Trip Ideas

BC Sightseeing Journeys

To best admire BC’s mountains, canyons, fjords and ancient forests, opt for a unique land, ocean or air adventure that makes the journey as spectacular as the destination. Choose from all-season helicopter and floatplane tours, train trips through wild places untracked by highways, and ferries charting marine passages north towards Alaska. Leave the driving, steering or piloting in the hands of local navigators and let sightseeing top your vacation agenda.


49.272425,-123.135177| 50.069894,-122.946117| 50.782497,-127.492332| 52.328625,-126.973228| 48.423761,-123.371065| 52.933431,-118.820601| 54.294138,-130.354171

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5 49.272425,-123.135177| 50.069894,-122.946117| 50.782497,-127.492332| 52.328625,-126.973228| 48.423761,-123.371065| 52.933431,-118.820601| 54.294138,-130.354171
MAP LEGEND
  1. Vancouver
  2. Whistler 
  3. Port Hardy
  4. Bella Coola
  5. Victoria
  6. Jasper
  7. Prince Rupert

BC Ferries Northern Journeys

Discovery Coast Passage Route

BC Ferries sail to almost 50 ports-of-call along BC’s coast, from a 20-minute hop between West Vancouver and Bowen Island to the 15-hour Inside Passage sailing between Vancouver Island and the North Coast. You can see pristine landscapes accessible only by sea when you take the Discovery Coast Passage route to BC’s untouched Central Coast. This summer-only journey sails from Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Bella Coola in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region. Witness ocean life at its most majestic on the Central Coast, where Orcas, dolphins, sea lions and bald eagles abound. Cruise past forested islets and along deep fjords, stopping at tiny outports, fishing lodges and First Nations communities on the way.

And you can travel even further on a ferry ride turned wildlife cruise to the Inside Passage. BC Ferries’ MV Northern Adventure sails between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert year round; chances are you’ll spot seals, eagles, dolphins and even whales en route. From Prince Rupert, you can continue by ferry to Haida Gwaii or to Alaska, or head east along the mountain-framed Yellowhead Highway.

 

Vancouver-Victoria-Gulf Islands by Air

Victoria's Inner Harbour

It’s been said that British Columbians hop on floatplanes the way New Yorkers grab cabs. It’s not quite true, but the iconic seaplane is a key part of West Coast life, providing access to islands and outports that roads don’t reach. Flying, whether by floatplane, regional jet or helicopter, is also an unforgettable way to take in the sheer scale of BC’s majestic landscapes.

Start your journey off right with a bird’s eye view from Vancouver to Victoria on a 30-minute flight on Harbour Air or Helijet. Harbour Air also serves the Gulf Islands, a string of bucolic islands between Vancouver and Victoria.  

 

VIA Rail’s Jasper-Prince Rupert Train

The two-day journey between the Canadian Rockies and the northwest coast aboard VIA Rail's Jasper-Prince Rupert train is a remarkable route. With 1,160km/696mi to cover, the scenery nearly changes on the half-hour, from spruce forests to granite peaks.

Keep an eye for signs of moose and deer, bears and bald eagles, and listen as staff share information about the natural and cultural history of the surroundings. Explore local towns when the train pulls in for the night, or request a stop along the line.

Ride the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola

Whistler. Photo Credit: Tourism Whistler/Steve Rogers

For a speedy Whistler sightseeing adventure, soar like an eagle on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. This feat of engineering takes just 11 minutes to travel between Blackcomb and Whistler mountains, allowing plenty of time to snap photos of the Coast Mountains above and Fitzsimmons Creek’s whitewater channel below.

The record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola is the highest lift of its kind, dangling 436m/1,430ft above the valley floor. Thrill-seekers: make sure to jump into one of two silver cabins for a bird’s-eye view through the glass bottom.

In summer, ride the gondola for sightseeing, hiking or mountaintop dining. On summer weekends, the Mountain Top BBQ at Whistler Mountain’s Roundhouse Lodge is the place to be for burgers, views and live entertainment.

 

Rocky Mountaineer’s Sea to Sky Climb (Vancouver to Whistler)

Sea to Sky Highway. Photo Credit: Destination BC

Decades before highways were built passenger trains linked Vancouver with the BC Interior along an ocean-and-mountain route. These days, you can take the slow route to Whistler from Vancouver aboard an observation car on the Rocky Mountaineer’s Sea to Sky Climb. In rugged places, like the Cheakamus Canyon south of Whistler, the best vantage points are still from a train. The train winds through suburban West Vancouver, then travels along the shore of Howe Sound, BC’s most southerly fjord, before climbing Cheakamus Canyon to the foot of Whistler Mountain.