Day One - Vancouver - Kelowna
Make your way to Kelowna today from your departure city. As you drive towards Kelowna, your overnight stop, you may wish to stop at one of the local wineries for a tasting. Check into your hotel located in Kelowna. It is here that you will find a myriad of restaurants to satisfy your palate.
Walk the beautiful boardwalk along Lake Okanagan or visit the cute shops that line the streets of this desert town.
Day Two - Kelowna - Banff
Get ready for the day, as you will leave Kelowna and travel east you will journey through the Selkirk range to Roger’s Pass, a pass steeped in history and finally the Rocky Mountains. Along the way, you will want to stop at Craigellachie, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, definitely two of the most beautiful lakes in the area. You will have free time to walk around the lakes or to rent a canoe and head out across the lakes to see parts that are not accessible by foot. From the lakes, you will travel into the town of Banff where you’ll spend the next two nights with many dining options and all within walking distance.
Day Three - Banff
You have the day free to explore Banff your way. Suggested sites include a stop for a stunning photo opportunity at Bow Falls before heading to the magical spires of the Banff HooDoos. You will then circle around to the Banff Springs Hotel, a historic site rich in Canadian culture. If you love some good English Tea they also offer the Rocky Mountain Afternoon Tea. You will then have the rest of the day to navigate your way around this quintessential Rockies town. There are some fantastic shops for those needing retail therapy along Banff Avenue as well as well-marked paths running beside the turquoise Bow River, both on the town side and the golf course side. If you would like, you can take the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain. You will be greeted by panoramic views of the valley and the majestic Rocky Mountains that frame the town in this small valley. This is an excursion that should be added to your itinerary. Again, you will have the option to choose from one of the many dining options the town offers this evening.
Day Four - Banff - Jasper
Today you will have another earlyish start as we have so much in store for you. Check out of your hotel and travel on to Athabasca Falls and Bow Lake. On leaving the lake, you have the option to make your way down the famous Icefields Parkway on an optional tour, where you will have the chance to glimpse of the largest glacier in the Rocky Mountains. You will stop at the Athabasca Glacier, part of the Columbia Icefields comprising 6 glaciers. Here you will have the option to ride the World-Renowned Ice Explorer onto the glacier. You will be able to walk around, take in the beauty and even have a sip of millennia-old water. You will get the feeling of just how fragile our planet really is while you are up there. Later arrive in Jasper and check into your hotel. Again, lots of options for dinner in the town of Jasper including a local brewery.
Day Five - Jasper - Prince George
Start your day early today, with a drive to Maligne Lake. Wildlife is often seen early morning or late night on this stretch of road leading to the lake. You have the option to either stroll the lake edge and take in the beautiful views, grab a bite to eat with a view of the lake or take an optional boat tour to one of the most photographed spots in Canada, Spirit Island.
After, begin your drive to the Northern City of Prince George. Option to stop at a few sightseeing stops along the way including Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, topping out at an altitude of 3,954m. On a clear day, this is one of the more impressive sights of the tour. That being said, even with clouds around, it makes it all the more mysterious. Other options for sightseeing today include the Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park where you’ll be treated to an interpretive walk to an absolutely spectacular waterfall.
Arrive and check into your hotel located within walking distance of a variety of restaurants.
Day Six - Prince George - Smithers
Breakfast included at your hotel in Prince George. After checking out this morning, make your way to beautiful town of Smithers located in the Bulkley Valley and set against the backdrop of Hudson Bay Mountain, often referred to as a “skiers paradise’ or ‘little Switzerland’ in the winter; in the summer you’ll find warm & welcoming community offering an abundance of activities for those seeking outdoor adventure on the mountain or nearby lakes. On the main street of this town you won’t find any ‘name brand establishment’ just local fare like Bugwood Coffee for those coffee aficionados, Smithers Brewing Co. to quench your thirst or Roadhouse Diner if you’re looking for great meals. Check into your hotel, within walking distance of these local businesses.
Day Seven - Smithers - Prince Rupert
Check out of your hotel and depart on a beautifully scenic day of travel as you head toward the Coastal Mountains and the Skeena River which you will follow into the town of Prince Rupert. We recommend stopping in Terrace for lunch, If you’re traveling through on the weekends you’ll find a market selling local produce, and cool finds like homemade honey and food trucks. If you arrive into Prince Rupert earlier in the day, we recommend stopping at the North Pacific Cannery about 20 minutes outside of the town. The museum traces the city’s salmon canning history going back 130+ years and the life of those who worked at the remote cannery. checking out the Museum of Northern British Columbia on a guide tour; you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the nature and cultural history of this area. Tonight, you may choose to walk to Cow’s Bay from your hotel, there you’ll find a variety of restaurants along the waterfront and cute retail stores.
Day Eight - Prince Rupert
Another day to explore Prince Rupert and you’ll be glad! Today is all about relaxation and free time in the town of Prince Rupert. If you didn’t get a chance to visit Cow’s Bay, check out …a cute little café serving breakfast sandwiches and great espresso. We recommend visiting the Museum of Northern BC this morning if you’re planning to participate in other activities today. Options today include: Exploring the town or partake a Whale Watching tour traveling up the Khutzeymateen or a local hike. There is also an optional extra option for departures between June and the end of July, to view the bears in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary. This is seasonal, so please confirm with us beforehand to ensure that we can book you on this activity. This evening there are several dining options in town that you can explore.
Day Nine - Prince Rupert - Port Hardy via the Inside Passage
Today is an early start, and by early we mean very early as you will need to make your departure time for the ferry. You’re required to check in no later than 90 minutes prior so give yourself lots of extra time today. Once on board, you will have options for food & beverage throughout the day & night, or you may wish to bring your own cooler with food which can be stored in your vehicle. You’ll be able to access your vehicle periodically throughout the sailing. This 16-hour journey is definitely the highlight of this tour. You will be able to relax in the comfortable surroundings of the interior of the ferry. You will also be able to explore the outside deck. Be sure to bring a set of binoculars along as you will have an opportunity to see some amazing sights and some rare sightings on the wildlife along the way through the Inside Passage. There are several popular points of interest along the way, including Princess Royal Channel, Chatham Sound and Hecate Strait near Haida Gwaii. Haida Gwaii was formerly known as the Queen Charlotte Islands. Remember, we mentioned the rare wildlife sightings. You will have the opportunity to see some amazing sea life like whales and seals, majestic wildlife, including the possibility to see a Kermode Bear. The Kermode Bear is also sometimes referred to as the Spirit Bear. There is also an abundance of birdlife along the way.
Check into your hotel in Port Hardy late night.
Day Ten - Port Hardy - Campbell River
Depart for Campbell River. You will have plenty of time today to enjoy a leisure breakfast before traveling onto Telegraph Cove, a quaint town that was once a fishing and cannery village. Stroll the boardwalk, grab a coffee and view the historical buildings of this small coastal village. In Campbell River you’ll want to explore some of the great outdoor activities in this region of the Island such as the Elk Falls hike, Whale Watching or Kayaking Tour on the shore of an estuary. Your hotel is located on a Marine in Campbell River. This evening you may wish to book a complimentary water taxi to Quadra Island for dinner. This option is available to hotel guests. Advanced reservations recommended. Dinner is additional.
Day Eleven - Campbell River - Parksville
Breakfast included at your hotel this morning. As you make your way to Parksville today, we recommend taking the scenic Island Highway along the coastline, stopping in the Comox Valley. Here you can choose from 3 different towns, Courtney, Comox or Cumberland for a lunch stop or walk along the beachfront at Qualicum Bay. As you near Parksville you may wish to stop at Coombs Market, a popular place to pick up snacks and unique gift items imported from around the world. On a good day if you look up, you might also see something unusual, resident goats that graze on the environmentally friendly ‘green grass’ roof. Carry on to your hotel located on the beach front of Parksville, with beautiful views of the water and perfect place to watch the sunset tonight.
Day Twelve - Parksville
Last day, check out at 11am, return to Vancouver at your leisure via the Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay Ferry. Reservations can be included for a non-refundable $10 fee.