Grizzlies, Orcas and Black Bears (6 nights)
Day 1 Vancouver to Campbell River (177 km/105 mi + Ferry)
Depart Vancouver for Horseshoe Bay and sail for 1 hr 45 min on BC Ferries (ferry fare included) to Vancouver Island. On arrival, head north through Vancouver Island’s second largest city, Nanaimo, known as the Harbour City, and Parksville, the beginning of Beach Country and home of the annual International Sandcastle Competition. Your destination today is the city of Campbell River, historically renowned as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” lying at the heart of neighbouring Strathcona Park, Desolation Sound, Mount Washington and Robson Bight. Surrounded by the backdrop of Strathcona Provincial Park to the west and the Coastal Mountain range to the east, massive cruise ships pass right by Campbell River’s doorstep, and their parade of lights is best viewed from world-famous Discovery Pier as they venture up the Inside Passage for Alaskan destinations. Overnight Herron’s Landing.
Day 2 Campbell River to Knight Inlet Lodge and the Grizzly Bears
Today’s destination, Knight Inlet Lodge, is not accessible by road, so you’ll fly in by floatplane from Campbell River. A thrilling 30 minute flight brings you to the mouth of the Glendale River where Knight Inlet Lodge floats on large cedar booms. Bring your camera - you’ll be going on a bear watching and wildlife viewing tour in search of the grizzly bears that frequent this area. Overnight at Knight Inlet Lodge (lunch and dinner is included).
Day 3 Knight Inlet Lodge to Tofino (225 km / 140 mi)
Early this morning return to the Bear Viewing platforms for a last photo opportunity before departing for Campbell River by floatplane. Arrival time is between 10.30 & 11.00am, collect your car and head south west to Tofino on the rugged West Coast. En-route, picture stops should be made at Cathedral Grove to enjoy the splendour of 800 year old Douglas Fir and Cedar. Plus, the Mars Water-Bombers at Sproat Lake, the world’s two largest water-bombers used for the sole purpose of putting out forest fires. After the Mars Water-Bombers drive through the majestic Sutton Pass and the Sawtooth Range of the Cascade Mountains to arrive in Tofino around mid afternoon. Two nights Black Rock Resort.
Day 4- Tofino Choose 1 of 2 cruises Whale Watch or Black Bear Cruise
Today enjoy a Whale Watch cruise in search of gray whales, humpback whales, sea lions, sea birds and resident bald eagles, or Bear Viewing Cruise in search of black bears who head for the closest food source – the ocean!
Day 5 Tofino to Victoria (313 km/195 mi)
Travel back to the east coast of Vancouver Island and head south to Victoria. En-route stops should be made at the artist community of Chemainus, where you can admire the giant murals which adorn the exterior walls throughout the town, and Duncan the “City of Totems”. If time permits visit the Quw’utsun’ Heritage Village which provides you with an insight into the lives of the northwest coast people (seasonal hours – admission not included). Two nights Inn at Laurel Point
Day 6 (Orca) Killer Whale Watch Cruise & Victoria Exploring
This morning depart on an exhilarating round trip of 50 to 80 kilometres in search of orcas, minke whales, grey whales, porpoises, harbour seals and other marine wildlife. This afternoon is free to explore Victoria, with its turn of the century architecture, British traditions such as high tea and
shops full of woollens and china.
Day 7 Victoria to Vancouver (69 km/43 mi + Ferry)
Leaving Victoria drive the short and scenic route to Butchart Gardens (admission included) - fifty-five acres of wonderful floral display, continue driving north to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal for a 90 min ferry ride (ferry fare included) to Tsawwassen. On board BC ferries enjoy the scenery of the Gulf Islands as you cross the Strait of Georgia. From Tsawwassen continue on to Vancouver Airport for your flight out.