Posts Tagged ‘Howe Sound’

Whistler Day Tours, plus Squamish & the Sea to Sky Gondola

Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Now that we are in the thick of Winter we are seeing many tourists donning winter outfits with their Ski’s and Snowboards ready to hit the slopes and ride the fluffy powder!

In Vancouver it is quite the green city however, just a couple of hours north of Vancouver you will be in the heart of the Winter wonderland at Whistler, which is one of the many Ski resorts that BC has to offer and of course was the home of the 2010 Winter Olympics alongside Vancouver. If you are planning a trip up to Whistler we will offer you some great tours that will help make a day trip to these snowy destinations one to remember – and along the way we will help you check out some other gems before you reach Whistler.

Located high above the scenic town of Squamish and the gorgeous Howe Sound fjord (this is the most southernly fjord in the Northern Hemisphere).
Located along the stunning Sea to Sky highway that connects Vancouver though to Whistler via Squamish this brand new attraction which opened in 2014 has been a major hit for scenic lovers all over the world.

The highway is a major attraction in itself – “Ranked as the number 10 attraction in British Columbia, and the number 3 attraction in Vancouver by Trip Advisor, driving the Sea to Sky Highway is a must for anyone who is visiting the region. The winding highway snakes along the rugged terrain of the coastal mountains. It takes you from downtown Vancouver through Stanley Park, over the Lions Gate Bridge, and along the upper levels of West Vancouver into the Sea to Sky Corridor, which starts at Horseshoe Bay. The section of highway 99 in between Horseshoe Bay to Pemberton was named Sea to Sky Highway due to it’s dramatic change from a coastal highway at sea level to quickly being a full-on mountain highway with an elevation of over 700 metres.” Notes courtesy of The Sea to Sky Gondola Website.
Sea to Sky Gondola Virtual tour:

There are a couple of very good tours to take if you wish to have an enjoyable and memorable day trip up to Whistler. Both tours can be booked via an Agent at the hotel who will be ready to help assist you with any questions and advice. If one tour happens to be sold out, we recommend you try the other as both have similar itineraries, routes and hours. Both tours will pick you up at the hotel and and give you time to explore Whistler Village and will safely bring you back home right to the hotel again!

Vantage Whistler
Vantage Whistler operates daily. The tour starts at approximately 8:00 am in Vancouver picking you up at the hotel and returns by 7:00 pm dropping you back safely at the hotel.
Adult / Senior: $125
Youth (13-19): $115
Child (4-12): $75
Toddler (0-3): Free
Need more time in Whistler? We can arrange to bring you back to Vancouver on a different day. Additional $25 per person.
All prices include tax, round trip sightseeing from Vancouver to Whistler, pickup and drop off at your hotel.

About: “Vantage Whistler is a locally owned and operated tour company offering multiple stop sightseeing service from Vancouver to Whistler. In Whistler, our guests have over 4 hours of free time to explore the Village. In Whistler Village, there is an abundance of great restaurants, shops, and attractions. If you are feeling extra adventurous, try the new Peak-To-Peak Gondola.
Vantage Whistler operates tours of maximum 11 guests per van in order to provide you with more comfort and enjoyment. Vantage Whistler operates tours using new Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. Why take a bus when you can ride in a Mercedes! Travel in style, comfort, and safety.”

Whistler and Shannon Falls with WESTCOAST SIGHTSEEING
Pick up times are 8am – 10 hour tour
Price Starting at $135 per adult – $75 per child (3-12)

Home to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and award winning for a reason, Whistler is an internationally renowned, year-round resort nestled in the Central Mountain range. The journey up the Sea-to-Sky Highway is just like it sounds–a winding spectacle of ocean and mountain scenery including the roaring Shannon Falls and cultural Squamish Adventure Centre. As the majestic backdrop of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain unveils before your very eyes, the adventure at Whistler Village is yours to create.

Tour Highlights
Shannon Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in BC
An authentic First Nations experience at the Squamish Adventure Centre
Four-hours of exploring, dining and shopping in the charming, pedestrian-style Whistler Village
Optional activity – Experience the PEAK2PEAK Gondola – the longest and highest lift in the world. (Additional cost)

A day out to the Gondola and the Britannia Mine with Landsea tours.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Last Wednesday Landsea Tours & Adventures invited us to take a a trip with them to visit the brand new Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish – this was an offer that could not be refused and what a great day out this was, so we are happy to tell you all about how the tour went and what you can expect to see.

SEA TO SKY TOUR – Running from May to September 8th 2014
Tour Itinerary includes:
Horseshoe Bay
Porteau Cove
Shannon Falls
Sea to sky Gondola
Brittania Copper Mine
The tour lasts for approximately 7 hours and you will be visiting all these various locations along the Sea to Sky highway before you reach the main destination in Squamish.

The pricing per person is $89 Adult and $59 for Children – this includes Taxes.
Tour begins around 10am where you picked up directly at the Hotel.

Landsea Tours and Adventures:

The Tour!
The tour was an absolute delight and what really made it so very special were our two wonderful guides that took us to see some very special sights along the way. Our guides were Amy and Graham and we could not have asked for better guides to show us the sights in their comfortable Mini Coach.
Both Amy and Graham have been working tirelessly for Landsea tours for the past 3 years and really knew what they were doing on the job, they have extensive knowledge of the surroundings and never failed once to inform us of some incredible information. The one thing that struck us about the tour was their attention to detail and it is quite apparent that they know alot about the wilderness, Vancouver and beyond. No question was too silly and nothing was left unanswered, they also gave us plenty of opportunity to grab some great photos of the scenery as we made our way to the final destination towards the brand new Sea to Sky Gondola.

The weather forecast for the day was predicting a rainy and overcast day, as we set off sure enough there were some ominous clouds hanging out overhead, but, as we were making our way out of Vancouver and over the Lionsgate Bridge, the skies were beginning to clear and the clouds started to lift – it was starting to look quite promising for us.

First stop – Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver – 10.35am. 15 minute stop
Our first stop along the way was to have a 15 minute stop at the stunning Horseshoe bay which is located in the city of West Vancouver – here you get to experience some stunning views of the Howe Sound Fjord. it is the perfect start to the journey and if you are a little slow to wake up you get the chance to stretch your legs and grab a nice cup of coffee. While you are at the cafe take a wander downstairs to Sewells Marina these guys have been running Boat rentals here for many many years now, and, as other Boat rentals in the area have seen their business come and go, Sewells have been steadfast in running Boat rentals during that whole time and at present are the only Boat Rentals in the area, you can take tours up and down the Howe Sound with these guys.
Check out the Spirit Gallery and the Lookout Cafe.
Spirit Gallery of West Coast Native Art
The Lookout Cafe (Sewells Marina) -

Second Stop – Porteau Cove – 11.25am – 15 minute stop
Howe Sound stretches from the beginning of the Sunshine Coast gateway and West Vancouver, the fjord itself stretches north all the way to its end at Squamish – where it gives way to the majestic mountains and Valleys that will eventually lead you to Whistler. This is the most southerly fjord to be found in all of North America.
The halfway point between West Vancouver and Squamish is a gorgeous little spot called Porteau Cove, this is a famous spot for Scuba Diving and just off the coast there are vessels that have been deliberately sunk to create new thriving ecosystems that is successfully attracting Marine life and of course for the pleasure of the Scuba divers to enjoy!

Porteau Cove Provincial Park

Third Stop – Shannon Falls – 12.00
After taking some very impressive shots of Porteau Cove it was time for us to get back in the vehicle and make our way to the first major destination of the tour – the gorgeous Shannon Falls.
The Waterfall is a breathtaking 387 ft high making this the third highest falls in BC behind the Della Falls and Hunlen Falls.
Shannon Falls:

Fourth Stop – The Sea to Sky Gondola – 12.20
After being wowed by the Shannon Falls it was now time to reach the first stop of the two main attractions of the tour the Sea to Sky Gondola.
The Weather was playing ball although there were some Shower clouds bubbling up over the surrounding mountains, but luckily for us they just helped create a gorgeous array of colour over the local surroundings.
The gondola ride itself took 10 minutes for us to ascent to the lookout point and walkways. Once at the top we were absolutely stunned at how far you could see high above Howe Sound, overlooking the town of Squamish which looked quite minuscule from our vantage point.
We were given plenty of time to look around and enjoy the various walkways and paths that have been created, there is also a very large suspension bridge to walk across too, if you have ever been to Capilano Suspension Bridge then you will know what to expect.
We were allowed to spend around an hour and a half to explore the sights and trails this gave us plenty of time to enjoy a meal and a drink at the lookout restaurant and the food here did not disappoint.
Sea to Sky Gondola -

Fifth and final Stop – The Britannia Mine 2.30
Just a few minutes south of Squamish and the Shannon Falls you will find the Britannia Copper Mine. Here the tour takes you all over the mining village, here you will get to learn about mining, great information on the day to day operations of the mine and interesting information on metals and more. The mine was in operation for a total of 70 years and at its peak it was the biggest producer of Copper at the time in the world.
We do recommend that you take a jacket with you as you will be taken on a train ride into the mountain where you can see how the miners went about their daily business, as we are deep in the bedrock the temperatures stay at a cool 12c all year round, so it may feel a little chilly below the ground….
Britannia Mine:

Hometime! 4.30
At 4.15 we all gathered and assembled back onto the bus to make our way back to Vancouver where Amy and Graham kindly dropped us all off at our specific hotels.
it was a great day out and we could not have picked better guides to help us along the way, the ride was comfortable, the sights were undoubtedly spectacular and we all came away with some incredible information.

This tour we believe will be a massive hit over the years to come, we highly recommend that you include this on your visit.

The new Sea to Sky Gondola near Squamish and Landsea Tours and Adventures Packages

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

A brand new Gondola experience will be opening in Squamish in May 2014 and we are delighted to tell you about a great day trip to the see this Gondola and more courtesy of Landsea Tours and Adventures.

The Gondola is located in the stunning location on the Sea to Sky highway high above the town of Squamish, which is the half way mark between Vancouver and Whistler. The Gondola will climb to a height of 885m and in total takes 10 minutes to reach the top – here you will be wowed by incredible views of the Howe Sound, Shannon Falls (which is the 3rd highest water falls in the province) and the famous hiking path that is known as The Chief.

Once you have reached the top you will also be greeted to various walk ways and vantage points that will be sure to take your breath away. Some of the paths are not for the faint hearted either, so if you are a bit of thrill seeker and want to experience the dizzy heights just the wildlife do, then this will be for you.
Sea to Sky Gondola:

Shannon Falls:

Landsea Tours and Adventures Gondola and Brittania Mine museum package tour.
What goes up must go down and Landsea have tour that will do this for you in the literal sense. Their amazing new Sea To Sky Tour includes stops at Horseshoe Bay, Shannon Falls, Brittania Mine Museum and the NEW Sea to Sky Gondola. This is a perfect Post-Cruise tour. We really love the idea that you will be able to get down deep into the ground where you can discover what it was like to work in a coal mine deep below the ground – and then later in the day you will be climbing over 800 feet up the mountainside for the ultimate view of the surroundings.
Brittania Mine Museum:

Their daily scheduled tours will begin May 23 and will be at a cost of $89 per Adult $59 per Child, Tours pick you up directly at the hotel and will last for approximately 7 hours.

Landsea Tours and Adventures:

Whale and Dolphin watching season has begun in spectacular style!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

It has been quite the week for us along the coastal BC waters as we have been treated to some rare Dolphin and Whale pods migrating through the Georgia Strait.
The Whales are not too elusive as they general favour these waters for migrating, but catching a sight of Dolphin pods is actually a rare occurrence – not so rare this week though. A Pod of Dolphins was spotted swimming along False Creek and Sunset Beach which is literally a 5 minute walk from the Sunset Inn and Suites hotel, it wasn’t just Vancouver that was being treated to this rare spectacle, there was also an incredible sight of Dolphins being chased by Orca Whales along Howe Sound in the Squamish area.

The coastal waters of BC is rich in abundance of some stunning sea creatures and none more majestic than the various species of Whales and Dolphins and so far this year, it seems apparent that the pods are looking very very healthy for the 2014 season.

This link has some great footage of the Whales and Dolphins that were in the Howe Sound recently courtesy of the Prince of Whales whale watching operation.

And some more from the CBC News Website:

Here is a great link that shows how the species are interconnected to a wider ecosystem in the local waters around us.

Whale Watching Tours Season runs from April 1st to October 31st
There are various Tour operators that you can use to spend a day out at sea to catch these Whales. Reservations for these tours can be made directly with us at the Front desk of the hotel.

Vancouver operations
Wild Whales Vancouver
1806 Mast Tower Road – Granville Island
Vancouver, B.C.
V6H 4B6 Canada Phone: 604-699-2011 Website:

Vancouver Whale Watch
Suite 210 – 12240 Second Avenue
Richmond (Steveston), BC
Canada V7E 3L8

Phone: (604) 274-9565 Website:

Victoria operations
Prince of Whales Whale Watching
812 Wharf Street, Lower Causeway Level
Victoria, BC V8W 1T3 Canada

Toll-free 1-888-383-4884

Get a good dose of the Sunshine coast into your system….

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

One of the most convenient perks that the Sunset Inn and Suites offers is the option of free parking of a single vehicle per room. Now as much as driving around the city of Vancouver can be a little challenging at times, it does give you great freedom to explore the local districts of North and West Vancouver and beyond in very little time, and this we wholeheartedly encourage!!!

As the weather is about to turn the corner to clear skies and plenty of warm sunshine, this will be a good time to show off an area called ‘The Sunshine Coast’.

One of our favorite places to visit is the beautiful and tranquil Bowen Island.

Looking out west from English Bay you can see Bowen Island out in the distance, it looks like a large hilly peninsula that melts away to the ocean, at the height of summer you will get to witness some stunning sunsets as it falls behind the peak of Mount Gardner on the island
The island is truly beautiful, situated in the middle of Howe Sound it is known to some as the gateway to the Sunshine Coast. The small town of Gibsons is located a little further West where you hop across via the ferry.

The attraction and appeal of Bowen are the artisan shops, the gentler speed of life, the local ecology and the breathtaking scenery… is certainly a place to be if you really appreciate the great outdoors and an easy going pace of life.

To reach Bowen is pretty easy, and why not make a whole day of it? A good full day out will be to drive to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, hop across to Horseshoe Bay where you can take the vehicle onto the Bowen Island Ferry, dropping you off at idyllic Snug Cove. It is just a short 20 minute journey across the Howe Sound, oh and please have the camara handy, the backdrop of the steep mountains and natural Fjord is truly stunning.
The ferry will drop you off at Snug Cove and you will find yourself right by the small village, here there are some very good restaurants, a pub and artisan shops to visit, plus the local Tourist Information office is here too.

So check it out, you will have a blast!!!!