Spend time in some of Canada’s most scenic areas on this grand vacation to Canada’s national parks and mountain towns. Plus, enjoy a 7-night Alaska cruise. See stunning scenery and spend time in Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Whistler, Sun Peaks, Victoria, Vancouver, and Kelowna. Take an Ice Explorer ride on the 1,000-foot-thick Columbia Icefield, and marvel at the spectacular 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.Extend the fun by boarding a Holland America 7-night cruise ship bound for majestic Alaska. Explore the remote and rugged beauty of Alaska, and watch for spouting whales, soaring eagles, barking seals, and other wildlife. Marvel at glaciers and witness the amazing spectacle of thunder and spray as tremendous slabs of ice break off and “calve” into the sea. Soak in the local flavor of Juneau, Alaska’s capital, and see the world’s largest totem collection in Ketchikan.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. Enjoy your day at leisure. (B)
Day #13 Vancouver. (Embarkation). Embark Holland America’s MS Zuiderdam. (B,D)
Day #14 Scenic Cruising: Inside Passage. Sit back and relax as you cruise through the beautiful and awe-inspiring scenery of the Inside Passage. Keep your cameras ready for spouting whales, soaring eagles, barking seals, and other wildlife. (B,L,D)
Day #15 Tracy Arm & Juneau. This narrow, 26-mile-long fjord is another of Alaska’s most dramatic glacier settings. The lush rainforest recedes to reveal a stunning canyon of bare rock. The panorama of 7,000-foot mountain peaks and nearly vertical rock cliffs is astounding. Waterfalls appear at every turn. Icebergs make their way to the sea in all sorts of wondrous shapes. And tucked away at the end of this remarkable waterway are two very active reminders of the Ice Age—the twin Sawyer Glaciers, which calve icebergs into the jade-colored inland sea. Kittiwakes, mountain goats, and seals are a common sight. Whales and bears may even make an appearance in this magical place.Visit one of the most scenic and remote capital cities—Juneau. Accessible only by air and water, Juneau is located at the base of two towering mountains in the heart of Alaska’s Inside Passage, and is home to a rich Gold Rush history, Native culture, wildlife, and a wealth of natural wonders. Step ashore to shop for gold nuggets; visit the stately Governor’s Mansion; saunter through the swinging doors of the Red Dog Saloon, the city’s famous watering hole; or visit mighty Mendenhall Glacier, an impressive river of ice that is 12 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. (B,L,D)
Day #16 Skagway. Once a major port for gold prospectors who passed through en route to the Yukon, today you can still ride the antique White Pass & Yukon Route narrow-gauge railway up past Deadhorse Gulch to see what it was like ages ago. Step back in time as you stroll the wooden sidewalks of the town, preserved as a national historical park. (B,L,D)
Day #17 Scenic Cruising: Glacier Bay National Park. This Biosphere Reserve and UNES CO World Heritage Site protects a unique ecosystem of plants and animals living in an ever-changing glacial landscape. Here, witness an amazing spectacle of thunder and flying spray as tremendous slabs of ice break off and “calve” into the sea— making for lasting memories. National Park rangers accompany the ship to add expert commentary to the day’s events. (B,L,D)
Day #18 Ketchikan. Experience Native Alaska firsthand. Meet the spirits of the raven, whale, and eagle as you view the largest collection of totems in the world at Saxman Totem Park or Totem Bight State Historic Park. Or, explore Creek Street, now home to contemporary art galleries and quaint boutiques. (B,L,D)
Day #19 Scenic Cruising: Inside Passage. (B,L,D)
Day #20 Vancouver (Disembarkation). Airport transfers are provided. Please schedule flights after Noon. (B)