2017 Canada - The Best of the West
Wed 23 Auckland – Seattle D
Depart Auckland on Air New Zealand to arrive in San Francisco around midday and change planes for Seattle. On arrival, transfer to the hotel for a two night stay.
Welcome dinner tonight.
Thurs 24 Seattle B
This morning, depart on a sightseeing tour of Seattle, a booming port-town with one of America’s most impressive skylines. Odd-shaped towers, historic buildings, modern skyscrapers, Mt Rainier and the busy waterfront all stand alongside each other in a jaunty kind of disharmony. The Boeing Tour at the Future of Flight Aviation Centre will show you where Air New Zealand Dreamliner aeroplanes are built.
Fri 25 Victoria B
Departure by coach from Seattle to Port Angeles, arriving early afternoon. Take afternoon ferry to Victoria, British Columbia’s provincial capital, arriving at your downtown hotel early evening.
Sat 26 Victoria B D
A morning visit to the internationally-acclaimed Butchart Gardens where thousands of species of floral plants and trees are found in a vast amphitheatre of rock, creating a wonderland of colour in this former rock quarry.
After lunch return to Victoria to enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city including Beacon Hill Park, Thunderbird Park, the Empress Hotel and Oak Bay.
Sun 27 Campbell River B
Today sample modern and ancient British Columbia culture as we travel up the coast of Vancouver Island. We step back into the province’s past with visits to Chemainus and its spectacular native murals and on to the towering totem pole grotto of Duncan. Arrive in the small coastal town of Campbell River for a two night stay.
Mon 28 Campbell River B
A day to relax in the town or take one of these optional tours.
1) Wildlife and Whales Tour – Today’s wildlife and whales’ tour showcases the stunning scenery of Desolation Sound and Bute Inlet and the abundant marine wildlife in the surrounding water. Pods of transient orcas frequent the area, black bears forage for crab and fish on the rocky shores of Bute Inlet, seals and sea lions rest on rock islands, bald eagles fish at the amazing rapids near Sonora Island. If you are lucky, you may encounter playful white-sided dolphins jumping out of the water and riding the waves of the boat. A picnic lunch is included. Approx. NZD189.00 per person
2) Grizzly Bear Safari, Orford River – This grizzly bear safari starts with a two- hour boat ride to the mainland. Disembark to a welcome by a First Nation guide. Transport is by minibus to the various platforms where grizzly bears forage and fish for salmon in the rivers and streams. This area has the perfect conditions for the bears to hunt for food as they prepare for hibernation. A picnic lunch plus bottled water is included. Approx. NZD350.00 per person
Tues 29 Port Hardy B
Continue farther north as the road turns inland, visit Telegraph Cove before arriving in Port Hardy on the North West end of Victoria Island.
Wed 30 Port Hardy – Prince Rupert B
Cameras at the ready! This morning we board a spectacular BC Ferries ship to set sail on an incredible full-day cruise along the coast of British Columbia to the inlet community of Prince Rupert. The famous and popular Inside Passage is one of the most spectacular waterways in Canada, showcasing the rugged shorelines of the Pacific Northwest. The days are long so the 9pm arrival in Prince Rupert will be perfect.
Thurs 31 Prince Rupert B
Enjoy a short orientation tour of the port city of Prince Rupert which is situated at the mouth of the Skeena River. Known as the gateway to British Columbia’s North Coast, Prince Rupert is known for its natural harbour, seafood restaurants and animal sanctuaries. Continue on to nearby Port Edward to visit the North Pacific Cannery Museum. Afternoon at leisure to explore the city.
Fri 01 Prince Rupert – Prince George B L D
An early morning boarding of the VIA Rail Skeena Train. Follow the mighty Skeena River, see rustic settlements and sawmills before crossing the interior plateau and winding through the Yellow Head Pass. Overnight at Prince George.
Sat 02 Prince George – Jasper B L D
Continue our rail journey on The Skeena with spectacular views of the majestic Canadian Rockies and Jasper National Park emerge as you near Jasper. Arrive early evening for a two night stay.
Sun 03 Jasper B
Today a full day sightseeing tour of Jasper exploring Maligne Canyon before reaching Maligne Lake, the largest lake in the Canadian Rockies and one of the most photographed scenes in Canada. Embark on a narrated cruise and return to Jasper in the mid-afternoon.
Mon 04 Jasper – Banff B D
Today promises to be another highlight of our programme. Travel south along the Icefield Parkway to experience a wealth of breath-taking scenery. Crystal blue-green lakes, fresh mountain streams, deep forests and snow-capped mountain peaks are the order of the day. Upon arrival at the Columbia Icefield, a specially constructed snow coach will take us on the surface of the Athabasca Glacier, a special experience. Continue our journey to Banff.
Tues 05 Banff B
This morning we tour the region around Banff. The area became Canada’s first National Park in 1885 to protect its natural hot springs. We visit the landmark
Banff Springs Hotel, Tunnel Mountain, and Bow Falls. We then travel to Lake Louise – one of the most photographed scenes in Canada.
Wed 06 Banff – Kelowna B
Our coach today follows a route chartered by the railroad engineers and fur traders of the mid 1800’s. Kicking Horse Pass leads us from the Rockies into Columbia River Valley before we climb through Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park. The Selkirk Mountains receive massive amounts of winter snow. We pass the Monashee Mountain range and travel south into the fertile Okanagan Valley.
Thurs 07 Kelowna B L
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Okanagan Valley, where wineries, vineyards, orchards and mountains abound. Highlights include a winery tour and tasting.
Fri 08 Kelowna – Vancouver B
Leave the Okanagan Valley and mountains behind, passing through the lower mainland. Few roads in Canada pass through a greater variety of vegetation in such a short distance than Highway 3 between Osoyoos and Tashme. At the western end there are dense rain forests; to the east is a desert where prickly pear cactus thrive. We drive the Coquihalla Highway to Vancouver for a two night stay.
Sat 09 Vancouver B D
Our morning sightseeing tour of Vancouver features such highlights as Stanley Park to see the collection of totem poles, English Bay, Canada Place and the Cruise Ship Pier, Gastown and Chinatown. An afternoon to follow your own interests.
Our farewell dinner is tonight.
Sun 10 Vancouver – Auckland B
Morning at leisure before checking out of the hotel. Visit Granville Island, and area of artists, cafes and waterfront views before transferring to the Vancouver International Airport for your flight home.
Mon 12 Arrive Auckland
* Itinerary subject to change