8 day itinerary
British Columbia – at once grandiose yet friendly, majestic yet hospitable. From sophisticated Vancouver City to small seaside towns; from the towering forest covered mountains to the depth of the fjords, British Columbia is one to tick off the bucket list. Experience the breathtaking beauty all around you defined by the Pacific on one side and the Rocky mountains on the other, encompassing the best of nature’s force and it’s gentleness.
Arrive in Vancouver and join your yacht in the port. Enjoy a welcome cocktail on board before heading out to explore this vibrant city. Go to Granville Market for some shopping; visit trendy Gastown, a national heritage site on the origins of the city. If you prefer to look forward rather than back, then the TELUS Science World should be of interest.Walk the famous seawall in Stanley Park or go for the adrenaline rush of nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Climb the 32 floors to the Vancouver Lookout for spectacular views over the city. Keep exploring for dinner: Condé Nast has called this one of the best food cities in the world – everything from bao buns at a food truck to fine dining at The Hawksworth. Enjoy.
DEEP FJORDS AND OCEAN SOUNDS
The yacht will set sail whilst you enjoy breakfast for the short cruise to Howe’s sound. Enjoy the stunning scenery as you sip your coffee – a taste of much more to come. This fjord is horseshoe shaped and begs to be explored. Take the kayaks for a workout; do some waterskiing or try your hand at some fishing – your chef will happily prepare your catch for lunch. Go to Bowen Island and hike up Mount Gardner or the take a gentle trek to Dormans point for perfect shots of Howe’s Sound. Browse shops and galleries in Snug Cove. Visit the town of Gibson at the mouth of the fjord or go to Keats Island for a gentle hike. Relax in the hot tub on board over cocktails and enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by your chef as the yacht gently swings at anchor off Gambier Island.
Cruise up the Straits of Georgia from Howe Sound to Secret Cove. Start your day off with some pilates or yoga on deck surrounded by peace and nature. Take kayaks and explore the nooks and crannies of the Smugglers Cove Marine Provincial Park. Paddleboard across to South Thormanby Island. Head ashore to explore pretty beaches and hike up forested slopes. Wait for low tide in sheltered Buccaneers Bay to walk across the white sands to North Thormanby Island. Snorkel in the clear waters. Cyclists may prefer to take the Suncoaster trail – a 20 mile stretch along the coast or one of four other purpose-built cycle routes. Have a relaxing massage in the ocean breeze at the Rockwater Resort. Enjoy cocktail hour and another wonderful dinner on board with your friends.
Watch out for whale spouts as you cruise up the Georgia Straits. There are an estimated 85 orcas living in this stretch of water. Keep your eyes peeled and your cameras ready. Arrive at Pender Harbour in the centre of myriad coves, islets and hidden inlets as well as several lakes to explore. Hit the water in the kayaks or the paddleboards to take a tour of the area. Take a picnic to Garden Bay Lake for an afternoon’s fishing and walking. Art afficionados should not miss seeing the contemporary paintings of local artist Motoko, inspired by the grandeur and beauty of this area. Choose a piece to remind you of your charter here. Golfers can play a quick 9 holes at Pender Harbour Golf Club, a beautiful forest course. Enjoy a wonderful evening at the Lagoon Restaurant at Painted Boat beginning with cocktails on the large deck followed by dinner surrounded by gorgeous views of Maroon Lake.
Leave Pender Harbour for the next stage in your journey – today heading to the fabulous Princess Louisa Inlet. First enter through Jervis Inlet, a beautiful fjord with cliffs rising almost vertically out of the water slicing through the Coastal Mountain range. Record every moment of the majestic scenes surrounding you as the inlet becomes Princess Royal Reach, taking time to spot the petroglyphs on the cliff walls. Princess Royal then becomes Queens Reach before turning into the Princess Louisa Inlet. Soak up the beauty of the lush green rainforest rising up all around and deep navy waters all around. Film the famous Chatterbox Falls tumbling down at the end of the inlet - feel the spray from the falls. Dine on board this evening and sit around the firepit and exchange stories. Sample a Maple Syrup Whisky liqueur as an after dinner tipple.
ANYTHING BUT DESOLATE
Wake up to more stunning scenery after an overnight cruise to Desolation Sound. Desolation Sound is made up of hundreds of bays and coves to explore. Start at Mansons Landing on Cortes Island; swim from the beach or visit the Cortes Island Museum and Archives Society to learn the history of the Sound and personal stories of local tribes, pioneers, loggers and immigrants. Head further north through more gorgeous fjords to West Redonda Island. Take a selfie shot against the ubiquitous log boom at Teakerne Arm; hike up beside Cassell Falls to the warm lake of the same name for a picnic lunch. The yacht will reposition to anchor in Tenebos Bay, a perfect spot to use as ‘base camp’. Take the trail leading over to Unwins Lake for a freshwater swim. Slide the kayaks into the water to explore surroundings islands such as Mink or Otter Island. Fish for your supper: your chef can turn your catch into the freshest sushi or carpaccio you have ever tasted – a fitting final feast. Sit in the hot tub and gaze at the night sky.
SALMON CAPITAL OF THE WORLD
Enjoy a delicious breakfast and snap your final shots as an early cruise takes you to Campbell River for the penultimate day. Visit a salmon hatchery at Quinsam River to learn about the life cycle of the fish and conservation measures. Head out of town to the Elk Falls Park. Get up close and personal – and rather damp - from a viewing platform right beside the roaring falls before walking across the swinging suspension bridge for great views into the canyon. Continue following the trail and feel dwarfed by sky high trees throughout the forest, enveloping you in nature. Back in town visit the Maritime Heritage Centre or go to the local art gallery to see work from artists all over Canada. Walk or cycle along the Rotary Sea Walk following the beachfront and winding through spectacular viewpoints along the route. Finish your trip on a high with dinner at Legends Dining Room with wonderful ocean views at the impressive Painter’s Lodge.
FAREWELL – FOR NOW
After breakfast have a last run ashore for any more souvenirs and gifts before you disembark your yacht and take a floatplane for the trip back to Vancouver for your onward journey. Soak up the scenery and imprint it on your memory until the next time.