Travel to the heart of the Canadian Rockies on this spectacular vacation. Your trip begins in Calgary with a sightseeing tour of Calgary’s highlights, a visit to Fort Calgary, and admission to the Calgary Stampede. Then head west through the foothills of the Canadian Rockies into Banff National Park, Canada’s oldest national park and gateway to the Canadian Rockies. Spend two overnights at this popular year-round resort with time to explore Banff on your own or to take an optional excursion. On the way to Jasper National Park, stop in Lake Louise and discover 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, an all-terrain vehicle, on the Columbia Icefield, the largest expanse of ice in the Canadian Rockies. In Jasper National Park, the largest national park in Canada, enjoy two overnights and an orientation tour in Jasper. Depart Jasper, follow the Fraser River to the base of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and overnight in Kamloops. Travel to the Pacific Coast and board a ferry for Victoria, where you’ll enjoy two overnights and a city tour plus time for optional activities, including a whale-watching cruise. Also visit world-famous Butchart Gardens with its 55 acres of showcase floral exhibits. Then sail through the spectacular Gulf Islands back to Vancouver and enjoy a sightseeing tour of the famous landmarks. It’s a great way to wrap up your majestic Canadian Rockies vacation.
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 ranching town into a sophisticated city with skyscrapers and elegant shopping centers. It is also home to the world-famous Calgary Stampede. Tour many of the city’s attractions, including Canada Olympic Park, the Saddledome, and FORT CALGARY. Motor west through the foothills and into BANFF NATIONAL PARK, gateway to the majestic Canadian Rockies. Join the optional excursion to Sulphur Mountain for panoramic views of Banff’s spectacular scenery. Tonight, take an optional excursion to the theatre for a Canadian show and dinner.
Day #5 Banff National Park. Banff is one of Canada’s favorite year-round resorts, with summer activities such as hiking, boating, and fishing. With a free day, 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. Enjoy a day of scenic grandeur. First stop is Lake Louise, whose turquoise waters create a perfect natural mirror that reflects the surroundings. Next, journey north into JASPER NATIONAL PARK, where precipitous gorges, snowcapped summits, and lakes of exquisite blues and greens come into view as the motorcoach scales two mountain passes. Another highlight on the agenda is a stop at the COLUMBIA ICEFIELD to experience the Ice Explorer, an all-terrain vehicle that travels on ice that is 365 meters (1,200 feet) thick. Later, your Tour Director suggests an optional float trip down the Athabasca River. Enjoy an orientation tour of Jasper townsite upon arrival.
Day #7 Jasper National Park. Today, join our optional excursion to Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, where you embark on a narrated cruise of the lake. The balance of the day is free to enjoy everything Jasper has to offer—from guided hikes and quaint shops to meandering wildlife.
Day #8 Jasper National Park–Mount Robson–Kamloops. This morning is yours to relax or explore. Depart Jasper and follow the Fraser River to the base of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. The Yellowhead Highway continues south along the mighty Thompson River, with spectacular views of the Monashee Mountains. Overnight in Kamloops.
Day #9 Kamloops–Ferry Crossing–Victoria. As you travel through British Columbia’s Coast Mountain Range to its majestic Pacific coastline, the vegetation changes from desert landscape to lush alpine forests. Board your afternoon ferry for the spectacular crossing to Vancouver Island. Sightseeing in Victoria includes the Inner Harbour, Bastion Square, Thunderbird Park, and world-famous BUTCHART GARDENS. This evening, consider a stroll along the lively Waterfront Promenade.
Day #10 Victoria. Today is a free day for independent sightseeing. Your Tour Director will have ideas to enhance your enjoyment of this most British of Canadian cities. Take an optional whale-watching cruise and seek out pods of killer whales. A suggestion for this evening is an optional historic walk followed by dinner in Chinatown.
Day #11 Victoria–Ferry Crossing–Vancouver. This morning, set sail across the Strait of Georgia and through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its climate. In Vancouver, city sightseeing includes STANLEY PARK, Gastown, Chinatown, and many other famous landmarks. The remainder of the day is free to explore Robson Street and experience British Columbia’s premier shopping and entertainment location.
Day #12 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.