This tour takes in all the highlights of the Canadian Rockies and the BC interior, as well as Vancouver Island and the wild Pacific coast. You’ll love the diversity of landscapes, from the rugged Rocky Mountains and the many turquoise lakes nestled at their bases to the rolling hills of the Cariboo and the Okanagan to the surf of the Pacific Ocean. Relive the history that shaped this region and learn about its geography and geology. Enjoy adventures like whale-watching, houseboat excursions, trail rides, glacier explorations, hot springs soaks and loads of hiking, cycling, river-rafting, scenic flights and back-country excursions. Bring extra cards for your camera.
Duration: 29 days/28 nights
Departure City: Vancouver. Ending City: Vancouver
Accommodations: hotels (26 nights) houseboat (2 nights)
Transportation: minibus, ferry, ocean cruiser, houseboat
Leaders: Tour leader, Bus driver/ass’t leader
Included meals: 7 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Included Activities: Barkerville historic city day tour, excursions to Mt. Edith Cavell, Maligne Lake, Moraine Lake and Takakkaw Falls, Ice Explorer glacier tour, Skywalk tour, Sulphur Hot Springs soak, Three Valley Gap ghost town, houseboat adventures, all park fees, ferry rides, excursion to Port Renfrew, Cathedral Grove, whale-watching tour, Hot Springs Cove, trail ride, wine tours
Day 1: Meet your tour leader and fellow adventurers at the joining hotel to get your tour orientation. Then enjoy dinner at one of Vancouver’s many renowned restaurants.
Day 2: Enjoy a scenic travel day up the raging Fraser Canyon, with plenty of stops for photos, then transition to the rolling hills of Cariboo Country. It’s a day of landscape contrasts, ending at Quesnel, from which we’ll begin our Barkerville excursion tomorrow.
Day 3: Enjoy a trip back in time. We’ll spend a full day exploring the restored Barkerville, in its day the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco, and now the largest such restored site in North America. Afterwards, we’ll travel to Prince George.
Day 4: Today we travel to Jasper, the first of three Rocky Mountain national parks we visit on this trip. We’ll view the giant Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. In Jasper Park, we’ll take an included excursion to splendid alpine region of Mount Edith Cavell and still have time to ride the Whistlers’ Sky Tram.
Day 5: We have full day to spend in Jasper. This is a cycling and hiking paradise, with numerous trails of all levels of challenge. Included in the package is an excursion to the picturesque Maligne Lake, with an option to take a boat trip to the much photographed Spirit Island.
Day 6: Today we travel one of the world’s great road trips, the Icefields Parkway, with many scenic peaks, waterfalls and lakes. Midway, we’ll stop for an included Ice Explorer glacier tour and the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk. Our day ends in Lake Louise
Day 7: We have a full day to enjoy the grandeur of the Lake Louise area, with options like hiking, horseback riding, canoeing, rock climbing, chairlift rides to mountain peaks or simply relaxing in the tea houses or the opulent Lake Louise Lodge. And, of course, load up your camera with amazing photos.
Day 8: Calgary, the foothills city, also known as the Stampede City, has numerous attractions and night-life.
Day 9: We travel to Banff, the true heart of the Canadian Rockies. Here you’ll have nearly two full days to hike, walk, cycle, soak, paddle, ride, fly, stroll, visit museums, take photos, shop, or even dance the time away.
Day 10: Resume the activities you didn’t have time for yesterday, especially if your camera is still not full. Or enjoy the via Ferrata or a river-rafting adrenaline rush.
Day 11: Today we cross the Great Divide through Kicking Horse Pass, stopping at such spectacular sites as Moraine Lake, The Spiral Tunnels, Takkakaw Falls, Emerald Lake, Rogers Pass, and end the day at Three Valley Gap.
Day 12: We start the day by visiting the ghost town at the Gap, and you’ll have an option to take a helicopter flight over the alpine highlands. Then we’ll move on to the Shuswap, where we’ll board the Remote Escape houseboat for our afternoon and overnight excursion. Tonight we on the gentle waters of the Lake.
Day 13: After returning to the marina, we re-board our minibus for our trip to Whistler, site of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, again passing through some superb scenery.
Day 14: We have a full day to participate in some of the many options available in Whistler, Canada’s adrenaline capital: Ziptrek, downhill mountain-biking, bungee jumping, Peak 2 Peak gondola, hiking, cycling, swimming, partying or even riding an Olympic bobsleigh.
Day 15: We travel the stunningly beautiful Sea-to-Sky Highway back to Vancouver, arriving about mid-day. The afternoon is free to enjoy a variety of tour options around Vancouver.
Day 16: Enjoy the incredible scenery of the Gulf Islands as we cross to Vancouver Island, reaching Victoria about mid-day. Visit the world-famous Butchart Gardens, a castle or a miniature world display, government headquarters or roam the harbour to get a feel for this very British city.
Day 17: A full day to continue exploring Victoria. We also have an optional excursion to Port Renfrew’s Botanical Beach with its unique geological and botanical tidal pools and to hike portions of the Juan de Fuca coastal trail along the way.
Day 18: We travel up the Island to Parksville, stopping at the Duncan totem poles and Chemainus artsy outlets along the way. At Parksville we can visit the Horne Lake Caves, hike to Little Qualicum Falls, explore the famous Coombs market, or relax on one of BC’s best beaches.
Day 19: We cross the Island to Tofino, stopping to admire the towering forests of Cathedral Grove. At Tofino, there are many options for exploring the Pacific coast of Canada.
Day 20: Today we take an included whale-watching excursion to Hot Springs Cove. We may see a wide variety of sea life along the way. At Hot Springs Cove, we relax in the soothing hot mineral waters as ocean waves surge up to meet us. A true bucket list experience!
Day 21: We journey back across the Island and take the ferry across Georgia Strait. Back on the mainland we turn up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Squamish for a wide range of activities in a picturesque setting, for every adrenalin level.
Day 22: We enjoy our final trip down the Sea-to-Sky Highway and a tour of world famous Stanley Park on our arrival back in Vancouver. Take advantage of the tours you didn’t have time for on Day 15.
Day 23: We spend most of today in Manning Park with a myriad of hiking options for all skill levels and stupendous high alpine scenery. Seasonally, the alpine meadows are ablaze with splendor.
Day 24: A short trip this morning takes us to Osoyoos, with several stops, including the enigmatic Spotted Lake. We may relax on the gorgeous Lake Osoyoos beaches or visit the Desert Centre, a winery or two, the model train museum or get more active with a motorboat rental.
Day 25: We travel up the shores of several Okanagan Lakes with a number of side trips to visit local wineries, many named to entice curiosity. We may take a float down the Penticton canal, and we’ll end the day in Kelowna, the major city of the region.
Day 26: Today is a full day to explore Kelowna. Hike or cycle the famous Myra Canyon trestles, take a farm tour, or spend a day on the lake, searching for the Ogopogo, wake boarding or waterskiing. Or book a tour in a Lamborghini or McLaren.
Day 27: We leave the Okanagan this morning and cross into the Shuswap-Thompson River basin. Today we again board the Remote Escape houseboat for another afternoon and overnight on Shuswap Lake.
Day 28: Returning to our minibus, we travel past more turquoise lakes and up into the high plateau regions before arriving at a guest ranch. We’ll go for a trail ride in the afternoon, then be treated to a final night banquet.
Day 29: We enjoy the great scenery of the Coquihalla highway as we make our way back to Vancouver, where our tour ends.
Tour Add-on Packages (Optional Excursion Add-ons)
How to add optional tour packages
Some of our tours have optional add-on packages which secure those activities for you in advance, and may be less expensive and less hassle than booking them individually while on your trip. You can add these packages at check out.
Add-on 1: Close to Nature package:
This package includes a helicopter flight to the high mountain back-country glaciers of the Purcell range on Day 12. On Day 9 or 10 you will be whisked up to the Sunshine meadows high alpine hiking and scenic exploration (Lake Louise equivalent will be substituted on trips prior to July 1). On Day 14, you will enjoy the Whistler Hiking and Sightseeing package for mountain vistas, surreal landscapes and fantastic hiking, plus the Peak 2 Peak gondola ride. Price: $458CAD, incl. taxes.
Add-on 2: Adrenaline Package:
This package includes a white-water paddle rafting trip on the Kicking Horse River on Day 9 or 10, where you navigate class 3 and 4 rapids without the aid of a motor. On the other of those days, you’ll get the Ridgewalker Via Ferrata on Mount Norquay in Banff. Then, in Whistler you can choose either Mammoth Ziptrek that includes 10 ziplines and 8 treetop bridges or Extreme Downhill Mountain-biking that includes bike rental and tickets to the mountain-bike park and lift passage. Price: $597CAD, incl. taxes.
Add-on 3: Single Supplement
Our trip prices are based on two people sharing rooms. Single travelers will be paired up with others of the same gender for room assignments. Subject to availability, travelers may upgrade to single rooms by adding a single supplement to their tour. The single supplement for this trip is $2209CAD.