Authentic Canada, on your terms

By Jennifer Ennion October 19, 2023
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With spectacular scenery, unique wildlife and cosmopolitan cities to explore, there is so much Canada has to offer every kind of traveller.

The loud yaps of excited huskies echo through pines in the snow. The dogs jump for joy as they’re partnered up. They know they’re about to run and they couldn’t be more ecstatic. Mushing through the forests of one of Canada’s wildest territories, the Yukon, is a bucket-list experience. As the huskies take off down a narrow track their barking stops and the forest falls silent. Gliding through a winter wonderland on the back of the sled allows you to experience the beauty of this remote landscape: frozen lakes, thick woods, a vibrant blue sky.

The only way to top your day is with a late-night show of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), when the sky dances with swirls of green and purple lights. It’s a pinch-me moment, and just one of the several experiences in Adventure World’s new Authentic Collection of itineraries that puts the planet and people (and their dogs) first.

The great outdoors

For Australians, Vancouver is the gateway to Canada, and the launching point for an adventure through British Columbia. In winter, a highlight experience is travelling aboard VIA Rail’s ‘Canadian train’ to the mountain town of Jasper, Alberta. The overnight journey takes you through snow-laden wilderness, past jagged peaks and icy waterfalls.

This is one of the best ways to reach the famous Rocky Mountains. Here, you can visit a planetarium to learn about Indigenous constellation stories on Adventure World’s new Authentic Canadian Winter Wonderland itinerary. The two-week trip also takes travellers to the popular adventure hub of Banff and Lake Louise, Calgary and then Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon. It’s here in Canada’s north that you’ll witness the incredible Aurora Borealis, learn to snowshoe and try your hand at dog sledding.

Bow Lake in Banff National Park, Alberta. Image credit: Adventure World

If you want to mix adventure with authentic wildlife experiences, head to the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia. From Port Hardy, on the northern tip of Vancouver Island, you can journey into the forest with an Indigenous-owned tourism company to view grizzly bears. It’s a sustainable wildlife experience that also supports First Nations’ communities and includes important cultural stories.

The grizzly viewing is part of Adventure World’s Island Wildlife & Adventure itinerary, which starts with a visit to the new Malahat Skywalk, on the traditional territory of the Malahat Nation. Your island journey will also take you to Tofino where you can enjoy a guided sea kayaking excursion and immerse yourself in old-growth forest. Other highlights include searching for orcas on a whale-watching adventure, and learning about the Homalco First Nation’s culture and traditions.

Urban adventures

The Adventure World Authentic Collection is all about offering travellers customisable trips so they have an unforgettable experience based on their personal desires and wishlists. That’s why you will not only find itineraries that whisk modern-day explorers to remote fishing villages and rugged wilderness areas, but also to more accessible destinations for people who want to have a city sojourn with a touch of nature.

BC’s Coastal Adventure does this expertly, with outdoor experiences interwoven with three British Columbia cities: Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria. Soak in the dramatic mountain views along the Sea to Sky Highway, take part in a fine-dining walking tour of Whistler’s award-winning restaurants, photograph towering volcanic peaks from the window of the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, and ride in a Zodiac while searching for minke whales off Victoria. This is the kind of trip that caters to all types of travellers, with mild to wild experiences. One of the highlights is a flight from Whistler to Victoria with Harbour Air Seaplanes, North America’s first carbon-neutral commercial airline. The view of mountains, islands and waterways is spellbinding.

The Authentic Canadian Rockies itinerary, from Vancouver to Calgary, also offers the best of the city and outdoors, and in style. Whether you’re celebrating a special anniversary or simply want to spoil yourself, this trip promises unforgettable experiences that start aboard the iconic Rocky Mountaineer. Travelling with GoldLeaf Service, the Rocky Mountaineer is one of the world’s best train journeys, picking up passengers in Vancouver and taking them through the Fraser Canyon and the Monashee and Cariboo mountains to Jasper in the Canadian Rockies. Before boarding, however, you will get to travel sustainably through Vancouver, with a walking tour of historic Granville Island Market and a cycling tour through Stanley Park. Once in Jasper, a guided hike to a mountaintop and a special back-country cooking lesson await, before you journey into the stunning national parks around Banff. What makes this itinerary extra special is the fact you will stay at the luxurious Fairmont Resorts along the way.

Heading east, discover some of Ontario’s 250,000 freshwater lakes on the self-guided Ontario’s Heartland road trip. Start your urban adventure in Toronto, visiting places such as the historic St. Lawrence Market, before heading into Canadian ‘cottage country’. There, you can embrace the quintessential Canadian holiday of boating and swimming. Continue your watery adventures in the country’s capital of Ottawa by rafting along Ottawa River and boating along Rideau Canal, a National Historic Site. You’ll be able to learn more about Ontario’s freshwater lakes and rivers in one of the oldest parks in Canada, Algonquin Provincial Park, and enjoy this amazing wildlife haven on some of the interpretive walking trails.

Culinary Canada

Adventure World continues to put people and meaningful cultural experiences at the forefront of its Authentic Collection, with Sip & Savour Canadian Flavours. Taste your way from Vancouver to Edmonton, Alberta, by exploring Victoria’s culinary cuisine, sampling the seasonal produce at Vancouver’s Granville Island Public Market and in the foodie district of Gastown, and having an out-of-this-world cooking lesson on top of a mountain peak in Jasper. Add a barbecue at picturesque Emerald Lake Lodge and a cookout by horseback, and you have one of Western Canada’s finest culinary adventures.

Guests enjoy an unforgettable cooking lesson on top of a mountain peak in Jasper, Canada. Image credit: Adventure World

On the opposite side of the country, you can visit the birthplace of Canadian maple syrup and discover other unique delights this corner of the country offers on the Authentic Eastern Canada by Rail itinerary. Let’s start with everyone’s favourite dessert topping though. In Montreal, you will learn how maple syrup is collected, and get the chance to try some of the numerous products the sweet treat is used in.

You will also go on a tour of the city’s underground and watch the intricate Notre-Dame Basilica illuminate in a night-time light show. Another Eastern Canada must-see is Niagara Falls, where you can get up close to the roaring water on a cruise. But this trip isn’t all about iconic experiences. Travellers on this itinerary can also learn about the Huron-Wendat Nation, one of Quebec’s Indigenous nations, while walking a short trail brought to life with light, sound and video projections. It’s just one of the many ways you can enrich your travels and connection to people, place and planet with Adventure World.

Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada. Image credit: Adventure World.

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