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Frequently Asked Questions

British Columbia is a large place to explore, and you’re likely to have some questions before travelling with us. Here are some of the most common ones answered.

Have a question we didn’t answer? Get in touch!

Why travel with Detours?

When Detours was just a seed of an idea, we asked ourselves, “What do we love the most about our home, British Columbia?” Culture, history, small towns, wine, our pioneering past, our varied mountain, desert, and coastal landscapes, our wildlife, sense of community… the list goes on and.

We then asked ourselves, “What’s important to us when experiencing a new place?” Cultivating friendships, engagement in our surroundings, off-the-beaten track visits, a guide who is more like a traveling companion, supporting local businesses, enjoying local fare and drink… and again the list goes on.

The answers to these questions informed our planning process from Day 1 (and still do).

We also know that many of our guests have researched, planned, and saved – sometimes for years – to take their dream holiday... and that they chose British Columbia. We value your time, your safety, and your interests. We work with guests to help build their dream holiday within the philosophy of Detours... celebrating all the natural, cultural and social dynamics that makes each hamlet, village, town, and city of British Columbia unique (and worth visiting!).

What is your cancellation policy?

We do our best to work with clients as we know there are unforeseeable circumstances that may cause a guest to cancel. However, some tours involve booking third parties, require deposits, and are affected by cancellations, and, as such, cancellation and refund policies do apply to most of our tours.

Our cancellation policies vary depending on the tour. Please see individual tours under “Guided Tours” for more information.

Note: if extenuating circumstances force a cancellation of any tour by Detours, there will be a full refund.

Multi-Day Tours (Scheduled & Private)

For ALL multi-day tours:

  • A deposit of 50% must be paid at time of booking with final balance to be paid 30 days prior to tour start date
  • Deposits are refundable only until final payment due date
  • A $75 CAD cancellation fee applies
  • If cancellations are made with less than 30 days’ notice, the deposit will be retained and the cancellation fee will be collected
  • If booked with less than 30 days’ notice, full payment due at time of booking

Questions?

If you have a question about our cancellation policy, or any other aspect of travelling with Detours, please contact us. We will be happy to help.

Is accommodation included?

We plan to have our multi-day tours up and running – including accommodation – soon.

If there is a dream holiday that involves overnight stays that you are interested in the meantime, anywhere in BC, just get in touch. We are happy to provide transportation, guiding services, and recommendations on where to book.

What difficulty level are tours by Detours?

We are a “soft-adventure” tour company, and, as such, our tours are generally considered ‘easy activity’ (i.e. Level 1/2) which may include walking on primarily level ground, groomed trails, wooden walkways, and climbing some stairs. “Optional Walks” at varying levels (up to Level 3) may be included but are not mandatory to fully experience or enjoy our tours.

What are the recommended ages for travel with Detours?

With a primary focus on soft-adventure, history, wine and culture, our average age of guests is approximately 25-65 (give or take on each end). Our minimum age for some tours is 19 as alcohol is served as part of the tour. 

How many people are in a tour?

We firmly believe that small group tours are the best way to experience all our province has to offer. We understand that group dynamics play a big part in the enjoyment of a tour. As such, we always take into account the varied interests of each party when planning a tour, whether that is a family, a group of friends, or a combination of different small groups.

We generally operate on a 6-passenger minimum and 14 maximum for half-day tours and 8-10 persons maximum on multi-day tours. We travel in the comfort of a clean, comfortable, 14 passenger, A/C cooled Ford Transit with each tour leader Class 4 licensed to drive our bi-annual, safety inspected commercial vehicle.

Where do you pick-up/drop-off?

Most of our scheduled tours start and end in Nanaimo, BC, at specified times and locales.

For private and multi-day tours, we can offer optional pick/drop-off spots arranged with advanced notice. We do not offer airport transfers at this time. 

Are your prices competitive?

We know that travel can be expensive. We do our absolute best to remain competitive and offer an affordable experience for everyone. From walking tours, to half and full-day sightseeing tours, to multi-days tours, there’s something for everyone at every price.

Does Detours provide guided tours of historic sites?

Yes! Historic sites are important in providing continuity between our past and present; where did we come from and who are we now? We have a wealth of such sites throughout British Columbia, each capturing our nostalgic imagination and offering a tangible link to the communities and people that built our province.

As guests of Detours, you will have the opportunity to explore some of the remaining sites and landscapes that tie together our mining, railway, agriculture, and pioneering past.

How do I get to Vancouver Island?

Lucky you! Whether this is a first visit or one of many to the beautiful West Coast, traveling to and from the Island is part of the adventure.

If you are arriving via BC's mainland, Vancouver Island is accessible by our BC Ferries system, or you can take a seaplane through Seair Seaplanes or Harbour Air Seaplanes.

We also have two international airports (YQQ in Comox and YYJ in Victoria) and a regional airport in Nanaimo (YCD), along with shuttles to downtown Nanaimo.

What should I bring with me on tours?

What you should bring varies depending on which tour you are taking. Please contact us for further information, or refer to the Tour Description on the individual tour page.

Note: We often carry extra supplies on board such as sunscreen, garbage bags, maps, pens/paper, boxes for wine, toilet paper for emergencies... just ask, as we may have just what you’re looking for!

Should I have travel/medical insurance?

Yes, and especially if travelling from abroad. Please check with your local travel agent and insurance company before booking.

What if my property is lost, damaged, or stolen? What if I am injured or need to return home?

Detours is not responsible for any loss or damage of personal property, injuries, or expenses for damages incurred whatsoever claimed by tour passengers or organizers. In the event you must return home during a tour, all transportation and related costs will be the passenger’s responsibility.