West Canada Super Grand Tour
Rockies and Alaska
Day 1: Arrival in Vancouver
Meet & greet at the Vancouver International Airport and transfer to your hotel with a mini-tour of the city. You will stay in the Westin Bayshore or Century Plaza Hotel, in a double room with breakfast.
Day 2: Vancouver City Tour
Guided city tour on request, visiting the main areas: Downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park Aquarium, Capilano Suspension Bridge & Hatchery (salmon hatchery) and West Vancouver parks – the giant trees of Lighthouse Park and Dundarave Beach with a picnic by the sea. If time permits, feel free to visit the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Enjoy a free evening (dinner according to your Road Book), and overnight stay at your hotel.
Day 3: Depart for Vancouver Island
Pick up your rental car and depart for the village of Horseshoe Bay, where you will embark on the ferry to Nanaimo. Then, along the highway to Port Alberni, you will stop at Cathedral Grove, the most important redwood park of the region (additional pleasant stop at Coombs). You will arrive in Tofino in the afternoon, and check in to your accommodation in a double room at Ocean Village Resort. Enjoy a nice walk and complimentary dinner in town.
Day 4: Tofino and Pacific Rim
Today, you will set out for Schooner Cove, where you will discover the most beautiful beachcombing in the world. Children will especially love the tidepools of this magnificent Bay, spotting beautiful shells, colorful anemones and starfish. Enjoy picnic on the beach, and in the afternoon, feel free to check out another excursion as indicated in the Road Book. Finally, take in the sunset along the West Coast Trail of Ucluelet. Dinner and overnight stay back at Ocean Village.
Day 5: Tofino and its Native Villages – Campbell River
Embark on an excursion by Aboriginal canoe through the bay of Tofino to Meares Island, with a barbecued salmon lunch on one of the islands. You will learn about the oldest Native community of the Pacific Rim, which is over 2,000 years old. At the end of the trip, you will head toward Campbell River where you’ll stay overnight in a double room at the beautiful April Point Lodge. Enjoy dinner at the lodge in front of the bay.
Day 6: Great Bear Rainforest – Knight Inlet
In the morning, you will set out on your first boat trip to the majestic Great Bear Rainforest. The excursion will last for 6 hours, with an experienced guide who will introduce you to all the major species of the park, starting with the beautiful colony of grizzlies. In the afternoon, you’ll return to the lodge where you can enjoy various indoor activities, a massage or jacuzzi in the spa, or simply relax in the sun on the hotel’s deck looking out toward the Bay. Enjoy dinner at your lodge.
Day 7: Going North – Port Hardy and Port McNeil
Early in the morning you will move north to Port McNeill, a delightful fishing village. If you have time, also explore Cape Scott, the last Ridge Park of Vancouver Island. Being so far north, you will be astonished by the unique environment and panoramic views of the incredibly white beach. Enjoy dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 8: Memorable Excursion to Telegraph Cove
Early in the morning you will start off to Telegraph Cove, where you will spot the orcas of the Broughton Archipelago, some of the most beautiful in the world. After that, you’ll return to Port Hardy for an overnight stay.
Day 9: Inside Passage
At 7.30am, depart for the Inside Passage – the magnificent maritime passage along the stunning West Pacific Coast, between long fjords and high canyons. During this trip, you will be constantly surrounded by wonderful views and encounters with killer whales, humpback whales and sea lions. You’ll arrive in Prince Rupert at 11.30pm. Check in for your overnight stay at the Crest or Coast Hotel in Prince Rupert, with breakfast included.
Day 10: the Grizzlies of Khutzeymateen
From the port of Prince Rupert you will set out on one of the most interesting and exciting excursions that you’ve ever experienced in your life. You will be in close physical contact with some of the most powerful carnivores on the planet: grizzly bears. The Khutzeymateen Sanctuary Park is in the heart of the award-winning Great Bear Rainforest, a jewel of Canadian nature recognized by UNESCO and WWF as the most beautiful and well-preserved rainforest park in the world. Then, explore the Prince Rupert Museum followed by dinner at a restaurant (included) and overnight stay at the Crest or Coast Hotel.
From Canada to Alaska
Day 11: Alaska Ferry from Prince Rupert to Juneau
From Prince Rupert, embark on the Alaska Marine Highway ferry to Juneau. The route offers an opportunity to enjoy enchanting landscapes. After about 1.5 days of sailing, you will arrive and check in to your hotel (double room, breakfast included).
Day 12: Juneau
Juneau, Alaska’s capital, is considered by locals to be the most beautiful city in the country: it’s also known by its nickname “little San Francisco”. Start with a stroll through the central streets populated by old pubs, art galleries, cozy bars and sophisticated restaurants. After lunch, you will be picked up at your hotel for your excursion to Mendenhall Glacier, which you will observe from Mendenhall Lake aboard a large native canoe surrounded by spectacular nature. After the tour, you will be escorted back to your hotel for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 13: Glacier Bay
Today you will observe the ice fronts and spectacular wildlife of Glacier Bay aboard a speedboat. Look out for beautiful orcas, dolphins, sea lions and especially the great blue whales, which at this time of year come from the southern seas for mating season. After the excursion, you’ll return to Gustavus and board a return flight to Juneau at 3:30pm. Enjoy dinner at a restaurant and an overnight stay at a hotel in Juneau.
Day 14: Admiralty Island
This day will be dedicated to ‘the fortress of the bears,’ also known as Admiralty Island. There are more than 1,600 bears living on this island, with the highest concentration in the world. From the docks of Juneau, you will climb aboard a seaplane, and after a one-hour flight arrive at your destination. Here, you will be accompanied by a driver/guide to observe the bears. The tour (3 – 5 hours long) is scheduled to take full advantage of observation opportunities. Afterwards, you will return to your hotel in Juneau for dinner and your last night in Alaska.
Day 15: Returning back to Canada
Board your return flight to Prince Rupert, BC, where you will be welcomed by our Aboriginal guide at the airport. From here, you will be taken on a tour to the site of the Canadian Indian Nation, where you will set out on an interesting visit to the largest system of West Native villages: Canyon City. The guide will lead you to a place of huge importance for native Canadian cultures, 80 miles away from Terrace. In the afternoon, you will be accompanied to pick up your rental car and go further East to Smithers. On the way, visit the shores and waterfalls of Bulkley River, where the native peoples fish with unquestionable courage using their traditional systems. Enjoy an overnight stay at a lodge along the banks of the famous Bulkley River.
Day 16: Passage to the Rockies
Early in the morning, right after breakfast, we will begin making our way towards the Rockies. You will cross some locations of importance, but more than anything today’s journey will be on the road for more than 310 miles. Eventually, you will arrive in Prince George, where you will stay in a modern and comfortable hotel with breakfast included.
Day 17: Mount Robson and Jasper
The view of Mount Robson, the highest peak of the Rockies, will indicate that you are getting closer to the Canadian Rockies. You’ll surely see it after a couple hours into your journey along the Yellowhead Highway, before arriving in Jasper. Eventually you’ll find your way to Jasper National Park, and from here you can decide whether to visit a popular alpine resort or two Aboriginal villages in the area. Enjoy an overnight stay at Maligne Lodge in Jasper, with breakfast included.
Day 18: Jasper, Maligne Lake and Canyon
Today you will get acquainted with Jasper National Park, the largest park of the Rockies that stretches 4,250 square miles. You will be able to see some of the rarest animals in North America, including grizzly bears, moose, caribou and wolves. Hiking, rafting and canoeing are just some of the many outdoor activities that you can participate in. One of the most fascinating excursions of the day is the cruise around Maligne Lake, which includes a trip to Maligne Canyon to view its network of underground channels. In the evening, relax in Jasper and enjoy dinner out at a restaurant. Overnight stay in at Maligne Lodge or similar, with breakfast included.
Day 19: Descent along the Icefield Parkway – Columbia Glacier
Today you will go south along one of the world’s most spectacular highways, the Icefield Parkway, which serves as the backbone of the Rockies connecting all the major sights. This area is known for a large number of wild animals, and this beautiful road trip will take you to Athabasca falls, another wonder of the Rockies. Then, we’ll reach Columbia glaciers where you will take a scheduled glacier excursion on board of the Ice Coach. We’ll start by reaching the Bow summit, and the spectacular Peyto Lake Viewpoint, which will really take your breath away! In the evening, you’ll keep on going south until you arrive at the stunning Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise to have dinner at the hotel’s restaurant – a truly memorable experience.
Day 20: Lake Louise and the Continental Divide of Moraine Lake
After breakfast at the hotel, set out to discover the lake and its views with a light hike along a path which leads from the base of the lake to the viewpoint of The Plain of Six Glaciers. You also have the option to go horseback riding, or go on a relaxed walk along the lovely Agnes Lake, towards Switzerland Hut. In the afternoon, you can visit Moraine Lake, a twin of Lake Louise just a few miles away. It is famous for its charming surroundings and spectacular scenic trails. In the evening you will reach Banff, your third and final destination along the Rockies route. Here you’ll have dinner at a great restaurant marked by the Road Book, and spend the night in the newest lodge in Banff.
Day 21: Banff
This morning, you’ll delve into the history of the village by visiting the oldest and most famous museum dedicated to the Rocky Mountains. It will be an interesting introduction to the wildlife and geology of the region. Then, we will go up the mountain by cable car for a scenic trip to Sulphur Mountain, almost 1,860 miles high. In the afternoon, we’ll head south to visit an important scenic area with many lakes and fascinating geological structures. You will be able to view the Hoodoos, which are impressive limestone formations, and then venture further south to Vermillion Lake, Mount Rundle and Minnewanka Lake in the Valley of Paradise. In the evening, you will return to your lodge in Banff to rest and freshen up before dinner, which will be provided by Le Reve House at a featured restaurant.
Day 22: From Banff to Calgary – The End of the Trip
Today, you will drive 1.5 hours from Banff to Calgary, where you can explore and do some shopping. Then you will head to the airport, where you’ll leave your rental car and board the airplane for your return flight home.