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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. Killer whale viewing is best in June and July.
British Airways fly to Vancouver and Calgary.
Western Canada is GMT -8 hours
British Passport holders do not require a visa
I am very hard to please and as mentioned previously, we have been on many holidays in South East Asia. I think that what makes the A & K holiday better than those was that every day was superb. Things just seemed to get better and better. It would be very hard for me to suggest how this holiday could have been made any better.
- RG, Peterborough
Suggested itineraries in Canada
Family Wilderness Adventure
Nights: 6 | from £4,839
Highlights - Take a seaplane flight to Victoria; Visit the special Kids Market on Granville Island; Trek, ride on horseback, go deep-sea fishing, canoe or kayak; Go whale watching in an open-air Zodiac...
Nights: 10 | from £3,195
Explore Canada’s untamed and inspiring landscapes ranging from stunning turquoise glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains, Hells gate in Fraser Canyon, and emerald forests teaming with wildlife.
Birds, Bears and Beluga Whales
Nights: 7 | from £6,839
This 7 night itinerary allows you to view magnificent endangered polar bears in their natural habitat – as well as whales, caribou, moose and wolves.
Ranches & Wilderness
Nights: 8 | from £5,875
Head to the heart of Canada’s cowboy country for 8 nights and enjoy an authentic ranch – you’ll have your own horse for your entire stay!
Vibrant Toronto and Fogo Island Adventure
Nights: 6 | from £3,450
Combine the vibrancy of Canada’s most cosmopolitan city with its most intrepid Island experience
The Great Ice Bear Adventure
Nights: 7 | from £6,889
Visit the ‘Polar Bear Capital of the World’ for a 7 night stay where you will trek through the tundra to view the Great Ice Bears.
Land of the Northern Lights
Nights: 3 |
A 3 night trip to Canada’s winter wonderland where you can admire the mysterious Aurora Borealis and explore the gold rush town of Whitehorse.
Quintessential Eastern Canada
Nights: 15 | from £2,980
Discover Canada’s finest cities, including Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto
Private Gulf Island Cruising
Nights: 6 | from £5,500
See the best of British Colombia on this 6 night adventure, from the Gulf Islands to Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island to Ganges Harbour.
Nights: 7 | from £1,985
Experience the Rockies at your own pace with this 7 night self-drive itinerary along scenic highways passing the Joffre Glacier and following the Thompson River.
Highlights of the Rockies
Nights: 7 | from £2,380
Experience the magnificent Rockies and Alberta’s most iconic experiences and Drive some of the most scenic highways in Alberta
Highlights of Atlantic Canada
Nights: 13 | from £2,450
Visit Halifax, one of Canada’s most popular and progressive towns
Grizzly Bears of Knight Inlet Lodge
Nights: 4 | from £2,670
Stay in a remote lodge the middle of the wilderness and search for grizzly bears in their own habitat on this epic 6 night Canadian adventure.
Alaska Cruise Silversea
Nights: 10 | from £3,020
Visit Alaska’s oldest towns, venture to the Hubbard Glacier, experience glacier calving and cruise the famous Inside Passage on this 10 night voyage.
Suggested accommodation in Canada
Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Lousie, Alberta
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Shangri-La, Vancouver, British Columbia