Western Canada highlights tour

“Adventurous and scenic West Canada vacation from Vancouver, featuring bears, whales and sea kayaking.”

Highlights

Vancouver | Vancouver Island | Victoria | Whale watching | Pacific Rim National Park | Bear-watching by boat through the fjords | Quadra Island | Hiking and sea kayaking |

Travel Team

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Departure information

Everything is tweak-able, giving you the freedom to build a unique and personal trip for your chosen date. Upgrade your accommodation for all - or just part - of your trip, slow down the pace with few extra nights here and there or add a few more active adventures along the way.
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Responsible tourism

Western Canada highlights tour

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

This itinerary focuses on the rich wildlife of Vancouver Island. We work with partners here who share our passion for the welfare of the local wildlife. All of our guides also know the areas very well and show respect and care when taking clients around on the trips, ensuring that all clients keep a safe distance away from the animals so as not to negatively impact their environment.

Wherever possible, we also actively support accommodations that have their own environmental policies in place and encourage clients and staff to practice care and compassion towards their local environment.

In our 'Know Before You Go' documentation, which is sent to our clients before they travel, we encourage our clients to take care with their own water usage and ensure that they do all that they can to protect the environment of the destination they are traveling to.

Our environmental policy begins in our Brighton office where we are very passionate about recycling - using a local company to ensure we all know where our waste is going, we encourage a no wastage policy - asking staff to take leftover food home and try to use as little paper as possible.

Community

We share the same values as our local partners, ensuring our clients are taken to the ‘real’ Canada in an authentic and meaningful way. Our partners are locally-based in central British Columbia and comply with all relevant laws that protect the rights of their employees.

In our pre-travel documentation, we inform our travelers on the appropriate customs and etiquette when traveling in Canada, including the cultural sensitivities around First Nation cultures and traditions.

Wherever possible, we use locally owned accommodation that supports the communities in the area and provides employment to the local population. For example, our first-choice accommodation on Quadra Island, is owned and run by the local First Nation population.

Closer to home, we support local communities and businesses in our Brighton-based office, with daily lunches from a vegetarian catering company, stationery and waste collection provided by a local company and selecting partners based on their values and company ethos.

1 Reviews of Western Canada highlights tour

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 05 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing black bears turning rocks to find crabs, and a grizzy eating salmon.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Dont bother with the glacier walk, but walk up the Wilcox pass track instead. The comercialization of the glacier (monster trucks driving onto it) and the apparent lack of concern by the guide about its exctiction were heartbreaking.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


The Grizzy trip to the Homalco reserve seemed to benefit local people, as did the bike ride in Stanley Park. Otherwise there were a surprising number of english voices to be heard !

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


We had a fabulous trip- but there were a few disappointments and near misses.
The 2 cosal bear watching trips were great. The food at the Lodge was by some margin the worst (and most expensive ) we came across. - best meal was at Forage in Vancouver. Reception at the lodge suggested a safari might pick us up, though because of bad weather they couldnt, but that it was a free ferry trip as a foot passenger and a short walk. We had been told there was no food on the trip and that we had to take some. We got food at a cafe but had to wait 10mins for it. When we arrived at 11.40 for a 12.00 trip they were in the process of leaving without us. We had not been informed of a change of time due to weather, despite the lodge having spoken to them the day before, and I had emailed to find out where the fantastic local bakery was (they didnt reply). They were quite rude that we didnt know of a change of plan and would have left without us , luckily they hadn't else we would have been furious and very disappointed. We also found out they did provide food- but not vegetarian without advance notice, which of course we didnt know about. Our instructions for finding Chalets in Jasper seemed to have been written as if coming from Banff which caused us some confusion initially! As I have said the glacier walk was a big disappointment and a very sad place. We thought it a bit odd we were then booked at the Crossing resort which wasnt far away, but it worked out well as we drove ahead and the back in the afternoon, the next day following the guides suggestion went for a walk up Wilcox pass, where we got great views and light snow. So we in effect had 2 days driving the Icefield Parkway which was great. Because the weather was so changable we went via lake Louise to Banff. I tried to contact the local operator to find out exactly what their trip was but got no response. It seemed to be mainly a bus trip to lake louise- so I told the guide when he turned up that we didnt want to go (turned out we were his only 2 clients that morning , so maybe they would have been flexible! Oddly they had replied about vegetarian food. It seems a long way to go back to Lake Louise from Banff if you have come from the north- felt like we were doing the trip backwards and so it didnt work for us. Instead we went to the First nation museum in the morning and hired bikes from the hotel for the afternoon, where a lovely local showed us a rare mountain goat through his spotting scope!

Sorry that all sounds rather negative for what was a great trip! I dont think the trip providers realise its not easy to contact them on a european phone and we were reliant on email .

We would have been interested in more chance to find out about First Nation people and their history/art.

I can only give 4 stars because of the above problems- but we had a great vacation if that isnt a contradiction !

Read the operator's response here:

Hi Steven,

Thank you so much for your review. We're so pleased that on the whole you had a great trip - seeing black bears turning rocks for crabs and seeing grizzlies fishing for salmon must have been an incredible experience! Your comments about some of the small issues that you encountered is really very useful though, we're sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you, and we shall certainly ensure that these are looked into further and resolved in the future. Thanks again for your review Steven, it's great to hear that overall you thoroughly enjoyed your trip and we hope to welcome you back on another adventure in the future!

Best wishes,
Joe

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