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The Wild Pacific Coast Tour
TOURCODE: RBBC
Duration: 11 Days Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
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The Wild Pacific Coast Tour

Vancouver Island, Inside Passage, Haida Gwaii
11 Days
TOURCODE: RBBC

Historic telegraph Cove; Indigenous culture, past and present; Great Bear Rainforest wildlife safari; Inside Passage day ferry; Skeen River jetboat day trip; Ferry to Haida Gwaii; Haida people culture and ancient sites; Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage

Tour Overview
Tour Overview
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Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural

Join us for a fascinating look into the coastal lives of the Pacific Northwest. With First Nations history dating back thousands of years, we will witness living cultures among a backdrop of vast and beautiful landscapes.

Soar above and between coastal fjords, cruise the Inside Passage, discover whale superhighways, the Great Bear Rainforest, and wander the 'Galapagos of the North'.

Grab your sense of adventure, your curiosity of cultures and your love of wildlife. This unique tour will explore small communities that have been thriving off their coastal environments as well as provide a west coast welcome you'll never forget.

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table.

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Land Price, single supplement (if chosen), and any extra hotel nights subject to an additional 5% Canadian Tax (GST). This is not included in the pricing above. Please note that our 2022/23 dates are TENTATIVE

Optional Single Supplement: $711 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $355 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.



$500 USD DEPOSIT REQUIRED per person
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Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrive in Campbell River, BC
Welcome to Campbell River!*

Our journey begins in the southern end of the Discovery Passage. With the sea on our doorstep and the Coastal Mountains visible in the backdrop, we will begin our journey in a magnificent setting along the 50th parallel.

Check into your hotel downtown and have the afternoon on your own to explore this fine city before meeting your tour director and fellow passengers for an evening meal.

* Campbell River is accessible by air (airport code YBL, connections likely through Vancouver) or by road/ferry from the mainland or elsewhere on the island.

Overnight in Campbell River

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 U'Mista Cultural Centre & Telegraph Cove
Vast forests spread across Vancouver Island, BC’s largest island stretching 460km in length and covering over 3400km of coastline. Today we will pause amongst some scenic spots to get a better look at the forests of Vancouver Island.

Our main destination will be U’Mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay, to view the Potlatch Collection. The word "potlatch" means "to give" and comes from a trade jargon, Chinook, formerly used along the Pacific coast of Canada. Guests witnessing the event are given gifts. The more gifts given, the higher the status achieved by the potlatch host. The potlatch ceremony marks important occasions in the lives of the Kwakwaka'wakw: the naming of children, marriage, transferring rights and privileges and mourning the dead.

U’Mista has an unparalleled collection of the Kwakwaka'wakw arts, all confiscated from a Potlatch ceremony in the early 20th century from people who believe that a rich and powerful person is someone who gives the most away.

Following our visit in Alert Bay, we will take the ferry back to Vancouver Island and check into our hotel at Telegraph Cove. A former fishing and forestry village, now home to 20 people, Telegraph Cove oozes the charm of what many of BC’s Coastal towns used to be.

Later this afternoon you’ll have the chance to wander the boardwalk with interpretive signs explaining the residents of the past before exploring the Whale Museum, or perhaps you’ll take the longer walk along the old telegraph line to Blinkhorn Peninsula at the entrance to the northern tip of Johnstone Strait.

Overnight in Telegraph Cove (spotty wifi).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 3 Grizzly Adventure in the Great Bear Rainforest, Johnstone Strait & Broughton Archipelago
Located on the northern entrance to the Johnstone Strait, dubbed a 'whale superhighway,' today we embark on a boat cruise into the Broughton Archipelago, a stunning cluster of inlets and islands within a marine park.

With our local guides, we will search for grizzly bears along the salmon running rivers with an immersive experience that may have us walking amongst the forest and streams. A full-day adventure, our guides will introduce us to historic and culturally significant areas within the region.

Marine life is abundant here, as we try to spot white-sided dolphins, seals, steller sea lions and dolls porpoises. Bring your binoculars and wear sturdy shoes.

Overnight in Telegraph Cove.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 4 Inside Passage Ferry - Prince Rupert
We have an early start (boxed breakfast) to board our comfortable BC Ferries vessel, which will take us through the famous Inside Passage (no wifi).

The coastal navigation route follows a series of passages cut by glaciers millions of years ago to create spectacular fjords covered with dense rainforests, waterfalls and mountains. During our cruise today, we will pass through an area known as the Great Bear Rainforest, the home of the blonde coloured ‘Spirit Bear’.

The blonde coloured Kermode bear belongs to the black bear family and are few in numbers. Approximately 120 reside in this part of the world. We likely will not see these bears, but we may see many other types of wildlife during the cruise so have your binoculars ready.

Highlights today include the 70km long Grenville Channel. Mountains of 450-1100M / 1500-3500 ft surround Grenville Channel, the most spectacular channel along the Inside Passage. The narrowest portion is a mere 430m (1,400 ft) wide, but depths up to 500m / 1,620 ft allow vessels to travel close to the shore.

As this cruise is very scenic, we opt not to have a formal meal together in the evening to give you more opportunities to enjoy your surroundings. There are plenty of dining options onboard including the choice of table service or a quick informal cafeteria setting.

We arrive in Prince Rupert late and transfer directly to the hotel.

Overnight Prince Rupert.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast



Day 5 Skeena River Jetboat Excursion
This morning we board a bus for a narrated 55-minute scenic coach ride through the awe inspiring Coast Mountains and the valley of the mighty Skeena River. Our arrival at the riverside jetboat base will give you the first glimpse of the towering rock wall, historically referred to by the paddle wheelers as "Hole in the Wall".

We meet our captains and join them in capable craft for an exciting upriver boat ride that you won't soon forget. We walk among giant 600 year-old cedar and Sitka spruce trees with a local professional forester and naturalist guide who will describe geological and cultural history while revealing local flora and fauna of the ancient old growth rain forest.

Keep your eyes open and cameras ready -- mountain goats, eagles, moose, bears and wolves inhabit this pristine wilderness. The wildlife is plentiful in the area, but sightings cannot be guaranteed.

A local First Nations chef will serve delicious wild sockeye salmon lunch prepared over an open fire, along with salads, dessert, hot and cold beverages and bottled water. We relax by the shore before our guided return trip down the river valley to your pick up point from where we return to Prince Rupert for dinner and overnight.*

* If available (sailing schedules are notoriously changeable) we may take the overnight sailing to HG this evening, giving us more time to explore Prince Rurpert tomorrow, arriving in Haida Gwaii day 7 with sightseeing as listed for that day.

Overnight in Prince Rupert.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 6 North Pacific Cannery Visit - Ferry to Haida Gwaii
Today in Prince Ruipert, we visit the North Pacific Cannery, the longest running cannery in British Columbia's history for an in depth guided tour. The North Pacific Cannery was formed in 1889 and operated as a premier salmon production and canning facility for almost 90 years until the late 1970’s. Now operating as a museum to preserve the history of the cannery, we will explore the site with a guided tour and finish with a historically inspired lunch at the cannery.

There will be some free time today to enjoy the small town charm of Prince Rupert with time to see Cow Bay or the Museum of Northern British Columbia independently.

Later today, we will board an overnight ferry to cross the Hecate Strait to Haida Gwaii. Often regarded as the ‘Galapagos of the North’, we will spend the next four days learning about the history, heritage, and wilderness of this isolated part of the world.

Haida Gwaii, meaning ‘Islands of the People’, is an archipelago of over 150 islands with an incredible history surrounding the culture of the Haida People who first inhabited these islands over 10,000 years ago. We sail through the scenic Hecate Strait, named for the HMS Hecate used for surveying these waters in the 1860’s. Thousands of years before being named the Hecate Strait, the strait was both a transport route to the mainland land, with its shallow waterways providing a navigational challenge to outsiders, and a source of protection for the Haida people.

Our BC Ferries vessel is spacious and well-appointed with plenty of seating indoors and on deck, as well as a café and lounge.

Overnight ferry (no wifi).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 7 Arrival in Haida Gwaii - Excursion to K’uuna Llnagaay (Skedans)
This morning we arrive in Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) and embark on our sightseeing program. We'll board zodiac vessels and travel the coastal waters to the edge of Gwaii Haanas National Park to the Skedans, known locally as K'uuna Llnagaay.*

Our journey today is filled with storytelling of the Haida People while exploring the coastlines filled with sea lion rookeries. At the village site of K’uuna Llnagaay, a National Historic Site of Canada, an interpretive tour allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the incredible history, culture and way of life of the Haida people who once inhabited the village.

K’uuna Llnagaay is located on the northeast corner of Louise Island. At its height, the village had between 26 to 30 longhouses. In the late 1800s, more than 50 pieces of monumental sculpture were recorded at K’uuna Llnagaay, including 22 frontal poles, 18 single mortuary poles, 3 double mortuary poles, 5 memorial poles, and 5 mortuary figures. Today, a few carved memorial and mortuary poles remain standing and the depressions of several longhouses give a sense of their former scale.

After an incredible day, we arrive back in Queen Charlotte City** this evening.

* Some adjustments may be required depending on the area's highly-changeable weather.

** As of 2022, the Village of Queen Charlotte initiated the restoration of the ancestral Haida name for the area, Daajing Giids, pronounced "daw-jean geeds."

Overnight in Daajing Giids.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 8 Graham Island Sightseeing
Today we will have a local Haida guide tour us around Graham Island, the most populated island in the archipelago. We will venture to the Golden Spruce Trail in Port Clements. The Golden Spruce trail, named for the Golden Sitka Spruce that once grew at the end of the trail. The Golden Sitka Spruce, a spruce tree that grew for nearly 300 years had a mutation causing the spruce to grow needles of a golden yellow colour.

Another stop will be in the important Haida Heritage Centre at Kay Llangaay in Skidegate, an award winning museum. Through language, art and stories, this centre is a wonderful introduction to the Haida relationship with the land and sea that has shaped, nourished and sustained this culture for centuries.

We return to Daajing Giids before for dinner in a local restaurant.

Overnight in Daajing Giids.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 9 Gandll K'in Gwaay.yaay (Hotsprings Island) & Hlk'yah GawGa (Windy Bay)
This day trip includes a Zodiac tour to Hlk'yah GawGa (Windy Bay) and to Gandll K'in Gwaay.yaay (Hotsprings Island).* This area is symbolic to Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage site because it was here, in 1985, that the Haida people took a stand against clear cut logging practices in South Moresby. This stand resulted in the creation of Gwaii Haanas, and the erection of the Legacy Pole.

We will also make a stop at Gandll K'in Gwaay.yaay (Hotpsrings Island) which commonly provided food to the Haida people, as well as warm waters to comfort, nourish and heal the body and soul. You will have the opportunity to bathe in the springs, which recently returned after a 7.7 magnitude earthquake stop their flow in 2012. If bathing does not appeal to you, the waters of Gandll K’in have created a unique intertidal environment for you to explore.

Along the way, our guides will incorporate storytelling, songs, and local history, giving guests a glimpse into our heritage, and how we protect our land and waters.

* Some adjustments may be required depending on the area's highly-changeable weather.

Overnight back in Daajing Giids (dinner on your own this evening).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch



Day 10 Sgaang Gwaii Tour
Today we will venture off by boat (a long day!) for a guided visit to Sgaang Gwaii in Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site.* Greeted by Haida Watchmen, a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage site will be unforgettable.

This area embodies the rugged Pacific beauty while connecting 10,000 years of history between the Haida and this region. We will be joined by Haida Watchmen after a float plane flight and 20 minute boat ride to witness original totems and abandoned villages that evoke strong feelings of the past.

* Due to the weather-dependent nature of today's excursion, we may be able to juggle days 9 & 10 to ensure the greatest likelihood of accomplishing these two days. If that is not possible, we have a "Plan B" in place which would take us to the west coast of the island and the village of Ts'aahl, home of K'aa Gwaay ('Five Fin Sea Monster') to experience the beauty of ancient totems (further details provided while on tour if this contingency becomes necessary).

Overnight in Daajing Giids.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner



Day 11 Departure Day
Today after breakfast we say goodbye to each other as a group.

As we will be based in Daajing Giids, it makes most sense for travellers to depart from Sandspit Airport (YZP); an alternative, but with fewer flights and farther to travel, is Masset.

Land & Air passengers will be transfered to YZP as part of their tour; if you book your own air, we can provide transport information once we have a clearer sense of all travellers' departure times, which may dictate a group transfer - TBA.

BON VOYAGE!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

 

Inclusions
Breakfast daily; other meals as per the tour itinerary. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters, and airport transfer costs for customers who purchase their air through us.

Your pre-trip notes provide further information about food, weather, packing, and preparing for local excursions.


Exclusions
Airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, some lunches & dinners (see tour itinerary), drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), and international air taxes (if applicable), any excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only travellers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, transfers, and shopping.

Land Price, single supplement (if chosen), and any extra hotel nights subject to an additional 5% Canadian Tax (GST).


Seasonality and Weather
This tour is offered in the late spring and late summer in a part of the world notorious for changeable weather. Overall temperatures will be cool yet comfortable, and we can expect rain at any time. There is also the possibility of fine, warm days, but layering and being prepared for everything and anything is a must! This is a temperate rain forest, and the beauty and ecological diversity around us is a reflection of life on the West ('wet') Coast.

While weather in May will likely be more changeable with cooler temperatures and greater possibility of rain showers, it is also one of the best times of year for spotting whales at numerous points along our route -- even from shore! Later in the summer, whale spotting is also very reliable in addition to being warmer and more stable weather-wise.

Your post-reservation trip notes will provide more detailed info about climate/weather and how to prepare for the trip.


Transport and Travel Conditions
Most point-to-point travel throughout this journey is via water and, although many voyages are in sheltered waters, we are at the mercy of weather conditions. Some local excursions will utilize smaller vessels on which extra clothing will be provided for you to use on a complimentary basis.

Local land transport will be provided by private air-conditioned/heated touring van.

Our difficulty classification "level 2" refers to the to the overall ambitious nature of the program, the isolated locales visited, and the small boats we use throughout the itinerary. On these days, participants can expect to be walking (we would not consider this to be "hiking" per se) on uneven ground in a wilderness setting and be able to get in and out of boats. As such, a higher fitness level than average is recommended for this tour.

Please note that most accommodation will not provide baggage handling -- you must be independent with your bags.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.


Accommodation
Our hotels in Campbell River and Prince Rupert will be well-located 3-star properties. In Telegraph Cove, we will be at a remote wilderness lodge. For Haida Gwaii, we will stay in a simple, though clean and comfortable motel. Our hotels are smaller properties that may not have elevators. All accommodation have en suite toilet and bath though some have shower only (ie no bathtub).

A mandatory single supplement may apply to this tour if you have selected our share program and we fail to pair you. Due to the high cost of single accommodation on this tour, the mandatory up-charge is 50% of the regular single supplement.

Please click on "Map & Hotels" tab for more information.


Staff and Support
Tour Leader, driver/s, local step-on guides and various locales.


Group Size
Due to the remoteness of some of the locales visited and a lack of accommodation, we have limited the group size to 9 plus Tour Leader

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Ramada Campbell River
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Campbell River
Country: Canada
Across the road from the Pacific Ocean, this laid-back hotel in an alpine-style building is 3 km from the Discovery Passage Aquarium.
Simple rooms feature free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minifridges,
... tea and coffee making equipment.
Read More
Telegraph Cove Resort
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Telegraph Cove
Country: Canada
Telegraph Cove is tucked away on the eastern coast of Northern Vancouver Island. This tiny and picturesque village is a major destination during the summer month when the snug little ... bustles with whale watchers, fishermen, boaters, campers and kayakers. Telegraph Cove Resort has a rich and colourful past and is one of the last boardwalk settlements left on Vancouver Island. Wifi may be spotty or non-existent.
Read More
Prestige Prince Rupert Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Prince Rupert
Country: Canada
The Prestige Hotel is conveniently located in the heart of historic Prince Rupert, close to shopping and a variety of great local restaurants. The hotel is only a short stroll ... Prince Rupert's Inner Harbour where you can enjoy local attractions, events and entertainment, as well as local artists' specialty shops and so much more.
Read More
Sea Raven Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Queen Charlotte
Country: Canada
We are the largest and one of the most modern facilities in Queen Charlotte with 30 rooms, and an oceanfront seafood restaurant.
Let us be your home during your visit
... the Haida Gwaii. The Sea Raven has many rooms with views of Skidegate Inlet. We are within walking distance to all local facilities and we are certain that you will find the Sea Raven a very friendly, convenient and relaxing place to stay.
Read More

 


 

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Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing, by letter, e-mail, or by fax immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted. Insurable risks may be covered under trip cancellation insurance policies, if purchased. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason. All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated. We may cancel departures if forced to do so by circumstances such as war, civil or political unrest or what is commonly referred to as force majeure. In these instances we will refund all passengers in full if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date. If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date; or, if circumstances do not permit, an alternative will be offered at that time. We will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline change fees, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage under such circumstances. If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given approximately 60 days prior to departure.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

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