The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge AKA Will and Kate are visiting Canada right now. I’ve been sussing out their Royal Tour itinerary, and I thought it would be fun to recreate it, but with some added savings (and a few tweaks to the official schedule).
A Trip Fit for a King (or a Duke and Duchess) for Less
Just like the Duke and Duchess, start your royal experience with a flight to B.C.’s capital – book a return flight from Calgary to Victoria for as little as $344. Once you’ve arrived, settle in at the newly renovated Fairmont Empress, and experience the hotel’s regal connection that began in 1919 with Edward, Prince of Wales’ visit.
Unfortunately the royal family (yes, their kids are coming!) aren’t staying at the Empress this visit. They’re basing themselves out of Government House. Still, you can get a regal cocktail treatment at Q at the Empress. Afterwards, journey through the famous sites of Victoria on an evening Royal Horse Drawn Carriage Tour.
Float from Sea to Sky
Hop on a float plane or take the ferry to Vancouver for an evening of dining and sightseeing on a Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise. To continue the jet-set experience, cap off the night with a stay in the 5-star Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. (We stayed here last March and it was heaven!)
Today, Monday September 26, the Royal Highnesses are visiting the Great Bear Rainforest. That’s cool and all, but I suggest spending a little more time on the mainland. Your royal vacation wouldn’t be complete without a tour up the coast to Whistler for an unforgettable experience that combines the best of luxury and adventure. Stop in Squamish for a Sea-to-Sky adventure, where you’re whisked up via gondola, taking in the sights of Howe Sound.
A-OK in the Okanagan
Next up, the royal couple is headed to Kelowna on the 27th. While they’re headed to Mission Hill, there are plenty of other wineries to explore. Get your bearings on a scenic tour through the Okanagan Valley wine country and relaxing cruise on the pristine waters of Lake Okanagan. For eats, check out my recommendations on the 10 best spots to hit in the valley.
Next up is a visit to Whitehorse. They’ll visit the MacBride Museum and will take in the festivities on Main Street. Then they’ll head out of town to receive a traditional welcome from the Carcross/Tagish First Nation. Afterwards, they’re headed to Montana Mountain, one of the world’s most picturesque destinations for mountain biking.
Back to B.C.
After the Yukon, the royals fly back to Victoria to attend a children’s party on the grounds of Government House. It’s invite only, so I suggest you hit The Butchart Gardens instead. For lunch it’s gotta be a proper pub grub. Overlooking the sparkling inner harbour, Spinnakers is Canada’s oldest brewpub.
Spend the afternoon exploring local shops, such as Sitka, a lifestyle shop that designs with adventure in mind. Cap off your day with some British comfort food at The Guild.
From Victoria, it’s easy to enjoy the outdoors like the Royal Family with a day trip to Haida Gwaii. Experience the natural beauty of the northernmost rain-forest in the world by canoeing, fishing and visiting the Haida Heritage Centre and Museum – all experiences the royal tour has scheduled.
Return on a High Note
The final day of their tour will be spent back in Victoria, but instead of meeting charities and sailing a tall ship as they will be, I recommend taking a breather before heading back home. Tucked behind the Fairmont Empress, the Magnolia Hotel & Spa is a swish boutique hotel that doles out luxurious amenities for guests. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to visit their spa, and getting a massage or facial before your return flight is the perfecting ending to any trip.
Phew! Now I get why these royal tours are so taxing! (Especially for the all the Canadians behind the scenes making sure everything goes smoothly.) Are you going to be following the Duke and Duchesses Tour of Canada?