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Spectacular Western Canada: Grizzlies, Orcas and Totems

Program Number: 21439RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/16/2014 - 6/27/2014; 6/10/2016 - 6/23/2016; 6/14/2016 - 6/27/2016; 6/24/2016 - 7/7/2016; 6/28/2016 - 7/11/2016; 7/8/2016 - 7/21/2016;
Duration: 11 nights
Location: Banff, Alberta
Price starting at: $3,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Train Treks; On the Road; Natural History
Meals: 28; 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 8 Dinners    

Discover the breathtaking range of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and the magnificent wildlife and natural beauty of British Columbia. The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are richly adorned with mountain peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, limestone caves and fossils. In British Columbia, the Inside Passage teems with marine life from humpback and killer whales to dolphins, porpoises, sea lions and more, while on shore the ancient coastal rainforest provides habitat for grizzlies and many other mammals. Join expert naturalists for an exploration of the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Coast Mountains and the waterways of the West on this wildlife and wilderness adventure.


ē Explore Banff, Yoho and Jasper national parks with experts and learn about their rich ecology and geology.
ē Experience British Columbiaís diversity of landscapes aboard Via Rail's Skeena train and on a BC Ferry cruise.
ē In the Khutzeymateen, observe North Americaís highest grizzly bear concentration in their natural environment.

Activity Particulars

Walk up to two miles daily; gentle elevation gains, stops for interpretation. Embarking/disembarking ferries, trains and vessels. Please be prepared for some late night arrivals and long days due to ferry and train schedules (subject to change).

Date Specific Information


Our program dates are carefully planned to coincide with prime bear viewing season at Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary which is mid-May through July.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology ó listening devices ó on this date.

6-10-2016, 6-14-2016, 6-24-2016, 6-28-2016, 7-8-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology ó listening devices ó on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Banff, AB, 3 nights; coach to Jasper, 2 nights; train to Prince George, 1 night; train to Prince Rupert, 4 nights; ferry to Port Hardy, 1 night; coach to Parksville, 1 night; ferry and coach to Vancouver, BC, 1 night; departure.


A storied gateway to Banff National Park ó with more than 25 mountain peaks towering over 8,000 feet ó Banff welcomes adventurers and nature-lovers to take in the alpine wonders and colorful history of the Canadian Rockies.

Vancouver: Hotel across the street from beautiful English Bay. Prince George, Prince Rupert, Port Hardy and Parksville: Comfortable hotels close to the ferry and train. Banff and Jasper: Centrally located hotels within the national parks.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Ben Gadd

Ben Gadd is one of Canadaís better-known naturalists and Rockies writers. Author of the ground-breaking ďHandbook of the Canadian Rockies,Ē Ben has written eight other books and contributed to several more. His novel, ďRavenís End,Ē has become a prize-winning Canadian best-seller. Ben has received three Banff Mountain Book Festival awards for his work. Educated as a geologist, Ben has pursued a career mainly in natural history, including a stint as a Parks Canada naturalist. He has also taught writing at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Grant MacEwan College. For nearly 30 years, he has worked in the summer as a freelance interpretive guide ó he is one of only six master guides in Canadaís professional Interpretive Guides Association ó and in the winter as a writer and sought-after lecturer on Rockies topics. Heard frequently on CBC radio, Ben has also appeared in many television items and several documentaries on the Rockies.
Kirsten Schmitten

Kirsten Schmitten has spent over 30 years exploring, researching, writing and working in the Canadian Rockies. From her career as a park naturalist to her adventures with her warden husband, Kirstenís love and knowledge of the natural and cultural history of Jasper makes her a captivating and sought after speaker. She is the owner of All Things Wild, a company specializing in connecting people to the natural and cultural history of Jasper National Park.
Meals and Lodgings
   High Country Inn
  Banff, Alberta 2 nights
   The Chateau Jasper
  Jasper, Alberta 2 nights
   Ramada Prince George
  Prince George, British Columbia 1 night
   The Prince Rupert Hotel
  Prince Rupert, British Columbia 3 nights
   Haida Way Hotel
  Port McNeill, British Columbia 1 night
   The Coast Bastion Inn
  Nanaimo, British Columbia 1 night
   Best Western Sands by the Sea
  Vancouver, British Columbia 1 night
 High Country Inn
Type: Inn
  Description: We are a family owned hotel and are fortunate enough to call Banff and the Canadian Rockies our home. We welcome all our guests like they are part of our family, and we take great pleasure in ensuring you have the best Banff experience. After giving you a warm welcome, our friendly staff are eager to share their knowledge and help you create your own lasting memories. Discover why our past guests keep coming back!
  Contact info: 419 Banff Avenue
Box 700
Banff, AB  Canada
phone: 403-762-2236
  Room amenities: Rooms have mini fridge, coffee maker and courtesy coffee, Cable TV, individual climate control and air conditioning. Most rooms with private balcony. Free wireless internet and free local calls.
  Facility amenities: Set against a mountain backdrop, the High Country Inn offers an array of luxurious amenities that will ensure comfort and relaxation. Swim a lap in the indoor heated pool, soak in the hot tub or unwind in the traditional dry cedar sauna. When ready to enjoy what Banff has to offer, the knowledgeable staff is prepared to direct you to area attractions such as hiking trails, riding stables and guided tours. In addition to comfortable units and spacious suites, guests will also find: the Ticino Swiss-Italian Restaurant, indoor heated pool, hot tubs and dry cedar sauna; 24-hour front desk; Wireless Internet and Internet Kiosk.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact hotel for rates. Contact hotel for rates and availability for additional nights before the program. Toll-Free:

 The Chateau Jasper
Type: Hotel
  Description: Chateau Jasper, Luxury in the Mountains. The Chateau Jasper is an exceptional hotel with an excellent variety of accommodations and facilities. This conveniently located hotel offers 119 fully air-conditioned luxury guest rooms and suites, pleasantly furnished with mountain decor in mind.
  Contact info: 96 Geikie Street
P.O. Box 1200
Jasper, AB T0E 1E0 Canada
phone: 780-852-5644
  Room amenities: All Chateau Jasper guest rooms have private baths, mini fridges, in room safes, air conditioning and feature large flatscreen televisions, in room safes, complimentary Wi Fi, hair driers, irons and boards, complimentary coffee and tea and electric kettles.
  Facility amenities: This intimate hotel includes an indoor swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness center, a variety of meeting rooms, complimentary internet kiosks in hotel lobby, a lounge, as well as an award-winning, fine dining room. Additional features: Proud recipient of Travel Alberta Good Housekeeping Award Dining Room and Lounge Heated Indoor Pool and Whirlpool Fitness Centre Seasonal Ski Shuttle Heated Underground Parking Air Conditioning Meeting and Conference Rooms
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Ramada Prince George
Type: Hotel
  Description: Welcome to the Ramada hotel located in the heart of Prince George British Columbia. A historic city that has become a hub and gateway for transportation, commerce, and tourism for the Province of BC and now, North America. As our valued guest, our team is dedicated to ensuring your visit is one to remember. Toll Free: 1-800-830-8833
  Contact info: 444 George Street
Prince George, BC V2L 1R6 Canada
phone: 250-563-0055
  Room amenities: Enjoy luxurious comfort in our newly renovated Premiere Guest Rooms. You are sure to have a restful sleep on our Simmons Beauty Rest, Cape Breton series mattresses dressed in 300 thread count linens. Experience convenience and make use of our audio visual panel to connect any of your personal media to our 42Āć LED television. When your electronics are not in use store them in your personal in room safe which can accommodate up to a 17Āć laptop with an in safe outlet for charging capabilities. After a hard day of work or play enjoy a relaxing hot shower with your choice of a wand or rain shower head.
  Facility amenities: Starbucks Nothing beats a perfect cup of coffee in the morning, and you donĀ't even have to get out of your pajamas to get it! Our Starbucks is located in our Grand Lobby, open 7am Ė 7pm Monday Ė Saturday and 7am-7pm on Sunday. Sheffield Express Everyone has forgotten something at some point during their travels, and we have the solution! Sheffield Express has many items to suit your needs, from snacks to toiletries. Fitness Centre Our Fitness Centre is located on the third floor, and offers a clean, comfortable, modern space with state-of-the-art Star Trac Equipment series. A great way to begin or end your day. Swimming Pool Located next to our Fitness Centre, you will enjoy our indoor pool, and jetted whirlpool. Whether you wish to swim laps or soothe your muscles, we are open from 6:00am Ė 11:00pm daily. Business Centre Our 24 hour Business Center is located in the lobby, allowing our guests the privacy to conduct their business with the assistance of our computer station, fax and photocopy machine.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 The Prince Rupert Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Prince Rupert Hotel is situated in the heart of downtown with some rooms having views of the inner harbour and surrounding mountains. We are conveniently located close to shopping and a variety of great local restaurants.
  Contact info: 118 - 6th Street
Prince Rupert, BC V8J 3L7 Canada
phone: 250-624-6711
  Room amenities: Desk, individual room climate controls, direct-dial telephone with voice mail, Wireless and Wired high-speed internet.
  Facility amenities: On-site restaurant; dry cleaning and laundry services available ($$);coffee and tea; irons & ironing boards. WiFi throughout the hotel and in each guestroom. Wired internet access is also available in each guestrooms. ATM On Site. 24 Hour Reception Desk
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Haida Way Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The Haida Way is Port McNeillís most popular Northern Vancouver Island accommodation. At Port McNeill's centre, the Haida Way is within walking distance of shopping, the harbor and the ferry terminal to Sointula and Alert Bay. For your convenience, we offer a full-service restaurant, lively pub and well-stocked liquor store. Approved by BCAA and Tourism BC, the Haida Wayís 70 cozy guestrooms and suites feature brand-new queen-size beds and free wireless Internet.
  Contact info: 1817 Campbell Way
Port McNeill, BC V0N 2R0 Canada
phone: 205-956-3373
  Room amenities: Our rooms are accessible to the handicapped, and include fridges, microwaves, complimentary coffee and cable television.
  Facility amenities: Supplementing our 70 modern air conditioned guest rooms, we offer a fully licensed dining room, cafe and pub. Other amenities include: free wireless Internet access and a computer terminal in the lobby and a coin operated laundry facility.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 The Coast Bastion Inn
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Overlooking Georgia Strait, the Coast Bastion Inn in Nanaimo BC is a premier hotel with facilities to suit all travelers. Enjoy the convenience of staying at one of the best downtown Nanaimo hotels, and take in the beautiful ocean view from each and every guest room.
  Contact info: 11 Bastion Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 6E4 Canada
phone: 250-753-6601
  Room amenities: High-speed Internet, in-room coffee, tea and hot chocolate service, 27" television, air-conditioning, voice mail, balcony, complimentary local phone calls, Cable TV, hair dryer, iron and ironing board and work desk.
  Facility amenities: Concierge Service, Business Centre, valet laundry, Level 3 Accessibility guest rooms, fitness facility with universal gym, whirlpool, sauna and sun deck; limited secretarial services, 24 hour room service, Gift Shop, Tan's Hair and Tanning Studio, Aquatic Center - 5 minutes drive/ $5 per person.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Best Western Sands by the Sea
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Best Western Sands by the Sea is conveniently located one half block from the beach at beautiful English Bay and three blocks from Stanley Park's 1,000 acres of trails and gardens. Three bus routes stop at the front door for easy access to other parts of town.
  Contact info: 1755 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5 Canada
phone: 604-682-1831
  Room amenities: In-room coffee makers, iron and ironing board, hair dryers, mini fridges, morning newspaper, free high speed wireless Internet access, iPod/iPhone/iPad Clock Radios and flat screen TVís.
  Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include a sauna and exercise room. Same-day dry-cleaning and laundry service is available, and there is a laundromat six blocks from the hotel. Restaurant and 2 bars on site.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Check for availability. Contact the hotel directly for rates & availability. Toll-Free: 1-800-663-9400
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals to Banff, AB. Check in after 3:00 p.m. You will be staying at High Country Inn that night.
  End of Program:
Departures from Vancouver, British Columbia after breakfast. You will be staying at Best Western Sands by the Sea the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
NOTE: This program starts and ends in different locations - starting in Banff, AB and ending in Vancouver, BC. If you are driving to the program long term parking available at the airport in Calgary.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Banff, Alberta
  Nearest city or town:  Calgary, Alberta
  Nearest airport:  Calgary International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  Vancouver, British Columbia
  Nearest city or town:  Vancouver
  Nearest highway: Highway 1 - Trans Canada
  Nearest airport:  Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Travel Details



From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Banff Airporter
phone: 888-449-2901
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


approx. $55 - please see for updates
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


1.5 - 2 hours 


Shuttle fee is non-refundable (insurance is available - please enquire with the shuttle company).




To Airport






Per Person/One Way:


$30 - $35 (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 minutes 


Taxi from hotel to Vancouver airport.




To Airport




Public Transportation
Sky Train/Canada Line


Per Person/One Way:


$7 - $10
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


35 - 45 minutes 


City bus to Yaletown/Roundhouse Station, then take the Sky Train/Canada Line to the airport.

Driving Directions
  Calgary Take Trans Canada Highway #1 towards Banff. Take the Banff exit and turn left onto Banff Avenue. Irwin's Mountain Inn is located at 429 Banff Avenue. Banff is 138 kms (86 miles) west of Calgary on the Trans Canada Highway #1.
Elevation Note: Jasper has an altitude of 1,062m or 3,484 ft

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Check-in/Welcome Dinner/Orientation
(Monday, June 16)
 Arrive To: Arrivals and check-in to the hotel in Banff after 3:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Our welcome dinner will be at the hotel.
 Evening: Orientation, introductions and a review of the itinerary following dinner. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Accommodations: High Country Inn
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Cave and Basin National Historic Site/Lake Louise and Emerald Lake
(Tuesday, June 17)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Creating the Canadian Cordillera Ė Fifty years ago we thought that the Rockies popped up out of a ďgeosynclineĒ, and we had no reasonable explanation for the weird rock making up the mountains to the west. Now we know! Join one of Canada's better-known naturalists and award-winning author, Ben Gadd, as he shares the fascinating story of the Canadian Rockies.
 Morning: Explore the Cave and Basin National Historic Site with naturalist Ben Gadd. The warm waters issuing from Sulphur Mountain were known to aboriginal peoples. These hot springs later became the centrepiece of Canada's first national park (and the world's third.) We will also stroll down to the warm marshes below the springs, easily accessible along a boardwalk, to see birds and tropical fish. Bring your binoculars!
 Lunch: In Lake Louise.
 Afternoon: Discover the geological highlights of the Rockies in Lake Louise and Yoho National Park with Ben Gadd, renowned naturalist and author of the ground-breaking Handbook of the Canadian Rockies including a trail walk around Emerald Lake. Emerald Lake is another jewel of the Canadian Rockies, and is one of the few lakes with a trail all the way around it. Thanks to its position of the west side of the Great Divide in Yoho National Park, a 360 degree tour of Emerald yields up four very different environments: a huge avalanche path, the normal forest, a dry and dramatic alluvial fan and the towering trees of the coastal rainforest.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own to explore the many dining options available in Banff.
Accommodations: High Country Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Icefields Parkway/Athabasca Glacier Icewalk/Jasper National Park
(Wednesday, June 18)

Note: Glacier Icewalk is approximately 2 - 2.5 hours. Walking up to 1.5 miles (2.5 km) on the Athabasca Glacier. Gentle elevation gain of 200 metres/650 ft, with some steeper inclines. Crampons for footwear to prevent falls will be available. Suggested items to bring: sunglasses/sunscreen, warm clothes (no shorts), water bottle, camera, binoculars and a hat.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: We travel from mountains to glaciers as we depart for Jasper on the Icefields Parkway; linking Lake Louise to Jasper, it remains one of the most spectacular stretches of scenic driving in Canada. The highway follows a lake-lined valley between two chains of the Eastern Main Ranges, which make up the Continental Divide. The mountains here are the highest, craggiest and maybe the most scenic in all of the Rockies. Interpretive commentary along the way.
 Morning: With an experienced guide, embark on an Icewalk on the Athabasca Glacier. Travel up the lower 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) of the Athabasca Glacier while hearing about the concepts of glaciation and the features of a glacially carved landscape. Stop along the way to see and discover many examples or moraines, millwells and small crevasses while surrounded by the peaks of the stunning in the Canadian Rockies.
 Lunch: Box lunch
 Afternoon: We continue our journey to Jasper National Park. This scenic drive is lined with beautiful mountain lakes and more than 100 glaciers providing a dramatic backdrop. This scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway is lined with one beautiful mountain lake after another, with more than 100 glaciers providing a dramatic backdrop. Keep an eye out for mountain goats and bighorn sheep in the cliffs along the way. In the spruce forest above the Sunwapta River, watch for grizzly bears during spring, summer and fall.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
 Evening: Free time to enjoy Jasper.
Accommodations: The Chateau Jasper
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Maligne Canyon/Pyramid Lake/Jasper National Park
(Thursday, June 19)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Meet your local expert naturalist who will introduce you to Jasper National Park. Explore together Maligne Canyon and Pyramid Lake. Discover the Maligne Canyon trail, rich in natural history, with impressive geologic features and wildlife. Search for fossils and find out how this deep canyon formed during glacial ages. The forests of these wilderness areas are home to mountain goats, elk, moose, and bears as well as a variety of birds, including Bald Eagles. Scenic trails let you explore the spectacular vantage points, flower meadows, and sapphire blue mountain lakes.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch.
 Afternoon: Once a homestead of an early pioneer family, Palisades Stewardship Education Centre is an historic ranch operated by Parks Canada as one of Canadaís premier outdoor education facilities. Located in the spectacular Athabasca Valley, the Stewardship Palisades Education Centreís innovative programming is designed to stimulate a new kind of relationship with nature and to embrace the values of protected areas. During a visit to the Centre, learn about the role of the National Parks in fostering conservation ethics from a Parks Canada expert.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: The Chateau Jasper
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Skeena Train to Prince George/Prince George
(Friday, June 20)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Free time to enjoy Jasper in the morning. Coach transfer to Via Rail Skeena Train en route to Prince George, British Columbia.
 Lunch: Lunch will be served onboard the train
 Afternoon: Today we embark on a two-day journey aboard Via Railís Skeena Train, through the majestic Rocky mountains and untouched countryside. Travel in ďtotem classĒ, from the heart of the Rockies to the shores of the Pacific in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Experience the magnificent scenery along the route including Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies; British Columbia's lush Skeena River Valley and the giant cedars and hemlocks that line the western slope of the Pacific Coastal mountain range. The train covers the entirety of its 725-mile journey during daylight hours.
 Dinner: Will be served onboard the train
 Evening: Arrive in Prince George. Known as British Columbia's northern capital, Prince George is situated at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako Rivers. The origins of Prince George can be traced to the fur trading post of Fort George, established in 1807 by Simon Fraser.
Accommodations: Ramada Prince George
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Skeena Train to Prince Rupert
(Saturday, June 21)
 Breakfast: Served onboard the train.
 Morning: Depart Prince George for Prince Rupert on Skeena Train. High in the coastal mountains of northwestern British Columbia, at the edge of the Spasizi Plateau, the Skeena River begins its 570 kilometer run to the Pacific. Draining a total area of 54,400 square kilometers, the Skeena is the second largest river in the province, and one of the longest un-dammed rivers in the world. Informal discussions onboard the train will highlight the biodiversity of the landscape and the issues of conservation and preservation. Spacious assigned seats in the glass enclosed Panorama Car provides an unbeatable opportunity to observe the landscapes under study.
 Lunch: Served onboard the train.
 Afternoon: Our rail journey continues as we make our way towards Prince Rupert.
 Dinner: Served onboard the train.
 Evening: Arrive in Prince Rupert and transfer to the hotel. This region of the North Coast is one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the world with its fjords, inlets, rain forests, lagoons, sandy beaches, haunting abandoned villages. Prince Rupert is located on Kaien Island at the mouth of a fjord.
Accommodations: The Prince Rupert Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary - Full Day Grizzly Bear Viewing
(Sunday, June 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: A presentation will set the stage for an incredible journey to the Khutzeymateen Valley, home to one of the highest concentrations of grizzly bears in North America. As we cruise north through Chatam Sound, the foliage becomes denser, and hardy Western hemlocks carpet the mountains that guard the entrance to the estuary. Along the way, watch for porpoises, seals, sea lions, bald eagles, and blue herons as you learn first-hand about this diverse marine environment. Pass through cliffs that rise up from the waters of the 14-mile long Khutzeymateen Inlet towards peaks of over 6,500 feet high. Beyond lies a valley of ancient spruce forests and the protected land of the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary. Here we will have an opportunity to observe these legendary giants in their pristine natural environment. It is truly a photographerís paradise and will be the highlight of your program.
 Lunch: Lunch on site.
 Afternoon: Grizzly bear viewing continues in the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary. Khutzeymateen Provincial Park [a.k.a. Khutzeymateen/Kítsim-a-deen Grizzly Sanctuary] was established as the first area in Canada to be protected specifically for grizzly bears and their habitat. It also represents the first undisturbed estuary of its size to be protected along the north coast of BC. The topography of this land and marine sanctuary is diverse, with rugged peaks towering to 2100 metres above a valley of wetlands, old growth temperate rainforests and a large estuary. An abundance of wildlife shares the area.
 Dinner: On your own.
 Evening: Free time to relax and prepare for tomorrow's early morning departure.
Accommodations: The Prince Rupert Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Pacific Northwest Cannery Historic Site/Northwest Coast History And Culture
(Monday, June 23)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Discover the natural and cultural heritage of the Northwest Coast with a museum curator. Learn about the important role of feasting and performance art in Northwest Coast culture during a real life feast experience. View ceremonial regalia and extraordinary feast art in the museumís galleries and discover their significance with museum experts. After a short walk, enter the feast house as a guest, where song, mask dancing and storytelling inform and delight.
 Lunch: At the Pacific Northwest Cannery Historic Site.
 Afternoon: One of the most significant sites of its kind in Western Canada, the Pacific Northwest Cannery Historic Site provides insight into life at remote salmon canneries and how the industry shaped the economy and culture of the province. Additional notes for copy: Weíll explore North Pacific Canneryís historic boardwalks, industrial buildings, residences and wilderness surroundings on a private tour connecting participants with the salmon canning industry, highlighting the people, living quarters, workspaces, and functions of a remote cannery. Experience live demonstrations of cannery machinery, a glimpse into the unique living experiences of workers of First Nations, Japanese, Chinese, and European descent, and a journey from the earliest days of salmon canning to the modern methods that take place today.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Free time to explore Prince Rupert. One option is The Prince Rupert Performing Arts Centre (the Lester Centre) is a state of the art 700 seat facility operated by a non-profit society for the cultural benefit of the people of the Northwest. It hosts more than 120 performances each year as well displaying art from local artists.
Accommodations: The Prince Rupert Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: BC Ferry to Port Hardy/Canada's Inside Passage
(Tuesday, June 24)

Note: This ferry trip is 16 hours - participants will have a cabin onboard to relax or rest during the journey.

 Breakfast: On board the ferry.
 Morning: Depart from Prince Rupert aboard BC Ferries. Cruise southward through the awe-inspiring Inside Passage to Port Hardy. Cabins will be made available on-board the ferry which will allow participants the opportunity to rest. This 15 hour journey takes you past spectacular coastal rainforests, and majestic coastal mountains. Informal discussion and interpretation of coastal ecological issues while passing noted villages, first contact sites, sea mammals, etc.
 Lunch: Onboard the ferry
 Afternoon: We continue to cruise through Canada's Inside Passage. Cut from the coastal mountains by glaciers millions of years ago, the fjords of Canadaís Inside Passage provide vistas of spectacular coastal rainforests, beaches, waterfalls and mountains.
 Dinner: Onboard the ferry
 Evening: Arrive in Port Hardy and transfer to our hotel in nearby Port McNeill.
Accommodations: Haida Way Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Telegraph Cove - Whale Viewing Expedition
(Wednesday, June 25)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: This morning we travel south along the rugged coast of Vancouver Island to historic Telegraph Cove, BCís last boardwalk community and considered by some to be the best location in the world to observe Orca (Killer) Whales. The Johnstone Strait and Broughton Archipelago are home to a bounty of marine wildlife including humpback whales, Steller sea lions, dolphins, porpoises, bald eagles and so much more. We will head out into the protected waters an ideal location to view and listen to orcas and other marine mammals as they feed, socialize and raise their young. We will cruise through the passages and around the islands that are teeming with wildlife in one of the most beautiful locations on British Columbiaís coast. The boat is equipped with underwater microphones (hydrophones) so we can listen in on the squeaks, whistles and echolocation that allow orcas and dolphins the ability to communicate and locate their food.
 Lunch: Box lunch.
 Afternoon: Depart for Nanaimo. We'll stop at Coombs Country Market (the one with the goats on the roof).
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant en route.
 Evening: Arrive in Nanaimo, our destination for the night. Bordered by the Strait of Georgia and surrounded by forest, ocean, islands and mountains, Nanaimo is centrally located on Vancouver Island. Its scenic harbor and bustling waterfront are the focus of this thriving coastal city and it serves as a major ferry terminal, linking Vancouver Island with mainland British Columbia.
Accommodations: The Coast Bastion Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Ferry to Vancouver/Vancouver Coach Excursion
(Thursday, June 26)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: We head for the Ferry Terminal and board the BC Ferry back to Vancouver.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own on the ferry.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a guided coach excursion of Vancouver. British Columbiaís largest city is cradled between snow-capped mountains and the Pacific Ocean and is ranked as one of the best places in the world to live.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner in Vancouver.
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Program Concludes/Departure
(Friday, June 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel is served from 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.
 Morning: Departure after breakfast according to individual travel plans. Check-out time is 12:00 noon. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Vancouver, British Columbia Capilano Suspension Bridge
Voices from Vancouverís past mingle with the sounds of nature, beautiful gardens skirt colourful totem poles, British Columbia First Nations artisans chisel legend into cedar and Capilano Suspension Bridge takes you to the serenity of a West Coast rainforest. Cross the suspension bridge, try out Canadaís award-winning tourist attraction, Treetops Adventure which offers a squirrelís eye view of a thriving coastal rainforest in the mid-story of 1300-year-old old growth Douglas-firs; or take the Cliffwalk with a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms. For additional information, visit
  Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Step back in time to 15th Century China at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. The first of its kind outside of China, the Garden offers a glimpse into life as a Chinese scholar during the Ming dynasty. Scholars lived and worked in their gardens, sharing these enchanting spaces with friends and family of all ages. Like any home, a scholar's garden was filled with energy, but also offered quiet moments for contemplation. As a bridge between cultures, the Garden offers lively demonstrations, Chinese festival celebrations and diverse art exhibitions. We also feature musical concerts such as the summer Enchanted Evenings Concert series. For additional information, visit
  Granville Island
Early in the morning, the first Aquabus of the day putters across False Creek, heading towards Granville Island. Home to 300 businesses, studios and facilities, the destination still retains an old-fashioned, timeless feeling. Craftsmen and artists take up residence here, and it's clear that the tradition of apprenticeship and mastery is alive and well. You can see it in the detail of a ceramic bowl or the gentle curve of a freshly blown glass vase, the intricacy of a piece of jewellery or the flick of a painter's brush. Granville Island's charming public market overflows with fresh produce, breads, seafood and a bounty of other goods is reason enough to visit Granville Island. Be sure to also stroll the narrow lanes of the island to check out its unique shops and photo-worthy views of downtown across False Creek. Street music is one of the most distinctive characteristics of Granville Island. Singer/songwriters strum away in open courtyards, drum circles form out of nowhere, and a clear strain of a melody from violin or saxophone melody often seems to make its way to the ears of an unsuspecting visitor For additional information, visit
  Harbour Cruise
Vancouver's best sightseeing, dining and special event cruises. Join Vancouver's most popular Sunset Dinner Cruise, an amazing opportunity to enjoy the fabulous sunset view. Enjoy Vancouver's only authentic paddlewheeler and narrated tour of the inner harbour or relax with Indian Arm Luncheon Cruise through a secluded mountain fjord. A unique experience, since the area is only accessible by boat, in 4 hours you will pass Deep Cove to Indian Arm and finally reach Silver Falls. For additional information, visit
  Vancouver Aquarium
Canadaís largest aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium is dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life through display, interpretation, education, research, and direct action. You can experience all of this and more when you visit us. Research is ongoing at Aquarium labs and with display animals, by graduate students and staff. For additional information, visit
  Vancouver Museum
The Vancouver Museum houses permanent displays, exhibitions and educational programs about the natural, cultural and human history of the Vancouver region. Canada's largest civic museum moves into its second century, it continues to explore the human and natural history of the Vancouver region, the Pacific Northwest Coast and Pacific Rim with exciting, ever-changing new exhibitions. The Vancouver Museum continues to celebrate the rich legacy and heritage of our diverse multicultural society through varied programs. For additional information, visit
  Banff, Alberta Banff Hot Springs
All the amenities of a modern facility are featured in this splendid, historic spa and bath house Ė against a backdrop of spectacular alpine scenery. Luxuriate in the comfort of soothing hot water where travelers have come to ďtake the watersĒ for more than a century. For additional information, visit
  Banff Park Museum
The Banff Park Museum is a national historic site because the museum's original exhibit collection reflect and commemorate an early approach to the interpretation of natural history in Canada. Also, the architectural style and detailing of the 1903 log building are characteristic examples of early federal buildings in the Park. The museum displays an extensive collection of natural history specimens (more than 5,000) which are characteristic of early museum practices. The emphasis is on changes in attitudes toward natural resource management. Although the building, the collection, and the grounds have been modified over time in response to the demands of the day, the developments and treatments are "in keeping" with the historical significance of the building and collections themselves. For additional information, visit
  Lake Minnewanka Cruise
Lake Minnewanka (home of the 'Banff Crasher Squirrel') lies in the heart of the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park, just a short 15 minute drive from the townsite of Banff. Banff Lake Cruise provides a unique sightseeing tour experience on one of two 43 passenger Lake Cruisers or the 65 passenger Alberta Explorer operating several times daily from mid-May to mid-October. This magnificent interpretive lake cruise of Minnewanka and the scenic Canadian Rockies is 1 hour and provides unique photo opportunities unavailable elsewhere. Our experienced crew will guide you through this rugged paradise richly steeped in history, native folklore and geology. The narration is intriguing, entertaining and informative. You will learn about the wildlife and vegetation that inhabit these mountains, the early explorers who named them and the tremendous forces that created them. The Lake Minnewanka valley offers some of the most interesting and spectacular scenery found anywhere in the Canadian Rockies For additional information, visit
  The Banff Centre
A globally respected arts, cultural, and educational institution and conference facility, The Banff Centre is a leader in the development and promotion of creative work in the arts, sciences, business, and the environment. It is the largest arts and creativity incubator on the planet. Over 8,000* artists, leaders, and researchers from across Canada and around the world participate in programs at The Banff Centre every year. Through its multidisciplinary programming, The Banff Centre provides them with the support they need to create, to develop solutions, and to make the impossible possible. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Wild Guide: Bears

Author: Charles Fergus

Description: This full-color guide to the world of bears includes black bears, polar bears, and grizzlies; and information on dealing with bears in the wild. Feared and reviled by many, bears are woefully misunderstood creatures. This natural history guide clears up many of the misconceptions about the animals and offers a glimpse into their extraordinary lives. Covering everything from hibernation to their storied fishing abilities, the book also examines the difficulties that bears and humans often have coexisting and gives invaluable guidance on how to act should you encounter a wild bear. Illustrated throughout in full color.

Grizzly Heart

Author: Charlie Russell and Maureen Enns

Description: An absorbing first-hand account of living with bears, from the acclaimed author of The Spirit Bear. To many people, grizzlies are symbols of power and ferocity -- creatures to be feared and, too often, killed. But Charlie Russell, who has had a forty-year relationship with bears, holds the controversial belief that it is possible to live with and truly understand bears in the wild. And for five years now, Russell and his partner, artist and photographer Maureen Enns, have spent summers on the Kamchatka peninsula, located on the northeast coast of Russia, and home of the densest population of brown bears in the world. Grizzly Heart tells the remarkable story of how Russell and Enns have defied the preconceptions of wildlife officials and the general public by living unthreatened -- and respected -- among the grizzlies of Kamchatka. In an honest and immediate style, Russell tells of the trials and successes of their years in the field, from convincing Russian officials to allow them to study, to adopting three bear cubs left orphaned when their mother was killed by a hunter (and teaching these cubs how to survive in the wild), to raising environmental awareness through art. Through a combination of careful study and personal dedication, Russell and Enns are persuading people to reconsider the age-old image of the grizzly bear as a ferocious man-eater and perpetual threat. Through their actions, they demonstrate that it is possible to forge a mutually respectful relationship with these majestic giants, and provide compelling reasons for altering our culture. "We have been able to live beautifully with these animals, with no serious threat, because of what we've learned. Hopefully, sharing what we learn will help people -- and be a big help to our bears, too."

Operation Orca: Springer, Luna and the Struggle to Save West Coast Killer Whales

Author: Daniel Francis, Gill Hewlett

Description: In 1964 when the Vancouver Aquarium obtained its first killer whale, Moby Doll, the prevalent attitudes towards killer whales was that they were fierce and vicious man-eaters. Over the years, attitudes have begun to change, and orcas are now revered as loveable, intelligent creatures and iconic symbols of the marine environment. In January 2002, a young killer whale was discovered alone in the waters of Puget Sound near Seattle. Determining that the whale would not survive alone so far from home, a team of scientists captured "Springer" and transported her by boat north to her home range where she rejoined her family. At the same time Springer was making her historic journey, another lone whale turned up in Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The people of Nootka Sound adopted "Luna" as their own, but he was a large, boisterous youngster who liked to cuddle boats and the government feared he would get into trouble. Another rescue was planned to return Luna to his family but this time there was no happy ending. In Operation Orca, winner of the 2008 Foreword Magazine Nature Book of the Year award, author Daniel Francis and long-time Vancouver Aquarium staff member Gil Hewlett give breadth to the complications, contradictions, and political posturing that twice engulfed the debate of whether to interfere or let nature take its course. Through the amazing story of these two "orphan" whales, Operation Orca tells the larger story of orcas in the Pacific Northwest, the people who have studied them and the transformation of the whale's image from killer to icon.

Coastal Bears

Author: Keith Scott

Description: A complete guide to the bears of the British Columbia Coast. Stories and an abundance of pictures of Black, Grizzly, and even Spirit Bears.

Handbook of the Canadian Rockies

Author: Ben Gadd

Description: Geology, plants, animals, history and recreation from Waterton/Glacier to the Yukon.

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