Whales, Bears and Vancouver Island
- 9 Days
- 9 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 3,832
FIRST-CLASS | SELF-DRIVE: An always exhilarating and, frequently, enchanting wildlife and wilderness itinerary to some remote destinations on Vancouver Island. Look for whales on a cruise in Victoria and experience the untamed beauty of Tofino, including a bear watching excursion on a zodiac. A captivating stay at an authentic wilderness lodge provides the perfect setting for more eco and wilderness experiences. Finish your trip with urban adventures in fabulous Vancouver.
Some of the best wildlife viewing in Canada, and one of the world’s most popular cities. This 9-day trip encompasses Canadian nature at its best, including whales, bears in their native habitat, and the marvellous city of Victoria.
You’ll kick things off with a day in Victoria, one of Canada’s most attractive cities. Check out the Victoria Public Market for great local food, poke around the small shops in Chinatown and explore the harbour. Wander through Beacon Hill Park and take a scenic, oceanside drive on Dallas Road.
The next day you’ll be treated to a wonderful wildlife viewing trip on a fast-moving Zodiac boat. You could spot orca, minke and grey whales as your captain steers you through beautiful bays and open water.
From Victoria it’s a beautiful drive north and west towards Tofino. You’ll pass through ancient rainforests and past pristine lakes lined with sweet-smelling pines on your way to the west coast of Vancouver Island and the town of Tofino. Take a walk on lovely Long Beach to stretch your legs.
The next day you’ll board a Zodiac for a chance to see bears in their native habitat. As the tide recedes, they emerge from the forest to search for rock crabs. Back in Tofino, check out some of the great restaurants or try a hiking trail. You also can visit the House of Himwitsa, a Canadian Native art gallery.
Heading out of Tofino, stop at Sproat Lake to admire the Indigenous rock carvings or the waterfalls at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. You’re heading to Campbell River, where you’ll hop on a water taxi to the stunning Sonora Resort, which sits on the edge of a picturesque island. Dinner is included at the resort, which has truly spectacular cuisine.
Sonora Resort guests enjoy unlimited hiking, swimming and tennis during their stay. You also have a choice of two spectacular nature trips. From May 1 to August 9, you can explore the beautiful forests and admire animal life, including sea lions and bald eagles. From August 10 to October 10, the focus is on grizzly bears. Your guide knows where they like to feed, and you can safely watch these majestic creatures from a distance. If you’re lucky you might spot a mother and her cubs.
After lunch the next day a water taxi will take you back to Campbell River, where you continue your drive south along the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. Stop for lunch in Comox or one of the other seaside towns. You’ll board a ferry from Nanaimo and sail across the scenic Strait of Georgia to Vancouver, where you can enjoy one of the city’s many fine restaurants.
In Vancouver, check out the Vancouver Art Gallery or the marvellous Vancouver Aquarium, situated in beautiful Stanley Park. The park also is home to Klahowya Village, where you travel through the forest on the Spirit Catcher miniature train, watch cultural performances, and shop the Artisan Marketplace.
- 9 Days
- 9 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 3,832
Arrival in Victoria
Following your arrival in Victoria, check in at your downtown hotel. The Roadbook you received has all the information needed for your holiday/trip/journey. Take the rest of the day to create your own west coast island adventure amid the colonial heritage splendor, parks, restaurants, and gardens of British Columbia’s capital city.
Today you embark on a fascinating wildlife viewing adventure aboard a fastmoving Zodiac rigid boat. A certified marine biologist provides insight into the environment and habits of orca, minke and grey whales as well as other marine wildlife. Return to your hotel afterwards and enjoy Victoria’s bars, pubs, brewpubs, and extraordinary range of restaurants.
Victoria to Tofino (317 km / 197 miles)
Be sure to have your real or mental camera ready because the scenery about to unfold in front of you is astonishingly beautiful. Your road leads across Vancouver Island to the Pacific Coast winding through ancient rainforests and provincial parks. You’re venturing into true wildlife territory, exemplified by The Pacific Rim National Park, a marvel of ecological and geographical diversity.
Today you board a Zodiac boat to take a captivating bear watching excursion and speed along the lush coastline to the bears’ feeding grounds. When the tide goes out the bears emerge from the forests and forage along the shores in search of rock crabs, providing the perfect opportunity to see these incredible creatures in their natural habitat. Back on dry land, you’re free to explore the rugged coastline along the network of hiking trails or to walk the shoreline in search of shells and driftwood. Perhaps enrich your experience with a visit to the Himwitsa Art Gallery and marvel at the collection of authentic pieces native to the Tofino area.
Tofino to Sonora Resort (290 km / 180 miles Land Only)
This morning, the spectacular winding road takes you back to the eastern coast of Vancouver Island with. Your route will introduce you to many gems you may wish to stop at for a brief visit at the native rock carvings at Sproat Lake or the picturesque falls at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Upon arrival in Campbell River, you board a water taxi for the short boat ride to the stunning Sonora Resort. Settle in for the night at this quintessential west coast resort and prepare yourself for tomorrow’s day of adventure and discovery! Dinner included.
Overnight Sonora Resort
You have the entire day at this luxurious wilderness resort. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy unlimited hiking, swimming, and tennis throughout their stay. Today you enjoy one of two thrilling nature adventures: Embark on a thrilling 1-hour Eco-Adventure Tour aboard an 8.53m Zodiac boat, accompanied by your knowledgeable wilderness guide. In the evening, sit down to a gourmet dinner, sip a fine wine on a terrace, or mingle with other guests in one of the lounges or games room. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner included.
Overnight Sonora Resort
|Meal Plan||Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner|
Sonora Resort to Vancouver (290 km / 180 miles Land Only)
Today you board the water taxi for your return trip to Campbell River where you continue your drive south along the eastern shores of Vancouver Island. Small seaside towns such as Comox offer delightful spots to stop for some shopping for reminders of your west coast experience. Arriving in Nanaimo, you board a BC Ferries vessel and sail across the Strait of Georgia to arrive in Vancouver where the remainder of the day is at leisure. Explore neighborhoods such as Gastown, Yaletown or Granville Island or dine out at one of Vancouver’s many excellent restaurants. Breakfast and lunch included.
|Meal Plan||Breakfast and Lunch|
Vancouver (160 km / 99 miles Land Only)
Today is yours to explore this vibrant cosmopolitan city. Boutique shoppes line Robson Street, offering everything from high fashion to aboriginal artwork. Perhaps pay a visit to Khot-La-Cha Art Gallery and Gift Shop, featuring masks, prints, gold and silver jewelry, wood carvings, textiles and clothing produced by First Nation artists. Stanley Park is interwoven with paved forested trails and features an enthralling zoo at its centre and the fascinating Klahowya Village. The boardwalks along the seawall provide sweeping views of the water and the rising mountains of the mainland. Discover the charms and sights of this truly magnificent city on the water
Today you check out and proceed to Vancouver International Airport in time to check-in for your departure flight or stay in the city if you have plans to extend your trip.
Daily departures: May 1 - October 10, 2023
- 9 days Intermediate Car Rental with unlimited mileage (Toyota Corolla or similar)
- Customized Self-Drive Roadbook (Digital version)
- 2 nights superior accommodations in Victoria
- 2 nights superior accommodations in Tofino
- 2 nights accommodations in Sonora Resort
- 2 nights superior accommodations in Vancouver
- Shared 3-hour whale watching by Zodiac
- Shared 2-hour bear watching by boat
- Round trip water taxi transfers between Campbell River and Sonora Resort
- Use of the resort recreational facilities in Sonora Resort
- Full board at Sonora Resort starting with dinner on Day 5 and ending with lunch on Day 7
- Shared 1-hour Eco-Adventure Tour
- Ferry crossing (car and passengers): Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay (1 hour 15 minutes)
- Car rental insurance
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Entrances fees to sites not explicitly listed as included
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Road tolls
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa fees if applicable
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request. Additional terms and conditions apply for car rental - please inquire.
1 Oct 2023