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Vancouver Island or not??

Brisbane, Australia
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Vancouver Island or not??

My partner and I will be travelling to Alaska and Canada in August/September this year. We will be doing a small boat cruise around the Inside Passage for 2 weeks, then plan on hiring a car and making our way up through Whistler to Jasper and the Rockies etc etc. (By the way, we got some great info off Trip Advisor to plan that itinerary.) I have no doubt we will be seeing truly spectacular scenery during that time, but my question is: would we see anything on Vancouver Island that we wouldn't have already seen?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Vancouver Island or not??

Hi Daydreamer ~

You will indeed be seeing plenty of spectacular scenery with the ground you will be covering.

The only thing I would add would be a grizzly tour from the north Island (Tide Rip Grizzly Tours @ Telegraph Cove.) This consists of a 7 hour journey by boat over to Knight Inlet on the mainland. Those months would be ideal as the salmon will have started their run and they will be in the river catching and eating salmon non stop.

However, from Vancouver the ferry/drive to Telegraph Cove takes about 7 hours, stops extra and you would want to allow 2 nights there, then the return trip. Otherwise, I think everything you are going to see will trump what's on Vancouver Island. There's the ocean surf at Tofino, but you will actually be on the water.

Greater Sydney...
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2. Re: Vancouver Island or not??

G'day Dda, and welcome to the Canada forums.

Just reading the suggestion by Mufti about bear viewing, and it strikes me that you must be on one of the small ship cruises, Lindblad or some such, in which case I think that you will be seeing bears in the Inside Passage as the salmon run will be on.

Which cruise are you doing as a matter of interest?

Why Whistler? The Rockies leave it for dead scenery wise, although the P2P would be interesting I would think. It was under construction when we visited.

Regards from Sydney

Vancouver-by-the-Sea
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3. Re: Vancouver Island or not??

Not much for beaches on the Inside unless you know where to look-if that appeals then there's a few different types on the Island-both sides.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Vancouver Island or not??

Frommy, We will be cruising with InnerSea Discoveries - round trip Juneau. Why Whistler? Well, we hear so much about it that thought why not. However, after reading some posts with pretty much your comments about the Rockies leaving it for dead, we've decided to drive up, do the P2P and move on. Short and sweet. It's a long drive up to Jasper!!

Greater Sydney...
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5. Re: Vancouver Island or not??

After their first season of cruising the Inside Passage last year I have read a few good reports about the Inner Seas Discovery cruises, and a couple where people have had a whinge about a few things. Overall quite positive IMO. Something that I would have liked to have done 20 years ago. Don't expect cruise line comfort and enjoy the activities which look quite full on.

Whistler gets flogged on TV advertising here, and in other countries. When I returned from our trip in 2008 and people learned that I had visited BC and the Rockies, quite often the first question asked was "Did you visit Whistler?" The power of advertising. I must also mention that the place is very popular for downhill mountain biking.

Port Alberni, Canada
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6. Re: Vancouver Island or not??

There are two things that spring to mind that you may not see if you don't visit Vancouver Island. First the Scenery on the west coast of the island is unlike any you will see in the Straight of Georgia. The outside is very wild and fierce storm pound the coast in the winter.The result is rugged spectacular beauty, and long broad beaches.

The other thing is that you may miss seeing salmon migrating to their spawning streams. the best place to do this on Vancouver Island is at Stamp Falls where there is a salmon ladder, a bunch of interpretive signage, and a canyon where you can look deep in the the water and see large schools of Chinook (the largest salmon species) waiting to climb the ladder and jump at the falls. Combined with the old growth forest along the edge of the river, it is spectacular.

flickr.com/photos/…

Victoria BC
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7. Re: Vancouver Island or not??

For scenic beaches, you really have to be on the outside, facing the ocean. Long Beach on Vancouver Island is one of the most scenic you will find.

Another alternative to Whistler is to take the Fraser Canyon route eastbound. It's entirely different geography from either the coast or the Rockies, and quite dramatic in spots. Whistler is nice, but it has been considerably overworked, and you will see better mountain country in the Rockies.

London
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8. Re: Vancouver Island or not??

Hi!

I went to Alaska and Banff/Jasper in 2010 and then last year Vancouver, Vancouver Island and a quick visit to Whistler. Unfortunately the drive to Whistler wasn't as good because the weather was bad, but hopefully you are more lucky. We didn't do anything in Whistler, only had a look at the town, so I can't comment on how good it is for activities. But from what I've seen I didn't feel the need to stay any longer. It's very touristy.

Anyway I would definitely suggest Vancouver Island! We didn't have much time to stay (I think around 3 days), but we really loved it. We spent a day in Victoria which we really liked and then drove across the island to Tofino and Ucluelet. Obviously that's only a small part of the island. We loved the drive across because they were many nice places with waterfalls etc to stop. Tofino was honestly a major tourist rip off (restaurants are really expensive imo and we got tiny portions) and we didn't have time to do a tour, but we loved the beaches between Tofino and Ucluelet and spent a whole afternoon there. Would have loved to stay longer, I would recommend it!

9. Re: Vancouver Island or not??

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