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British Columbia

Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended British Columbia Cruises & Boat Tours

Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure: Ice Explorer & Skywalk

1. Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure: Ice Explorer & Skywalk

Begin your unique adventure at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Center. Meet your guide, who will take you to the Athabasca Glacier. At the scheduled time, board your Ice Explorer, a huge vehicle specifically designed for glacial travel, and set off on an exciting ride. During your ride, hear stories and facts about the Columbia Icefield and the glaciers around you. Once on the Glacier, hop off the vehicle to walk on the extremely thick, 25,000-year-old ice and drink cold, pure water from the glacier itself. This is an experience you will never forget. Then, take a short ride to the Columbia Icefield Skywalk. Heighten your senses by walking on a platform where only glass separates you from a 918-foot (279-meter) drop. Marvel at the spectacular views of the mountains, glaciers, and the Sunwapta River with its waterfalls.

Jasper National Park: Maligne Lake Cruise With Guide

2. Jasper National Park: Maligne Lake Cruise With Guide

Sit back and relax onboard a comfortable and unforgettable 14-kilometer (8.7-mile) cruise along Maligne Lake. Take in the views of the surrounding peaks of the Canadian Rockies, alpine glaciers, and azure water of the lake. Watch out for wildlife and learn from your guide about the early explorers and indigenous people of Jasper National Park, a UNESCO world heritage site. Visit the tiny but very famous Spirit Island, which is only accessible by boat, and enjoy a short nature trail before returning to Home Bay.

Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

3. Victoria: 3-Hour Zodiac Whale-Watching Tour

After being collected from your downtown accommodation in a comfortable shuttle bus, you will venture down to the harbor where you will meet with your boat. After meeting your guides for the day, you will then depart from Victoria, setting off on your 3-hour whale-watching tour. Between April and October, you will have a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, and otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. The zodiac vessels used on your tour are definitely recommended for the more wild-at-heart. You can let the wind blow in your hair and be exposed to the true west-coast elements in an open style, 12-passenger vessel. At the conclusion of your exhilarating tour, you will be returned back to the harbor, at which point you will be driven back to your accommodation in downtown Victoria.

Banff: Lake Minnewanka Cruise

4. Banff: Lake Minnewanka Cruise

Admire views of the Canadian Rockies as you cruise on the largest lake in Banff National Park. Meet your guide and captain on the boat dock at Lake Minnewanka and begin your 1-hour adventure. Glide through the crystal clear water of this glacier lake and soak up the views of the mountains and blue sky above you. Keep an eye out for wildlife on the lakeshore, including big-horned sheep, deer, mountain goats, and even the occasional bear. During your cruise, interpretive guides will share interesting facts and stories about the wildlife and vegetation that inhabit the Canadian Rockies. Learn about the culture of the indigenous people who used to call the area home and hear a lot of entertaining legends of the area.

From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

5. From Victoria: Whale Watching 3-Hour Trip on Covered Boat

After meeting at the pier or being collected from your Victoria hotel or accommodation, you will begin your carbon-neutral tour led by certified marine naturalists whose knowledge and passion for Vancouver Island’s marine wildlife is unequaled in the industry. Come aboard to experience the wild! All tours are three hours in length and peak whale watching season is April through October. In this peak season, there is a greater than 95% success rate of spotting whales, including both transient and resident orcas, humpbacks, minke, and gray whales. Other wildlife you may encounter include Dall’s and harbor porpoises, harbor and elephant seals, otters and marine birds such as cormorants and bald eagles. Whilst onboard the boat you will also be offered complimentary coffee and tea, onboard bathrooms, certified marine naturalists, and indoor and outdoor viewing areas. In the event of an unlucky tour, you will be invited to join again for a complimentary second whale watching tour to bring your dreams of seeing these magnificent animals to life.

Jasper: Roundtrip Jasper SkyTram Ticket

6. Jasper: Roundtrip Jasper SkyTram Ticket

Travel just 4 miles (7 kilometers) southwest of Jasper to the end of Whistlers Road to arrive at Jasper SkyTram. Time your visit for an early morning or evening flight to avoid crowds and take advantage of the best light for photos. After you exchange your voucher at the reservations window for a ticket, climb aboard the enclosed tram car for a 7.5-minute ride to the upper station. Your tram ride will ascend to an elevation of 7,425 feet (2,263 meters). A guide will accompany you on your trip, sharing insights about the area, history, and wealth of wildlife. Once at the top, take a stroll on the accessible boardwalk for breathtaking views of Jasper National Park, the town of Jasper, turquoise-colored lakes, mountain ranges, and the Athabasca River Valley. Try hiking Whistlers Summit Trail to reach the top of Whistlers Mountain at 8,081 feet (2,463 meters) for a 360° view of six mountain ranges, including Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Before you leave for your trip down the mountain, enjoy a coffee and light snack at the top of the Canadian Rockies. Visit the gift shops at the upper or lower stations to purchase a souvenir that will always remind you of this trip.

Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

7. Victoria, BC: 3-Hour Ultimate Whale & Marine Wildlife Tour

The waters off Victoria, British Columbia are known as the Salish Sea. Discover its wonders and rich marine environment with this ultimate whale and marine wildlife tour. Board a brand new high-speed coastal explorer boat and set sail to look for orcas (also known as killer whales), humpbacks, harbor seals, California sea lions, and over 127 species of marine birds!  Take a tour of the west coast aboard a luxurious coastal explorer, with two outside viewing areas and a fully heated cabin. Enjoy complimentary coffee and hot chocolate as you set off on an adventure to learn all about the local marine wildlife and important landmarks. From playful orcas to giant humpbacks, your experience is sure to be memorable. Discover the marine wildlife in the waters off Victoria with the help of marine biologists and learn about efforts to establish Victoria as a world-renowned whale watching destination. 

Banff National Park: 1-Hour Spray River Horseback Ride

8. Banff National Park: 1-Hour Spray River Horseback Ride

Embark on a horseback riding adventure as you breathe in the pine-spiced mountain air. Approach the Bow Falls and enjoy spectacular views. Pass by the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course known as one of the most immaculately manicured courses in Canada. Continue along the edge of the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course and cross through the waters once more. A partial climb up Sulphur Mountain brings you through a wooded residential area and back to the corrals. Enjoy a unique experience and cross the Spray River. On hotter days, your horse may even decide to cool itself off by splashing water onto its belly. Have an experience unlike anything else.

Campbell River: Whales, Wildlife & Culture Tour

9. Campbell River: Whales, Wildlife & Culture Tour

Go in search of a variety of fascinating wildlife species which can be found off the coast of Vancouver Island, including humpback whales, orcas (killer whales), porpoises, dolphins, sea lions, otters, bald eagles, and a variety of marine birds. The tour vessel includes both indoor and outdoor seating options. Take the outdoor adventure seats that allow for wind-in-your-face exploring and wildlife watching. Inside the warm and protected cabin, find comfortable seats with large windows and a bathroom. As you explore the area, learn more about the rich history of the First Nations of Campbell River and the Discovery Islands. Learn about the tribes who have resided in the region for centuries including the Homalco, Klahoose, Tla’amin, K’ómoks, Wei Wai Kum, We Wai Kai, and more. The guides and skippers will share their expert knowledge of history, legends, stories, and culturally significant sites throughout the excursion.

Banff: Mount Norquay 2.5 or 4-Hour Guided Via Ferrata Climb

10. Banff: Mount Norquay 2.5 or 4-Hour Guided Via Ferrata Climb

Join this fun alpine climbing tour that's perfect for all abilities, including those with no previous experience. Experience the thrill of climbing a via ferrata with an expert guide and delight in bird’s-eye views of Banff National Park.  Choose between a 2.5-hour Explorer Route or a 4-hour Ridgewalker Route. Upon arrival to Mount Norquay, located just 10 minutes from Banff, check in and meet your guide. Get equipped with a harness, lanyards, and helmet, then ride the sightseeing chairlift to where your adventure begins.  After an equipment check and training is complete, take a short 5-minute walk to your first via ferrata buttress to climb. The 2.5-hour Explorer Route is a great choice for those who are slightly limited on time or looking for an introduction to via ferrata. Spend some time with your guide and get introduced to the equipment before heading up a few pitches and crossing the suspension bridge.  You will reach 2,235 meters (7,332 feet) above sea level. The tour lasts 2-2.5 hours, covers 1 kilometer (3,280 feet), and involves an elevation gain of 145 meters (475 feet). Select the 4-hour Ridgewalker Route to get a greater feel for heights and experience the via ferrata in full.  Get comfortable with the equipment on a practice wall, then continue on the Norquay cliffs, climbing the memorial, sunrise and vista buttresses — and, of course, traversing the suspension bridge. The route heads up to the Ridgewalker Summit, 2,300 meters (7,545 feet) above sea level. At the top, enjoy incredible views and snap some photos before descending back to the starting point.  The tour lasts 3.5-4 hours, covers 1.4 kilometers (4,593 feet), and involves an elevation gain of 260 meters (853 feet).

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What people are saying about British Columbia

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 437 reviews

This was the first time I’d ever taken a tour and I did it on my own and it was excellent and fun. Tim our guide gave us so much great information that I found myself taking notes to tell my partner later. We did so much but I never felt we were rushed. I was picked up at my hotel and dropped off there at the end of the day which I totally appreciated. The whole day well organised and very relaxing. I felt very well looked after:)

Once you are there at the Icefield Center, after tickets all transportation is taken care by them, from Regular bus to huge tire bus to glacier & transfer back to regular bus to sky field & return back to Center.

Awesome experience. Perfect way to end our 2 week trip of Glacier, Banff and Jasper.

Well worth the trip the staff wear helpful and friendly

Amazing views, great staff, lovely cafe and gift shop