Spend time in some of Canada’s most scenic areas on this grand vacation to Canada’s national parks and mountain towns. Get ready to see spectacular scenery and spend time in Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Whistler, Sun Peaks, Victoria, Vancouver, and Kelowna. Take a ferry to Victoria and visit world-famous Butchart Gardens, with 55 acres of impressive floral displays. Take an Ice Explorer ride on the 1,000-foot-thick Columbia Icefield, and marvel at the stunning scenery, including alpine meadows, waterfalls, and massive glaciers. Witness panoramic views of Banff from the Banff gondola, and enjoy dinner at a winery in Kelowna.Admire the beauty of Lake Louise, with green-blue waters forming a perfect mirror reflection of Mount Victoria. Take a cruise on Maligne Lake, the largest lake and one of the most picturesque spots in the Canadian Rockies. Be sure to have your camera ready, so you can capture photos of the beautiful lake and towering peaks.This is just a sampling of the highlights offered on this tour. Let Globus handle the details while you sit back, relax, and enjoy the tranquil beauty and fun experiences on this marvelous vacation.
Day #1 Arrive in Vancouver, BC. Welcome to Vancouver, your gateway to the Canadian Rockies! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
Day #2 Vancouver–Victoria. This morning, tour Vancouver, including the waterfront, Chinatown, and Stanley Park with its old-growth evergreen forests and totem poles. Catch the FERRY over to Vancouver Island and Victoria. On your way to Victoria, stop at [LF] SEA CIDER FARM for an exclusive tour of the orchards and ciderhouse followed by a cider tasting. Major attractions on your orientation tour include the gardens of Beacon Hill Park, the Fairmont Empress Hotel, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park. (B)
Day #3 Victoria. This morning is free to explore on your own; your Tour Director suggests an optional wildlife and whale-watching trip. For shoppers, Government Street’s elegant shops and Market Square’s collection of specialty stores are good places to start. History buffs should be sure to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum. Next, visit world-famous [LF] BUTCHART GARDENS followed by a special dinner in the original Butchart family residence. (B,D)
Day #4 Victoria–Whistler. This morning, board a BC FERRY and sail across the Strait of Georgia and through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its Mediterranean-type climate. Continue to the alpine resort of Whistler, nestled at the base of breathtaking Blackcomb Mountain. Time today to explore many of the 2010 Winter Olympics’ sites. (B)
Day #5 Whistler–Sun Peaks. This morning, enjoy a visit and [LF] private breakfast at the SQUAMISH LIL’ WAT CULTURAL CENTER, dedicated to the history and culture of the First Nations People of Canada. Journey north today through the heart of the magnificent Cariboo region. Spectacular scenery abounds as you pass by rolling hills, deeply incised rivers, and sparkling lakes. Afternoon arrival in Sun Peaks with the balance of the day at leisure. You may take advantage of an optional canoe trip on Lake McGillivray, where, surrounded by beautiful scenery, you learn about Canada’s fur trade. (B)NOTE:Operation of the canoe trip is subject to favorable weather conditions.
Day #6 Sun Peaks–Mount Robson–Jasper. Continue north, following the Yellowhead Highway and hugging the mighty North Thompson River into the province of Alberta. See the base of 12,972-foot Mount Robson (the highest point in the Canadian Rockies) before entering JASPER NATIONAL PARK. Marvel at the precipitous gorges, snowcapped summits, and lakes of exquisite blues and greens in this wild mountain wilderness. (B,D)
Day #7 Jasper. Enjoy a short sightseeing tour to see Jasper’s unspoiled beauty. Afterward, travel to glacial Maligne Lake for a narrated CRUISE to Spirit Island. On the return journey, stop to view Maligne Canyon. Balance of the day is at leisure to explore Jasper on your own or to perhaps take an optional float trip down the historic Athabasca River, where your experienced guide will navigate as you absorb the splendor of Jasper National Park. (B)
Day #8 Jasper–Columbia Icefield–Lake Louise–Banff. This morning, travel through Jasper National Park on Icefields Parkway to the 1,000-foot-thick Columbia Icefield for a thrilling ICE EXPLORER RIDE. Climb Sunwapta Pass to savor stunning vistas of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and massive glaciers, then scale Bow Pass with splendid views of Peyto Lake. Next, stop at Lake Louise, whose green-blue waters form a perfect mirror reflection of Mount Victoria. Continue into BANFF NATIONAL PARK. (B)
Day #9 Banff. Sightseeing includes a visit to Sulphur Mountain for a ride on the BANFF GONDOLA, complete with panoramic views of Banff’s spectacular scenery. Also visit Bow Falls and the hoodoos. The balance of the day is at leisure. Consider an optional float trip excursion on the Bow River or a helicopter flightseeing trip for a bird’s-eye view of the Rockies. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant this evening. (B,D)
Day #10 Banff–Yoho National Park–Glacier National Park–Kelowna. This morning, depart Banff and scale Kicking Horse Pass across the Continental Divide into British Columbia and Yoho National Park. Next, enjoy panoramic vistas of peaks exceeding 10,000 feet on Rogers Pass at the summit in Canada’s Glacier National Park. Descend into the agricultural region of the Okanagan Valley to the resort city of Kelowna. A special evening is in store for you with [LF] a dinner at a WINERY, producing some of the best wine in British Columbia. (B,D)
Day #11 Kelowna–Vancouver. Today, continue through the fertile Fraser Valley with grand vistas of vineyards and orchards before traveling over the towering Cascade Mountains into Vancouver. Upon arrival, enjoy some time at leisure. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. (B,D)
Day #12 Vancouver. The tour ends after breakfast this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided. (B)