Soak up the warm, summertime rays of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, named for the 2400 hours of sunshine it receives every year.. With fewer visitors than nearby Vancouver Island and other parts of BC, this ferry-access-only region will have you feeling like you’re escaping the normal summer crowds for something entirely new.. You’ll not only experience south-western Canada by land, but also by sea. Voyage on a number of short ferry journeys that will provide some pretty epic vistas.. Embark on several scenic leader-led hikes, including along the Sunshine Coast and Willingdon Beach trails, and to check out the mighty Skookumchuk Tidal Rapids.
Travel by road and by sea on the west coast of Canada with a 5-day summer adventure from Vancouver to the Sunshine Coast. Less well-known than many of its other natural counterparts in BC and Alberta, the Sunshine Coast has much to offer a North American explorer – and on this tour, with some cushy inclusions as standard. Your knowledgeable leader will introduce you to this stretch of land hugging the Georgia Strait, where quaint seaside communities and lush wilderness await. Ferry across the Strait on several scenic rides, hike the Sunshine Coast and Willingdon Beach trails and discover the rush and roar of the Skookumchuk Tidal Rapids, all while enjoying Canada’s long summer days.
Breakfast Included: 2 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 1
Vancouver to Sechelt
Welcome to Vancouver! Today is an early start, meeting at Granville Square (located right by Waterfront Station) at 8:30 am for your welcome meeting. After your briefing, depart in a private vehicle towards Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal for a 1.5-hour transfer to Langdale. Back on land, grab some lunch and take a 30-minute drive to tonight’s stop in sleepy Sechelt. Once you are all checked in, head out on a leader-led walk around town, then perhaps catch the sunset by the sea. With a free evening tonight, you may wish to gather your group and head out for a meal. Be sure to ask your group leader for their favourite picks. With not a lot of time spent in Canada’s western hub, it’s highly recommended to spend an extra day or two here to see what Vancouver has to offer. The Gastown neighbourhood, Stanley Park and Granville Island are just some of the hotspots to check out if you have time.
Grab breakfast from one of the many cafes around town before departing with your group mid-morning for Powell River. Hit the road along Canada’s Sunshine Coast for an hour-long scenic drive that hugs the coastline and offers up some lovely serene views. Stop for photos along the way, then board a ferry from Earl's Cove Terminal for a 1-hour cruise to Saltery Bay. After another 30-minute drive, arrive in the historic town of Powell River – your base for the next couple of nights. Grab yourself some lunch then join your leader on a stroll around town and along the picture-perfect Willingdon Beach Trail. Afterwards, freshen up at your hotel, then join a beer-tasting experience (with some light dinner) at a local brewery. Sit back, relax and let the conversation (and beers!) flow.
Rise and shine, and be sure to get some breakfast, before heading off at around 8 am for a 3-hour hike along the Sunshine Coast Trail. During the hike, you’ll walk through verdant rainforests and past some tall waterfalls. It’s one of Canada’s longest hut-to-hut trails, but you and your small group will just be taking on a small section. There will be plenty of stops to take some panoramic photos along the way. Keep in mind that you’ll arrive back in town around 1 pm, so it’s wise to bring some snacks with you this morning. The afternoon is at your leisure, so you’re free to keep exploring at your own pace. Perhaps try your hand at kayaking on the Georgia Strait, browse some local shops or test out the many breweries and distilleries around town.
Enjoy your own breakfast then hit the road by 9 am. Head south in your private vehicle and take the same ferry crossing back to Earls Cove. This time, however, you’ll make a slight detour to Skookumchuk Tidal Rapids for a 2-hour leader-led hike in a lush rainforest. You might even be lucky to catch the tides changing along the rapids, which is quite a sight twice daily. Afterwards, find a local eatery to refuel with your group then head towards the small town of Gibsons by 3 pm. This afternoon is free for you to explore. Perhaps visit a brewery or local museum or make the short walk up Soames Hill for wonderful harbour views. Tonight, your leader will offer an optional dinner with the group to celebrate your time along Canada’s Sunshine Coast. Gibsons has some fantastic seafood establishments if you’d like to try some freshly caught Pacific fish.
Debart Gibsons by 11 am, bound for Langdale to take the return leg of your 1.5-hour ferry ride across to Horseshoe Bay and onwards to Vancouver. You’ll arrive back at around 4 pm, where the tour will end at Granville Square. With no activities planned, you are free to leave the group, continuing your own adventure or beginning your homeward journey.