Canadian Wildlife & Vancouver Island - Reverse

15 days
from
£3,899
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Culture
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
PWX
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Natural Wonders
Group size:
6–13
Min age:
16

Enjoy the mountains, coastline and wildlife of Western Canada

The Canadian Rockies are incredible: rugged peaks, untouched fir forests and radiant glaciers interspersed with valleys rich with wildlife, from Black bears, to deer, moose and coyotes. Visit the unmissable sights of the Rockies and Lake Louise, as well as venturing far off the beaten track for a wilderness experience in Bella Coola and Tweedsmuir. Two dedicated Zodiac boat trips from Vancouver Island give us opportunities to spot bears and whales and get close to the wonderful nature this region is deservedly famous. A highlight is a ferry trip through the Inside Passage which reveals one of the richest marine habitats of the world.

Highlights

  • Zodiac tour to observe Orcas
  • Bear viewing Zodiac tour in Tofino
  • Unforgettable Inside Passage ferry journey spotting whales and birdlife
  • Relax in Miette Hot Springs
  • Visit remote Tweedsmuir Provincial Park and Bella Coola Valley
  • Explore Jasper and Banff national parks
  • Drive along the stunning Icefields Parkway, one of the 'best drives in the world'
  • See Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies
  • Endless wildlife viewing opportunities
  • Many walks and hikes amongst stunning scenery

Key information

  • Travel by minibus, ferry and zodiac
  • Some long drives
  • Group normally 6 to 13, plus leader. Min age 16yrs
  • Stay in a mix of hotels, lodges and cabins
  • This tour operates from Vancouver to Calgary
  • Countries visited: Canada

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Driver
  • We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

What's not included

  • Flights
  • All meals
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Optional activities
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Vancouver
to
Calgary
  • Day 1

    Start Vancouver

    Welcome to one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in the world, Vancouver. This cosmopolitan and diverse metropolis is a real contrast to the rest of British Columbia, but always proves to be a highlight. A highlight for many people is Stanley Park, a 400-hectare green wonderland where you can see authentic totem poles erected in the 1920s or sit in one of the cafes and enjoy a spot of people watching.

    A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs in the hotel lobby, where you'll meet your tour guide and fellow travellers.

    Accommodation: Hotel Accent Inn (or similar)

  • Day 2

    Vancouver to Victoria

    As you board the ferry to Vancouver Island and take in the amazing views across the Salish Sea, your Canadian adventure is under way! You'll arrive in Victoria, Vancouver Island's main city and the capital of British Columbia. It's a remarkable mix of English Edwardian, First Nations and Chinese architecture, and was home to the first Chinatown in Canada. Victoria is well-known for being the ultimate place to spot Orcas so we have included a zodiac tour to search for these magnificent mammals in their natural environment. In the late afternoon we'll also enjoy a brief tour of the city's highlights with free time for you to explore afterwards.

    Accommodation: Victoria Strathconia (or similar) 

  • Day 3

    To Ucluelet near Tofino

    Beaches, trails and rainforest await in the Pacific Rim - enjoy the scenery and breathe in that fresh island air! We follow one of the most picturesque and rugged coastal routes in British Columbia and keep an eye out for wildlife whilst enjoying the bracing sea breeze. The afternoon is free to enjoy as you wish with kayaking, hiking or the option to join a whale watching boat trip. Our overnight location will be Ucluelet (pronounced 'Yew-Kloo-Let') which is our base for the next two nights. 

    Optional activities:

    • Zodiac whale watching adventure CAD $130 per half day
    • Sea Kayaking CAD $130 per half day

    Accommodation: Canadian Princess Resort (or similar)

  • Day 4

    Morning boat excursion to observe Black bears; afternoon free for optional activities

    The west coast of Vancouver Island is well-known for its whale and bear sightings. This morning we undertake a boat trip for a unique chance to observe Black bears searching for crabs and clams on the rocky beaches near Tofino. Experienced on-board guides know the area in depth, and we may even be lucky enough to spot whales on this tour. The afternoon is free to enjoy another optional activity - try a zodiac whale watching boat trip, sea kayaking, or discover the many hiking trails in this area (see previous day for guideline prices)

    Accommodation: Canadian Princess Resort (or similar) 

  • Day 5

    Scenic drive via Cathedral Grove, to Port Hardy

    Leaving the west coast of Vancouver Island we drive north through some incredibly scenic areas. We'll make a stop at Cathedral Grove, where there are many trails which meander through the Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Grand Fir and Western Red Cedar trees. Our destination today is Port Hardy, Vancouver Island's most northerly town. Port Hardy was named after Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, former captain of HMS Victory, and is the gateway to the amazing stretch of water known as the Inside Passage.

    Accommodation: North Shore Inn (or similar) 

  • Day 6

    Ferry via the Inside Passage to Bella Coola

    An absolute delight for wildlife lovers, the Inside Passage offers one of the most amazing ferry journeys in the whole of North America, with everything from frozen fjords to forest-covered hillsides flanking your route. The journey involves taking a 10-hour direct ferry and the scenery is simply spectacular: towering, forest-clad peaks surround the deep fjords and those with a keen eye can often spot Bald eagles and bears. The Inside Passage also supports one of the world's richest marine environments and it may be possible to see Grey whales, Orcas, Pacific White Sided and occasionally Humpback whales. The remoteness of the Inside Passage is its most stunning feature; this area is largely inaccessible by road and the tiny communities that spread along it rely on boats for transportation. 

    Accommodation: Bella Coola Mountain Lodge (or similar)

  • Day 7

    Bella Coola

    Bella Coola is located at the point where the Bella Coola River joins with the saltwater of the Pacific Ocean. Here, amongst the lush valley bottoms and snow-capped peaks, some of the largest Grizzly bear in the world reside and this little community is gaining a reputation as one of the best places to spot them in British Columbia. The best time of year to view Grizzly bear is from the middle of August to the end of September as this is when they descend from the mountains to catch salmon in the rivers and eat berries. In season, it's possible to join an optional excursion in search of Grizzly bear. Outside of bear season there's a selection of excellent hikes on offer and plenty of optional activities, such as fishing and wildlife viewing.

    Optional activities:

    • Grizzly bear watching (mid Aug - end of Sept) CAD$195

    • Wildlife Rafting tour CAD$100

    Accommodation: Bella Coola Mountain Lodge (or similar)

  • Days 8-9

    Tweedsmuir Provincial Park

    Tweedsmuir Provincial Park is completely off the radar for most tour groups, despite being named as British Columbia's most beautiful park. It was named after the 15th Governor General of Canada, Baron Tweedsmuir, who travelled extensively throughout the area by float plane and horseback. The park has varied landscapes on offer, and you can expect to come face to face with rugged mountains, deep lush valleys and spectacular ocean fjords. A healthy population of Grizzly and Black bear exists throughout the park, as well as elk, deer, moose and coyote; it is possible to see any of these whilst visiting Tweedsmuir. Wildlife aside, the colours of the mountains combined with the flora and the wilderness feel will ensure that Tweedsmuir is a park that you'll remember. 

    Our overnight location for the next two nights is close to the shores of Anahim Lake, a popular lake for fly fishing that supports an eclectic mix of wildlife. There's an optional canoeing excursion on the lake which we recommend followed with a relaxing evening unwinding by the fireplace! This area has very basic facilities but is extremely beautiful and off the tourist trail.

    Please note: due to the remote nature of this property, some cabins will be more basic than others, often with shared bathroom facilities with a capacity of two to four people maximum. On rare occasions, you may have to use the bathrooms in the main lodge.

    Optional Activities:

    • Canoeing (Anahim Lake/Tweedsmuir) CAD$12 per hour

    Accommodation: Eagle Nest Resort Cabins (or similar) - multi share

  • Day 10

    Wells Gray Provincial Park

    Our travels continue to Clearwater, the gateway to Wells Gray Provincial Park where we can discover the parks forest trails and bewitching waterfalls.

    Accommodation: Clearwater Lodge (or similar)

  • Day 11

    Views of Mount Robson; to Jasper National Park

    As the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson is a stunning sight. Pause to take in over 3,000m (10,000 ft.) of snow-capped loveliness. We have the option to hike at Kinney Lake, located in the Mount Robson Provincial Park. A visit to Miette Hot Springs is included, to relax your muscles at the end of the day. Our overnight location will be around forty minutes out of town, in Jasper National Park.

    Accommodation: Pocahontas Cabins (or similar)

  • Day 12

    Jasper National Park

    Jasper is much quieter and less developed than Banff, which means it is much easier to escape the crowds and spend the day getting to know the national park and its surroundings. There are several options for today. We recommend taking the SkyTram and walking to the summit, which provides fantastic views over the Canadian Rockies. Alternatively, there are various hikes at Mount Edith Cavell including a short hike in the alpine meadows with chances to see caribou, and from where you'll enjoy spectacular views of Angel Glacier, a beautiful hanging glacier in the shape of angel wings.

    Optional activities:

    • SkyTram cable car CA$50
    • Float trip on the Athabasca River CA$70

    Accommodation: Pocahontas Cabins (or similar) 

  • Day 13

    Drive along Icefields Parkway to Banff

    Brace yourself, as this morning we travel on one of the most famous and beautiful drives in the world, the Icefields Parkway. This spectacular road traverses the Rockies, running parallel to the Continental Divide. Mountain passes, glaciers and high peaks are some of the many scenic highlights and there are opportunities to see elk, caribou, bears, Bighorn Sheep and goats, which often graze on the vegetation found at the roadside. We stop at all of the 'must see' sights, including Bow Summit and Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and Crowfoot Glacier. There is the option to enjoy a guided glacier walk along the way.

    Optional activities:
    • Guided glacier walk CA$100 (CA$60 for under 17s)

    Accommodation: Brewster Mountain Lodge (or similar)

  • Day 14

    Banff National Park

    Banff National Park is one of the highlights of any visit to Western Canada, with its magnificent mountains, lakes and forests. Banff was Canada's first national park and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Banff town can easily be explored on foot and with plenty of optional activities there's more than enough to fill your time. Check out the iconic Banff Springs Hotel where tourism in the Canadian Rockies first began, visit some of the many souvenir shops in town or take a short trail to the tumbling Bow Falls. You could also walk along Tunnel Mountain trail for a view of Banff and the Bow Valley. Take the gondola up to Sulphur Mountain for rewarding panoramic views of the Rockies, or simply relax in the heated, natural pools of the Banff Hot Springs.

    Optional activities:

    • Aerial gondola/tramway CAD$49-64
    • Hot Springs CA$9

    Accommodation: Brewster Mountain Lodge (or similar)

  • Day 15

    To Calgary; tour ends Calgary

    Today will be the end of your tour of the Canadian Rockies as you head to the city of Calgary, a cosmopolitan Alberta city with skyscrapers and a booming oil business industry. Calgary has historically been famous for its Wild West roots but in recent years it has become a dynamic and vibrant city. It’s oozing with the Western culture that earned it the nickname ‘Cowtown’, evident in the Calgary Stampede. If you'd like to extend your stay to take in the sights of Calgary after the tour ends, please make your accommodation reservation at the time of booking. For everyone else, it's time to say goodbye but rest assured you'll be leaving with plenty of wilderness memories, wildlife photographs and maybe even a few sticky maple syrup sweets for your journey home.

    This tour ends at our gateway hotel in Calgary at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book your post-tour accommodation if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

For anyone leaving from the UK we would be pleased to book your flight in conjunction with your tour. Please contact us for competitive prices on flights departing from most UK airports.

If you are booking your own flights, you are free to arrive at any time on day one but it is advisable that you arrive in plenty of time to reach your joining hotel and attend your welcome meeting. We also suggest that you book your return flight the day after your tour finishes. If you have to return home on the day your tour finishes, please make sure that your flight does not depart before 21:00 hrs.

Visas

Canada

The Government of Canada has an entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for some international travellers flying into Canada. Citizens from countries other than the US who do not require a visa to enter Canada are required to obtain an eTA before entering the country. Eligible travellers will need to go online to apply for their eTA.

To apply for your eTA you will need your passport, credit or debit card and an email address. At the time of publication there was a CAD$7 fee to process your eTA. Your eTA will be valid for a period of five years, or until your passport expires. We recommend you carry a print out of your eTA approval when you travel. Please visit www.canada.ca/eTA to apply.

If you have not applied for and received authorisation via an eTA prior to travel you may be denied boarding, experience a delayed processing or be denied admission at the Canadian point of entry. However, neither possession of a visa nor meeting the basic requirements for travelling visafree on the eTA, guarantees admission to Canada. As with most countries, the final determination of admissibility is made by immigration officials at the point of entry.

Vaccinations

Canada

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

No meals included.

On this tour no meals are included and instead you will usually eat out in local restaurants.

To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from CAD$6-$12, lunches from CAD$8-$15 and dinners from CAD$13-$30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately CAD$5 per glass and beer CAD$4 per bottle. 

Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in Canadian restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.

Your tour guide may offer your group the option to operate a ‘lunch only’ food kitty; this has proven to be a popular alternative to three daily restaurant meals. Tour guides will explain this option while on your tour, and the whole group will have to agree for this system to run. 

Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate for various dietary requirements but in certain parts of Canada certain food types can be limited.

Weather

Temperatures in the coastal region around Vancouver average 22ºC in summer, but can reach as high as 30ºC in the low lying interior. June and September are usually a bit cooler, and the coast can get rain at any time of year. The mountains have typically unpredictable weather; sun, cloud, rain and even snow can all be experienced in a day!

Is this trip for you?

This tour has been graded 2: Leisurely/Moderate

Although each tour follows an itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility and from time to time your tour leader may suggest changes. This may be due to road conditions, weather or a visit to a special attraction or event that happens to be in progress. Flexibility is key and often a side diversion will be a highlight of the tour. Hikes and optional activities cannot be guaranteed and may vary depending on ability, group interest, local weather conditions and time of year.

Tour guides will organise the optional activities available and you can pay locally in cash for these. You’ll find the main optional activities listed above under each itinerary day description, along with guideline prices. Please note that it may not be possible to do all optional activities listed on each tour.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, lodges and cabins

5 hotel nights, 5 lodge nights and 4 cabin nights.

Accommodation will be in clean, comfortable hotels or lodges with en-suite bathroom facilities, chosen for their friendly atmosphere and proximity to the highlights of the region. We also use cabins on this tour which are more simple but due to the remote locations these are the best options available. 

At our accommodation in Tweedsmuir, some cabins will be more basic than others, often with shared bathroom facilities with a capacity of two to four people maximum. On rare occasions, you may have to use the bathrooms in the main lodge. Due to the nature of this accommodation, single supplements cannot be guaranteed for these two nights of the tour. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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