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Campbell River vs Port McNeill/ Telegraph Cove

San Francisco, CA
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Campbell River vs Port McNeill/ Telegraph Cove

Hi, I have found all of the postings from the local experts on this forum incredibly helpful in planning my trip to Vancouver Island in mid-late July. My fiance and I are taking our moms on a trip, and we are all excited about seeing wildlife (grizzlies, orcas, etc).

Here is the draft itinerary I've put together:

Day 1: Fly into Vancouver

Day 2: Take Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay Ferry, drive to Victoria (mom really wants to see Butchart Gardens)

Day 3: Drive toward Campbell River, stopping at sites along the way, stay overnight at Campbell River

Day 4, 5, 6: Drive to Port McNeill, Grizzly bear tours, whale watching tour, 1/2 day kayak

Day 7: Drive to Nanaimo, take ferry back to Vancouver

Day 8: Fly out

The main question I had was whether we should consider just staying in Campbell River for Days 3-6 (lodging may be cheaper for us) and to take wildlife/kayak tours from there or if it it worth driving further north to stay near Telegraph Cove/Port McNeill.

Thanks for any thoughts or advice you could offer!

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
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1. Re: Campbell River vs Port McNeill/ Telegraph Cove

I'd drive further north great tours out of both Port McNeill and or Telegraph Cove..more wilderness..some reasonable accommodation in Port McNeill. I've reviewed a B&B we stayed at in

Port McNeill clean, simple, right on the water, excellent breakfast and we had a black bear on the road to greet us when we parked on arrival! From Port McNeill you can also take the ferry to Alert Bay for a nice half day trip and visit the excellent U'Mista Cultural center. I think you'd enjoy the area more and have less driving/travel time to do wildlife trips.

Port Moody, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver, British Columbia
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12,460 posts
150 reviews
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2. Re: Campbell River vs Port McNeill/ Telegraph Cove

here's the link to the B&B review

tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g499144-d626712…

Port McNeill
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483 posts
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3. Re: Campbell River vs Port McNeill/ Telegraph Cove

I second Port McNeill / Telegraph Cove, but then again I live here.

During July I don't think there are any grizzly bear tours running from Campbell River because most, if not all, of the tours here view the grizzly bears from viewing stands next to rivers where the salmon spawn and this does not reliably happen unit late August. Tide Rip Tours http://grizzlycanada.com/ based in Telegraph Cove view bears that are feeding on grasses, sedges, and inter-tidal life from flat bottom boats in the Glendale River estuary in Knight Inlet at this time of year.

I also highly recommend At Waters Edge B&B http://www.atwatersedge.ca/ . This is where my family stays and many of my customers stay here too. They tend to book up early so best to contact them ASAP (some dates I enquired about for this summer are already full).

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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4. Re: Campbell River vs Port McNeill/ Telegraph Cove

+1 for the North Island. Your moms would thank you.

I took one of the first grizzly tours of the season out of CR just at the first week of September.

San Francisco, CA
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5. Re: Campbell River vs Port McNeill/ Telegraph Cove

Thank you for all of your replies! We will continue with the plan of heading further up north to Port McNeill. And we will reach out to Tide Rip Tours, At Waters Edge and Hidden Cove Lodge to explore our options.

Thank you again!

Campbell River...
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6. Re: Campbell River vs Port McNeill/ Telegraph Cove

Yes, Grizzly Bear Tours do not depart from Campbell River until the end of August/ beginning of September, Tours available in July are wildlife tours (4 hours) and whale watching tours (6-7 hours) on covered booats and zodiacs.

Here are some tour operators from Campbell River:

Aboriginal Journeys

www.aboriginaljourneys.com

Campbell River Whale Watching

www.campbellriverwhalewatching.com

Discovery Marine Safaris

www.adventurewhalewatching.com

Eagle Eye Adventures

www.eagleeyeadventures.com

Hurricane Jack

www.hurricanejackadventures.com

As mentioned, Tide Rip does grizzly bear tours beginning in May from Telegraph Cove. If you do plan on staying overnight in Campbell River, our website offers a list of hotels in town.

http://www.visitorcentre.ca/ Under our "Accommodation" tab.

We also have printed listings in our Visitor Centre for Campbell River and the North Island if you plan on stopping by!

7. Re: Campbell River vs Port McNeill/ Telegraph Cove

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