VIA Rail and the Canadian Rockies


  • 10 days

  • Western Canada

  • Steady pace

tour : 8935

Overview

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Join us for an extraordinary and affordable escorted vacation through the Canadian Rockies to explore by road, rail, and water. Join your Tour Director for sightseeing in Calgary, Alberta—home of 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 train to embark over the Canadian Rockies to Vancouver, British Columbia, on VIA Rail’s Canadian®. Take in the stunning scenery with train travel reminiscent of a bygone era. Relax in comfort in Sleeper Plus class vintage rail cars with domed observation cars for spectacular views of the Canadian wilderness and ranchlands from Jasper National Park to Vancouver. In Vancouver, enjoy sightseeing with your Tour Director in Chinatown, Gastown, and Stanley Park. Next, board the ferry across the spectacular Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island for sightseeing in Victoria, including the fabulous Butchart Gardens and totem poles of Thunderbird Park. Also enjoy a free day with optional activities, including a whale watching cruise. This value vacation in Canada is an explorer’s dream—from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Northwest.

Highlights

CALGARY
Sightseeing
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

Flights available from most UK airports

Tour prices are shown without flights: make your own arrangements, or purchase your flights with us from most UK airports. All flight-inclusive tours are ATOL-protected, so you can book with confidence.

Flights available from most UK airports

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 breakfast

CALGARY

Day
1

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

CALGARY–BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Day
2

The discovery of oil converted this cattle-ranching town into a thriving, sophisticated city. Sightseeing highlights 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
3

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
4

First stop is Lake Louise, with its cold waters reflecting the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Precipitous gorges, snowcapped mountain ranges, and exquisite lakes come into view as your 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 area’s unspoiled beauty. Accommodation for the next two nights are in JASPER NATIONAL PARK.

JASPER NATIONAL PARK

Day
5

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
6

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. (BR,D)
NOTE:
Train travel is subject to unforeseen delays.

VIA RAIL THE CANADIAN–VANCOUVER

Day
7

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.

Meals included:

  • Continental Breakfast

VANCOUVER–FERRY CROSSING–VICTORIA

Day
8

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

VICTORIA

Day
9

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
10

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.

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