Depart London Heathrow – 13:05
Arrive Vancouver – 14:30
Journey Time – 9 hours 25 minutes
INCLUDED TODAY – Meet & greet and private transfer from airport to hotel
On arrival at Vancouver airport we have included a meet & greet service and private transfer to your downtown hotel.
Vancouver is set in spectacular surroundings, with the majestic Coastal Mountains, evergreen forests and Pacific Ocean as its background.
After a long flight and with your body adjusting to the time difference we suspect you will not want to do much the first evening but if the weather permits do have a walk along the waterside path located right outside your hotel, it’s a lovely walk to Stanley Park.
Your 3 nights / 2 full days here will be packed as you discover some of the delights this fantastic city has to offer.
Overnight – Vancouver
Day 2 & 3
INCLUDED – Grouse Mountain & Capilano Suspension Bridge Tour (on Day 3)
There’s such a variety of things to see and do in this stunning cosmopolitan city by the ocean – historic Gastown, colourful Chinatown, and the ultra modern financial district to name but a few. Discover the beauty of 1000-acre Stanley Park and English Bay as well as the bustle of Robson Street in the heart of the shopping district and Granville Island oozing character and atmosphere both night and day.
Whilst in Vancouver (on Day 3) we have included a morning tour taking you to Capilano Suspension Bridge & Park, the world’s greatest suspension footbridge set amongst the West Coast Rainforest which offers meandering trails by tranquil trout ponds and towering old growth evergreens. Whilst there be sure to see the colourful Totem Park which displays over 25 authentic totem poles collected since the 1930’s and life-size red cedar statues carved during the Depression. Continue on to Grouse Mountain to experience a spectacular mountain top adventure at the peak of Vancouver. During summer enjoy lumberjack shows, the Grouse Mountain Wildlife Refuge for endangered wildlife including Grizzly Bears and Timber Wolf, birds in motion demonstrations and so much more. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Overnight – Vancouver, BC
Vancouver to Victoria (Vancouver Island)
43 miles (Plus Ferry)
INCLUDED TODAY – Ferry from Vancouver to Vancouver Island
This morning collect your car rental before leaving Vancouver and driving south to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal for a 90 min Ferry ride (Car Ferry Toll Included) to Swartz Bay. On board BC ferries enjoy the scenery of the Gulf Islands as you cross the Strait of Georgia.
From Swartz Bay continue on to the charming city of Victoria with its turn of the century architecture, British traditions such as high tea and shops full of woolens and china.
Overnight – Victoria
Victoria (Vancouver Island)
INCLUDED TODAY – Admission to Butchart Gardens
Today is free to explore Victoria where you will find the world famous Empress Hotel, Parliament buildings, Provincial Museum, the city centre and the attractions around the city Harbour.
A 14 mile drive north of Victoria, admission is included to the Butchart Gardens with its 50 acre display of magnificent colour. The network of paved paths meander around exploring meadows and gardens of flowers blossoming in reds, blues, yellows, whites and oranges. The trails lead to ponds and fountains, walking over wooden bridges and crossing over rumbling creeks. Many paths loop in circles leading to viewing benches, shelters and open gra
ss fields. Here you have a wonderful opportunity to be surrounded by vibrant colours and floral scents.
Overnight – Victoria
Victoria to Tofino(Vancouver Island)
Travel to the rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island and head to Pacific Rim National Park. En-route stops should be made at Duncan the ‘City of Totems’, where you may visit the Quw’utsun’ Heritage Village, which will provide you with an insight into the lives of the northwest coast people (admission not included).
Make a stop in the artist community of Chemainus, where you can admire the giant murals which adorn the exterior walls throughout the town. Drive through majestic Sutton Pass and the Sawtooth Range of the Cascade Mountains to arrive in Tofino around mid afternoon.
Overnight – Tofino
INCLUDED TODAY – Coastal Bear Viewing tour by Zodiac (3 hours)
You may wish to walk along the famed Long Beach, with its miles of pristine sandy beach and pounding surf, or explore the rain forests on a selection of well groomed trails. Mid afternoon enjoy a 3 hour cruise in search of black bears. 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 will experience 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 manoeuvring in the small sheltered bays while you are watching for bears and learning about this unique environment.
Overnight – Tofino
Tofino to Parksville (Vancouver Island)
Depart Tofino for Parksville for your return journey to the East Coast.
En-route, picture stops should be made at Cathedral Grove to enjoy the splendour of 800 year old Douglas Fir and Cedar as well as the Mars Water-Bombers at Sproat Lake, the world’s two largest water-bombers used for the sole purpose of putting out forest fires.
Your destination is Parksville located on the sheltered eastern shores of Vancouver Island – with its spectacular natural setting, surrounded by beautiful beaches, mountains, lakes and rivers… Kick back & enjoy.
Overnight – Parksville
Parksville to Whistler
68 miles (plus Ferry)
INCLUDED TODAY – Ferry from Vancouver Island to Mainland, BC
From Departure Bay sail for 1 hr 45 min on BC Ferries (Ferry Toll Included) to Horseshoe Bay. This scenic cruise takes you through fjord like waters with mountains blanketed with virgin forests and glaciated peaks. Travel along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler.
Highlights along the way include the cascading Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief Rock where climbers from all over the globe migrate to climb the granite cliffs.
Overnight – Whistler
Whistler to Wells Gray Provincial Park
INCLUDED TODAY – Admission to Hat Creek Ranch
Travel north today from the mountain village via the upper elevations of the Duffey Lake Road. Enjoy breath-taking views of Joffee Glacier and snow capped Mount Currie that rises to a height of 2,596 meters (8,518 feet). Continue the journey north to Lillooet, known as the land of the Gold Rush Trail and was ‘Mile Zero’ of the Old Caribou Wagon Road during the Gold Rush Years. Now the area is home to the largest Canadian producers of the medicinal plant, Ginseng. Make a stop at 100 mile house to the gold rush town of Cache Creek, where you stop to visit the historic Hat Creek Ranch (included), which literally takes you back to the days of the gold rush.
NOTE: You may wish to consider extending your stay in Clearwater to 2 nights for a number of reasons: to give you a break after a long drive to get to this area & to provide you an opportunity to explore Wells Gray Provincial Park – one of the most beautiful parks in Canada. Just let us know if you would like to consider this option.
Overnight – Clearwater
Wells Gray Provincial Park to Jasper
Set out for Jasper along the scenic Yellowhead Highway and take in the breathtaking vistas of the steep-walled gorges and crashing falls of the North Thompson River. On your journey today, perhaps you will get a glimpse of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies.
Leaving British Columbia you enter Alberta and Jasper National Park. Jasper was originally a tent city serving the railway, and now a quaint mountain village.
Overnight – Jasper
By now you will almost certainly have witnessed some of the amazing wildlife in Canada but keep your eyes peeled for bears, moose and the hundreds of elk that roam freely around Jasper. Jasper offers many terrific scenic highlights to explore… Why not take a tram ride up Whistlers Mountain or visit Medicine Lake, Cavell Road, Pyramid Lake Road and the ‘Old Banff/Jasper Highway’. We recommend a visit to Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake where you can take a scenic boat tour or hire a canoe. The gift shops at these two attractions are excellent and also worth a visit.
Another option to consider is a visit to Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls, both of which can be done in the same day from Jasper. There’s so much to see & do here – if you would like to extend your stay in Jasper just tell us & we can make it happen.
Overnight – Jasper
Jasper to Banff
INCLUDED TODAY – COMPLIMENTARY – Ice Explorer Ride onto the Athabasca Glacier!
Your scenic drive today takes you through the spine of the Canadian Rockies. View a never-ending procession of mammoth mountains, jagged peaks, over 100 glaciers and pristine emerald colour lakes. Along the way see such sights as the Columbia Icefield and take an Ice Explorer ride out onto the glacier (included). Also watch for the Sarbach Glacier, Peyto Lake, Bow Lake, with the Bow Glacier providing the backdrop, and Crowfoot Glacier before your arrival into Lake Louise. From Lake Louise choose the Bow Valley Parkway, beside the Bow River with an option for you to take a stop at Johnston Canyon and walk along the paved footway to either the lower or upper waterfalls before continuing to Banff.
Overnight – Banff
A full day to explore Banff and area. In town you’ll find lots of excitement – shopping, cafés, nightlife, museums. Check out the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, Banff Gondola (optional) where you will see a panoramic view of the Bow Valley, and then take a dip in the hot mineral pools at the Upper Hot Springs.
Or why not take one of the very easy 1, 2 or 3 hour horseback rides along the river, this is great fun and you do not need to have any riding experience. Other activities you can easily book up for are bike rides, fishing trips and rafting on the Bow River.
Overnight – Banff
Banff to Calgary Airport
72 miles (then depart for UK)
Depart the Rocky Mountains at your own leisure to the Great Central Plains that roll to the east for 2000 kilometres and extend as far south as Mexico. This is ‘cattle ranching country’ and the breadbasket of Canada.
With late flights from Calgary Airport as detailed below you have plenty of time to enjoy your day before returning your rental vehicle at the airport and boarding your flight back to the UK.
Depart Calgary – 20:35
Arrive London Heathrow – 13:40 (Next Day)
Journey Time – 9 hours 5 minutes