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A spectacular self-drive tour of Vancouver Island's Pacific Coast, taking in picturesque Victoria, the famous pristine sandy beaches of Tofino, or perhaps explore the rainforests on a selection of well groomed trails, before relaxing at the oceanfront resort Painters Lodge, Campbell River.
If this wasn't enough excitement, drive to Whistler, blending the charm of an alpine village with the amenities of an urban centre, the pedestrianized Whistler Village offers fine dining, vibrant nightlife, eclectic boutiques, revitalising spas and luxurious hotels. Embark on an unforgettable Alaska Cruise, spotting orcas, humpback whales and even a bald eagle along the way! End this once in a lifetime trip with a stay in cosmopolitan Vancouver and it's vibrant charms.
Victoria - Butchart Gardens
Tofino - Coastal Bear Watching
Whistler - Peak 2 Peak Gondola
Features Wednesday departures from Glasgow - May - September
Alternative airports available, please call for details
Day 1 Fly UK to Vancouver
On arrival at Vancouver Airport, transfer to your chosen hotel. Transfer included
Day 2 Vancouver
Day at leisure in Vancouver. Why not take in a bicycle ride around the seawall at Stanley Park, Vancouver City Tour or take the aquabus to Granville Island
Day 3 Vancouver to Victoria
Pick up your car this morning and drive over to Vancouver Island and make your way to your chosen hotel in Victoria. Car - Intermediate size car . BC Ferry crossing tickets for car and passenger are included
Day 4 Victoria
Today we have included a tour of the world famous Butchart Gardens for you. 22 hectares (55 acres) of breathtaking gardens on the 53 hectare (10 acre) estate are visited by more than a million people each year. The gardens are glorious any time of year. Once at the gardens stroll through the floral splendor which greets you at every turn. Return to downtown Victoria on a shuttle convenient for you.
Day 5 Victoria to Tofino
Travel to Tofino - Imagine, all in one place, fishing, kayaking, whale watching, bear-watching, bird watching, camping, hiking, storm-watching and First Nations cultural touring. Surfing is big here, and Tofino was named the best surf town in North America in Outside Magazine’s 2010 Editors Choice awards. Spend the afternoon exploring your accommodation and the area.
Day 6 Tofino Coastal Bear Watch
Today you have your Coastal Bear Watch excursion. This tour features black bears and explores the fjord inlets of Clyoquot Sound. During the winter, local black bears are in semi-hibernation. Come May, they leave their dens and head for the closest food source - the ocean! While the bears forage in the intertidal zone, you can unobtrusively observe and photograph their behaviour. You willexperience the tour aboard an open-air, rescue-style, 24' rigid-hulled Zodiac suitable for this calm water program. The vessel's shallow draft is especially good for manouvering in the small sheltered bays while you are watching for bears and learning about this unique environment. You are provided with a Floater Suite, toque and gloves and complimentary hot drinks on return. Participants should dress warmly, bring a camera, binoculars, sun glasses and sun screen.
Day 7 Tofino
Spend today at your leisure taking in Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park. With rainforests, trails, and no less than 6 beaches you will not be short of places to visit. We highly recommend you visit Cox Bay during the day and Tonquin Beach (walking distance from Tofino town) in the evening for an intimate sunset before returning to the town for some dinner and/or drinks. Our Canada Experts will happily recommend to you some of their favourite restaurants here.
Day 8 Tofino to Campbell River
Travel to Campbell River for a 2 night stay at Painters Lodge in an oceanview room that overlooks the Inside Passage, lookout for wildlife and the cruise ships that pass by. We highly recommend taking the water taxi from the Lodge over to Quadra Island for some exploring.
Day 9 Campbell River
Spend your day at leisure, we recommend taking the water taxi from the lodge over to April Point on Quadra Island for some exploring. There are various wildlife tours you can book also.
Day 10 Campbell River to Whistler
Return to the mainland via the BC Ferries Nanaimo, Departure Bay to Horseshoe Bay Crossing and drive the sea to sky highway route to your chosen hotel in Whistler. Passenger and car ferry tickets included.
Day 11 Whistler
Whistler has some spectacular views, it is a must do destination and a popular holiday destination for locals. There is so much to see and do - Peak 2 Peak Gondola ride, Helicopter ride for a birds eye view of the mountain ranges, glaciers and lakes, not to mention the endless hikes and trails. Today is at your leisure, you do have a pass for the Peak2Peak Gondola.
Day 12 Whistler to Vancouver, board Cruise
Drive from Whistler to Vancouver, drop off your hire car and embark on your 7 night Alaska cruise.
Day 13 Cruise the Inside Passage
You'll sail beyond the Inside Passage into the more protected Alaska Inside Passage, a complex labyrinth of fjords and bays where whales and sea lions find refuge during the summer months.
Day 14 Icy Strait
For thousands of years, the Tlingit Indians have called this place home. Located just 22 miles southeast of Glacier Bay National Park, Icy Strait Point offers travelers the chance to view wildlife like humpback whales, eagles, and brown bears, or to explore monuments to the region’s fishing heritage.
Day 15 Hubbard Glacier
Hubbard Glacier is the largest calving glacier on the North American continent. The glacier routinely calves off icebergs as high as 10-story buildings, sending massive blocks of ice into the sea every few minutes.
Day 16 Juneau
Here's your chance to take a glacial dogsled adventure via helicopter in Alaska's capital. A city that gracefully balances frontier ruggedness with cosmopolitan flair. Mendenhall Glacier, a river of ice measuring 1.5 miles in width and over 6 miles in length, is part of Juneau's Icefield, 1500 square miles of ice that feeds 38 glaciers and ready for you to take a float trip on it.
Day 17 Ketchikan
You've never tasted salmon so fresh. Known as the 'Salmon Capital of the World', Ketchikan is also the ancestral home of the Tlingit people, who have carved the world's largest collection of totem poles. If you're up for an adventure, take a canoe and nature trail excursion through the rain forest or a wilderness exploration followed by a sumptuous crab feast you can't resist.
Day 18 Inside Passage
You will sail back down the Inside Passage, a complex labyrinth of fjords and bays where whales and sea lions find refuge during the summer months.
Day 19 Arrive Vancouver
Dismbark your cruise this morning at Canada Place, Vancouver. Transfer to your downtown hotel and have the day at leisure to take in the sights. The largest metropolitan center in western Canada and the country's third largest city, Vancouver is the Canadian jewel of Puget Sound. From the cobblestone streets of the Gastown District to Little Italy and Chinatown, Vancouver will offer you a truly international flavor as well as a delightful combination of the old and the new.
Day 20 Vancouver
Day at leisure exploring Vancouver
Day 21 Fly Vancouver to UK
Transfer to Vancouver Airport for your overnight flight back to the UK