Best of Vancouver Island

Rainbird ExcursionsRainbird Excursions is about to launch a new concept in adventure tourism on Vancouver Island, a seven-day, six-night experience called "The Best of Vancouver Island". It will be an all-inclusive escorted holiday for a maximum of 10 guests. Almost all the multi-day tours of Vancouver Island are offered by large operators based in major urban centers outside of Vancouver Island. Many of them are bus tours with 30 to 40 people on the trip. In contrast, Rainbird Excursions' owner, Sandy McRuer, a long-time resident of Vancouver Island, has put together a soft-adventure package that introduces the best features of Vancouver Island to first-time visitors to the island, from the beaches of the Pacific Rim to the alpine landscapes of Forbidden Plateau. Sandy’s tour includes wine-tours and marine cruises as well.

“The Best of Vancouver Island” is an all-inclusive soft adventure experience that allows a visitor to get a taste of what brings people back to the island again and again. Guests will visit Cathedral Grove, Pacific Rim National Park, Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield, Mount Washington, and Forbidden Plateau. Some of the activities they will experience are: a cruise on the Lady Rose, a historic little freighter plying the waters of Barkley Sound, a ride on a real old-time logging locomotive, hiking to several waterfalls in the Alberni Valley, participating in the Tall Ships Festival, a ride to a mountain top, a morning of salmon fishing, and shopping at the Coombs Country Market, famous for its goats on the roof.

Rainbird Excursions has operated in the Alberni Valley for almost three years. The owner, Sandy McRuer, worked for many years as a professional forester before starting his latest adventure. He brings his professional knowledge, experience, and approach to interpreting the natural ecosystems of the Island. "When you're working in forestry, you cover a lot of ground," he says, "In order to manage the forest effectively you need to understand, not only how trees grow, but also, how to identify most of the local plants, what the needs of salmon and trout are, the habits of deer, bear, elk, and a variety of birds, also what kinds of hillsides are liable to slide, and so on."

Rainbird Excursions is offering "The Best of Vancouver Island" tour in partnership with Advantage Twin Travel Cruises of Port Alberni, which is providing insurance coverage. Guests will be comfortably based at the Best Western Barclay Hotel in Port Alberni. Rainbird’s first tour runs from July 6 to July 12, 2008, and a meet and greet service from Comox Airport is available. The second such tour will be in September, 2008. For more information contact Sandy McRuer at tel. 1-866-723-7102.

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