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Having grown up in Southern Africa and both lived and travelled extensively throughout Asia, the US and Europe, I am a true explorer at heart. I love discovering new destinations and curating unique experiences for my clients.
- from $3,051 PP
- 10 Nights
- Mar - Oct
- 10hrs from London / 6hrs from NYC
If incredible wildlife watching opportunities and spectacular scenery are what you’re craving, this 10-nights itinerary through British Columbia will deliver all that and then some. You’ll be immersed among soaring mountains and breath-taking coastlines with wild, driftwood-strewn beaches and an array of green hues like you’ve never seen before. While exploring it, on tours and on your own, you’ll have the opportunity to see everything from whales and sea lions to bears and bald eagles. It all begins in the beautiful city of Vancouver where you can check out Pacific Northwest wildlife at the acclaimed Vancouver Aquarium before hopping on the ferry to Vancouver Island.
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- 10 Nights of hand-picked 4 star hotels including one night at Knight Inlet Lodge
- Private airport arrival and departure transfers
- Other transfers as detailed on the itinerary
- Howe Sound Sea Safari
- Victoria whale watching tour
- Black bear boat tour from Tofino
- Whale watching boat tour from Tofino
- Knight Inlet Lodge bear viewing tour
- Floatplane flight to/from Campbell River
- Delicious daily breakfasts and other meals as detailed on the itinerary
- 24/7 support from our professional staff throughout your trip
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Vancouver: Arrival into Vancouver, British Columbia
Welcome to Vancouver, a magnificent city set between the Coast Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Upon your arrival, you’ll be met by our drive for private transfer to your hotel downtown. Once you’ve checked in, enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure. A short stroll will bring you to lively pubs and world-class restaurants, museums, art galleries and a wealth of shopping opportunities. You might want to get your bearings by heading to the Lookout Tower which soars over 550 feet above Harbour Center in the heart of downtown. Ride to the top in a glass elevator for a stunning panoramic view.
Day 2 Vancouver: Day of Leisure
You’ll have the day to explore Vancouver at your own pace. We recommend visiting Stanley Park, which has a 5.5-mile-long pathway that hugs the waterfront and hosts Vancouver Aquarium, home to all sorts of marine life, including beluga whales, sea lions, sea otters and dolphins. Granville Island is a popular spot art galleries, theaters and trendy eateries housed inside former factories. The highlight is the open-air public market where you can buy everything from rare mushrooms to fresh fish, artisanal cheeses, and homemade charcuterie. You can also dine outside by the water while watching the boats go by in English Bay.
Day 3 Vancouver: Howe Sound Sea Safari
One of the most popular ways to see the area’s marine life is with a cruise through Howe Sound. Today, you’ll get to do just that by hopping aboard a Zodiac boat for a two-hour excursion through the southernmost fjord in North America. It brings opportunities for close encounters with all sorts of creatures, passing through Pam Rocks to spot dolphins, harbour seals, bald eagles, herons and cormorants while sailing in the Strait of Georgia. Afterward you might want to enjoy a meal at the Notch8 Restaurant & Bar at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, inspired by the romance of trail travel in the 1930s.
Day 4 Victoria: Travel by Ferry to the B.C. capital
This morning your private driver will transfer you to the port where you’ll hop on a ferry to the British Columbia capital of Victoria on Vancouver Island. The ride itself is an adventure, cruising through the Strait of Georgia where porpoise, seals, sea birds and the occasional whale can be spotted. After arriving in Victoria, private transfer will bring you to your hotel where you’ll enjoy a two-night stay. One of the most picturesque cities in Canada with ocean and mountain views, it’s also a famous international hub for art, culture and food. Enjoy dinner at the wharf while watching for seals.
Day 5 Victoria: Whale Watching Tour
This morning you’ll embark on an exciting tour, searching for whales, including orcas and minkes that can be spotted year-round, along with gray and humpback whales that migrate through the waters between March and October. Porpoises, seals, and other sea life are often seen too. Enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure – if you want to see one of the world’s most beautiful display gardens, visit Butchart, the reason Victoria is known as the “City of Gardens.” It features 700 different plant species in bloom from March through October, including an Italian Garden, Japanese Garden and breath-taking rose garden.
Day 6 Tofino: Scenic Transfer through Ancient Rainforest and Parks
This morning your private driver will pick you up for the transfer to Tofino on Vancouver Island’s west coast, traveling through provincial parks and the lush, greener than green ancient rainforests. The route first follows the east coast before crossing the island to reach one of British Columbia’s most enchanting coastal towns. Tofino is a hub for a long series of beaches on the western shores of the island, and a popular base for outdoor adventures. There are some outstanding restaurants here, many of which focus on fresh-caught seafood and fish, with locally made seaweed beer a favourite alongside any meal.
Day 7 Tofino: Black Bear Boat Tour
One of the favourite activities from Tofino is a boat tour to see the black bears that come to feast on shellfish, rock crab in particular, along the shoreline. You’ll embark on this thrilling experience today in the calm, protected bays of Clayoquot Sound. Watching from a boat is ideal as the bears have poor eyesight and are usually unaware of human presence with a respectable distance kept. You might also see river otters, harbour porpoise, seals, eagles and blue herons. Enjoy the rest of the day to yourself, perhaps a hike through the emerald rainforest with 800-year-old cedar trees lining a wooden boardwalk.
Day 8 Tofino: Whale Watching in Clayoquat Sound
With an incredible 20,000 Pacific gray whales in the pristine waters of Clayoquat Sound between March and October, today you’ll hop on a boat for a whale watching excursion. In addition to the grays, humpback and orca whales are often spotted passing along the shoreline too. You’ll enjoy views of the rugged coastline and its driftwood-strewn beaches along with the commonly spotted seals, sea otters, sea lions and bald eagles. Afterward you might hike the nearly 10-mile-long Long Beach with its flat, wide sides ideal for a stroll, or explore the many shops and art galleries like Eagle Aerie, in town.
Day 9 Campbell River: Transfer to Campbell Island
Private transfer will bring you to the town of Campbell River on Vancouver Island’s east coast today. Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” for the five different salmon species that run through its main river, you’ll often see kingfishers and bald eagles searching for a meal along its banks and from the trees. You’ll also find unique boutiques, art galleries, farmers markets and various eateries. Visitors an learn more about the living history of the area and the First Nations cultures by visiting the Museum at Campbell River. This evening get ready for tomorrow’s exciting floatplane trip to Knight Inlet.
Day 10 Knight Inlet: Floatplane Flight to Knight Inlet Lodge
A highlight of your trip begins by taking a floatplane to remote Knight Inlet for a stay at the remote Knight Inlet Lodge known for its eco-adventures, including grizzly and black bear viewing. It’s nestled in Glendale Cove which hosts a large population of the animals. After arriving you’ll be given a welcome orientation and then set out on a cruise through the estuary followed by a bear-viewing tour. This tour is taken by boat during the spring and early summer, and from mid-summer to fall, a secure viewing platform. As you’ll be busy watching bears, both lunch and dinner are included today.
Day 11 Departure
After 10 nights of British Columbia’s remarkable wildlife and scenery, you’ll begin your journey back to Vancouver International Airport today. Return by floatplane to Campbell River and then travel by private transfer to catch a flight to Vancouver’s airport. From there it’s all up to you – you can embark on further travels or take a return flight home.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests to purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Let’s get started making this itinerary yours.
Speak to experienced Destinations Experts about designing this itinerary around your budget and trip preferences
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The Best Guides
What makes our trips extraordinary is the unique immersive experiences we include. We pride ourselves in our black book of sought after expert guides, game rangers and local contacts who believe in our philosophy, unforgettable.
From the moment you book your trip, we are on hand 24/7 to assist you throughout your journey. With regional offices around the world, we have ground logistics teams on hand to help you every step of the way.
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