Create a lifetime of incredible memories traveling through the unforgettable Canadian Rockies! Begin your vacation in Vancouver with a tour that includes Chinatown and the famed totem poles of Stanley Park. Then, board the Rocky Mountaineer train and head for historic Kamloops, east to Shuswap Lake, and over the Continental Divide to breathtaking Banff National Park. This train ride through breathtaking scenery takes you back to a time when getting to your destination was part of the fun. Along the way, see wild rivers, majestic mountain ranges, and beautiful lakes.Spend two nights in Banff at the internationally recognized Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, a chateau-style hotel developed into one of the top three getaways in North America. En route to Lake Louise, enjoy a side trip to one of the crown jewels of the Canadian Rockies—Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks, where ten mountain peaks soar 10,000 feet and surround the tranquil waters of the lake. In Lake Louise, stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, a world-famous resort built in 1890.Travel on Icefields Parkway past towering peaks and hanging glaciers to Jasper National Park, Canada’s largest national park. View sapphire Peyto Lake and thundering Athabasca Falls, and ride an Ice Explorer on the Athabasca Glacier. Stay at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, nestled between majestic mountains and mountain lakes. Drink in the scenery as you pass Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Then on to Sun Peaks and the mountain resort of Whistler, where you'll stay at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, nestled at the base of spectacular Blackcomb Mountain. Ferry across to Victoria, spend two nights, and visit Butchart Gardens, with its 55 acres of stunning floral displays. Return via ferry to mainland Vancouver and board your Holland America cruise ship for a 7-night cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage and Glacier Bay National Park. 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. Disembark in Vancouver, the perfect ending to an exciting Canadian Rockies and Alaska cruise 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. This morning, tour Vancouver, including the waterfront, Chinatown, and Stanley Park with its old-growth evergreen forests and totem poles. The remainder of the day is free to explore Vancouver’s many attractions at your leisure. (B)
Day #3 Vancouver–Rocky Mountaineer®–Kamloops. At Vancouver’s Rocky Mountaineer Station, board the ROCKY MOUNTAINEER. Follow the Fraser Canyon and the Thompson River through beautiful landscapes to historic Kamloops. Tonight, enjoy free time in Kamloops. (B,L)NOTE:Kamloops properties are considered moderate 2- or 3-star hotels or motor inns. The city does not offer any hotels in the superior category. Your chosen hotel is determined by Rocky Mountaineer Railtours; however, you can rest assured it satisfies our high standards of cleanliness and comfort. For your convenience, baggage that will not be needed during the train journey will be checked through to Banff. Checked luggage will not be accessible during the journey. Plan to pack an overnight bag with necessities for the train portion of the tour, including medications, eyeglasses, and other important items (SilverLeaf and GoldLeaf passengers will have their luggage delivered to their Kamloops hotel).
Day #4 Kamloops–Rocky Mountaineer–Banff. Back aboard the ROCKY MOUNTAINEER, journey from Kamloops eastward to Shuswap Lake with its many miles of shoreline. The Kicking Horse River passes over the Continental Divide to BANFF NATIONAL PARK. (B,L)SPECIAL FEATURE: Spend the next two nights at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, internationally recognized as the symbol of Canadian hospitality. Opened by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1888, this chateau-style hotel developed into one of the top three getaways in North America.
Day #5 Banff. Breathe in the fresh mountain air! This morning, tour the highlights of Banff: Bow Falls, Tunnel Mountain, and Surprise Corner. Enjoy your choice of activities this afternoon! Take a leisurely NATURE WALK with a picnic lunch or enjoy AFTERNOON TEA at the Banff Springs Hotel. (B,L,D)
Day #6 Banff–Lake Louise. En route to Lake Louise today we’ll take a side trip to see one of the crown jewels of the Rockies—Moraine Lake and the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Here, 10 mountain peaks soar above 10,000 feet and surround the tranquil waters of the lake. Later, we arrive at enchanting Lake Louise. After we have checked into our rooms, the rest of the day is free to fully enjoy the beauty, romance, and serenity of this famous location. (B,D)SPECIAL FEATURE: Overnight at the spectacular Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Built as a log cabin in 1890, the chateau has grown to be world famous, and has welcomed celebrities and royals including Queen Elizabeth II, Alfred Hitchcock, and Marilyn Monroe. Take a leisurely stroll along the pristine lake, pamper yourself in the spa, or just relax with Afternoon Tea at this historic Canadian resort.
Day #7 Lake Louise–Columbia Icefield–Jasper. Travel on the awe-inspiring Icefields Parkway past towering peaks and immense hanging glaciers to JASPER NATIONAL PARK. View sapphire Peyto Lake, ride an exciting ICE EXPLORER on the 1,000-foot-thick Athabasca Glacier, and see thundering Athabasca Falls. Your overnight destination is the charming village of Jasper in Jasper National Park. (B,D)SPECIAL FEATURE: Spend this evening at the beautiful Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Originally built by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and called “Tent City,” it is now a 4-star resort nestled between majestic mountains and enchanting lakes. Take a nature hike, play a game of croquet, enjoy a canoe trip on the lake, or just take in the beauty of this tranquil setting.
Day #8 Jasper–Sun Peaks. Departing Jasper, watch the scenery unfold while traveling the Yellowhead Highway along the Fraser and Thompson Rivers. This is the same route followed by the early fur brigades of the Hudson’s Bay Company as they paddled fully laden canoes to the Pacific Coast. Pass regal Mount Robson; at 12,972 feet, it is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. (B)
Day #9 Sun Peaks–Whistler. A spectacular day lies ahead! This morning, travel past some of the most beautiful and rugged lakes and mountains in British Columbia. This afternoon, we arrive in Whistler—one of Canada’s newest and most exciting mountain resorts, and host of the 2010 Winter Olympics—and settle into the deluxe Fairmont Chateau Whistler. (B)SPECIAL FEATURE: Overnight at the all-season luxury resort, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Nestled at the base of breathtaking Blackcomb Mountain, the Chateau Whistler brings old and new together in a seamless meld of historical style and modern beauty. Enjoy impeccable service and outstanding cuisine in this pristine mountain wilderness.
Day #10 Whistler–Victoria. This morning, enjoy a visit and private breakfast at the [LF] SQUAMISH LIL’WAT CULTURAL CENTRE, dedicated to the history and culture of the First Nations people. Afterward, Victoria awaits! Board a BC FERRY for a picturesque cruise to Vancouver Island and the charming, very British “Garden City” of Victoria. This afternoon, discover British Columbia’s capital with a city highlights tour. Later, perhaps stroll around the Parliament buildings or shop the many stores this charming city has to offer. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants in this harbor city. (B)
Day #11 Victoria. Today, choose your experience! Enjoy traditional AFTERNOON TEA at the grand Fairmont Empress Hotel or, for the more adventurous, choose the WHALE-WATCHING excursion from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. This afternoon, visit the world-famous [LF] BUTCHART GARDENS. This estate offers more than 700 varieties of flowers on 55 acres and includes Italian, Japanese, and English-style gardens. Later, your Tour Director hosts a festive farewell dinner in the original Butchart family residence. (B,D)
Day #12 Victoria–Vancouver (Embarkation). This morning, transfer back to Vancouver, where you will board Holland America’s MS Volendam to begin your cruise. (B,D)
Day #13 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 #14 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.Then, 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 #15 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 #16 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 #17 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 #18 Scenic Cruising: Inside Passage. (B,L,D)
Day #19 Vancouver (Disembarkation). Transfers provided to Vancouver International Airport. Please schedule flights after Noon. (B)