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The 'Great Bear Rainforest' protectsone of the largest remaining tracks oftemperate rainforest left in the world.Stretching along the intricate, island-dottedcoastline of British Columbia, fromVancouver Island to the Alaskan border,this is a region of spectacular naturalbeauty and abundant wildlife. AncientWestern Red Cedars - some over 1,000years old -- grow alongside toweringWestern Hemlocks, Amabilis Fir and SitkaSpruce, each dripping with curtains oflichens and moss. This forest of toweringgiants forms a magnificent naturalcathedral, bisected by numerous glacier-fed streams which flow into the maze ofnarrow channels, fjords and woodedislands of the fabled 'Inside Passage'. Onland, the forests, estuaries and rockybeaches are patrolled by Black Bears(including the occasional 'Spirit Bear', arare white genetic variant), Grey Wolves,Cougars and, of course, the 'Great Bear'itself, the Grizzly! Overhead soar BaldEagles, whilst offshore Humpback Whalesreturn every summer, joining pods ofOrcas, Grey Whales, Pacific White-sidedDolphins, Steller's Sea Lions andnumerous seabirds.Since much of the Great Bear Rainforest isremote and inaccessible, the best way toexplore this spectacular region is from thewater. For this reason, Naturetrek haschartered the 16-berth sailing vessel,'Island Roamer', to operate a 7-nightdedicated wildlife cruise. Our holidaybegins, however, with a flight to Vancouverin Western Canada, where we spend onenight before flying north over themountains, fjords and islands of coastal'BC' to the small community of Bella Bella.Here we board the 'Island Roamer' andbegin our cruise.Each summer, millions of Pacific salmonreturn to the streams of British Columbia tospawn. Our cruise has been timed to takefull advantage of this annual natural feastfor, once the salmon start running up therivers in the early autumn, the bears,Wolves, eagles and other wildlife move in.Our time on the water begins with twodays exploring the coastal waterways ofthe Fjordland Provincial Protected Area.This is a breathtakingly beautiful stretch ofcoastline and home to an abundance ofwildlife both above and below the waves.Waterbirds should include our firstRhinoceros Auklets, plus the diminutiveMarbled Murrelet; the latter is a flagshipspecies for the conservation movement,for it nests only in old growth forest! GreatNorthern Divers are common, together withRed-necked and Slavonian Grebes, Blackand Surf Scoters and parties of twirlingRed-necked Phalaropes. Whenever we areon the water we must always keep oureyes open for the distinctive triangular finsof a pod of patrolling Orcas or perhaps aspeedy group of Pacific White-sidedDolphins or the 'rooster tail' shaped splashof a Dall's Porpoise. We will also exploreremote estuaries to look for Grizzly Bearsattracted by spawning salmon and keep a sharp look out at all times along theforest edge for one of the Great BearRainforest's elusive Grey Wolves. A healthypopulation of Cougars also lives here, butthis secretive cat is only seen by the veryfortunate few!Continuing north we will spend theremainder of our cruise exploring theforests and maze of waterways in thevicinity of Princess Royal Island, one of thelargest islands in the Great Bear Rainforest.Here we hope to see the rare 'Spirit' orKermode Bear, an attractive 'all white'genetic variant of the Black Bear that onlyoccurs in this small area. We will alsoexplore the beautiful Khutze Inlet, anothergreat area to look for Grizzly Bears, helpedby the intricate local knowledge of aTsimshian First Nations guide. Black-tailedDeer, River Otter, American Mink andAmerican Marten are also possible. Theaptly named 'Whale Channel' is a veryreliable area for Humpback Whales and, iffortunate, we may come across a FinWhale or two, or even a huge NorthernElephant Seal. Birds to look out for includeFork-tailed Storm Petrel, Sooty Shearwater,Harlequin Duck, Pacific and Red-throatedDivers, Pigeon Guillemot and the beautifulTufted Puffin. We will also try to make dailyshore excursions by Zodiac and take timeto explore the forests, estuaries andcoastlines on foot. This will give us theopportunity to enjoy the abundant andcolourful intertidal life, plus a few lingeringwoodland birds such as Varied Thrush,Pacific Slope Flycatcher and Townsend'sWarbler.Our cruise ends where it first began, backin the small community of Bella Bella. Herewe must disembark from the 'IslandRoamer' and leave the moss-drapedforests of coastal BC for Vancouver, andultimately, home.Spirit Bears, Grizzlies & Orcas - Cruising the Great Bear RainforestA 10-day holiday to coastal British Columbia including a 7-night wildlife cruise through the Great Bear Rainforest.Saturday 14th September - Monday 23rd September Cost: from £4,095Sunday 22nd September - Tuesday 1st October Cost: from £4,095Outline itineraryDay 1Fly Vancouver andovernight.Day 2Fly Bella Bella; embark'Island Roamer' andbegin cruise.Day 3/8Great Bear Rainforestcruise.Day 9Disembark 'IslandRoamer' and fly London.Day 10Arrive London.AccommodationFor this cruise we have exclusivelychartered the 16-berth 'IslandRoamer', a 21-metre sailing ketchlaunched in 1983. She features 8twin/double cabins with sharedtoilet and shower facilities, a largecomfortable lounge and plenty ofdeck space for wildlife-viewing.Additional information on 'IslandRoamer' can be found on Page279. In Vancouver we use acomfortable tourist motel.FoodAll included in the price except forlunches and dinners in Vancouver.Allow £30.GradingGrade A. Optional day walks only.FocusGrizzly Bears, Spirit Bears, whales,other mammals and birds.LeaderNaturetrek and local naturalistguides.Single room supplementNot available.Web quick search: CAN05268Call now or visit www.naturetrek.co.ukfor your free Trip ItineraryBELLA BELLAPRINCESSROYALISLANDVANCOUVERISLANDPORTHARDYKHUTZEINLETBISHOP BAYHOTSPRINGSFJORDLANDPROTECTED AREAPACIFIC OCEANWESTERN CANADAGREAT BEAR RAINFORESTSpirit BearFjordlandIsland RoamerEXCLUSIVENATURETREK CHARTER

The Galápagos Islands, surely, needno introduction. Ancient seafarerscalled them the Enchanted Isles,recognising their unique landscape andextraordinary fauna, but it was CharlesDarwin who drew them to the world'sattention. By observing the fascinatingchanges and adaptations made in thebirds and reptiles through thousands ofyears of isolation on these predator-freeislands, Darwin was able to formulate histheory of evolution.The Galápagos Islands form a largearchipelago straddling the equator some960 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador. Ofvolcanic origin, they are beautiful islandswith great variety and often bizarre form;each island with its own peculiar shapeand charm. There are volcanic peaks,strange lava fields, beautiful sandy bays,and clear seas, perfect for snorkelling inthe sheltered coves. Their natural history isoutstanding- so much of it endemic. 28bird species, from the Small Ground Finchto the magnificent Waved Albatross, occurnowhere else in the world. There are gianttortoises, prehistoric-looking Land andMarine Iguanas, colourful crabs such asthe Sally Lightfoot, and even a GalápagosSnake. Most appealing of all is the tame and obliging nature of this extraordinarywildlife; it is a photographer's paradise-a telephoto lens is usually unnecessary.Our 2-week cruise is special. We avoid the routine, large and luxury motor vessels,and their noisy crowds, by chartering ourown vessel -an elegant 2-masted TopsailSchooner that accommodates 16passengers in characterful quarters. Thisprovides a freedom, flexibility and groupindependence essential to the specialistnature of our holiday. Moving at our ownpace, we will have a greater chance toenjoy these islands to the full, and tobenefit from the knowledge of our localnaturalist-guide and our own Naturetrekexpert.Although our final day-to-day itinerary willonly be released by the National Parkauthorities shortly before departure, we willaim to visit all the major islands and manysmaller ones, starting and ending ourcruise on Baltra Island. At Academy Bay,on Santa Cruz Island, we will visit theCharles Darwin Research Station and thegiant tortoise breeding station, and maymake a trip up to the highlands to look forthe reptiles in the wild. We will walkamongst spectacular volcanic scenery onBartolomé Island, and we will swimamongst fur seals and Sea Lions from thebeaches on James Island. With a mixtureof night-time voyages (for the longernavigations) and shorter day-time sailings,we will explore each island for its ownpeculiar wildlife specialities. On Españolawe should see the magnificent WavedAlbatross in January (and, in August, itsremarkable courtship display) togetherwith thousands of nesting seabirds andcolourful Marine Iguanas. Genovesa, wayto the north, hosts huge colonies offrigatebirds and Red-footed and MaskedBoobies, plus a population of storm-petrel-hunting diurnal Short-eared Owls.Fernandina, geologically the newest of theislands and volcanically active as recentlyas 2005, offers wonderful scenery withspectacular isolation. Endemic FlightlessCormorants breed here and we must keepan eye to sea for the chance of a passingpod of Killer or Bryde's Whales.As we cruise between the islands, there istime to read, relax and keep a tour diary.There will be time to sea-watch, enjoyingour quiet companions the petrels,shearwaters, gulls and boobies, and tokeep an eye out for dolphins playfullyswimming in the bow-wave of our boat. In Ecuador, after our cruise, we offer achoice between spending a day visitingand birdwatching on Antisana, amagnificent volcano permanently adornedwith snow, and a day at Otavalo, an Indiantown to the north of Quito with one of thebest indigenous markets in South America.We also offer an extension to Sacha Lodgein the Amazon Jungle, enjoying the richbirdlife of the area and the various trailsand dug-out canoe excursions that enablea thorough exploration of this area of thegreat Amazon rainforest.Ecuador & the Galápagos IslandsA 20-day holiday incorporating a 2-week cruise around the 'Enchanted Isles' in our elegant 2-masted Topsail Schooner, a visit to Cotopaxi or Otavalo, plus an optional 4-day extension to the Amazon Jungle.Monday 10th December - Saturday 29th December 2012 Cost: £5,495Monday 21st January - Saturday 9th February 2013 Cost: £5,595Monday 11th February - Saturday 2nd March 2013 Cost: £5,595Monday 9th December - Saturday 28th December 2013 Cost: £5,695Monday 6th January - Saturday 25th January 2014 Cost: £5,695*Monday 10th February - Saturday 1st March 2014 Cost: £5,695*Amazon extension available on all tours Cost: £795 Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationSEYMOURSAN CRISTOBALRABIDABARTOLOMÉBALTRASANTA FÉESPA~NOLAFLOREANAISABELAFERNANDINASANTACRUZSANTIAGOGENOVESAPTA. MORENOELIZABETH BAYURBINABAYPTA.ESPINOSAWRECK BAYACADEMY BAYPUNTA CORMORANTTAGUSCOVEPTO. GARCIAALCEDO CRATER 3,700'PTA. ALBEMARLEPTA. PITTEQUATORGALÁPAGOS ISLANDSOutline itineraryDay 1Fly London to Quito. Day 2Quito. Day 3/16Galápagos cruise. Day 17Quito. Day 18Antisana or Otavalo. Day 19Depart Quito.Day 20Arrive London.ExtensionDay 19/21Sacha Lodge, rainforestsafari. Day 22Return Quito. Day 23Depart Quito. Day 24Arrive London.AccommodationFor this cruise we charter theCachalote, a 2-masted TopsailSchooner (see page 279).In Quito weuse a comfortable hotel and ontheAmazonextensionwe stay at SachaLodge. All have private facilities.FoodIncluded in the price, except formain meals in Quito. Allow £30.GradingGrade A. Easy and optional daywalks, though terrain can be rough.See Trip Itinerary for details.FocusNatural history.LeaderDarwin Alvarez.Single room supplement (Quito only)£160 (extension: £295). Web quick search: ECU10 *Dates and prices subject to confirmationin our 2014 brochure.269CachaloteBlue-footed BoobiesEXCLUSIVENATURETREK CHARTERBartolome and Pinnacle Rock