Rockies & Inside Passage
VANCOUVER | SUNSHINE COAST | QUADRA ISLAND | TOFINO | VICTORIA | VANCOUVER
Explore the Sunshine Coast, an undiscovered jewel on Canada’s west coast. Get back to one with nature on the Quadra Island and at Tofino in the Pacific Rim National Park and delight at the sight of whales and bears on wildlife viewing expeditions.
• Explore cosmopolitan Vancouver
• Visit picturesque Butchart Gardens, home to over 900 varieties of flowers, and Victoria
• Stay at West Coast Wilderness Lodge
• See the beautiful natural landscape of the Sunshine Coast
• Watch for whales, sea lions and other sea creatures near Tofino
Rockies & Inside Passage
Day 1 : Calgary - Banff
Upon arrival into Calgary take a private transfer (included) to Banff and check in to your hotel before perhaps strolling along Banff Avenue.
Day 2 : Free day in Banff
A free day for you to explore Banff and the surrounding area. In town you’ll find lots of excitement - shopping, cafés, nightlife, museums. Perhaps you’ll take a lazy raft ride down the river, or drive out to nearby Lake Minnewanka for a cruise on the lake. Visit the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel for a round of golf or a drink in one of the many bars that adorn this baronial icon.
Day 3 : Morning Sightseeing Tour of Banff
This morning, tour through the town of Banff and its environs, among the highlights are visits to the hoodoos (shaped by centuries of wind), Surprise Corner, Sulphur Mountain (gondola ride included), and Tunnel Mountain Drive -which overlooks the splendour of Bow Valley and the Cave and Basin where Banff’s history began. Enjoy the afternoon on your own to explore this charming resort.
Day 4 : Banff - Jasper
Travel by coach today via one of the most scenic highways in North America - the Icefield Parkway. Visit the Columbia Icefield that covers an area of nearly 325 square km and reaches a depth of 320 metres. Take an included Ice Explorer ride on the Athabasca Glacier and travel across ice formed from snow that fell hundreds of years ago. Along the way stops will be made at Lake Louise, the “Jewel of the Rockies” and ones of the most photographed lakes in Canada. You’ll also stop at Bow & Peyto Lakes, the Crowfoot Glacier and the Athabasca Falls. This highway is renowned for sightings of bear, elk, moose & mountain sheep, so keep your camera handy. Please note: Mountain lakes in this region will be frozen through to mid-June.
Day 5 : Jasper
Enjoy a day at your leisure in Jasper. With over 4,000 acres of alpine forests, white-water rivers, hot springs, soaring mountain peaks and tranquil river valleys there’s little chance you’ll see it all! Perhaps you’ll visit the limestone gorge of Maligne Canyon, or volcanic Medicine Lake, named by tribal elders who believed its waters had healing powers. Or perhaps admire the breath taking beauty of glacially fed Maligne Lake and cruise to Spirit Island. Or maybe you’ll take the gondola to the top of Whistlers Mountain or visit the Miette hot springs. This evening you’ll experience an included visit to the Jasper Wonderland for some amazing close-up photo opportunities of wildlife.
Day 6 : Jasper - Prince George
Today, embark on a memorable rail journey across British Columbia’s Cariboo Region to the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Pass the cloud-veiled peak of Mount Robson and watch the horizons widen as the train descends from the Rockies onto the rugged interior plateau. The northern arm of the Fraser River leads to Prince George, self-proclaimed capital of northern British Columbia.
Day 7 : Prince George - Prince Rupert
Continuing west, enjoy the rugged beauty and pioneering character of a landscape once solely travelled by First Nation people and fur traders. The train follows the turbulent currents of the Skeena River and meanders through spectacular canyons and open valleys in the presence of ever present mountain ridges on its way to the port city of Prince Rupert.
Day 8 : Prince Rupert - Inside Passage Cruise - Port Hardy
Welcome to the glorious Inside Passage, a paradise for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. Sail to Vancouver Island through a maze of enchanting islands, relishing the ever-changing vistas of deep fjords, densely forested shorelines, massive ice flows and jagged inlets. Watch bald eagles soaring overhead, sea lions slumbering on the rocks and whales traversing the offshore waters.
Day 9 : Port Hardy - Vancouver
Make your way to Port Hardy airport for a flight to Vancouver*. Upon arrival take a private transfer (included) to your Vancouver hotel. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the sights of the city.
Day 10 : Vancouver Sightseeing
Join an included Mountain to Sea Tour and experience the Grouse Mountain Skyride, Capilano Canyon and the Suspension Bridge with Treetop walk. The tour includes the Grouse Mountain Skyride, the Theatre in the Sky, Grizzly Bear & Grey Wolf Refuge (Summer Season), Lumberjack Show, Capilano Salmon Fish Hatchery, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The afternoon is free to explore cosmopolitan Vancouver, voted the world’s third most liveable city and the most liveable in Canada. Dining is a delight and a dilemma, there’s so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from; the nightlife so varied you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Day 11 : Free day in Vancouver
Today is a free day to enjoy the sights Vancouver, a young, friendly city with countless natural charms in close proximity, voted the world’s third most liveable city and most liveable in Canada; a young, friendly city with countless natural charms in close proximity. Shop on chic Robson Street or explore the funky Granville Island with its market and artists enclave; visit the city’s vast array of museums; walk or cycle around the 1000-acre Stanley Park or visit quaint and atmospheric Gastown. Discover the surrounding peaks of the Coastal Mountains or go whale watching on the Pacific Ocean. Dining is a delight and a dilemma, there’s so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from.
Day 12 : Vancouver – Victoria & Butchart Gardens
Depart Vancouver this morning for Victoria. Cruise across Georgia Strait through the beautiful Gulf Islands. Arriving on Vancouver Island, tour the Butchart Gardens (included). A two hour stop allows time to enjoy these magnificent gardens. You’ll have ample time to stroll through the wonderful estate and view the truly enchanting gardens with its 50 acre display of magnificent colour. Spend time wandering through the lovely Sunken Garden and relax in the beautiful settings of the Japanese Garden and the Italian Garden amongst 900 different varieties of flowers with a botanist on hand and to find out more about your favourite flora. Then tour scenic Ocean Drive, Uplands, Oak Bay, the University of Victoria and downtown before being taken to your hotel.
Day 13 : Victoria Whale Watching
Victoria’s spectacular coastal waters teem with abundant marine wildlife. Colonies of sea lions sunning on the rocks or taking a dip are guaranteed to bring smiles. You may see bald eagles soaring high in the sky, porpoises or seals delighting in the waves and strange and wonderful sea birds gliding and diving in the breeze. This morning, join an included whale watch cruise on an exhilarating round trip of 50 to 80 km in search of orcas, minke and grey whales, porpoises, harbour seals and other wildlife. You will ride aboard either the Orca Spirit, a 50 ft covered vessel or a custom-built zodiac boat that offers high speed with extraordinary stability giving you an exhilarating, safe and intimate whale watching experience. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the sights of Victoria, quintessentially British and famed for its gardens and history, with plenty of remnants of its 1840’s origins to be found around the picturesque Inner Harbour. The city offers a unique blend of old world charm and new world experiences. Be sure to visit some of the brightly painted shops, coffee bars and innovative restaurants or see if any local events are happening close-by. There is also plenty of turn of the century architecture to be marvelled at, and British traditions such as high tea and shops full of woollens and china.
Day 14 : Victoria - Vancouver
Available from Vancouver to Calgary, please ask for details of itinerary.
We have a range of cruises that would fit perfectly with this tour. From luxury cruises with 6 star service to a more intimate adventure cruise; round trip sailings to one way trips that leave you free to explore more on land. Please ask us for more information.