Create a lifetime of incredible memories traveling through the unforgettable Canadian Rockies! Take a snocoach ride on Athabasca Glacier in Alberta, travel across British Columbia on the Rocky Mountaineer train, and enjoy ferry crossings to/from Vancouver Island—these are just a few of the many highlights on this memorable Western Canada vacation. Begin your trip in Calgary with a sightseeing tour of Calgary’s major sites and daily passes to the Calgary Stampede. Then travel to Banff, one of Canada’s favorite resorts, for time to hike, fish, and relax, or take an optional helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies. On the way to Jasper National Park, stop in Lake Louise and marvel at this world-famous location with its cold waters reflecting the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Next: a highlight of your vacation—take a thrilling ride aboard an Ice Explorer on the Columbia Icefield, the largest expanse of ice in the Canadian Rockies. Continue on to Jasper National Park, the largest national park in Canada, for two nights. Next, journey on the Rocky Mountaineer for a 2-day, all-daylight journey from Jasper National Park to Vancouver. 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. Upon arrival in Vancouver, enjoy a sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s major sites. Then set sail for Victoria and enjoy a sightseeing tour, including world-famous Butchart Gardens with its 55 acres of floral displays. Your grand Canadian Rockies vacation ends with two nights in Vancouver, where you will get to know this city on your own. This is truly an unforgettable vacation with an amazing itinerary full of beautiful scenery and once-in-a-lifetime activities.
Day #1 Calgary. Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Day #2 Calgary Stampede Grounds. Welcome to Calgary and “The Greatest Show on Earth.” Dressed in your best Cowboy fashion from belt buckles, boots to chaps, explore the Calgary Stampede grounds at your leisure with your included admission. Step through the gates of Stampede Park into a world of wonder, fun, and “Wild West” excitement. Walk back in time through an authentic Indian Village or stroll the streets of a recreated frontier town. Enjoy a wide variety of exciting talent at the many entertainment stages, and then maybe head into the dazzling array of international exhibits and displays of Western art. This evening, watch the heart-stopping chuck wagon races in an all-out dash for the finish line, an amazing contest of nerves and horsepower. You’ll be out of your seats cheering on your favorite driver during each heat. Afterward, get ready for an outdoor stage show featuring hundreds of singers, dancers, and musicians in a lavishly produced and choreographed musical variety spectacular.
Day #3 Calgary Stampede Grounds and Rodeo. Fuel up for the day’s activities by visiting Fluor Rope Square at Olympic Plaza for a pancake breakfast. Return to the Stampede grounds this morning to see anything you missed yesterday, and cheer on your favourite rodeo contenders. If you haven’t already, get suited with a cowboy hat, threads and boots at one of the many stalls before heading to the Grandstand for the Calgary Stampede Rodeo this afternoon. See the best of the best as they saddle up for world-class rodeo action. Top professionals take on the West’s wildest horses. You’ll also enjoy rodeo’s most famed event—bull riding! You will be in awe of the talent as you sit on the edge of your seat. Make the most of your time here and discover Canada’s country core. With square dancing, mock gun fights, country bands, bars, restaurants and livestock, there is loads to see.
Day #4 Calgary–Banff National Park. The discovery of oil converted this all-Western cattle ranching town into a thriving, sophisticated city. See many of the city’s attractions this morning on your sightseeing tour, including downtown, Fort Calgary, Stampede Park, the Saddledome, and Canada Olympic Park. Next, drive west through the foothills of the Rockies and into BANFF NATIONAL PARK. Upon arrival, take the optional gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain for panoramic views of Banff’s spectacular scenery. Then, enjoy a visit to sparkling Bow Falls.
Day #5 Banff National Park. Full day at leisure. Banff is one of Canada’s favorite resorts, with summer activities that include hiking, boating, and fishing. Your Tour Director will suggest an optional helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies.
Day #6 Banff National Park–Lake Louise–Columbia Icefield–Jasper National Park. First stop is Lake Louise, its cold waters reflecting the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Precipitous gorges, snowcapped mountain ranges, and exquisite lakes come into view as the motorcoach scales two mountain passes. Another 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 1,200 feet (365 meters) thick. Late this afternoon, join our optional float trip down the historic Athabasca River. Upon arrival in Jasper, an orientation tour showcases Jasper’s unspoiled beauty. Your accommodation for the next two nights will be in JASPER NATIONAL PARK.
Day #7 Jasper National Park. Join the optional trip to Maligne Lake and Spirit Island for a narrated cruise. On the return journey, you’ll be mesmerized by dramatic Maligne Canyon. With much of the afternoon and evening free, you might consider hiking or exploring Jasper’s local town charm with its occasional wandering wildlife!
Day #8 Jasper National Park–Rocky Mountaineer–Kamloops. An exciting morning as you board the Rocky Mountaineer for a 2-day, all-daylight, classic rail journey from the Canadian Rockies to the Pacific Coast. En route, pass Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Follow the Thompson River and enjoy vistas of the Monashee Mountains. Overnight in Kamloops. (CB,L)
Day #9 Kamloops–Rocky Mountaineer–Vancouver. Reboard the train and head through the ranchlands along the South Thompson River. Continue through the stark beauty of Fraser Canyon and the turbulence of mighty Hell’s Gate. Then, pass through the fertile fields of the Fraser Valley, surrounded by the snowcapped Coast Mountains. Arrive in Vancouver at the Rocky Mountaineer Station in early evening and transfer to your hotel. (CB,L)
Day #10 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 #11 Victoria–Ferry Crossing–Vancouver. Morning departure for Vancouver. Check into your Vancouver hotel, the Quality Hotel Downtown-False Creek, for the next two nights.
Day #12 Vancouver. A day at leisure for independent activities or choose from a variety of optional excursions. Your local host will have ideas on the best places to shop and dine.
Day #13 Vancouver. The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers are provided to Vancouver International Airport.