VIA Rail and the Canadian Rockies with Calgary Stampede


  • 12 days

  • The Canadian Rockies

  • Steady pace

tour : 8470

Overview

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Join us for a special departure through the Canadian Rockies to experience the Calgary Stampede! This affordable guided vacation travels through breathtaking scenery on VIA Rail’s Canadian® for train travel reminiscent of a bygone era. Travel in comfort in Sleeper Plus class in vintage rail cars with domed observation cars for spectacular views of the Canadian wilderness from Jasper National Park to Vancouver. Begin in Calgary, Alberta, for the Calgary Stampede with daily passes to the Stampede grounds, rodeo admission, chuckwagon races, and the Grandstand Show. Enjoy guided sightseeing with your Tour Director to see Calgary’s sites of interest: Fort Calgary, the Saddledome, and Canada Olympic Park. Depart Calgary for Banff National Park for a full day at leisure to explore the magnificent park and its wildlife. You’ll venture on to exquisite Lake Louise, reflecting the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Cross over three mountain passes amid snowcapped peaks and alpine lakes before reaching Columbia Icefield. Board the Columbia Ice Explorer to traverse the 750-foot thick ice. Arrive in Jasper for two nights in stunning Jasper National Park for an orientation of Canada’s largest national park. Enjoy free time to explore the park with an eye out for bear, moose, caribou, and wolves!

Board your VIA Rail train to journey over the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver, British Columbia. You’ll pass through the ranchlands along the South Thompson River, Fraser Valley, and the snowy Coast Mountains. Once in Vancouver, enjoy guided sightseeing in Chinatown, Gastown, and lovely Stanley Park. Next, board the ferry across the spectacular Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. Dock in Victoria for sightseeing, including the fabulous Butchart Gardens and totem poles of Thunderbird Park. You’ll also enjoy a free day in Victoria with a variety of optional activities, including whale watching on the waters of San Juan and the Gulf Islands. This value vacation in Canada is an explorer’s dream—from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Northwest.

Highlights

CALGARY
Sightseeing; Daily passes to the Stampede Grounds, Rodeo admission, Chuckwagon Races, Grandstand Show
BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Orientation tour; stay two nights inside Banff National Park
LAKE LOUISE
Visit the lake
COLUMBIA ICEFIELD
Ice Explorer ride on the Columbia Icefield
JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Orientation tour; stay two nights inside Jasper National Park
VIA RAIL
Journey aboard VIA Rail’s the Canadian in Sleeper Plus class
VANCOUVERSightseeing; Stanley Park
VICTORIASightseeing; visit Butchart Gardens

Book your tour with or without flights

Tour prices are shown without flights included in case you wish to book them separately, or aren't ready to return home at the end of your tour! Or we can book your flights for you from most UK airports, with overseas transfers and ATOL protection included. The choice is yours!

Book your tour with or without flights

2020 Tour itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Total meals included:

  • 1 lunch, 1 dinner

CALGARY

Day
1

Welcome to Calgary! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.

CALGARY STAMPEDE GROUNDS

Day
2

Welcome to Calgary and “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Dressed in your best Cowboy fashion from belt buckles, boots to chaps, explore the CALGARY STAMPEDE grounds at your leisure with your included admission. Step through the gates of Stampede Park into a world of wonder, fun, and “Wild West” excitement. Walk back in time and experience the traditions and culture of Canadian First Nations at Elbow River Camp or stroll the streets of a recreated frontier town. Enjoy a wide variety of exciting talent at the many entertainment stages, and then maybe head into the dazzling array of international exhibits and displays of Western art. This evening, watch the heart-stopping CHUCKWAGON RACES in an all-out dash for the finish line, an amazing contest of nerves and horsepower. You’ll be out of your seats cheering on your favorite driver during each heat. Afterward, get ready for an outdoor STAGE SHOW featuring hundreds of singers, dancers, and musicians in a lavishly produced and choreographed musical variety spectacular.

CALGARY STAMPEDE GROUNDS AND RODEO

Day
3

Fuel up for the day’s activities by visiting Fluor Rope Square at Olympic Plaza for a pancake breakfast. Return to the Stampede grounds this morning to see anything you missed yesterday, and cheer on your favorite rodeo contenders. If you haven’t already, get suited with a cowboy hat, threads, and boots at one of the many stalls before heading to the Grandstand for the Calgary Stampede RODEO this afternoon. See the best of the best as they saddle up for world-class rodeo action. Top professionals take on the West’s wildest horses. You’ll also enjoy rodeo’s most famed event—bull riding! You will be in awe of the talent as you sit on the edge of your seat. Make the most of your time here and discover Canada’s country core. With square dancing, mock gun fights, country bands, bars, restaurants and livestock, there is loads to see.

CALGARY–BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Day
4

The discovery of oil converted this cattle ranching town into a thriving, sophisticated city. Sightseeing shows off downtown, Fort Calgary, Stampede Park, the Saddledome, and Canada Olympic Park. Next, drive west through the foothills of the Rockies into BANFF NATIONAL PARK. On arrival, enjoy an orientation tour.

BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Day
5

Full day at leisure. Banff is one of Canada’s favorite resorts, and the national park is home to 53 species of mammals. The most commonly seen are deer and big horn sheep. If the timing is right, you may spot black bears, grizzlies, or wolves. Your Tour Director will suggest an optional helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies.

BANFF NATIONAL PARK–LAKE LOUISE–COLUMBIA ICEFIELD–JASPER NATIONAL PARK

Day
6

First stop is Lake Louise, whose cold waters reflect the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Precipitous gorges, snowcapped mountain ranges, and exquisite lakes come into view as the motorcoach scales three mountain passes. Another highlight today is a stop at the COLUMBIA ICEFIELD to experience the Ice Explorer, an all-terrain vehicle that travels on ice measuring 750 feet thick. Late this afternoon, join our optional float trip down the historic Athabasca River. In Jasper, an orientation tour showcases the unspoiled beauty. Accommodation for the next two nights are in JASPER NATIONAL PARK.

JASPER NATIONAL PARK

Day
7

Join the optional narrated cruise on Maligne Lake to Spirit Island. On the return journey, you’ll be mesmerized by dramatic Maligne Canyon. With much of the afternoon and evening free, consider hiking or exploring Jasper’s local charm. While exploring the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies keep an eye out for native wildlife which includes grizzly bears, moose, caribou, and wolves.

JASPER NATIONAL PARK–VIA RAIL THE CANADIAN

Day
8

Board a morning departure on VIA Rail’s the Canadian, for the journey west across Canada’s Rocky Mountains to Vancouver. The Canadian features renovated cars, comfortable cabin accommodations in Sleeper Plus class, and delicious meals. Spend time in the Skyline car, with dome seating and a lounge area, or relax in the Park car and meet other travelers. The comfortable cabins come with bed turndown service, in-car shower access, and lots of little extras, such as a personal toiletry kit.

Meals included:

  • Brunch
  • Dinner

VIA RAIL THE CANADIAN–VANCOUVER

Day
9

Continue through the ranchlands along the South Thompson River, the fertile fields of the Fraser Valley, and snowcapped Coast Mountains. Upon arrival in Vancouver, city sightseeing focuses on Vancouver’s Chinatown, Gastown, and lovely STANLEY PARK. (CB)

VANCOUVER–FERRY CROSSING–VICTORIA

Day
10

Today, set sail across the Strait of Georgia through the spectacular Gulf Islands, known for its Mediterranean-like climate. Sightseeing in Victoria includes world-famous BUTCHART GARDENS, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park with its collection of totem poles.

VICTORIA

Day
11

. A day at leisure gives you the chance to discover this splendid city; including the Royal British Columbia Museum, shopping on Government Street, or a leisurely stroll around the harbor. Perhaps join the optional wildlife and whale-watching cruise on the beautiful waters of the San Juan and Gulf Islands for possible sightings of whales, porpoises, seals, and eagles.

VICTORIA–FERRY CROSSING–VANCOUVER

Day
12

Morning departure for Vancouver. The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Vancouver International Airport are included. Please schedule flights after 1:30 pm.

Things to note

This special departure includes all activities on our regular departures with two additional days in Calgary plus Calgary Stampede 2-day admission.

Why book with us?

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