Olympic coastline

Olympic & Vancouver Island In-Depth

7 days
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£2,649
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Trip code: 
AHG
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Natural Wonders
Max group size:
13

Washington State and British Columbia are two of the most beautiful places on earth, so it makes perfect sense to combine them. The rugged beauty and old-growth forest of Olympic National Park salute its equally dramatic and rugged coastline. Visit the Hoh Rain Forest and explore a walking trail in search of deer, but also to see what this ‘Lord of the Rings’ style wilderness looks like. Drive out to Rialto Beach on the wild Pacific Coast and walk one of the beach trails to see the gigantic sea stacks protruding from the water.  Take to the water to explore the area surrounding idyllic Lake Crescent by kayak. The mountains mirror image casts a beautiful reflection as your paddle cuts the water. Vancouver Island in British Columbia also shares the Pacific coastline which is frequented by Orca Whales and bear. Victoria in BC, is well-known for being one of the finest places in North America to observe Orca Whales so we’ve included a Zodiac tour in search of these magnificent creatures.

Highlights

  • Orca Whale spotting boat trip in Victoria, British Columbia
  • Bear viewing Zodiac tour around protected beaches and inlets of the Tofino coastline
  • Hoh Rainforest, one of Washington State’s most beautiful wilderness areas

Key information

  • 2 luxury yurt nights, 2 historic lake cabin nights and 2 hotel nights
  • 7 days land only
  • Group normally 1 to 13, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Travel by private vehicle, boat, kayak and ferry

What's included

  • All accommodation (please see accommodation section)
  • 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Optional activities
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 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.

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Seattle

    Welcome to the city of Seattle in Washington State. You’re in a city that oozes cool, from sophisticated coffee shops to endless markets, not forgetting the iconic Space Needle. From here you can gaze across the beautiful Puget Sound, and on a clear day see the snow-capped peak of Mount Rainier. Spend your afternoon sampling local specialties and watching traders ‘tossing the fish’ at Pike Place Market before having a meeting at 18:00 hrs. Included is a welcome dinner so you can become better acquainted with your tour leader and fellow travellers.

  • Day 2

    Olympic National Park

    With its incredible range of precipitation and elevation, diversity is what makes Olympic National Park one of the most unique in North America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning almost a million acres, the park protects old-growth rainforests, wildlife and several distinctly opposing ecosystems and is, for the most part, an untouched wilderness area. Let’s not forget about the 70 miles of wild and rugged Pacific coastline with sculpted sea stacks.

    Our first visit is the Hoh Rain Forest, an old-growth forest located in the stretch of the Pacific Northwest rainforest which once panned the Pacific coast from southeastern Alaska to the central coast of California. A visit to  this temperate forest is like walking into a Lord of the Rings film set. Moss drips from the trees, dense trees camouflage deer seeking refuge and it is perhaps the perfect example of a forest which constantly renews itself from fallen trees. You’ll overnight in cabins by beautiful Lake Crescent, the ideal place to watch the setting sun.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Olympic National Park

    In the morning, you head off to Rialto Beach on Olympic’s wild Pacific coast. Think rocky beaches, giant drift logs, pounding waves and views of small islands called ‘sea stacks’, and that is Rialto. You begin your hike at the car park for the two mile trail along the beach to Hole-in-the-Wall. You’ll notice immediately the huge array of trees and gigantic pieces of drift wood which have reached their final resting place near the top of the beach. They gather up like beached whales, rising from the sand. As you continue along the beach, you’ll see all number of different creatures from whales, sea lions and otters offshore to birds circling overhead and starfish lining the rock pools. When the tide is out, you can scramble through the rocky arch for panoramic views of the other side. 

    In the afternoon, you take to the water only seconds from your cabins to head out on kayaks. The calmness of the water, peacefulness and mountain reflections make for a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

    Optional Activities:
    Sol Duc Hot Springs US$15

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Port Angeles - Victoria, British Columbia

    This morning you make your way to Port Angeles to board the ferry for Victoria in Canada’s British Columbia. Victoria is well-known as an ideal place to spot Orca Whales, so it seems fitting that we include an Orca viewing Zodiac tour designed to search for these magnificent mammals. Zodiacs are rigid-hulled inflatable boats and respected worldwide for their safety and superior design. With two engines and seating for twelve, they’re perfect for people who want to experience an exhilarating ride in the open air. What an introduction to your first day in Canada!

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    MacMillan Provincial Park - Pacific Rim National Park - Tofino, British Columbia

    You make your way around the coastal road before heading inland and up to Cathedral Cove in MacMillan Provincial Park. Here you will find the rare and endangered remnants of an ancient Douglas fir ecosystem. The oldest trees date back roughly 800 years and can grow as tall as 75 metres with a diameter of around nine metres. This area is a testament to nature’s ability to survive, which it did during a fire that ravaged the area some 360 years ago.

    Continue inland until you reach Pacific Rim National Park where you walk the Schooner Cove Trail. This is a short but popular two kilometre hike
    within the national park and relatively manageable for most fitness levels. The trail meanders through lush rainforests and over streams before
    arriving to the beachfront and serving up magnificent vistas. From here  you continue onto the Tofino area where you check into the WAY Point Resort Yurts - a unique platform tenting experience. Set just steps from the ocean, this glamping accommodation and sound of the water will lull you to sleep over the next two nights.

    Optional Activities:
    Sea kayaking - Tofino CA$75- $90

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Tofino, British Columbia

    Even though today is all about bears, don’t be surprised if you also see whales and Bald Eagles, which are commonly spotted from the Zodiacs. Enjoy a scenic boat ride on waters of the Clayoquot Sound inlets whereby it won’t be long before you’re exploring the protected wilderness beaches and inlets which the bears call home. From late spring to October, it is common for bears to come down after hibernation, to feed on shellfish and crustaceans. The benefit of travelling by Zodiac is this allows us to get close enough without disturbing or causing them distress, or upsetting their natural feeding patterns. It is here you have the chance to witness mothers teaching their young cubs, and can observe them climbing trees and playing on the beach.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Vancouver

    It’s time to say goodbye to Vancouver Island as you set off from Nanaimo on a scenic ferry to the mainland across the Salish Sea, admiring small islands and the breathtaking panorama of the city of Vancouver as it comes into view. This cosmopolitan and diverse metropolis is a real contrast to the rest of British Columbia, but always proves to be a highlight. Enjoy a scenic drive through Stanley Park, a 400-hectare green wonderland with authentic totem poles erected in the 1920s; and stop by Prospect Point, a scenic lookout where you can gaze out at spectacular views of Lions Gate Bridge, North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

    Optional Activities:
    Capilano Suspension Bridge Park - Vancouver CA$43 (post tour without the tour leader)

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

    Meals included: Breakfast
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

This In-depth tour offers an experiential journey of Washington State and Vancouver Island, whilst delivering superior comfort. Stay in a combination of luxury yurts, historic lakeside cabins and boutique hotels which really bring the flavours of the area to life. The tour has been specifically crafted to suit those looking to travel shorter distances but dig deeper into national parks and monuments, and benefit from specialist guides with expert local knowledge. This tour includes more meals, plus a host of unique activities to ensure a once-in-a-lifetime holiday experience.

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.

United States

British, New Zealand, Swiss and most EU passport holders do not need a visa (and enter the country under the Visa Waiver Program), provided they are in possession of an onward air ticket when entering the USA. Visas for the USA are required by some nationalities and it is always best to check with the relevant embassies. All passengers travelling to and from the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to hold a machine-readable passport (MRP). A MRP has the holder's personal details, e.g. name, date of birth, nationality and their passport number contained in two lines of text at the base of the photo page. This text may be read by machine. The US now charges $14 for the visa waiver program and must be paid by credit card. The US authorities have introduced a mandatory requirement for all passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme to register for an Electronic Travel Authority. As of 21 January 2016, any person who has travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria since March 2011, or have dual nationalities of these countries, may no longer qualify for the VWP. For additional specifics about the VWP please consult the VWP information on the U.S. Embassy London website. More information and all necessary Internet links can be found at www.exodus.co.uk/Usvisa

Vaccinations

Canada

There are no specific health risks.

United States

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for this trip.

Eating and Drinking

There are a number of meals included on this in-depth tour, and others where you will eat out in local restaurants. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-12, lunches from US$8-15 and dinners from US$13-30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.

Your tour leader 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. Leaders 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 North America certain food types can be limited.

Weather

Weather patterns in Washington State and Vancouver Island can be temperamental and whilst we operate this tour during the peak summer months, it is entirely possible that you may encounter some rain or cooler temperatures than the rest of the lower American 48 States. It is for this reason that being prepared is so important. Please follow the temperature guide to help you prepare for your trip.

AHG weather chart

AHG weather chart

Is this trip for you?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Grand American Adventures (GAA). As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Grand American Adventures, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you are used to. GAA operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

This active tour is suitable for people of most levels of experience and fitness. If you intend to hike within the national parks whilst on tour, it is recommended to engage in some physical preparation for this trip. Active tours are about exploring the places your visit, whether by sightseeing, hiking or by kayak. Walks, hikes and activities cater to everyone from beginner to expert, ranging in difficulty from easy to strenuous.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 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

Yurt, Cabin & Hotels

Hotel accommodation will be in clean, comfortable boutique hotels and unique overnight stops that bring the flavour of the areas to life. They will all be in close proximity to the highlights of the region. You will be roomed with a fellow passenger of the same sex on a twin share basis (two people per room) unless you are travelling as a couple. Each hotel used is listed within the itinerary so you are comfortable with the standard at the time of booking. They are subject to change for a similar style/standard , although we endeavour to stick to the advertised itinerary as closely as possible. 

On the Olympic Peninsula in northwest Washington we stay at Historic Lake Crescent Lodge, it was built in 1915 and is ideal for experiencing the charm of a turn-of-the-century resort. The comfortable, spacious guest rooms are nestled among the giant fir and hemlock trees on the shores of beautiful Lake Crescent. You’ll stay in cabins on the lodge grounds.

A unique platform yurt experience on Vancouver Island’s wild West Coast awaits you. Set just steps from the ocean, you will enjoy stunning daytime vistas and be lulled to sleep at night by the waves of the Pacific. The yurts have direct access to private beaches within the WYA Point Resort.

Single supplement on request, please call your sales consultant for prices and availability. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 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

As another year flies past, it’s time for us to ask ourselves one simple question: where next?

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday 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]

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.

Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any delays, cancellations, changes to your flights, or any missed flights. We are unable to delay a tour, or finish a tour early due to your flight times.

Call us on 020 8772 3936