Whale & Bear Adventure

7 day Self Drive - from £1768

On this epic self drive you will travel around the natural wilderness of Vancouver Island, drive through picturesque forests and over scenic passes, enjoy a floatplane flight to the remote Knight Inlet for a bear watching adventure and embark on a whale watching or Black Bear watching cruise in Tofino.

 Highlights:

  • Scenic float plane trip to Knight Inlet Lodge
  • Whale watching Cruises
  • The chance to see Black Bears
  • Go in search of Grizzly Bears
  • Visit the “Salmon Capital of the World”, Campbell River
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Your Itinerary

Day 1: Vancouver to Campbell River (105 miles + Ferry)

Depart Vancouver for Horseshoe Bay and sail for 1 hr 45 min on BC Ferries to Vancouver Island. Upon departing BC Ferries 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.

Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites (Standard, Superior & Deluxe), Campbell River

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.

Hotel: Knight Inlet Lodge (Standard, Superior & Deluxe), Knight Inlet
Meals: Lunch and dinner

Day 3: Knight Inlet Lodge to Tofino (140 miles)

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 and 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.

Hotel: BW Tin Wis Resort (Standard) or Black Rock Resort (Superior & Deluxe), Tofino
Meals: Breakfast

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 a Bear Viewing Cruise in search of black bears who head for the closest food source – the ocean!

Hotel: BW Tin Wis Resort (Standard) or Black Rock Resort (Superior & Deluxe), Tofino

Day 5: Tofino to Victoria (195 miles)

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).

Hotel: Chateau Victoria (Standard), Inn at Laurel Point (Superior) or Fairmont Empress Hotel (Deluxe), Victoria

Day 6: Whale Watch Cruise & Victoria Exploring

This morning depart on an exhilarating trip 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 woolens and china.

Hotel: Chateau Victoria (Standard), Inn at Laurel Point (Superior) or Fairmont Empress Hotel (Deluxe), Victoria

Day 7: Victoria to Vancouver (43 miles + Ferry)

Leaving Victoria, drive the short and scenic route to Butchart Gardens with its fifty-five acres of wonderful floral display. Continue driving north to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal for a 90 min ferry ride 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 downtown Vancouver where your Flexidrive ends.

7 day Self Drive - from £1768

With flights from £2176

Optional Upgrade

Our Superior and Deluxe Whale & Bear Adventure self drive includes all the benefits of our standard option and offers superior or deluxe hotel accommodation.

7 day Whale & Bear Adventure Self Drive Superior – from £1852

7 day Whale & Bear Adventure Self Drive Deluxe – from £1985

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Price is per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room and includes pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage. One-way fees charged locally. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.

Whale & Bear Adventure Map

SELF DRIVE TOURING

Enjoy independent touring at its very best. Book our self drives as they are or add extra days in the places you choose. Normally available in both directions.

Your self drive includes:

  • Well planned, easy to follow route
  • Travel guide and maps
  • 6 nights pre-booked hotel accommodation
  • A choice of standard, superior or deluxe hotels
  • Activities and day tours included
  • Modern air-conditioned car
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Car upgrades available upon request

Standard

Your self drive includes comfortable touring hotels as standard.

Superior & Deluxe

Upgrade your self drive from Standard to Superior or Deluxe. These hotels offer a higher standard of accommodation.

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For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to a Canada Expert on 0333 234 0943