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The second largest country in the world has plenty of room for epic scenery and unique wildlife. All you need is time to enjoy it. The lure of Canada is its rugged beauty: the opportunity to hike through pristine wilderness, paddle along rivers in search of grizzly bears, or trundle through the spectacular scenery of the jagged snow-capped Rockies aboard The Rocky Mountaineer train. There's also skiing, salmon fishing, whale watching and wildlife tracking plus fine dining in the fashionable cities. Vancouver's location, hemmed in by its magnificent harbour, Stanley Park and the majestic coastal mountain range, is truly spectacular. When strolling through the city's leafy streets, a view of the harbour or the mountains in the background is never far away. Just off the west coast of the Canadian mainland sits Vancouver Island and its rugged coastline of many inlets and islands, towering snow-capped peaks and glistening glaciers flowing down to the thundering roar of the Pacific Ocean on its western shores. To the north, Churchill is also known as the 'polar beat capital of the world' and is Manitoba's beluga whale watching hotspot;the approach of winter also makes Churchill one of the best places to experience the northern lights. The Rocky Mountains span more than 4,800km from the northernmost part of British Columbia all the way down to New Mexico in the USA. The jagged overwhelming peaks are a sight to behold. We recommend a hike during the day before relaxing by the fire in the evening as you admire the enveloping Rockies in one of the eclectic mountain towns.
Canada with A&K
Now this really is going the extra mile. One of our travellers was soundly asleep in his luxury Hudson Bay lodge, when he awoke to a polite 3am door knock. The group's guide, who'd stayed awake into the wee small hours scanning the sub-arctic coast, had spotted a polar bear swimming ashore.
'It was huge and glistening,' wrote the amazed visitor. 'It actually peered in through our restaurant window, just feet away. And to ice the cake there was a simultaneous display of the northern lights. I'll never forget those moments.'
While we can't promise up close and personal nature encounters directly beneath stellar astronomy on every Abercrombie & Kent Canada holiday, brilliant and tireless guides are par for the course - this one also made fabulous plaster casts of wolf paw prints for younger guests.
He and the other guides are the front line of our highly experienced North American team, which offers creative itineraries - fancy swimming with beluga whales or wilderness cookery lessons with leading chefs? - along with the best vehicles and long-established contacts. It allows us to offer extraordinary adventures and seamless travel across this vast, diverse country.
An A&K tour, of course, is generous with the great outdoors. From wild, empty and atmospheric Atlantic Canada with its superb seafood, to the vertiginous wall of the Rockies, rising out of the plains and merging into the beautiful West Coast mountains, it's a stage for wonderful hiking, skiing and wildlife viewing, including bears, eagles and wolves.
You can raft the Yukon's stunning rivers past toothpaste blue icebergs or explore its Gold Rush historic towns; fish in Ontario's lakes or British Columbia's emerald waters - returning guests love the ease with which their salmon was shipped home - or take the relaxed luxury option of the Rocky Mountaineer train. We recommend its domed observation car for prime views of the Continental Divide and snow-capped peaks (you may even be welcomed by Mounties, as our guests were).
Whatever option, your journey is punctuated by Canada's sophisticated cities: cosmopolitan Toronto's fine food and arts on Lake Ontario's shore; French-speaking Montreal, dubbed 'Canada's Cultural Capital' by Monocle magazine; and Vancouver, the urban good life sandwiched between imposing mountains and Pacific Ocean.
Clearly, even without the polar bears and aurora borealis, Canada offers an awful lot and A&K are more than happy to help you discover it.
Best time to be there
The peak season is from June to September. Humpback and Killer whale viewing is best in June and July.
For Western Canada, British Airways and Air Canada fly to Vancouver and Calgary.
For Eastern and Atlantic Canada, British Airways and Air Canada fly to Toronto, St John's and Halifax.
For Western Canada, 9-12 hours.
For Eastern / Atlantic Canada, 5-7 hours.
Western Canada is GMT -8 hours.
For Eastern / Atlantic Canada is GMT -4 hours.
Visas not required for UK passport holders for travel prior to 1st March 2016. An eVisa will be required thereafter.
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
An intimate retreat in the picture-postcard backwaters of Clayoquot Sound in British Columbia, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort is a wildlife lover’s haven...Find out more
Price guide: Save | Spend | Splurge
Safari & Wildlife | Adventure & Culture | Honeymoons
Call 01242 547 717 Enquire
Nights: 9 | from £2,280pp
Feast on delicious Maine lobster, discover the charms of very French Quebec, cruise along the St Lawrence River and enjoy the stunning scenery of New... Find out more
Nights: 11 | from £4,980pp
Set sail on one of the most magical cruise itineraries in the world, to experience the incredible scenery and wildlife-filled waters of Alaska. Find out more
Nights: 7 | from £5,680pp
Alaska is one of the world’s most spectacular cruise destinations; on this 7-day cruise you’ll be amongst sensational scenery and a rich variety of wildlife,... Find out more
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Charlotte, Vicki, Heidi and Rod are experts in designing the perfect holiday in the USA and Canada to suit your personal needs, interests and budget. Their intimate knowledge of our hotels and resorts featured in our portfolio, together with our own network of offices throughout the region, allows us to offer unique in-depth knowledge, unparalleled insider access and the VIP service for which Abercrombie & Kent is renowned.
To find out more about our North America team, click on the consultant links below or call them on 01242 547 717 or enquire online
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Our recent awards
The Wickaninnish Inn was a great hotel, we had a great room with a good view of the ocean. The service was perfect and all the staff were very friendly and helpful.
- K Heisterberg, Denmark