Other departures: Manchester - £3849, Birmingham - £3849, Bristol - £3949, Norwich - £3999, Newcastle - £3899, Edinburgh - £3899, Glasgow - £3899
Highlights: Vancouver - Shuswap Lake - Lake Louise/Banff National Park - Jasper National Park - Prince George - Smithers - Prince Rupert - Ferry through Inside Passage - Port Hardy - Tofino/Ucluelet - Victoria
During this round trip we make certain your clients will see the real Canada with local flavour. The program touches on the great places and sights in British Columbia and Alberta: fjords of the Pacific coast, ranches and logging towns of the interior plateau, majestic peaks and turquoise alpine lakes of the Rocky Mountains. You learn about the history of the Aboriginal peoples, stay in their cabins, listen to their stories. A glimpse of old times Canada as well as the modern way of life in different regions of this vast and colourful country.
Day 1: Vancouver
Transfer from the airport by hotel-owned shuttle bus. Meet the guide this evening for pre trip information.
Day 2: Shuswap Lake
Departing from Vancouver you drive through the fertile valley of the Fraser River east into the mountains and into the arid Interior Plateau with huge lakes and wonderful beaches. Coffee break at Tim Hortons, the popular Canadian doughnut shop where you can try every Canadian’s favourite; the Timbit. Warning: Timbits can be addictive. Your lakefront hotel for tonight is operated by the Native Shuswap Band and features a restaurant with Native cuisine and a state of the art golf course. How about shooting a bucket of balls down the driving range. We all play like beginners, nobody can lose.
Day 3: Lake Louise/Banff National Park
Stock up on fresh cherries, peaches or pears at a fruit stand beside the road. The visitor center at Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park shows the ongoing battle between the highway and railroad builders and Mother Nature with her avalanches, raging rivers and rock slides. You reach the Rocky Mountains in Yoho National Park where a stop is made at the Natural Bridge and beautiful Emerald Lake surrounded by towering peaks. A 2 km walk along the lake shore takes you to the far end and if you feel ambitious you can take the easy uphill climb from here into Yoho Pass. The village of Lake Louise is base for the next two days. Now you are in the heart of the Rockies with picture postcard scenery and premier hikes close by.
Day 4: Lake Louise/Banff National Park
Suggested is a moderate hike up to the Lake Agnes Tea House, other options are renting a canoe, joining a trail ride or a white-water rafting trip. Or just enjoy the view of the turquoise lake surrounded by snow covered giants and Victoria Glacier as backdrop. Late afternoon a short drive into Banff, the bustling holiday town and centre of Canada’s first National Park. A stroll along Banff Avenue with colourful shops, boutiques and restaurants. The outdoor pool of the Sulphur Mountain Hot Springs is heaven after a busy day.
Day 5: Jasper National Park
Today you travel the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic high alpine routes with photo opportunities and so many reasons to stop and admire. At the Columbia Icefields you have the opportunity to take a driving tour on the glacier or a short but very rewarding hike with the guide. Then on to Jasper and your hotel in this small mountain town. For dinner the guide will be happy to arrange the first barbeque, all the necessary utensils are part of the group equipment. Today’s special is Bison burger with all the trimmings. (not included)
Day 6: Jasper National Park
A day to soak in the magic of this mountain paradise. One of Jasper’s many attractions is Maligne Canyon. A short hike takes you to breathtaking views into the depth of the canyon, water roaring up to 165 feet (50 m) below. On a side trip to Maligne Lake you have best chances to see bear, moose and other wildlife right be the side of the road. Several premier mountain trails start at the lake, even reaching a summit is not impossible for the average hiker. You can take a 90 minute boat cruise to Spirit Island at the far end of the lake, rent a canoe, try your luck catching a trout or enjoy a cool drink by the dock. Other options are guided trail rides or renting a mountain bike to explore the surroundings.
Day 7: Prince George
Driving west to you pass beneath Mount Robson, with 3954 m (12964 ft) highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. During a walk beside the roaring Robson River you find trees and plants which are more typical for the rain forest of the west coast realize yet they thrive here in the micro climate created by this colossus of a mountain. In Prince George, the hard working logging town, we can check out the local entertainment: a game of baseball, the bowling alley, or try your luck at the bingo hall.
Days 8: Smithers
The drive further north and west to Smithers leaves a good impression of the vastness of the country – trees and little lakes as far as the eye can see. Only a short distance from Smithers is Babine Mountains Park with a choice of good hiking possibilities. Then perhaps another barbeque, or a lumberjack’s menu of steak and corn on the cob.
Day 9: Prince Rupert
From the bridge over the Buckley River Canyon you can observe Natives fishing salmon during July and August. Today’s highlight is a visit and tour of the ‘Ksan Indian Village in Hazelton. The reconstructed Native settlement consists of five traditional longhouses and several totempoles. You then continue to Prince Rupert, the harbour town on the Pacific. In the guide’s favourite tavern they serve beer by the jug, perhaps you should share.
Day 10: Ferry through Inside Passage
Early start for the cruise through the world-famous Inside Passage from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy. During the 15-hour-trip there are good chances to watch wildlife: bald eagles, dolphins, sea otters and sometimes even whales. You arrive late evening in Port Hardy and for the next two nights you check into your waterfront hotel.
Day 11: Port Hardy
This morning you have the opportunity for a 4-hour whale watching tour starting in
Telegraph Cove or a fishing trip with an expert guide. Suggested as well is the visit of a salmon hatchery where you can learn about the life circle and importance of this iconic creature.
Day 12: Tofino/Ucluelet
Campbell River calls itself Canada’s Salmon Capital. Whoever books a fishing trip
here will almost certainly not be disappointed. You now cross over to the rugged and exposed western shores of Vancouver Island. Home for the next two nights are 2-room cabins by the beach, complete with kitchens. Watch powerful waves rolling in all the way from across the Pacific and the amazing west coast sunsets.
Day 13: Tofino/Ucluelet
It is a magical place to relax and explore the trails of Pacific Rim National Park in a
fairy tale forest of ferns and mosses and thousand year old trees. There is more: many artists have made the charming villages of Ucluelet and Tofino their home, small shops offer unique and special souvenirsA 7-hour boat excursion (optional) features a short hike to natural hot springs. Grey and humpback whales spend summers in these waters, you can join a tour where you get very close to bears feeding on crabs and clams in tidal pools. Surfing lessons, sea kayaking are other safe and fun activities can all be arranged. Talk your guide into organizing a clam bake by the shore, the oysters don’t come any fresher.
Day 14: Victoria
The half hour walk along Wild Pacific Trail is your farewell to this coastal paradise. Along the picturesque coastal highway you drive along the beaches of Parksville, pass through Chemanius with it’s colourful downtown murals, Duncan, the city of totems and reach your hotel in central Victoria, the easygoing, laid back capital city of British Columbia. The afternoon is at leisure to explore the sights around the picturesque Inner Harbour.
Day 15: Vancouver
A fun impression for your last day (optional) would be a float plane flight from the Victoria Inner Harbour to downtown Vancouver where your guide will already be waiting to transfer you a short distance to the downtown hotel. The normal land- and water way includes the scenic Marine Drive to the ferry terminal and a 90 minute crossing back to the mainland. In downtown Vancouver the guide takes you on an orientation tour with Gastown, Chinatown and Stanley Park. Your hotel is on lively Robson Street within walking distance to English Bay, the cruise ship harbour and Canada Place.
Day 16: Vancouver
Transfer to the airport.
- Flights from London Heathrow with Air Transat
- Airport taxes
- 15 nights accommodation as per the itinerary
- All transfers
- Transportation in air-conditionned 15-seater minibus
- Experienced driver/guide
- Admission to the National Parks
- Ferry fares as per itinerary
- Admission to Ksan Indian Village
- Equipment and utensils for BBQs and Picnics
- Applicable taxes
- As per Itinerary