Canada,

Bears, Whales & Vancouver on a Budget

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Tailor-Made Tour
10 Days
From £1877
GEOIP Not Available
Whale Watching
Budget

Tour Introduction

10 Days from £1877
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

This two-centre wildlife holiday is aimed at showcasing some of the best of British Columbia’s wildlife while keeping the costs down. This leisurely pace holiday focuses on the iconic wildlife that British Columbia is famed for, its bears and orcas. By travelling between mid-August and mid-September, there will be excellent chances to observe the spectacle of grizzly bears hunting chum salmon in the Orford River, whilst also observing the orcas in both the Salish Sea and Johnstone Strait. Black bears, humpback whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoises, Steller’s sea lions and bald eagles are all also likely to feature. There will also be time to enjoy exploring the vibrant city of Vancouver too, all whilst keeping the internal travel to a minimum.

Full Itinerary

Price from £1877
GEOIP Not Available
per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Arrive Vancouver

Arrival in Vancouver. Met on arrival at the airport with a private transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Staying at Century Plaza Hotel. Includes No Meals.

Day 2
Salish Sea

Enjoy the morning at leisure to recover from your flight. Around mid-day pick up from the hotel by shuttle bus for the transfer to Steventon.

Enjoy a shared guided whale watching trip into the Salish Sea and San Juan Islands to south of Vancouver in search of orcas and humpback whales.

Both Transient ‘mammal-eating’ orcas and southern resident 'fish-eating' orcas frequent these waters. The southern resident orcas are now sadly very endangered, but the transient orcas are more abundant.

Humpback whales are also now regular in this area particularly from June to September. Other wildlife likely to be seen includes huge Steller’s sea lions, Pacific harbour seals, many seabirds and bald eagles. Return to your hotel in the evening by shuttle bus.

Staying at Century Plaza Hotel. Includes No Meals.

Day 3
Vancouver

Enjoy a day at leisure in Vancouver to relax or explore independently. Optional tours are also available.

Downtown Vancouver offers many attractions such as the fascinating Museum of Anthropology, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Gastown Markets and the Vancouver Lookout Tower. While a little further out of town are the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain Cable Car for wonderful vistas.

Staying at Century Plaza Hotel. Includes No Meals.

Day 4
Campbell River

Today pick up from the hotel and transfer to Vancouver Airport’s South Terminal. Take Pacific Coastal Airlines flight to Campbell River. Met on arrival and transfer to your hotel on the shores of Discovery Passage. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the hotel or exploring the town of Campbell River with its attractions such as the Museum of First Nations history.

Staying at Painter's Lodge. Includes No Meals.

Day 5
Bute Inlet

Today depart the hotel for an exciting excursion by powerboat across the Discovery Channel and up the remote Bute Inlet Fjord. Disembark at the mouth of the river where a local First Nations guide will lead you to purpose built viewing stands overlooking the Orford River.

From mid-August to mid-October grizzly bears gather along this wild river to hunt returning chum salmon that spawn in the river. You may see bears walking the length of the river or actively hunting and splashing after the salmon. Bald eagles and Bonaparte’s gulls also make the most of the feast and the backdrop of autumn forest colours makes for a beautiful setting for this natural spectacle.

Large pods, sometimes 100 strong of Pacific white-sided dolphins also frequent the Bute Inlet and black bears are sometimes spotted foraging along the shorelines. Return to the lodge in the evening.

Staying at Painter's Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 6
Discovery Passage

Today enjoy a half day (5-6 hour) whale watching excursion into Discovery Passage and Johnstone Strait in search of its summer population of northern resident 'fish eating' orcas. The best period to see these “wolves of the sea” as they are often known is from late July until mid-September.

Besides these impressive predators you are also likely to spot majestic humpback whales that spend the summer feeding in the area. The acrobatic Dall’s porpoise are also found here and haul outs of huge Steller’s sea lions and harbour seals all add to the wildlife highlights on this trip.

Staying at Painter's Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 7
Bute Inlet

This morning take another bear watching trip into the wilds of Bute Inlet for more magical sightings of the magnificent grizzly bears there. In the evening, perhaps take an optional water taxi across the channel to April Point Resort for dinner.

Staying at Painter's Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Lunch.

Day 8
Campbell River

Today enjoy some time at leisure to explore Campbell River independently. Perhaps make a visit to the nearby QuinSam River Hatchery to learn more about the life cycle of the salmon that have made this region so famous. During the month of September this is a good location to spot black bears fishing for the salmon in the river. Perhaps also visit Elk Falls Provincial Park and Suspension Bridge.

Staying at Painter's Lodge. Includes Breakfast.

Day 9
Vancouver

Enjoy a final morning at leisure. Later, transfer 30 minutes to the Campbell River airport to take a Pacific Coastal Airlines flight back to Vancouver. On arrival in Vancouver, take the hotel shuttle (runs every 20 minutes) to the Pacific Gateway Hotel.

Staying at Pacific Gateway Hotel. Includes Breakfast.

Day 10
Depart Vancouver

Morning at leisure. Take the hotel shuttle back to the airport for your onward flight.

Includes No Meals.

Tour Accommodation

Canada Vancouver and the Salish Sea

Century Plaza Hotel

Overview

Century Plaza Hotel is a modern, comfortable hotel in the center of Downtown Vancouver. With suites and kitchen facilities available in rooms, it is a convenient accommodation option for guests staying in Vancouver. Due to its fantastic location near Nelson Park, the Scotiabank Theatre, and many restaurant and bars, this hotel is a perfect base from which to explore the attractions of the Downtown Vancouver area.

Rooms at the Century Plaza are spacious and large, and all options have either kitchenette or full kitchen facilities. Categories include studio suites, corporate studios, one bedroom twin or king suites, executive king suites and the penthouse suite on the 30th floor, offering fabulous panoramic views.

The hotel has a steak and wine restaurant, an all day coffee shop and cafe, and a comedy club and bar offering evening entertainment.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
240
Facilities

Italian restaurant, spa, coffee shop/cafe, comedy club, fitness center, conference rooms, ballroom, and guest amenity room with tea, coffee, computers, TV, laundry facilities, ice machine and photo booth. Rooms have free Wi-Fi, coffee and tea facilities, iron and ironing board, hairdryers and organic bathroom products. Corporate rooms also have working desks with printer/copier, and suites have either kitchenettes or full kitchens.

Optional Activities

There is a wide variety of attractions to explore in Vancouver, and staff at the hotel can assist guests in planning their time in the city.

Canada Vancouver Island

Painter’s Lodge

Overview

Painter’s Lodge is a legendary fishing lodge, located very close to the banks of Vancouver Island’s River Campbell (known as the ‘salmon capital of the world’), upon the shores of the Discovery Passage. It is a perfect destination for fishing and wildlife enthusiasts, with a range of experiences available to allow guests to immerse themselves in the stunning location and all it has to offer. These include many fishing options, whale watching, grizzly bear tours, wildlife tours and helicopter trips over the Discovery Islands.

The lodge offers traditional method ‘Tyee’ fishing, in which only non-motorised rowing boats are allowed in dedicated Tyee Pools. Guests will have a personal rower, allowing their sole focus to be upon their angling efforts. The main objective is to reel in a Tyee (meaning ‘chief’ or ‘great leader)’– a fish over 30lbs. Achieving this grants you membership of the Tyee Club of British Columbia. Tyee fishing is available from 15th July to 15th September each year.

The main building is an impressive colonial style lodge, containing ocean view and garden view rooms, as well as a selection of suites and a lounge bar and dining room. There are also several cabins nestled within the grounds, with options from one to three bedrooms available.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
94
Facilities

Lounge, dining room, pub, swimming pool, complimentary WiFi, flat screen television, coffee maker and a small refrigerator.

Local Wildlife

Campbell River is famed for having an abundance of Chinook salmon, but there are also many other fish, grizzly bears, orcas, porpoises, seals, sea lions, bald eagles and plenty of other marine birds.

Optional Activities

Fishing, whale watching, boat trips, helicopter tours, grizzly bear tours, spa treatments.

Canada Vancouver and the Salish Sea

Pacific Gateway Hotel

Overview

The hotel is one of the closest and most convenient for Vancouver airport, which is just 3 km away and for which it provides a regular complimentary 24/7 shuttle service. It is also just a 20-30-minute drive from the main city centre and is located adjacent to the Fraser River and marina with mountainous views in the other direction.

Several rooming categories are available, ranging from deluxe rooms to club rooms, and one or two-bedroom suites. All rooms can have different bed arrangements to suit individual requirements. Each ensuite room offers modern amenities including flat-screen cable TV, free Wi-Fi tea and coffee machines and a hairdryer. The hotel is ideal for those that need an overnight in Vancouver before or after a flight and do not wish to add extra travel time by going into the city centre.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
Yes
Rooms
382
Facilities

Rooms provide flat-screen cable TVs, free Wi-Fi, hairdryer, tea and coffee making facilities and bathroom amenities. The hotel has a small outdoor pool and fitness centre and a small souvenir stand. It also offers a business centre, airport shuttle service, atmospheric restaurant and bar and coffee and snack shop.

Optional Activities

City tours and shopping in Downtown Vancouver.

Route Map

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Pacific Gateway Hotel: 49.190967, -123.140476
Painter\'s Lodge: 50.056432, -125.266015
Century Plaza Hotel: 49.280865, -123.127029

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

Direct flight options from the UK to Vancouver include British Airways, Air Canada, WestJet and Air Transat.

Best Visited:

August to September

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Ian Loyd

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965