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Vancouver Island Photo Tours

Features Animals
Port McNeill, Canada
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About Vancouver Island Photo Tours
My individual custom tours are visiting the most beautiful scenic places around Northern Vancouver Island while having a chance to photograph and watch grizzly bears, black bears, killer whales, humpback whales, dolphins, bald eagles and other wildlife. All tours are lead by professional (35+ years) wildlife and nature photographer Rolf Hicker. A maximum of 4 guests per tour makes them ideal for families, photographers of all levels, special needs as well as couples.
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Vancouver Island Photo Tours
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sgkolz wrote a review Sep. 2020
Ottawa, Canada2 contributions2 helpful votes
I recently had the pleasure of spending two days & nights with renowned nature photographer Rolf Hicker. From start to finish, the experience was nothing short of amazing! Upon arrival, Rolf and his crew (Amira & Andrew) welcomed me to The Artists Point B&B with open arms. The accommodations were very clean and comfortable, and I was made to feel right at home. That evening, we embarked on a 4-hour private sunset whale watching & marine wildlife tour around Johnstone Strait and the Broughton Archipelago. It's hard to describe just how magical an experience this really was; seeing humpback whales, transient orcas, sea lions, porpoises, and other beautiful marine life in their natural habitat was absolutely incredible. Rolf is extremely knowledgeable about the local wildlife, and his passion and respect for the animals and the environment they live in is undeniable. Amira & Andrew prepared a wonderful meal for us to enjoy on the boat, which also added to the overall enjoyment of the tour. The next day, I was once again in complete awe of my surroundings. While on the boat, Rolf took special care to showcase animals we hadn't spotted the previous evening and explore more of the majestic beauty of the area. The consistent attention to detail was impressive and very much appreciated. In short, the tour experience that Rolf Hicker provides is truly unique, and it is one that I cannot recommend highly enough.
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Date of experience: September 2020
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Response from TheArtistsPoint, Owner at Vancouver Island Photo Tours
Responded Sep. 12, 2020
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this review G. I'm, we are happy that you had such a great time here at The Artists Point and on the boat. As you know I always do everything possible and I'm glad everything worked out so great while you were here. Hope to see you again. Thanks Rolf
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Lucy A wrote a review Aug. 2020
Nelson, Canada1 contribution
I don't even know where to begin with our day with Rolf! Due to the pandemic and there being nowhere near as many tourists as a typical Canadian summer would see, my partner and I had a private tour which enhanced the special day we had. The boat set up is beyond what we expected. Having been on whale tours down the South of the island which were open, exposed, extremely windy and cold, Rolf's custom made boat provides next level comfort for the 12 hour day. The cabin is all enclosed and makes it feel like a much more personal tour. Rolf's passion for wildlife and the surrounding environment is inspiring, educational and makes you think about your own lifestyle choices that can unknowingly impact them. We saw grizzly bears, humpback whales and a huge pod of dolphins which surrounded our boat while we had lunch which was supplied. As hobby photographers we were very challenged in taking pictures as it was a windy day and the boat was very rocky but it was out of our control. Rolf gave us some great tips to counteract this and we got some stunning pictures! As a customer you might like at the tour prices and think it's a lot. By no means are my partner and I well off financially but we went with our gut instincts and booked the tour with absolutely no regrets and it was beyond our expectations. It was definitely a highlight of our whole 2 years of living in Canada. You get what you pay for and it is a day of memories that you will undoubtedly remember for the rest of your life! Thankyou once again Rolf for having us during this crazy weird time. We feel very privileged to have been able to spend a day with you and will definitely be booking tours in the future when we come back to Canada :) Also a big shoutout to Andrew, Rolf's assistant who was also on the tour who is ABSOLUTELY lovely and made the most delicious lunch along with his partner. He's got one of the best jobs in the world!
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Date of experience: July 2020
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Response from TheArtistsPoint, Owner at Vancouver Island Photo Tours
Responded Aug. 29, 2020
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this beautiful review. Such great feedback like yours keeps me going in these very challenging times. Hopefully soon we all can travel again as we want. Stay safe and I hope to see you guys again one day. Rolf P.S. And "sorry" that you "had to" take so many pictures - lol
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luis p wrote a review Nov. 2019
15 contributions6 helpful votes
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When I was preparing my trip to Vancouver Island I was lucky to find Rolf and his B&B and Phototours. The comments and general description of previous guests made me decide to spend one day with Rolf to explore the area. The only thing I regret was that it was only one day. Rolf knows the area and the wildlife really well and does his outmost to show you what you find. Wildlife tours depend a lot on the animals but you can be sure, Rolf will give you the chance to photograph your subjects while respecting the environment and the local people. He will simply open to his guests a vastly unknonw world to most of us. Thanks for one great day and we'll surely come back.
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Response from TheArtistsPoint, Owner at Vancouver Island Photo Tours
Responded Nov. 6, 2019
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with me. I sure hope you get a chance to come back! Thanks again and see you then Rolf
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bobk924 wrote a review Nov. 2019
Melbourne, Australia101 contributions43 helpful votes
We were so lucky to find, and then tour with, Rolf. We spent 3 days with Rolf, and his boat, and we were delightfully surprised by his knowledge, his passion, and his thoughtfulness towards his customers. Before the tour we were concerned at being on the boat for such a long time (Knight’s Inlet Tour lasts about 12 hours, Broughton Archipelago about 10 hours), but once out on the water the time went so fast that we were sad when we had to come in due to the reducing daylight. The great information that Rolf passed along about all the creatures we saw, the breathtaking scenery surrounding us, photographic hints, and the environment, was just fabulous. His boat is a great way to get close to the multitude of creatures without causing them to feel pressured. We stayed at Rolf’s B&B, The Artist’s Point, which was also a great choice for us. We had the Lower Guest Suite which had a huge amount of room, and was clean and comfortable. The breakfasts, and the lunches on the boat, were tasty and nourishing. Apart from somehow fitting in more that 24 hours into the day (he just never stops), he always had time to answer any questions, he was flexible in what we saw or requested, and remained upbeat through what I imagined to be some stressful times. Thanks Rolf, and we wish you and the boys all the best.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Response from TheArtistsPoint, Owner at Vancouver Island Photo Tours
Responded Nov. 4, 2019
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review, especially a beautiful one like this one. So glad to hear that you had such a great time. I hope our path will cross again one day! Thank YOU for supporting my family!!!
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kayakgal wrote a review Aug. 2019
Nelson, Canada16 contributions5 helpful votes
I just spent a wonderful day with Rolf and a lovely couple from New Zealand on a day trip to find sea otters. Rolf’s boat is comfortable and our journey to the sea otter’s playground, Rolf told us much about the area we travelled through. Our first encounter was with a single otter that seemed to perform just for us. We drifted silently beside him and those with photography in mind snapped many close up shots. Before long a second otter joined us and the pair continued to groom and frolic. We moved on to another spot where many more otters were ‘rafted’. Here we saw many mom’s and pups...all so comical and a joy to watch. Rolf took us to several different locations and by mid afternoon when the tide was rising, we ventured slowly up a hidden river where we anchored for a delicious lunch. We were joined by a very curious seal. The colour of the moss on the rocks and trees in this beautiful spot was amazing. So many schools of salmon swam by us. On our return to Coal Harbour we happened upon a large group of very shy but extremely playful otters. They would pop up and regard us with curiosity and then dive only to pop up again on the other side of us. We thought it was otter day care as there seemed to be a number of very young otters amount the group. I think there were some diving lessons going on. Rolf is a wonderful guide. He respects the animals and is very careful not to stress them. I am not a photographer but the experience with a Rolf in this small group was so personal and fun that I would recommend it for anyone. We laughed a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed my day. Thanks, Rolf.
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Date of experience: August 2019
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Response from TheArtistsPoint, Owner at Vancouver Island Photo Tours
Responded Nov. 4, 2019
Thanks so much for your review, especially for such an informative one. It was an amazing day and I'm always very thankful when the wildlife cooperates too as it does on almost all trips. Thank you for your recommendation, your support towards my family and for your great company on the boat. I hope we will meet again one day!
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