Day One – Vancouver to Sooke
You will travel through the beautiful Gulf Islands on your way to Victoria, BC’s capital city. Look out for whales on the way to Victoria, sightings are not unheard of. Upon arriving in Victoria, you will have a chance to stroll through the gorgeous Butchart Gardens. There are several optional sightseeing choices around Victoria, including the Royal BC Museum, afternoon tea at the famous Fairmont Empress Hotel, or shopping on Government Street. You will then depart for Sooke for your overnight accommodation.
Day Two – Sooke to Campbell River
Upon leaving, you will make your way along the scenic Island Highway to the seaside community of Comox for lunch. After lunch, depart to Campbell River where you’ll spend the next two nights. You’ll have plenty of time to discover the best activities in Campbell River. Options include: waterfall hike, Bear viewing tour by water, Whale Watching or Kayaking Tour.
Day Three – Campbell River – Telegraph Cove - Alert Bay - Port Hardy
Enjoy this day at leisure and discover the best outdoor adventures in Campbell River. Ask us for recommendations.
Day Four – Port Hardy to Prince Rupert via the Inside Passage aboard BC Ferries
Depart Campbell River. You will have plenty of time today to travel 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. You will then depart for Port Hardy. July and August itineraries will board the Ferry this evening. You’re required to check in no later than 90 minutes prior so give yourself lots of extra time today. There is no food service on board at this time, please prepare ahead of time for your dinner and breakfast and bring a cooler to store these items. You will have access to your vehicle periodically during the 16 hour passage.
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.
*September departures will check into your hotel in Port Hardy. Be sure to get to bed early tonight as we have an early start in the morning as we board the ferry that will take you through the Inside Passage.
Day Five – Prince Rupert
July / August departures will arrive in Prince George at 11:00am this morning. Check in time at your hotel is 4pm. You’ll have time to explore Cow’s Bay this afternoon, a great area with a wide variety of restaurants serving lunch and dinner.
September departures, Today is an early start, and by early we mean very early as you will need to make your departure time for the ferry. Once you are on board, you will enjoy a sumptuous buffet breakfast in the dining room. This 16-hour journey is definitely the highlight of this tour. Check into your hotel late night.
Day Six – Prince Rupert to Prince George
After the long day you had yesterday, today is all about relaxation and free time in the town of Prince Rupert. You can choose from a variety of breakfast options. Today you will have the opportunity to explore the town or partake in some optional activities. These include canoe tours, Cannery Museum or whale watching. Admission to the Museum of Northern British Columbia is included. There is also an optional extra to view the bears in the region on the July 19th departure. 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 Seven – Prince George to Jasper
You will then depart on a beautifully scenic day of travel as you leave the Coastal Mountains behind. You will follow the Skeena River on your way to your nighttime destination of Prince George. There are many stops along the way where you will be able to see many beautiful sights of Northern British Columbia. Along the way, you will have time for lunch in the town of Smithers, often referred to as a “skiers paradise’ in the winter. Upon arriving in Prince George, you will check-in to your hotel. You will then have the evening free for dinner.
Day Eight – Jasper & Icefields Parkway to Banff National Park
You will travel further east today as you make your way into the majestic Rocky Mountains with the overnight destination being Jasper, a quintessential Rockies town. Along the way, you have the option to stop at the Ancient Forest, where you will be treated to an interpretive walk to an absolutely spectacular waterfall. You will then stop at 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 if there is some cloud around, it makes that photograph all the more mysterious. As you cross into Alberta, you will carry onto the town of Jasper. You will have plenty of free time this evening to explore the town and indulge in one of the many dining options in town.
Day Nine – Banff
Today you will have another earlyish start as we have so much in store for you. After you enjoy breakfast in the hotel, you will depart and drive to Maligne Lake. You have the option to either stroll the lake edge, enjoy the beautiful views, or take an optional boat tour to one of the most photographed spots in Canada, Spirit Island. On leaving the lake, you have the option to make your way down the famous Icefields Parkway, where you will have the chance to glimpse hundreds of glaciers. You will stop at the Athabasca Glacier, part of the Columbia Icefields. were you will 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. You will then travel on the turquoise beauty of the Athabasca Falls and Bow Lake. This will be your first taste of the unique colours that the lakes and rivers have in the Rocky Mountains. Your accommodation will be in the Town of Banff for the next two nights. You will have leisure time this evening to explore the town and indulge in one of the many dining opportunities that Banff offers.
Day Ten – Banff
You have the day free to explore Banff your way. Suggested sites include at 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 Eleven – Banff to Kelowna
Get ready for the day! Today is lake day. Check out of your hotel and depart for the Okanagan. Along the way, you will get to see Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, definitely two of the most beautiful lakes in the area. You will have plenty of 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 through Roger’s Pass, a pass steeped in history. You will move from the Rocky Mountains into the Selkirk range and finally into the Okanagan Valley. 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.
Day Twelve – Kelowna to Vancouver
And so we enter the final day of this fantastic adventure. Take the morning to explore downtown Kelowna. You will be able to walk the beautiful boardwalk along Lake Okanagan or walk through the cute shops that line the streets of this desert town. You will leave Kelowna and travel along the Coquihalla Highway towards Vancouver. Along the way, you will come across the tiny village of Hope. You will finish up the last stop of the adventure with a stop at Othello Tunnels. These tunnels were cut from the granite cliffs in 1914 by the Canadian Pacific Railway connecting the Kootenays to the Coast. A total of five tunnels were cut out as part of the Kettle Valley Railway grade. The engineering effort it took to build this route was impressive, especially considering the limited infrastructure of the time. You will have the opportunity to walk through the tunnels and cross the cascading Coquihalla River. This area is also rich in film history, with several blockbuster film scenes shot at Othello Tunnels. We know that you have memories that will last a lifetime and be richer for the experiences you have encountered over the past 12 days.