Canada small group holiday
Description of Canada small group holiday
Starting in Calgary and ending in Vancouver, this two week, small group holiday takes us on a sensational journey across the Canadian Rockies, national parks, mountain towns and the rugged rainforests of Vancouver Island.
The view out over the Rockies from Sulphur Mountain, in Banff National Park, are unbeatable, and the perfect introduction to our tour. From the glassy turquoise waters of Lake Louise to deep forest valleys, Canada’s oldest national park is a picture of perfection. Once we’ve relaxed in the warming waters of the geothermal springs, we’ll hit the highway and drive along the famous Icefields Parkway, a scenic road trip that runs between hundreds of glaciers and icy waterfalls.
Keep your eyes peeled for moose and bears as we explore the vast wilderness of Jasper National Park, where alpine meadows and salmon-filled rivers rub shoulders with snow-capped mountain peaks. Adventurous travellers can take a thrilling ride down the river in a raft or kayak, or see the trails on two wheels.
From Clearwater and views of Mount Robson, the highest point in the Canadian Rockies, we’ll head to the impressive cascade of Helmcken Falls, almost three times higher than Niagara. The mountain resort town of Whistler is famous for its skiing, but in the warmer months its slopes and cable cars offer access to beautiful hiking trails. We’ll leave mainland Canada with a ferry to Vancouver Island, and the hugely contrasting temperate rainforest, before returning across whale inhabited waters to the bustling metropolis of Vancouver.
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PlanetWe aim to minimise our impact on the environment through our tour operation and this is key on a trip such as this where we have come to enjoy the natural wonders of Canada. We and our suppliers work to the strict environmental guidelines laid out in our Responsible Tourism policy, governing how we observe wildlife, deal with waste and operate walks to minimise our impacts in the fragile national parks we are visiting. All leaders are trained in responsible tourism matters too and brief our groups on how they can mimimise their own impacts, avoid disturbing wildlife and foster a respect for the culture of indigenous communities.
We spend a significant amount of time at various National Parks on this tour, the included entrance fees help to preserve the status and upkeep of the park on a continued and sustainable basis. Interaction with National Park Rangers helps to preserve this role as an employment opportunity for local people and future generations. Our Tour Leaders educate travellers on how best to interact with the wildlife in the parks, for example advising people not to feed the animals to stop them becoming dependent on hand-outs from humans. They will also advise all groups to keep to the path to avoid upsetting the balance of nature.
As tap water is safe to drink in these areas, we urge you to take a water bottle to fill up, rather than generating plastic bottle waste.
As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.
PeopleWhenever possible, we use small local accommodation, such as the Helmcken Falls Lodge at the entrance to the Wells Gray Provincial Park, and locally owned activity providers. We shop at local stores for picnic items, and our Tour Leaders will encourage us to eat in family-run restaurants and visit local shops whenever possible. This all brings economic benefit to the local communities that we visit. Our Tour Leader is Canadian, and will guide us through the National Parks that they know so well.
We travel in small groups of 12-13 people to minimise the effects that large groups have when visiting remote areas and small villages. This allows us to stay in smaller properties and eat in more local establishments, while larger coachloads of 40-50 would need to eat in more touristy places.
In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.