Kayak with Whales – the Highlight of a Vancouver Island Vacation

Many of our guests come to Orca Camp exclusively to kayak with whales, and only to kayak with whales. But some savvy travellers know Orca Camp is only part of the Vancouver Island experience. These adept travellers start or end their holidays at Orca Camp, but they also expand their British Columbia vacation to include some of Vancouver Island’s other top experiences. Here are some of our favourites:

Grizzly Bear Watching in the Knight Inlet

Explore the Knight Inlet by water to see Grizzly and Black bears in their natural habitat. Photo courtesy of Tide Rip Tours

Explore the Knight Inlet by water to see Grizzly and Black bears in their natural habitat. Photo courtesy of Tide Rip Tours

Just as our Orca Camp is known far and wide for its unrivaled location next to the Robson Bight Ecological Reserve (the only Killer Whale sanctuary in the world), the Knight Inlet is equally well-known as the best place in BC to see Grizzly bears in the wild. This wildlife viewing experience  begins only a short boat ride away from Orca Camp!

Many of our guests extend their stay in BC to experience this wildlife viewing tour. After overnighting in Port McNeill or Telegraph Cove they board a small boat bound for the Knight Inlet, cruising in the shadow of the Coastal Mountain range. Winding up the inlet they’ll often see Grizzlies feeding along the river banks, turning over rocks, hoping to find crabs, barnacles and mussels. No shellfish? No problem, the bears will just munch on seaweed instead. In early summer cubs play along the banks, always within the watchful sight of their mothers, and in late summer guests see the bears swiping salmon straight out of the stream, an amazing sight to behold!

Hike the West Coast Trail

Explore the ocean floor hiking the West Coast Trail

Explore the ocean floor hiking the West Coast Trail

Some of our more adventuresome guests time their visit to Orca Camp before or after their hike along Canada’s famed West Coast Trail. A former marine rescue trail, the West Coast Trail is a week-long endurance hike through the rainforest and along the windswept beaches of western Vancouver Island. No average walk in the park, this backpacking trip will test your mettle, hiking 76-kilometers through a vast wilderness over the course of seven days. We offer at least three guided hikes of the West Coast Trail each summer, and this year we had the privilege of being awarded a Signature Canadian Experience by Destination Canada.

Visit Victoria

Victoria's Inner Harbour is home to the Parliament Buildings and the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Photo courtesy of Destination BC

Victoria’s Inner Harbour is home to the Parliament Buildings and the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Photo courtesy of Destination BC

Others look forward to a few days of pampering after camping and kayaking with whales at Orca Camp. Those travellers often head straight down to Victoria, one of Canada’s most picturesque cities and home to the famed Fairmont Empress Hotel and its magnificent Willow Stream Spa. Once checked into a luxurious room they indulge in their choice of pampering treatments Willow Stream is noted for.

Of course there’s lots to see and do in Victoria outside the Empress! Our guests really enjoy wandering the exhibits at Butchart Gardens, exploring the galleries at the Royal British Columbia Museum or taking a guided tour of the splendid British Columbia Parliament Buildings, one of our province’s most iconic landmarks.

British Columbia Beyond Vancouver Island

What is there to see in BC beyond Vancouver Island? Well the list could go on and on: Vancouver a vibrant city by the sea; the Okanagan Valley the heart of food & wine in western Canada; the wilds of Wells Gray Provincial Park in the central interior of the Province; or the northern-most reaches of BC, bordering on Alaska. It’s all here waiting for you to discover it, and if you need assistance planning your BC vacation, tell us when you’re booking Orca Camp — we’ll be happy to help plan a trip you’ll long remember!

 

 

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April 5, 2016