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CANADA

NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA WILDERNESS AND GRIZZLY BEARS

Prices From*
£ 4895

Accommodation Throughout
International Flights
All Transfers

All our holidays can be tailor-made to meet your specific requirements.


Overview


Our 14-day Northern British Columbia Wilderness and Grizzly Bear tour takes you through some of Canada’s most pristine wilderness on two rail journeys. VIA Rail’s overnight ‘Canadian’ train starts in Vancouver and climbs up through the towering Rocky Mountains to Jasper, while the ‘Skeena’ trundles through forests and the rugged interior of Northern British Columbia to the Pacific Coast mountains of Prince Rupert. Tour the Rockies along the scenic Icefield Parkway, visiting the Columbia Icefields, Lake Louise and Banff. Sail through the Inside Passage and past enchanting islands from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy, before flying by seaplane to Great Bear Nature Lodge in the Great Bear Rainforest for a three-day bear watching adventure.

What's Included
Western & Oriental - Accommodation Throughout
Accommodation Throughout
Western & Oriental - International Flights
International Flights
Western & Oriental - All Transfers
All Transfers

Itinerary


Day 1 - UK to Vancouver
Upon arrival at Vancouver Airport you will be transferred to your downtown hotel. If time permits we recommend you take a stroll to the waterfront and Gastown for dinner.
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Day 2 - Train Journey Aboard VIA Rail’s ‘Canadian’
Explore Vancouver at your leisure. Take the Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour which showcases most of Vancouver’s highlights at over 20 stops along the route. Highlights include Vancouver’s beautiful Stanley Park and a ferry ride to Granville Island. Late afternoon make your way to Pacific Central Station where you will board the ‘Canadian’ train for your overnight rail journey through the Canadian Rockies to Jasper.
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Day 3 - Train Journey Through Canadian Rockies to Jasper
Wake this morning to views of the North Thomson River and Cariboo Mountains. By lunchtime you will be climbing high up in to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, passing Pyramid Falls, the Albreda Icefields and Mount Robson along the way. Cross over Yellowhead Pass and the border in to Alberta to arrive in Jasper late afternoon. Accommodation: Sawridge Inn
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Day 4 - Jasper to Banff including Ice Explorer and Glacier Skywalk
Travel along the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic drives on your day tour from Jasper to Banff. You will visit the Columbia Icefield and drive up on to Athabasca Glacier and gingerly walk along the glass-floored Glacier Skywalk, suspended high above the valley floor from the cliff face. Photo stops are made at Athabasca Falls, Bow and Peyto Lakes and Lake Louise before arriving at Banff. 
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Day 5 - Banff Sightseeing Including Banff Gondola
Visit Banff’s highlights including Bow Falls, Surprise Corner where you have views over Bow River to the castle-like Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Your scenic tour visits the glacial-fed Lake Minnewanka before finishing at Banff Gondola where you ascend to an altitude of 2,281 metres in eight minutes. Enjoy 360-degree views from the rooftop observation deck and follow the Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk to scenic outlooks. Return to Banff at your leisure.
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Day 6 - Banff to Jasper
The morning is at your leisure to explore Banff town before your afternoon express coach transfer back to Jasper.
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Day 7 - Jasper to Prince George Aboard VIA Rail’s ‘Skeena’ Train
Today, board VIA Rail’s ‘Skeena’ for a wondrous rail journey through Northern British Columbia’s Cariboo Region. Pass Mount Robson before descending through forests of spruce, fir and pine to British Columbia’s rugged interior plateau. Trundle through remote farming communities such as Dunster, with its quaint general store. The railroad follows the northern arm of the Fraser River to Prince where you will spend the night. Accommodation: Sandman Signature Prince George
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Day 9 - Ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy
Today you board B.C. Ferry’s Northern Adventure on your journey through the Inside Passage. Departing Prince Rupert at 7:30am, you will spend all day on board as you sail through this maze of enchanting islands, always keeping a look out for wildlife and watching the ever-changing vistas as you pass fjords and densely forested shorelines. You are scheduled to arrive in Port Hardy, Vancouver Island at 11:30pm.
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Day 10 - Day at Leisure in Port Hardy
You have a full day to explore Port Hardy at your leisure. We suggest an early morning stroll along Storey’s Beach and along the seawall of Hardy Bay for spectacular views of the ocean and British Columbia’s coastal mountains. Take a guided tour of the hatchery at the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre or try and catch a fish along the shore or nearby rivers.
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Day 11 - Great Bear Lodge
A leisurely morning can be spent in Port Hardy before your afternoon scenic seaplane flight over Queen Charlotte Strait to Great Bear Nature Lodge. Travel by boat to one of the estuary viewing sites or by bus along a wilderness track to one of the river viewing sites in search of Black and Grizzly bears. Return to the lodge for a gourmet dinner.
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Day 12 - Great Bear Lodge
This morning you will head out to one of the viewing sites in the estuaries or along the river where bears have been most active on previous days. Each viewing session is typically three hours, depending on bear sightings. After you have had lunch at the lodge you can relax or join an interpretive rainforest walk before heading out on another bear-viewing adventure. 
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Day 13 - Great Bear Lodge
Bears are most active early morning and late afternoon so your bear-watching activities will be scheduled for these times. This afternoon you may prefer to explore the glacier-carved inlet looking out for bears and marine wildlife such as otters or birdlife including bald eagles.
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Day 14 - Port Hardy to Vancouver to UK
This morning will be a last opportunity to explore the wilderness in search of Black and Grizzly bears before boarding your seaplane for your return flight to Port Hardy and onwards by scheduled aircraft to Vancouver connecting to your homeward flight.
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Tour Notes  


Due to schedules of rail journeys and the B.C Ferry from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy this tour operates on restricted dates as shown below. Dates with an * require one additional night in Port Hardy at an additional cost.

 

Highlights:

• International return flights from UK to Vancouver
• Private airport transfer on arrival
• 1 night at Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver in a Superior City View Room on a room only basis
• Private sleeper bedroom aboard Via Rail’s ‘Canadian’ overnight journey including breakfast and lunch
• Transfer from Jasper Rail Station to hotel
• 2 nights at Sawridge Inn, Jasper in an Outside Room with Balcony on a room only basis
• Full day tour from Jasper to Banff including picnic lunch
• Ice Explorer ride onto Athabasca Glacier
• Glacier Skywalk
• 2 nights at Banff Caribou Lodge, in a standard room on a room only basis
• Sightseeing tour of Banff including Banff Gondola
• Express coach transfer from Banff to Jasper
• Via Rail ‘Skeena’ train in economy class between Jasper and Prince Rupert
• 1 night at Sandman Signature Prince George Hotel in a Signature Room on a room only basis
• 1 night at Prestige Prince Rupert Hotel in a Standard Room on a room only basis
• B.C. Ferries Inside Passage cruise from Prince Rupert to Port hardy with reserved seating in private lounge
• 2 nights at Quarterdeck Inn, Port Hardy in a Standard Room including breakfast
• Floatplane transfers to Great Bear Lodge
• 3 nights at Great Bear Lodge on a full board basis including bear-watching and wildlife activities
• Scheduled flight between Port Hardy and Vancouver
• National Park fees

 

UK Departure dates:

June 2018 – 14, 16*, 18, 28* 30
July 2018 – 2, 12, 14, 16*, 26
August 2018 – 9*, 11, 13, 23, 25, 27*
Upgrades from Economy Class to Touring Class on VIA Rail’s ‘Skeena’ are available on the following UK departure dates:
June 2018 – 14, 18, 28
July 2018 – 2, 12, 16, 26
August 2018 – 9, 14, 23, 27

 

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