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Getaways Close to Home: Spring and Summer Tours in B.C.

While the world is reopening for travellers, some of us are still happier to stay close to home. If you’re keen to get out and explore without worrying about testing requirements and potential quarantine, we have a wide variety of BC tours planned for 2022.

Here are a few of our favourite spring and summer tours that provide a real adventure without leaving the province. They all include journeys to remote places that are difficult or impossible to access without a knowledgable guide. Join us as we explore beautiful British Columbia!

Cruising the Lower Mainland

The beautiful coastal mountains surrounding Indian Arm

See the Lower Mainland from a vantage point that few people can enjoy—from the water. This tour includes five unique cruises all around Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.

The first excursion is a two-hour cruise on picturesque Harrison Lake, the largest lake in the Southern Coast Mountains, admiring the snowy mountains and rugged lakeshores. The area is famous for its therapeutic mineral hot springs and we will stay two nights at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, so you can try them for yourself!

The second cruise is a two-hour jet-boat excursion with Fraser River Safari from Mission to the mouth of the Harrison River. We will be joined by an expert naturalist for bird and wildlife viewing. Although the Fraser flows near cities such as Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and Mission, this 50-km section is less visited because the major highways on the north and south shores are well away from the river. The trip ends at Kilby Store, a wonderful restoration of a century-old general store.

Our third trip is a four-hour cruise with Harbour Cruises exploring Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm. We’ll experience this magnificent coastal mountain fjord right in Vancouver’s backyard. Old growth forests, pristine waterfalls, various wildlife, and large waterfront homes are some of the highlights while sailing through the calm, blue waters of Indian Arm. A delicious buffet lunch is served on board.

Next up is a six-hour cruise up the Fraser and Pitt Rivers into beautiful Pitt Lake, the second largest lake in the Lower Mainland. We’ll sail underneath the Port Mann and Pattullo Bridges as well as three others. An expert guide will join us to share stories about the sights and historical places along the way such as Slumach’s lost gold mine and Golden Ears Provincial Park.

Lastly, we’ll take a nature cruise on the MV Native paddlewheeler from New Westminster into the Ladner Wetlands. We’ll sail under the Alex Fraser Bridge, over the Massey Tunnel and through the channels in the delta of the Fraser River viewing the picturesque float homes, the old fishing village of Ladner, and the migratory bird habitat on Woodward and Gunn Islands.

What a unique way to explore the diversity of the Lower Mainland’s scenic waterways!

Itinerary from Interior: May 9, 2022 – 6 days

Vancouver Island Toe to Tip

Explore the beach in Pacific Rim National Park

Explore one of the world’s most beautiful islands from end to end. Vancouver Island is the 11th largest island in Canada, stretching 460 km from the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Queen Charlotte Sound. Named for Captain George Vancouver who explored B.C.’s coast in 1792, the island has great diversity ranging from the capital city of Victoria to remote mountain peaks in Strathcona Park, and from the wild wind-lashed beaches of the west coast to the sandy expanse of Rathtrevor Beach. Only a handful of people have travelled from toe to tip and experienced both ends of Vancouver Island: Race Rocks off Victoria and Cape Sutil north of Port Hardy. There are no roads to either place, so we will enjoy chartered tours to get there. A third boat excursion is on MV Frances Barkley on its scheduled sailing to the village of Bamfield in Barkley Sound.

In between the toe and tip, there is so much to see and do on the Island that a month would not be long enough, but we have picked some highlights for this 9-day tour that are well-known and less-known. Come and explore Vancouver Island!

Itinerary from Interior: May 14, 2022 – 9 days
Itinerary from Lower Mainland: May 14, 2022 – 9 days
Itinerary from Vancouver Island: May 15, 2022 – 8 days

BC Fjords

Aerial view of Desolation Sound

Some of the most thrilling sights along the B.C. coast cannot be reached by road, and the only access is by boat. This circular tour of eastern shores of Vancouver Island the Sunshine Coast includes four boat excursions into these remote places.

Our first cruise takes us from Port McNeill, on Northern Vancouver Island, north across Queen Charlotte Strait and Labouchere Passage to the mainland to experience the Nakwakto Rapids. These are the fastest tidal rapids in the world, according to Guinness, and during our visit the waters pouring out of Seymour Inlet and Belize Inlet will attain the incredible speed of 11.6 knots.

The second expedition will take us up Knight Inlet, the longest fjord on our coastline, extending 113 km deep into the Coast Mountains. There will be plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities, including grizzly bears, on route to Cascade Falls at the north end.

The third boat trip departs Campbell River, weaves among the Northern Gulf Islands, and cruises through the magical beauty of Desolation Sound to Lund on the Sunshine Coast. These waterways are great for whale watching and we keep an eye open for humpbacks, orcas, and dolphins.

The final cruise takes us up Jervis Inlet past soaring peaks and waterfalls that cascade directly into the ocean. We’ll visit Malibu Narrows, the location of historic Malibu Lodge, once an exclusive retreat for Hollywood celebrities in the 1940s that is now a popular church camp. The narrows mark the entrance to Princess Louisa Fjord and, from here on, the sheer cliffs rise a thousand metres out of the water. We’ll have time ashore to admire the thundering cascade of Chatterbox Falls and enjoy a picnic lunch.

This tour sold out very quickly so we recently added a second departure!

Itinerary from Interior: July 2, 2022 – 7 days

Inside Passage & Skeena Train

Explore the stunning North Coast by land and sea! The 500-kilometre journey from Port Hardy to Prince Rupert aboard BC Ferries’ Northern Expedition takes 15 hours, all in daylight to permit great viewing of the rugged coastline and abundant wildlife. In Prince Rupert, we thrill to a 7- hour catamaran excursion to the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary and also tour the restored North Pacific Cannery. Then we board VIA Rail’s Skeena Train for a spectacular all-day journey east to Prince George in deluxe ‘Touring Class’ with seating in the dome car. We drive south through the Cariboo with a visit to the historic gold rush town of Barkerville.

This is a wonderful British Columbia circle tour that has been so popular we’ve recently added a second departure. The itinerary for Departure #2 is almost identical to Departure #1, with a few minor changes including the added bonus of a boat trip on the Fraser River to Fort George Canyon.

Itinerary from Interior: July 17 or July 23, 2022 – 8 days
Itinerary from Vancouver Island: June 30, 2022 – 8 days
Itinerary from Lower Mainland: July 18, 2022 – 7 days

Haida Gwaii

The Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay Llnagaay

Haida Gwaii is an archipelago of over 150 islands off the northwest coast of BC. With rugged coastlines, lush cedar forests, vibrant Haida culture, and a wide array of marine life, Haida Gwaii is stunningly beautiful at any time of year, in any weather (and yes, it rains A LOT!)

With 44 years of experience visiting Haida Gwaii, we’ve refined our tours to include the best combination of cultural experiences and outdoor adventures that will give you a real taste of the islands. We only partner with the most experienced and responsible local operators and guides who bring in-depth personal knowledge of the places we visit. We also keep our groups very small (with a maximum of 20 guests) to allow us to visit some beautiful spots large groups can’t enjoy.

One of the outstanding experiences on this tour is a flight to Ninstints at the south end of Moresby Island. Known by the Haida as SGang Gwaay, it is the best preserved of the abandoned Haida villages and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. Other highlights include: The Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay Llnagaay, a Zodiac tour around Louise Island stopping at Skedans Village, Tow Hill with its Blowhole, Balance Rock, Port Clements Museum, a studio and artisan tour, and a fabulous traditional Haida Feast.

We’ve seen the popularity of many other destinations ebb and flow, but there is a wild magic and mystery in these islands that keeps drawing curious visitors year after year. This is our 44th year offering tours to Haida Gwaii and every year they are almost always completely sold out months in advance, so don’t delay!

If you’d like to learn more about this tour you can view a Haida Gwaii webinar we hosted in 2021 HERE

Itinerary from Interior: July 20, July 30 & Aug 9, 2022 – 7 days
Itinerary from Vancouver Island: July 25 & Aug 9, 2022 – 7 days
Itinerary from Lower Mainland: July 31 & Aug 10, 2022 – 6 days

Bella Coola & Tweedsmuir Park

Hunlen Falls in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park

Bella Coola is an isolated community on the central BC coast, surrounded by splendid mountain scenery. On this tour we will take the popular circle route: north via the Inside Passage ferry from Port Hardy and then a scenic drive south via Willams Lake, the Chilcotin, and through the Coast Mountains.

We begin the tour travelling north on Vancouver Island to Port Hardy, where we will board BC Ferries’ Northern Sea Wolf for the 10-hour journey through the magnificent Inside Passage. During the voyage, we will pass hundreds of islands and waterfalls, and potentially see wildlife including bald eagles, porpoises, or Orca whales.

We will spend two days in the Bella Coola area where a local guide accompanies us to provide expert interpretation about the history, ecology, and First Nations culture of the valley.

Too many people take only a day to drive the return 450 km highway whereas this tour devotes 3 days to the trip, allowing time for many stops. One highlight is the flight into Tweedsmuir Park to see Hunlen Falls, Canada’s highest waterfall, the vast Monarch Icefields, and the colourful Rainbow Range. We’ll finish our journey home across the vast ranchlands of the Chilcotin and through the Cariboo.

Itinerary from Interior: August 7, 2022 – 8 days
Itinerary from Vancouver Island: August 8, 2022 – 7 days
Itinerary from Lower Mainland: August 8, 2022 – 7 days

Contact Us to Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about any of these tours check out the links above or don’t hesitate to give us a call!