Prince George and his little sister Princess Charlotte are enjoying the trip of a lifetime after flying with mum and dad to Canada last week.
The Windsor clan, with 16-month-old Charlotte making her royal tour debut, landed in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, on Saturday, September 24 for eight days taking in Great Bear Rainforest, cosmopolitan Vancouver, and the remote archipelago of Haida Gwaii.
The trip, the couple’s second to Canada following their honeymoon excursion there as newlyweds in 2011, will give a massive boost to tourism – and UK tourist operators are predicting British families will be inspired to discover British Columbia too.
Cox & Kings’ North America product manager Neill Prothero says: “It’s exciting to have the royals visiting Canada, as it really highlights Canada’s broad appeal for the traveller – from vibrant cities to icy wildernesses, spectacular mountain scenery to rich cultural heritage and more.
“We’ve expanded our brochure to include new luxury group tours and private journeys all over Canada and Alaska. Our new range of tours includes cruises to remote archipelagos, isolated wilderness lodges accessed by sea plane and family adventure options.”
Here’s how you can follow in the royals’ footsteps and see the best of British Columbia…
1. The ‘budget’ break
If you want to tick off several of Kate and Wills’ destinations without paying a king’s ransom, long-haul specialist Hayes and Jarvis is offering an eight-night holiday to British Columbia.
The offer includes three nights at the four-star Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, on the tip of Vancouver Island, followed by three nights at the four-star Pinnacle Hotel in Vancouver, and two nights at the four-star Sandman Hotel in Kelowna, a city perched on Okanagan Lake.
The offer also includes car hire and return international flights from London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic and Delta Airlines, based on departures on 27 February, 2017.
2. The Great Bear Rainforest
The aptly named Cox & Kings’ West Coast Wilderness in Style trip takes in the Great Bear Rainforest – the world's largest tract of unspoilt temperate rainforest, which Kate and Wills will have an aerial tour over by floatplane on Monday, September 26.
It’s home to Bella Bella, the indigenous 9,000-year-old Heiltsuk community, as well as cougars, wolves, salmon, grizzly bears, and the Kermode (“spirit”) bear, with a white coloured coat.
A truly luxurious trip of a lifetime, the Cox & Kings itinerary begins in Vancouver with a two-night stay, before hopping to the Wickaninnish Inn, a wilderness lodge on Vancouver Island.
Next stop is Nimmo Bay, a floating lodge set within the Great Bear Rainforest, where guests can hire a private helicopter to explore 10,000-year-old glaciers, waterfalls, remote islands and old-growth forests.
3. Haida Gwaii
Kate and William will visit this remote archipelago off British Columbia’s north coast towards the end of their trip. Formerly called the Queen Charlotte Islands, it’s home to the indigenous Haida people and known as ‘the Galapagos of the North’ due to the rich marine wildlife and ancient villages.
Discover the World offers the chance to visit this area on a seven-night cruise Sailing the Islands of Haida Gwaii on which visitors are likely to spot whales (Blue, Sperm, Minke, Humpback), witness the gathering of mating and birthing sea lions at Cape St James and a spot a variety of sea birds (such as the black footed Albatross) on Moresby Island, as well as listening to local Haida stories and learning about their traditional way of life.
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