximately 2 hours.
-Pacific Coastal Airlines runs daily flights from Vancouver to Bella Bella via Port Hardy 1-800-663-2872 or 604-273-8666 (in Vancouver)
-B.C. Ferries has year round vehicle and passenger service - Routes include: North Vancouver (Horseshoe Bay) to Nanaimo (Departure Bay), South Vancouver (Tsawwassen) to South Nanaimo (Duke Point) and South Vancouver (Tsawwassen) to Swartz Bay (near Victoria). Crossing time for above routes about 2 hours. 1-888 223-3779 or outside B.C. 250-386-3431.
-B.C. Ferries also runs the Port Hardy to Bella Bella (called McLoughlin Bay on ferry schedule) route. Crossing time approx. 7 hours. Contact B.C. Ferries for schedule. Unfortunately the B.C. Ferry schedule to Bella Bella rarely coincides well with the Mothership Adventures' schedule.
-Budget Car Rentals 1-800-299-3199 or 250-923-4283
-National Car Rentals 1-800-227-7368 or 250-923-1234
The best accommodation in the Bella Bella area is in the small community of Shearwater across the channel from Bella Bella. There is frequent water taxi service between Bella Bella and Shearwater.
Most of our customers get to Bella Bella (map) on the daily Pacific Coastal Airlines flight from Vancouver and Port Hardy. Therefore our departure time will coincide with the arrival of the afternoon Pacific Coastal flight (summer flight schedules are not finalized until late spring). Upon arriving in Bella Bella, take a taxi to the "fuel dock." Here the Columbia III will await your arrival. On the last day of our trip we will return to Bella Bella so guests can catch the morning Pacific Coastal flight to Vancouver and Port Hardy. If you choose to travel to Bella Bella by ferry, we will do our best to accommodate meeting you but because the ferry schedule is varied, a good connection is not always possible. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about getting to Bella Bella. For information on Bella Bella you can also visit here.
For maximum comfort, a layering system of lighter "quick-dry" and warmer fleece clothing works best. Merino wool is excellent as well. Avoid cotton which stays wet for a very long time. Waterproof raingear is essential. When getting in and out of your kayak on shore your feet WILL get wet. We suggest a pair of sturdy water sandals/ shoes. Sports gloves for paddling may add to your comfort and help prevent blisters. Proper protection from the sun is essential so bring sun glasses, a sun hat, sun block and lip screen. Bring a water bottle. Staying hydrated in the outdoors is very important. When aboard the mothership, comfortable casual clothing is nice to change into after paddling.
Consider bringing the items listed on the packing list we provide.
We have waterproof bags (dry bags) onboard that you can use for your cameras or other small items in your kayak if you like. Large Ziploc bags work as well. Hard suitcases are difficult to fit into the small storage compartments on the Columbia III, so if possible, bring your things in soft duffel type bags.
NOTE: Although not required, if you'd like to express your appreciation to the guides through a gratuity, such recognition would be enthusiastically received. The industry standard for tipping is approximately 10 percent of the trip cost. All tips will be equally distributed among your crew.