This cross-country train adventure across Canada begins in Toronto, ends in Vancouver, and includes beautiful scenery and fun-filled activities in some of Canada’s most popular cities. Cosmopolitan Toronto, the largest city in Canada, hosts world-class shopping and many spectacular sites. Start your vacation in Toronto and head to Niagara Falls, where you’ll take a Maid of the Mist cruise to enjoy up-close views of Niagara Falls from river level. Then board VIA Rail®’s The Canadian—a premier continental train—and head west. The next three days and nights are spent in first-class, refurbished art deco rail cars. Observe unparalleled views of Canada’s countryside as you journey through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. After passing through the majestic Canadian Rockies to Jasper, the rail portion of this journey ends. Spend two nights in Jasper with free time to explore. Then board your motorcoach to Banff National Park. On your way to Banff, take a thrilling ride aboard an Ice Explorer on the Columbia Icefield, the largest expanse of ice in the Canadian Rockies. In Banff, you have two nights and time to relax, hike, or join an optional activity, such as a helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies or a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain. Travel through Yoho and Glacier National Parks before arriving at the cattle-ranching center of Kamloops. Finally, spend time in Vancouver then sail through the Gulf Islands to Victoria.
Day #1 Toronto. Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Day #2 Toronto–Niagara Falls Excursion–Via Rail The Canadian. This morning, enjoy an included sightseeing excursion to Niagara Falls with a MAID OF THE MIST cruise. Return to Toronto and join this evening’s optional outing that combines dinner with the spectacular sight of Toronto’s lights from the CN Tower. Afterward, transfer to Union Station for a late evening departure on the CANADIAN, VIA Rail’s premier transcontinental train. Spend the next three days and nights on this classic trip across Canada’s heartland. Your first-class rail cars are refurbished art deco cars from the 1950s. Try the observation dome for views of the Canadian countryside as you roll past Ontario’s landscapes, or pass the time in one of the comfortable lounges. All meals are included, and you won’t want to miss any of them, as the chef offers a tempting array of soups, salads, main courses, and desserts.NOTE:The operation of the Maid of the Mist cruise is subject to favorable weather and/or river conditions. When unfavorable conditions exist, a walking tour through the scenic tunnels will be substituted.
Day #3 Via Rail The Canadian. Today, watch the scenery as you whisk by the ever changing Canadian landscape and travel the full length of the Canadian National Railway’s breathtaking mainline. Enjoy the many great onboard features, like the lounges and access to the domed skyline car for spectacular viewing. (B,L,D)
Day #4 Via Rail The Canadian–Winnipeg. Arrive early in Winnipeg, Manitoba’s capital, a city rich in history and culture. In the early afternoon we continue our journey through Manitoba’s prairies and into Saskatchewan. (B,L,D)
Day #5 Via Rail The Canadian–Jasper. Wake up and enjoy a delicious breakfast as you continue on the Canadian into the very heart of the Canadian Rockies. Arrive in Jasper this afternoon. An orientation tour includes Jasper’s unspoiled beauty. Perhaps an optional float trip on the Athabasca River to end the day? The evening is free to enjoy the ambiance of this delightful mountain setting. (BR)
Day #6 Jasper. Consider an optional trip to Maligne Lake, where you embark on a narrated cruise to much-photographed Spirit Island. On the return journey, stop to view mighty Maligne Canyon. With free time this afternoon, you might take a hike along the trails and watch for wildlife, or stroll the streets of Jasper.
Day #7 Jasper–Columbia Icefield–Lake Louise–Banff National Park. Board your motorcoach this morning and journey through JASPER NATIONAL PARK, stopping along the way at the COLUMBIA ICEFIELD to experience the Ice Explorer, an all-terrain vehicle that travels on ice that is 1,200 feet (365 meters) thick. Continue down Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise, where cold waters mirror the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Arrive in BANFF NATIONAL PARK for a leisurely 2-night stay. Tonight, try an optional dinner featuring cuisine and entertainment all about Canada.
Day #8 Banff National Park. This morning, consider an optional helicopter ride high over the Canadian Rockies. Later, join the optional excursion to Sulphur Mountain for a thrilling gondola ride, complete with panoramic views of Banff’s spectacular scenery and a stop at sparkling Bow Falls.
Day #9 Banff National Park–Yoho National Park–Glacier National Park–Kamloops. This morning, leave Banff National Park and travel over Kicking Horse Pass on the Continental Divide. Travel through YOHO NATIONAL PARK, where pre-Cambrian fossils were discovered, and GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, where recreational mountain climbing was introduced to North America a century ago. Late this afternoon, arrive at the cattle-ranching center of Kamloops, a Shuswap Indian word for “meeting of the waters.”
Day #10 Kamloops–Vancouver. We continue west along Kamloops Lake and follow the mighty Fraser River to Vancouver, spectacularly set on the Burrard Inlet. Upon arrival in Vancouver, see STANLEY PARK, Gastown, Chinatown, and the harbor on your included city tour.
Day #11 Vancouver–Victoria. This morning, sail across the Strait of Georgia and through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its Mediterranean-type climate. Upon arrival, enjoy a Victoria city tour. This afternoon, take a scenic trip to the famed BUTCHART GARDENS to stroll along paths that wind through 50 fragrant acres of blossoms, enchanting theme gardens, streams, and lily ponds!
Day #12 Victoria. A full free day. With your free time, be sure to check out some of the other attractions this splendid city has to offer, including the Royal British Columbia Museum, Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel, an IMAX presentation at the National Geographic Theatre, whale watching on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and fine shopping along Government Street. Suggestion for this evening: a harbor cruise and dinner at one of Victoria’s waterfront restaurants.
Day #13 Victoria–Vancouver. The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Return ferry service to Vancouver and airport transfers to Vancouver International Airport are provided. Please schedule flights after Noon.