Experience British Columbia and Alberta on this fun-filled Canadian vacation. Start your trip in Vancouver with a city sightseeing tour before taking a ferry to Vancouver Island, where you’ll make stops in Victoria, Chemainus, and Port Hardy. Your time in Victoria includes two overnights; world-famous Butchart Gardens, a floral extravagance with 55 acres; and time to explore on your own. Cruise one of the world’s most beautiful ocean voyages on the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert. The breathtaking scenery includes towering mountains, roaring waterfalls, endless islands, and virgin rainforest. Watch for sea lions, eagles, and porpoises. In Prince Rupert, visit British Columbia’s oldest cannery village and board Canada’s VIA Rail®’s Jasper to Prince Rupert train to Prince George. On this train journey, watch for soaring bald eagles, black bears, moose, and majestic mountains. Leave British Columbia and cross the border into Alberta, where you’ll overnight in both Jasper National Park and Banff National Park. Other fabulous highlights on this vacation include Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies; Columbia Icefield, where you’ll take a thrilling ride in an all-terrain vehicle on Canada’s largest expanse of ice; Lake Louise; and Yoho National Park, one of Canada’s most popular recreational areas. Your vacation ends back in Vancouver. To see spectacular scenery by land, train, and boat, this vacation offers it all!
Day #1 Vancouver. Enjoy some 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 Vancouver–Ferry Crossing–Victoria. Morning sightseeing focuses on Vancouver’s Chinatown, Gastown, the beautiful beaches and harbor, and lovely Stanley Park. Afterward, set sail across the Strait of Georgia through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an area known for its Mediterranean-like climate. Afternoon sightseeing in Victoria includes world-famous BUTCHART GARDENS, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park with its unusual collection of totem poles.
Day #3 Victoria. Be sure to discover some of the attractions this splendid city has to offer, including the Royal British Columbia Museum, Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel, a whale-watching cruise on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and fine shopping along Government Street. This evening, join our optional excursion in Chinatown, complete with colorful lanterns and dinner at an authentic restaurant.
Day #4 Victoria–Chemainus–Port Hardy. An early departure from Victoria follows the eastern coastline of Vancouver Island, stopping at Chemainus, the unique village with more than 30 murals depicting pioneer settlement of the area. Then, it’s through the port of Campbell River, the “Salmon Capital of the World.”
Day #5 Port Hardy–Inside Passage Cruise–Prince Rupert. Early this morning, embark on BC Ferries for what is referred to as one of the world’s most beautiful ocean voyages. The scenery is spectacular, with towering mountains, roaring waterfalls, endless islands, and virgin rainforest. Animal and marine life abound, often with sightings of sea lions, eagles, and porpoises—you may even spot a killer whale! Late-evening arrival in Prince Rupert.NOTE:Cruising time through the Inside Passage is approximately 16 hours. Please come prepared with all medications, eyeglasses, and any other items you will need.
Day #6 Prince Rupert. Depart for an orientation tour of Prince Rupert, then visit the NORTH PACIFIC HISTORIC FISHING VILLAGE for a guided tour of British Columbia’s oldest cannery village. Learn of the canning process and what life was like in the village during peak production earlier this century. With your free time this afternoon you may opt for an outing to learn the secrets of the totem. See a totem pole being carved and visit a longhouse to gain a better understanding of the day-to-day lifestyle of the First Nations culture.
Day #7 Prince Rupert–VIA Rail Train–Prince George. This morning, board VIA Rail’s Jasper to Prince Rupert train for the trip of a lifetime. Sit back and enjoy as it winds its way through the majestic Coast Mountains, follows the mighty Skeena River—often referred to as the “River of Mists”—and concludes in the Pacific Coast rainforest. You’ll retrace ancient First Nations trading routes and follow the paths of the earliest fur traders. Soaring bald eagles, inquisitive black bears, browsing moose, and other wildlife may be spotted from the glassed-in observation dome that provides 360-degree views. (CB,L,D)
Day #8 Prince George–Mount Robson–Jasper National Park. As we continue onward to Jasper National Park the peak elevations grow, culminating with Mount Robson, the highest of Canada’s Rockies at almost 13,000 feet. Overnight in Jasper.
Day #9 Jasper National Park–Columbia Icefield–Banff National Park. Winding our way down the western fringe of Alberta, our journey takes us through some of the Canadian Rockies’ most breathtaking wilderness. Our first highlight on today’s agenda is a stop at the COLUMBIA ICEFIELD to experience the Ice Explorer, an all-terrain vehicle that travels on ice measuring 1,000 feet (305 meters) thick. Precipitous gorges, snowcapped mountain ranges, and lakes of exquisite blues and greens come into view as the motorcoach scales two mountain passes on the journey south to Banff National Park.
Day #10 Banff National Park. Banff is one of Canada’s favorite year-round resorts, with summer activities including hiking, boating, horseback riding, and fishing. Cosmos has arranged for an optional helicopter ride high over the Canadian Rockies. This evening, join the optional excursion to Oh Canada Eh for a 5-course dinner and musical entertainment.
Day #11 Banff National Park–Lake Louise–Yoho National Park–Kelowna. This morning’s visit takes us to Lake Louise. Its cold waters perfectly mirror the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Afterward, enter the spectacular beauty of YOHO NATIONAL PARK, one of Canada’s most popular recreational areas and the site of pre-Cambrian fossil finds. On to GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, where the motorcoach climbs 4,379-foot-high Rogers Pass, a perfect spot for photos of the impressive surrounding mountain cliffs and glaciers. Continue on to the resort city of Kelowna, attractively set on the shores of Okanagan Lake.
Day #12 Kelowna–Vancouver. Today, continue through the fertile Fraser Valley with grand vistas of vineyards and orchards. Next, travel over the towering Cascade Mountains into Vancouver.
Day #13 Vancouver. The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Vancouver International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore Vancouver further with a variety of exciting optional activities.