This programme offers lively urban centres, remote wilderness destinations and the unrivalled beauty of Vancouver Island's scenery. From the bustling city of Vancouver, you will plunge right into a whale watching journey from Victoria and Pacific Rim National Park. Stepping aboard a floatplane you will head inland to go in search of grizzly bears, eagles and foxes near Knight Inlet. The final leg of your adventure takes you back to the mainland where you will explore the rugged seascapes of the Sunshine Coast en route to Vancouver.
ARRIVAL IN VANCOUVER
Arrive at Vancouver International Airport and pick-up your rental car & drive to the hotel. Pick up your Road book at the front desk as you check-in. Take the rest of the day to create your own urban adventure amid the stores, parks, restaurants, theatres and other attractions in downtown Vancouver.
Overnight at Coast Coal Harbour in Vancouver. (No meals)
VANCOUVER TO VICTORIA ( 70 KM )
The BC Ferries cruise across the Strait of Georgia will transport you past the rugged coastline and tranquil beaches of the Gulf Islands to Vancouver Island. Continue down the Saanich Peninsula to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Victoria has a fascinating marine heritage and has retained its colonial charm. You may end your day with a visit to the Empress Hotel for traditional High Tea.
Overnight at Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria. (Breakfast)
Today, you will launch into the Pacific aboard a Zodiac powerboat. You will seek out orca, minke and grey whales, seals, porpoises and other marine wildlife. Following your excursion, drive through the serene beauty of the Saanich Peninsula for a visit to Butchart Gardens, one of Victoria's most celebrated sites and rated among the most beautiful gardens in the world. Once there, stroll through the colourful arrangements of the Sunken Garden, the Japanese and Italian Gardens, the English Rose Garden and the magnificent Ross Fountain.
Overnight at Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria. (Breakfast).
VICTORIA TO TOFINO ( 320 KM )
Be sure that you have your camera at the ready – a panorama of scenic beauty is about to unfold before you. Your road leads across Vancouver Island to the Pacific Coast winding through ancient rainforests and provincial parks. You're venturing into true wildlife territory here: The Pacific Rim National Park is a marvel of ecological and geographical diversity.
Overnight at Best Western Tin Wis in Tofino. (Breakfast)
Today you are taking part in a thrilling whale watching expedition. Your search for the Pacific grey whale, sea lions and puffins will hopefully be rewarded with an unforgettable close encounter in Clayoqout Sound with one of the world's largest mammals. Back on dry land, you're free to explore the rugged coastline along the network of hiking trails or to walk the shoreline of Long Beach in search of shells and driftwood.
Overnight at Best Western Tin Wis in Tofino. (Breakfast)
TOFINO TO CAMPBELL RIVER ( 290 KM )
This morning, the spectacular winding road takes you back to the eastern coast of Vancouver Island with visits to Horne Lake Caves or Cathedral Grove. Your route will introduce you to many gems – including native rock carvings at Sproat Lake and the picturesque falls at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Tonight you will have time to explore the quaint town of Campbell River. Stroll down the Discovery Pier for a chance to see salmon, eagles, or even whales; take in views of Discovery Passage, Quadra Island and the rugged Coast Mountain range of mainland British Columbia; or partake in one of the many locally available fishing excursions.
Overnight at Heron's Landing Hotel in Campbell River(Breakfast).
CAMPBELL RIVER TO KNIGHT INLET
Today's destination, Knight Inlet Lodge, is not accessible by road, so you'll fly in by floatplane from Campbell River. A thrilling 30-minute flight brings you to the mouth of the Glendale River, where Knight Inlet Lodge floats on large cedar booms. Bring your camera: today you'll be going on a bear watching and wildlife viewing tour. Be prepared to relish the lush West Coast rainforests and marvel at the abundance of wildlife! During the spring months, the early flourishing sage grasses and estuary barnacles provide bears with food after long hibernation. In the fall, the streams and rivers of the area are favorite fishing grounds for over 50 of the large creatures.
Overnight at Knight Inlet Lodge in Knight Inlet. (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner)
KNIGHT INLET TO VANCOUVER ( 160 KM )
This morning you will return to Campbell River by floatplane. Your route back along the eastern coastline of Vancouver Island will take you through breathtaking coastal scenery of rugged headlands, serene lagoons and dense lush forests. Keep a keen eye out for loons, bald eagles, Canada geese, deer and black bears. Take a cruise on BC Ferries back to Vancouver.
Overnight at Coast Coal Harbour in Vancouver. (Breakfast)
After breakfast day at leisure for last minute shopping. Later drive to Vancouver airport to board your return flight. Return home with wonderful memories of your holiday with Air Tours Holidays. (Breakfast)
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