Washington State and British Columbia are two of the most beautiful places on earth, so it makes perfect sense to combine them. The rugged beauty and old-growth forests of Olympic National Park salute its equally dramatic and rugged coastline. Vancouver Island also shares the same coastline, which is studded with Black Bear and Orca Whales - so we've included two Zodiac tours in search of these magnificent creatures. Explore Lake Crescent by kayak and hit the walking trails in Pacific Rim National Park. On this in-depth tour, you overnight in historic lodges, characterful properties and boutique hotels to highlight the unique flavours of both areas.
Welcome to the city of Seattle in Washington State. You're in a city that oozes cool, from sophisticated coffee shops to endless markets, not forgetting the iconic Space Needle. From here you can gaze across the beautiful Puget Sound, and on a clear day see the snow-capped peak of Mount Rainier. Spend your afternoon sampling local specialties and watching traders ‘tossing the fish’ at Pike Place Market before having a meeting at 18:00 hrs. Included is a welcome dinner so you can become better acquainted with your tour leader and fellow travellers. Featured Hotel: The Roosevelt Seattle (or similar)The Roosevelt Hotel Seattle is perfectly positioned in the heart of downtown Seattle, across the street from Washington State Convention Center. Just six blocks from the world-famous Pike Place Market, you'll find Seattle's top restaurants, luxury shopping and nightlife on its doorstep. Complimentary wine tasting and Wi-Fi is included.
Meals Included: Welcome dinner included
With its incredible range of precipitation and elevation, diversity is what makes Olympic National Park one of the most unique in North America and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning almost a million acres, the park protects old-growth rainforests, wildlife and several distinctly opposing ecosystems and is, for the most part, an untouched wilderness area. Let’s not forget about the 70 miles of wild and rugged Pacific coastline with sculpted sea stacks.Our first visit is the Hoh Rain Forest, an old-growth forest located in the stretch of the Pacific Northwest rainforest which once spanned the Pacific coast from southeastern Alaska to the central coast of California. A visit to this temperate forest is like walking into a Lord of the Rings film set. Moss drips from the trees, dense trees camouflage deer seeking refuge and it is perhaps the perfect example of a forest which constantly renews itself from fallen trees. You’ll overnight in beautiful Lake Crescent, the ideal place to watch the setting sun. Featured Hotel: Lake Crescent Lodge (or similar)Historic Lake Crescent Lodge on the Olympic Peninsula in northwest Washington was built in 1915 and is ideal for experiencing the charm of a turn-of-the-century resort. The comfortable, spacious guest rooms are nestled among the giant fir and hemlock trees on the shores of beautiful Lake Crescent. You’ll stay in cabins on the lodge grounds.
Meals Included: Breakfast included
In the morning, you head off to Rialto Beach on Olympic’s wild Pacific coast. Think rocky beaches, giant drift logs, pounding waves and views of small islands called 'sea stacks', and that is Rialto. You begin your hike at the car park for the two mile trail along the beach to Hole-in-the-Wall. You’ll notice immediately the huge array of trees and gigantic pieces of drift wood which have reached their final resting place near the top of the beach. They gather up like beached whales, rising from the sand. As you continue along the beach, you’ll see all number of different creatures from whales, sea lions and otters offshore to birds circling overhead and starfish lining the rock pools. When the tide is out, you can scramble through the rocky arch for panoramic views of the other side.In the afternoon, you take to the water only seconds from your accommodation to head out on kayaks. The calmness of the water, peacefulness and mountain reflections make for a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.
Meals Included: Breakfast and dinner included
This morning you make your way to Port Angeles to board the ferry for Victoria in Canada’s British Columbia. Victoria is well-known as an ideal place to spot Orca Whales, so it seems fitting that we include an Orca viewing Zodiac tour designed to search for these magnificent mammals. Zodiacs are rigid-hulled inflatable boats and respected worldwide for their safety and superior design. With two engines and seating for twelve, they’re perfect for people who want to experience an exhilarating ride in the open air. What an introduction to your first day in Canada! Featured Hotel: Hotel Grand Pacific (or similar)Located right on Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, the Hotel Grand Pacific offers guests welcoming comfort, world-class facilities, an unbeatable location, and access to Victoria’s most exciting experiences.
Meals Included: Breakfast included
You make your way around the coastal road before heading inland and up to Cathedral Cove in MacMillan Provincial Park. Here you will find the rare and endangered remnants of an ancient Douglas fir ecosystem. The oldest trees date back roughly 800 years and can grow as tall as 75 metres with a diameter of around nine metres. This area is a testament to nature’s ability to survive, which it did during a fire that ravaged the area some 360 years ago.Continue inland until you reach Pacific Rim National Park where you walk the Schooner Cove Trail. This is a short but popular two kilometre hike within the national park and relatively manageable for most fitness levels. The trail meanders through lush rainforests and over streams before arriving to the beachfront and serving up magnificent vistas. From here you continue onto the Tofino area where you check into your lodge, on scenic Lake Mackenzie, for the next two nights.
Meals Included: Breakfast and lunch included
Even though today is all about bears, don’t be surprised if you also see whales and Bald Eagles, which are commonly spotted from the Zodiacs. Enjoy a scenic boat ride on waters of the Clayoquot Sound inlets, where it won’t be long before you’re exploring the protected wilderness beaches and inlets which the bears call home.From late spring to October, it is common for bears to come down after hibernation, to feed on shellfish and crustaceans. The benefit of travelling by Zodiac is this allows us to get close enough without disturbing or causing them distress, or upsetting their natural feeding patterns. It is here you have the chance to witness mothers teaching their young cubs, and can observe them climbing trees and playing on the beach. This evening enjoy a salmon BBQ on the beach to round off an incredible day.
Meals Included: Breakfast and Dinner included
It’s time to say goodbye to Vancouver Island as you set off from Nanaimo on a scenic ferry to the mainland across the Salish Sea, admiring small islands and the breath-taking panorama of the city of Vancouver as it comes into view. This cosmopolitan and diverse metropolis is a real contrast to the rest of British Columbia, but always proves to be a highlight. Enjoy a scenic drive through Stanley Park, a 400-hectare green wonderland with authentic totem poles erected in the 1920s; and stop by Prospect Point, a scenic lookout where you can gaze out at spectacular views of Lions Gate Bridge, North Vancouver and West Vancouver.This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.
Meals Included: Breakfast included
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Trip Name: Olympic & Vancouver Island In-Depth
Duration: 7 Days
From Price: ₤2,919
Supplier Tour ID: IVO/208605
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