Seattle, Alaska Cruise & Best of British Columbia by Motorhome
Holiday Reference: 16312
Come aboard Norwegian Bliss on her second season in Alaska for an unforgettable 7 night Alaska Cruise. You will witness some of the most spectacular scenery as you cruise the world-famous Inside Passage as you travel north. Get behind the wheel of your home away from home and set off on your journey into British Columbia and experience the best that Canada has to offer.
Price based on 4th May 2019 departure - other weekly departures available May - September 2019 - call for details.
Upon arrival into Seattle Airport, make your way independently to your overnight hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure.
Seattle sits on the slip of land between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, with the Olympic and Cascade Mountains serving as a dramatic backdrop for this oh-so cosmopolitan city. Soar up the futuristic Space Needle and experience the views atop this stunning landmark created for the 1962 World's Fair.
Enjoy a day of leisure at sea.
Its Tlingit Indian name, Kach Khanna, means "spread wings of the eagle." Chances are you'll see one of these magnificent birds perched atop a Sitka tree. Thanks to its abundant rainfall, Ketchikan is surrounded by some of the world's most lush wilderness.
Juneau has been called “Alaska's peak experience,” certainly due in part to its unparalleled glacier viewing from such places as Tracy Arm Fjord, the Juneau Icefields and Glacier Bay National Park. Kayak up one of the area's many protected waterways, go flightseeing, tour historic downtown or try your hand at panning for gold. The majestic Mendenhall Glacier lies nearly 12 miles outside Juneau, a treck worthwhile.
In a single year from 1896 to 1897, this remote town along the Inside Passage grew from a few tents to a city of 20,000 gold seekers. Today, travellers come in search of other riches - to experience yesteryear along Skagway's charming boardwalk lined with buildings that replicate those Gold Rush days.
Enjoy a day of leisure at sea.
Roam the spacious lawns of stunning Butchart Gardens with its exotic flora, unusual topiary and exquisite fountains. Explore historic Bastion Square, the treasures of Chinatown and the many sights and sounds to be found along the boardwalk of the Inner Harbour.
Disembark your cruise ship and transfer by express coach to Vancouver.
You are free today to explore more of the city at leisure. No trip to Vancouver would be complete without a visit to Stanley Park, situated between English Bay and Burrard Inlet, the peninsular at the north-western edge of downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park covers 1000 acres. Its seawall, beaches, walking trails, totem poles, aquarium, pool, miniature railway and more attract 8 million visitors each year. Why not hop on one of the horse drawn tours that makes it way around the park?
This morning check out of your Vancouver hotel, and make your way to the pickup location for your Motorhome. The next 7 nights are yours to explore as you please. See our suggested itinerary :
Vancouver to Gibson's via Horseshow Bay ferry - 72km/45mi
The ferry winds its way from Horseshoe Bay between Bowyer and Bowen Islands, then past Gambier and Keats Islands before docking at Langdale.
The only way to reach Gibsons is via the Horseshoe Bay ferry, as the overland route is too mountainous to build roads. The ferry to Langdale takes approximately 40 minutes at a distance of approximately 9.7 nautical miles. The ferry winds its way from Horseshoe Bay between Bowyer and Bowen Islands, then past Gambier and Keats Islands before docking at Langdale. Here, you disembark and head to our recommended campground for the night, Gibsons RV Resort. It is an easy trip and only takes about seven minutes. You can settle in for a comfortable night in the town of about 4,000. The most notable claim-to-fame for Gibsons Landing is the hit TV show, The Beachcombers as it was filmed there and ran from 1972 until 1990. If you prefer to move on a little further today, another recommended campground is Creekside Campground & RV Park near Davis Bay.
Gibsons to Earls Cove - 78km/48mi
Some of the beautiful parks to explore include Roberts Creek or Sargeant Bay Provincial Parks or you can spend a relaxing day exploring the village of Secheltwandering the artisanal shops, enjoy some great local cuisine browsing museums, checking out markets or festivals.
If you were to drive straight through to Earls Cove from Gibsons, you would arrive there in just over an hour. However, with the incredibly scenic drive and gorgeous parks to stop at along the way, why pass up the opportunity? Some of the beautiful parks to explore include Roberts Creek or Sargeant Bay Provincial Parks or you can spend a relaxing day exploring the village of Sechelt wandering the artisan shops, enjoy some great local cuisine browsing museums, checking out markets or festivals.
When you're in the Earls Cove/Egmont region of the Coast, the Skookumshuck Rapidsat Egmont, are an awesome sight to take in when the tide is coming in or going out. Due to the confined narrows connecting Sechelt and Jervis inlets, 760 billion litres (200 billion gallons) of water are forced through the channel and create fantastic tidal rapids. We have a recommendation for one more stop in the area; take Egmont Road over to Sunshine Coast Tours to take in their Princess Louisa Inlet tour. This is a 5-hour tour departing the Backeddy Marina at 10:30am.
Ancient glacial movement through the area created steep and spectacular fjords. Each trip through the inlet is unique as passing weather systems can create major changes to the inlet's appearances. With heavy rains, they create numerous waterfalls where there may have only been a trickle previously. When you're ready to settle in for the day, head back toward the ferry from Earls Cove where you will find the Timberline RV Park. It is conveniently located a few blocks off the highway.
Powell River is home to almost 13,000 residents and activities such as scuba diving, kayaking, fishing and canoeing can be enjoyed by water lovers. Incredible opportunities for canoeing, fishing, swimming, bird watching and hiking await you at Duck Lake Protected area - a mere 20 minute drive east of Powell River.
The trip from Earls Cove to Powell River is completed in two legs: the first is by hopping on the ferry to Saltery Bay and the second is on the Sunshine Coast Highway to Powell River. The ferry takes you around Nelson Island and into Saltery Bay in just over an hour then the overland portion takes about one half hour. Powell River is home to almost 13,000 residents and activities such as scuba diving, kayaking, fishing and canoeing can be enjoyed by water lovers. Incredible opportunities for canoeing, fishing, swimming, bird watching and hiking await you at Duck Lake Protected area - a mere 20 minute drive east of Powell River. The lake itself is small but set in a picturesque basin with about 9 km of hiking and mountain biking trails within the area.
Leaving Duck Lake and traveling north along the Haslam Lake Road about one half hour, you will reach the Inland Lake Provincial Park, formerly a Forest Service Recreation area. In 1997, it was established as a provincial park and has a wide variety of activities to take in such as wildlife viewing, hiking, fishing, cycling and canoeing. It would be extremely easy to spend hours at the park exploring and appreciating the fantastic beauty surrounding you. When you're ready to settle in for the day, we can recommend Garnet Rock Oceanside Resort.
Heading up the Sunshine Coast Highway for the final north-bound leg of the tour, you will reach Lund in just over one half hour.
However, to explore some of the provincial parks in the region, you will need to take the Malaspina Road heading east a couple kilometres south of Lund. Okeover Provincial Park is small in comparison to other provincial parks (only 4 hectares) along the Sunshine Coast, but a very important one as it is located on a traditional Sliammon First Nations archeological site.
To reach Malaspina Provincial Park (572 hectares), you will need to take Malaspina Road back to the Sunshine Coast Highway and connect to the Sarah Pointe Road just north of Lund. The trip takes about eight minutes just north of Lund and you will need to walk from Sarah Pointe Road into the park. This park provides a low elevation coastal hiking and backcountry recreation experience. The Desolation Sound area is very popular for kayaking and boating. There is no RV camping in the park itself. We recommend SunLund By-The-Sea for your overnight campground in the Lund area.
Lund today is a hub of coastal activity. Its harbour is home to a fleet of commercial prawn boats, sail boats, recreational motor vessel and water taxi services which delivery people and goods to Savary Island, known for it's white sandy beaches.
Services include boat excursions, kayak rentals and lessons, scuba diving, snorkelling, bike rentals, hiking and more.
Returning to Sechelt down the Sunshine Coast will take about three hours. When you return to the Sechelt region, take Brooks Road eastward (approximately 16 km northwest of Sechelt off Highway 101/Sunshine Coast Highway) to Smuggler Cove Marine Provincial Park. To access the park you will park in the lot and walk the four km in to the park. The park is a gorgeous, all-weather anchorage on the south side of the Sechelt Peninsula where you can see the work from its resident beavers. Other residents in the wetland include various species of birds, fauna and flora.
As you leave Smuggler Cove and make your way into Sechelt, head north on Wharf Avenue to East Porpoise Bay Road (which becomes Sechelt Inlet Road) to Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. The park is noted as a second-growth forest of alder, western hemlock, western cedar, Douglas fir and maple trees. There is also a spawning channel area for chum and coho salmon and an estuary that hosts numerous types of shore birds. It's a relaxing, beautiful way to spend your afternoon in the Sechelt area. This park is a great base for hiking, swimming, paddling, fishing and biking and offers full service camping from mid April to mid October. Reservations are strongly advised during July and August.
If you had spent part of your Day Two tour in the Provincial Parks in the Sechelt area - or even exploring Sechelt itself - you have an entire day you can devote to relaxing in the area. Sechelt is one of two larger towns on the Sunshine Coast and is home to 9,500 residents.
The compact downtown zone has local coffee shops, art galleries, bakeries, a First Nations gift store (with art by local First Nations artists), a beer & wine store (BC has some exceptional wineries and craft breweries), gelatoria and a movie theatre that shows first-run movies and cinematique films.
In West Sechelt you will find the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden - about a 10 minute drive from downtown Sechelt. The Sunshine Coast Botanical Society began in 2002. Between 2003 and 2013, they sourced the land that was to become the permanent home and created the Native Plant Garden then in 2005 the Seaside Centre garden was established. Basic infrastructure was put in place between 2009 and 2010 and the gardens have since flourished under the careful maintenance of volunteers. Thousands of visitors attend the Garden each year taking in the beauty of the gardens, special events and workshops.
We can recommend the Bayside Campground or the Creekside Campground & RV Park as your home base in the Sechelt area.
The return drive to Vancouver from Sechelt will take you about three hours and you can drop your Motorhome off before your flight back to the UK.