Victoria, Vancouver & San Juan Islands
Summer 2020 • 9 Days • Price TBA
The “Emerald City” of Seattle provides the start/finish point for this Adventure in the gorgeous San Juan Islands and classic, coastal Canadian cities of Victoria and Vancouver.
Traveler Rewards Program: New Travelers receive a $75-$300 discount on the Victoria, Vancouver & San Juans tour! Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. Check out our Traveler Rewards page for more details.
Now accepting Early Bird deposits on this potential 2020 tour! If 25 Early Birds are received for this departure, we’ll add it to the official 2020 Schedule. An Early Bird is a $50 deposit that holds your spot during the planning stages of a trip, when we don’t have a set itinerary or dates. Early Birds are always refundable!
The “Emerald City” of Seattle provides the start/ finish point for this Adventure in the gorgeous San Juan Islands and classic Canadian cities of Victoria and Vancouver. We ferry through the scenic Salish Sea, stopping for multiple nights in the San Juans with walks that combine British/ American history, jaw-dropping vistas, and the opportunity for whale-watching from shore as well as by boat. Crossing into the Canadian province of British Columbia provides two nights each in beautiful Victoria and the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver.
- Whale watching – catch a glimpse of a pod of Orcas as you sail through the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound
- San Juans walking – a plethora of trails offering unforgettable views of the Puget Sound and connections with the unique history and culture of the islands
- Victoria – including the Inner Harbour, Fisherman’s Wharf, Beacon Hill Park, and the world-famous Butchart Gardens
This is a draft itinerary. Revisions are currently being made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be available soon!
- Airport to hotel group transfers on first and last day
- All land travel as outlined
- Tourist-class or better hotel accommodations
- All breakfasts and a selection of lunches and dinners as denoted (BLD)
- 5 walks
- Walk fees for those walkers who collect AVA credit
- WAI guide service throughout (2 guides)
- Tips for the coach driver and group meals
- Pricing is based on double occupancy. Single accommodations are available for a supplement.
- Chartered cruise in the San Juan Islands, including whale-watching and Sucia Island walk
- San Juan Island National Historical Park, including American Camp and English Camp
- Lime Kiln Point State Park (known as Whale Watch Park), San Juan Island
- San Juan Historical Museum
- Washington state ferry ride to Sidney, BC
- World famous Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC
- Royal BC Museum in Victoria
- BC Ferry through the Canadian Gulf Islands to Vancouver
- Guided historical walking tour of Vancouver, BC
- Stanley Park in Vancouver, BC
- Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island
- More fun stops than we can list!
- Downtown Seattle Highlights Walk with Pike Place Food Tour (Day 1)
- Afternoon Tea at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel (Day 5)
- Capilano Suspension Bridge or Grouse Mountain Gondola (Day 7)
“As usual WAI’s past tours set the expectations for this tour and we got what we expected—a great tour.”
-Clyde F; Anchorage, AK
“Scott is an excellent guide! Relaxed, well-informed, & organized…A good trip needs a focus. Volkswalking does that, but WAI adds information, caring, and comfort. It’s good to have someone else figure out the schedule, driving routes, best stopping places.”
-June B; Manzanita, OR
“Scott and Debbie were excellent…Always an adventure and brought my spirit with me.”
-John S; Oakland, CA
“We enjoy all that you put into a trip. They are well planned & checked out before offered to the customer. Daily schedules keep us on track…Highlight was trip by Gondola to Grouse Mountain. Birds in Motion Demonstration was something I had never experienced before. Sights from there were outstanding. Also, the walks in Victoria & the one through Stanley Park & through the forest here in Vancouver were super.”
-Raye F; Anchorage, AK
“Like traveling companions, well planned schedules, thought out walks; really enjoy staying in one hotel multiple nights.”
-Les & Lucy Y; Leavenworth, KS
“Always nice to travel with Scott, and Debbie is a wonderful addition. Scott keeps all informed & is very helpful with everything. Victoria & San Juan Islands were a pleasant experience. We are always pleased with how much WAI covers on these trips.”
-Bill & Linda H; Pasadena, MD
“Enjoyed hotel & walk choices. Scott & Deb were always available for even the smallest question—always a treat to travel with Scott & get to know Deb…Great fellow travelers; helpful, informative guides, & opportunities to learn about our world.”
-Valerie N; Camano Island, WA
“We love your tours…The trip lived up to our expectations. As usual, it was marvelous—great in every way.”
-Jill S; Vacaville, CA
“Scott and Debbie are a wonderful guide team… Great walks, well thought out additional activities, family feel to company, excellent guides.”
-Steve & Judy M; Encinitas, CA
“[We appreciate] The eye to detail. Our every need seems to be anticipated. Also, the history, culture, etc., we learn as we go.”
-Craig & Jane W; Pittsburg, CA
“Scott does a great job making everyone happy!”
-Linda H; Pasadena, MD
“Scott and Debbie are a terrific guide team…WAI has conditioned us to expect the best & we are never disappointed…All highlights, no lowlights…”
-Bob S; Portland, OR
“Very smoothly run trip / well planned—good recreation. Enthusiastic leaders.”
-Lucille S; Oakland, CA
This is a draft itinerary. Revisions are currently being made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be available soon!
Click on each day for more details.
Day 1: Arrive Seattle, Washington
Optional Downtown Seattle Highlights Walk with Pike Place Food Tour
Our Pacific Northwest Adventure begins today in the Emerald City of Seattle. Travelers arrive throughout the day. Our first official activity is the Welcome Orientation this evening at 7:30 pm at our hotel. Please plan to arrive in time to attend this important Adventure kick-off!
For those who arrive into Seattle a day early, an optional Downtown Seattle Highlights Walk with Pike Place Food Tour is available. This exciting all-day exploration of Washington’s picturesque Puget Sound city includes round-trip transport from our airport hotel to downtown Seattle, walk credit, guide services, and an outstanding food tour in historic Pike Place Market. Price TBA
Day 2: Seattle – Friday Harbor, WA (BL)
Sucia Island Walk – 5 km, rated 2B
We head north this morning through the Skagit Valley on our way to the northern port city of Bellingham, where we board a privately chartered boat and cruise the glassy waters of the Salish Sea on our way to the idyllic San Juan Islands. Our first stop includes a picnic lunch and wonderful walk on horseshoe-shaped Sucia Island, full of scenic trails, delightful sandy beaches, and bizarre water-carved sandstone formations. In the afternoon, we board our boat once again for a whale-watching expedition, in search of resident orcas and other fascinating marine wildlife. Completing our cruise on San Juan Island, we transfer to our hotel, where you are free to enjoy dinner on your own in the nearby enchanting town of Friday Harbor.
Day 3: Activities from Friday Harbor, WA (B)
San Juan Island Walk – 10 km, rated 2B
We devote our full day to enjoying the natural beauty and history of San Juan Island, rated recently by Trip Advisor as one of the best island destinations in the world. Our morning begins with a walk that explores the fascinating story of the Pig War, a mid-1800s border dispute between Britain and America that took them from the brink of war to a peacefully negotiated solution without any loss of life. Strolling through the coastal grasslands of beautifully-set American Camp, we take in magnificent views of the Haro Strait and distant mountain peaks before driving to the marvelous marina of Roche Harbor for lunch on our own. In the afternoon, we encounter the British perspective on the Pig War, with a walk in English Camp along the western shore of Garrison Bay. Capping off our day at Lime Kiln Point State Park (a.k.a. Whale Watch Park), a short stroll offers the opportunity to search for orcas and other marine wildlife from the shore, in addition to providing outstanding lighthouse views and a glimpse at nearby Vancouver Island. Dinner this evening is on your own.
Day 4: Friday Harbor, WA – Victoria, BC (BD)
Following a morning guided tour of San Juan Historical Museum, near our hotel, we bid farewell to Friday Harbor and board a Washington state ferry for a ride across the Haro Strait and over the international boundary with Canada. Arriving in Sidney, BC, our bus whisks us to the world famous Butchart Gardens, a fanciful floral funhouse that is listed as a National Historic Site of Canada. Our mid-afternoon arrival into Victoria gives us ample time to check in to our hotel near the city’s beautiful Inner Harbour. Prior to our included dinner this evening, take time for an initial stroll through this elegant capital city of British Columbia.
Day 5: Activities from Victoria, BC (B)
Victoria, BC Walk – 11 km with 5 km option, rated 1B
With a reputation of being “more English than England,” Victoria combines wonderful European charm with outstanding scenery and one of the oldest Chinatowns in North America. This morning provides a chance to explore this multi-faceted city on foot, with numerous highlights including the picturesque Inner Harbour, fascinating alleys of Chinatown, regal Empress Hotel and architecturally stunning Parliament, vibrant hues of Fisherman’s Wharf, endless Olympic Mountain views across Juan de Fuca Strait, and nicely manicured grounds of Beacon Hill Park. Following free time after lunch, we visit the Royal BC Museum, one of North America’s must-see collections. Dinner this evening is on your own.
For those who would like to fully immerse themselves in the English tradition of afternoon tea, Victoria’s most recognizable landmark, the Fairmont Empress Hotel, offers the grandest of the grand afternoon teas in town. This popular activity takes place in their famous Tea Lobby, which overlooks the city’s beautiful Inner Harbour. While formal attire is not necessary for this optional experience, smart-casual dress is recommended as you sample from the hotel’s exclusive tea menu, followed by fresh fruit cocktail or berries with whipped cream, and an assortment of tea sandwiches, fresh scones, tea cakes, and pastries. Price TBA
Day 6: Victoria, BC – Vancouver, BC (B)
Our morning drive takes us north from Victoria to Swartz Bay, where we board a BC ferry for a scenic cruise through the Canadian Gulf Islands en route to Tsawwassen on mainland Canada. Once ashore, we continue by motorcoach to Vancouver, host of the 2010 Winter Olympics and full of both cosmopolitan charm and great natural beauty. Once in town, we enjoy lunch on our own at Canada Place (site of Expo ’86) before participating in a memorable, one-of-a-kind interactive guided walking experience that takes us back nearly 100 years to the time when Vancouver was “Prohibition City.” Following a late afternoon check-in to our centrally located hotel, you are free to enjoy dinner on your own among Robson Street’s many dining options.
Day 7: Activities in Vancouver, BC (B)
Stanley Park Seawall Walk – 10 km, rated 1A
One of the world’s great urban landscapes, Vancouver’s Stanley Park serves as the scenic setting for our morning walk, offering wonderful views of Burrard Inlet, the North Shore, Lion’s Gate Bridge, and the city’s skyscrapers, not to mention several lovely beaches. This relatively flat stroll circumnavigates the massive, 1,000 acre park along a picturesque seawall path and includes a worthwhile stop at a collection of native totem poles. Following time for lunch on your own, the afternoon and evening are free to explore several of Vancouver’s delights, including Granville Island, Gastown, museums, and art galleries.
For those who would like an optional visit to either the Capilano Suspension Bridge or the Grouse Mountain Gondola, we will use our motor coach to provide transport to and from these venues. Price TBA
Day 8: Vancouver, BC – Seattle, WA (BD)
Deception Pass State Park Walk – 10 km, rated 3C
Saying farewell to Vancouver this morning, we motor south and cross the border into the USA. Back on American soil, we make a brief stop to purchase picnic supplies before continuing to Deception Pass State Park. Considered one of the better walks in America, this scenic stroll on Washington’s Whidbey Island is full of outstanding highlights including lush forests, rocky beaches, grassy dunes, mountain views, and a dramatic bridge, just to name a few. Following the walk and picnic lunch, we continue southward to a Seattle area hotel for one final night together and a farewell dinner to celebrate the memories.
Day 9: Departure from Seattle, WA (B)
Our Victoria, Vancouver & the San Juan Islands Adventure draws to a close with breakfast at our hotel. Exploring the beauty of the San Juan Islands is an absolute delight and combining this archipelago with two of western Canada’s great cities makes it even more memorable. Thanks for sharing this terrific two-country tour with us!
Click on each heading for more details.
How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?
Call or mail in your Early Bird ($50) to save your spot! A maximum of 30 travelers will be accepted on this Adventure.
Traveler Rewards Program
New Travelers receive a $75-$300 discount on the Victoria, Vancouver & San Juans tour! Returning travelers receive our Alumni Traveler Discount of 5-10% off the main tour price. Terms, exclusions and conditions apply. See the Traveler Rewards page for more details or contact us with any questions at 800.779.0353 or [email protected].
How is airfare arranged?
The official start and finish point for this tour is Seattle, WA. More details about flight arrangements will be made available after this tour has been finalized.
What about the walks?
We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. The success of the walks is therefore predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office at 1.800.779.0353.
We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below.
1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.
A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.
What happens next?
We are currently developing the itinerary for this Adventure. Once the itinerary is released, we will accept registration deposits ($500) to save space.
If you have Early Birded with a refundable $50 deposit, your spot on the tour will be held for 2 weeks after the itinerary is published while you make a decision on whether or not you’d like to register with an additional $450 fee, bringing your deposit on tour up to $500. If you decide not to join us for this tour, your Early Bird can be refunded or transferred to another tour.
Join us in 2020 for a walking program indulging in a ring of Pacific Northwest delights in Victoria, Vancouver & the San Juan Islands!