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Travel Tips of the Week: March 24, 2014

Going to the Sun Road

A Wildlife Safari In British Columbia

By Jean Strauber, Travel Editor

I just received the 2014 Globus: Every Journey Tells A Story brochure.  The first thing I do is look for new escorted tours.  This year, Globus describes two:  The 10-Day  Discover Glacier National Park, Hells Canyon and Washington Wine Country Panorama; and the 10-Day British Columbia Wildlife Safari.
Highlights of the Discover Glacier National Park, Hells Canyon and Washington Wine Country Panorama include:
In Glacier National Park you will travel along Going-to-the-Sun Road (pictured) in Red Jammer buses; take a scenic cruise on Lake McDonald; a western BBQ dinner with a sing-a-long at a local ranch; a guided tour of a silver mine and a visit to the Oasis Bordello Museum; a scenic cruise in Hells Canyon (featured in the movie “A River of No Return”) which includes a Bar-B-Q lunch; a winery tour and tasting in the Washington Wine Country and visiting the Nez Perce National Historic Park.
Sightseeing tours have been scheduled for Seattle, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and Mt. Rainier National Park. Priced from $2,759 land only, per person, double occupancy. Some might like to add a Seattle to Seattle Alaska Cruise aboard the Holland America’s MS Amsterdam.  Ports of call include Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria, and cruising along the Tracy Arm available on July 11, August 3, August 17, August 29,  and September 3, Discover Glacier National Park, Hells Canyon & Washington Wine Country Tour.
The 10-Day British Columbia Wildlife Safari intrigues me and I am considering taking this escorted tour. The daily itinerary:
DAY 1- Arrive in Vancouver and transfer to the hotel Georgian Court. Relax during the day or do some sightseeing before meeting your new traveling companions and the tour director for a welcome drink (there will also be hors d’oeuvres).  The Tour Director can recommend a nearby restaurant or café.
DAY 2- After the included breakfast you’ll check out of the hotel and board your bus.  Your day will begin with a morning orientation tour of Vancouver including Chinatown, Gastown, Vancouver’s beautiful beaches and harbor and Stanley Park. You’ll then visit the renowned Vancouver Aquarium with its more than 50,000 creatures. You’ll next be cruising across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. Upon your arrival in Victoria where you’ll enjoy a sightseeing tour before heading to your hotel, Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort for the next two nights.
DAY 3- Your day will begin with a Whale Watching Cruise. Look out for orcas, minkes, humpback whales, seals, and porpoises. There will be time for your to explore Victoria on your own before meeting your traveling companions and Tour Director at the Butchart Gardens, an estate of more than 55 acres. Tonight your included dinner will be at the original Butchart family residence.
DAY 4- After breakfast and checking out of your hotel, you and your new friends will be crossing Vancouver Island to the coast. The first stop of the day is Duncan, the “City of Totems,” where your group will visit the Raptors Centre to meet amazing eagles, hawks, falcons, and vultures and hear about the role the raptors play in nature’s ecosystem. Leaving Duncan, your motorcoach driver will drive you through the Pacific Rim National Park with its rugged coastline and ever-exchanging shores.  Your final stop for the day will be at Tofino and the Best Western Tin Wis Resort. (Continued next week.)

Jean Strauber

Entertainment Writer

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