Bluewater Adventures invites you to watch whales, see the elusive all-white Spirit Bear in the wilderness, visit ancient Native villages along remote shorelines, shower under a waterfall, soak in a remote hotsprings or kayak up to an unexplored beach.

Discover the North Coast/ Khutzeymateen

North Coast/ Khutzeymateen

North Coast/ Khutzeymateen

The Khutzeymateen Inlet is one of British Columbia’s most northern glacial fjords, with characteristic steep cliffs, thick forests and rich estuary ecosystems. The Khutzeymateen Valley is Canada’s only grizzly bear sanctuary and is home to British Columbia’s most important coastal bear population.


This is a wonderful opportunity to focus on bear viewing in one of the most famous sites in Canada.

Khutzeymateen is a native Tsimshian word meaning ‘a confined space for salmon and bears’, a suitable description - as you will soon see. "Khutzeymateen" is spelled "K’tzim-a-Deen" by the local Tshimshian.

We voyage along the Inlet's winding shores and expect some wonderful bear viewing in the new Khutzeymateen Conservancy. We look forward to exploring the outer islands, watching Steller sea lions on the hunt and at play. While ashore, we walk along rugged beaches and take the time for hikes to see bog flowers. Each day, we enjoy our time for incredible sea kayaking among rock studded anchorages.

Trip Highlights
This area is home to the magnificent grizzly bear, a species that requires large areas of habitat undisturbed by human activity. These great bears, once roamed across North America but due to the advance of civilization, diminished food supply and continued tophy hunting, they are now threatened in their remaining range.

Fortunately for the bears of the Khutzeymateen, they are protected, as the headwaters of the Inlet are Canada’s only Grizzly Bear Sanctuary. Covering an area of 45,000 hectares, scientists estimate there are about 50 grizzlies protected by the no-hunting restrictions of the sanctuary. The protected area has recently been expanded to include the entire Inlet as the Khutzeymateen Conservancy. Although Bluewater voyages leave the Sanctuary to the bears, there are acres of untouched wilderness for us to explore!

Tshimshian First Nations have lived in this area for thousands of years. There are two villages along our route; Lax Kw’alaams was once a Hudson Bay Company trading post called Fort Simpson and Metlakatla, which became a model Christian community under Reverend Duncan during late 1800’s. They were fortunate to have avoided the smallpox that ravaged many native communities along the Coast. The Khutzeymateen is jointly managed by BC Parks and the Tshimshian First Nation.
The waters of the North Coast are frequented by a variety of marine mammals, such as seals, sea lions, humpback whales and the infamous orca, or killer whale.

Dall’s porpoise are another marine mammal we may encounter. These porpoise are the fastest whales in our ocean and they will often come over “bow ride” while we are underway. Steller sea lions can be found hauled out along the rocky shores. Males can weigh up to 2000 lbs. Stellers have been placed on the endangered species list in western Alaska, and scientists are only now learning why the population is declining so fast.
This area has a very rich and varied bird population. You’ll be amazed at the number of bald eagles, ravens and various species of gulls that gather at the estuaries to feed on the spawning salmon. A variety of other birds, such as the common merganser, black oystercatcher, American dipper, and Steller jays are also common visitors of the rainforest rivers.


Videos and Photos
Watch video of bear and cubs - Khutzeymateen 2011Bear grazing -  Khutzeymateen 2011Watch video of orcas - Khutzeymateen 2011 Experiencing solitude in the KhutzeymateenKhutzeymateen Khutzeymateen

Map & Location

Trip ItineraryKayaking to exploreOur daily plans are flexible to accommodate the surprises that we encounter each trip, the requirements of tide and weather, and the interests of the group. With so many opportunities for spectacular scenery and wildlife, it’s hard to predict what unique moment will be your favourite memory.

Trip Start - Day 1 - We will meet on the Prince Rupert dock. We depart Prince Rupert harbour for the beauty of Chatham Sound and its collection of islands.

Day 2-3 - We explore the islands of Chatham Sound. Porcher, Stephens and Dundas Islands are the largest in the area. We will walk remote beaches, hike up to a view point and search for sea lions, orcas and humpback whales. There are some lovely areas to explore by kayak or zodiac.

Day 4-5 - Khutzeymateen Inlet - We tie up Island Odyssey at a remote floating camp, and proceed by zodiac to see the famed grizzly bears of Khutzeymateen Inlet. Our trip focuses on bear viewing in the Conservancy, along the shores of the Inlet. In order to minimize our impact, we leave the Sanctuary at the head of the Inlet, to the bears.

Beautiful sunsetDay 6 - From fiord-like Portland Canal, we now return to the outer islands and lower topography of Chatham Sound. Remote Green Island still has lightkeepers manning the lighthouse and living on the tiny island. If the weather allows, we may go ashore for a visit.

Day 7 - We return through narrow Venn Passage to Prince Rupert. Venn Passage has an incredible collection of petroglyphs – native rock carvings – including the famous ‘Man who fell from heaven’. Accompanied by a local Tsimshian Guide, we plan to see these ancient carvings and learn of their history. We will tie up in Prince Rupert by midday.

Click to Download Itinerary

North Coast/Khutzeymateen - Sample Itinerary

Download your 4-page Trip Brochure on the the North Coast/ Khutzeymateen - Inlet of the Bears. You will need a pdf reader to view the itinerary.
Includes: daily activities, travel details, accommodations & Contact Details.

2014 Schedule, Prices & Trip Availability
Aboard Roamer / Odyssey Duration Price Embark / Disembark Availability
June 4 - 10 7 days $ 4,185 CAD Prince Rupert / Prince Rupert Call for Availability
June 11 - 17 7 days $ 4,185 CAD Prince Rupert / Prince Rupert Call for Availability
June 18 - 24
Research & Conservation trip with Dr Paul Paquet & Raincoast Conservation
7 days $ 4,185 CAD
Includes $300 contribution to Raincoast)
Prince Rupert / Prince Rupert Space Available
August 23 - 29 7 days $ 4,185 CAD Prince Rupert / Prince Rupert Booked

To support conservation efforts on the west coast, a $100 Sustainability Fee will be applied to rates at time of booking. Dates and prices are subject to change. Some departures may be reserved for groups. If you are interested in chartering a date for your group, special pricing is available.

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