Beginning in Calgary, the adventure begins with a drive through the Kananaskis ranchlands en route to the mountain town of Banff. The quiet villages of Jasper and Lake Louise are in perfect harmony with their dramatic natural surroundings and are the ideal location for a serene exploration of the trails and forests just steps from the town.
A trip on the Athabasca Glacier in the Ice Explorer will reveal the frozen calm of this pristine part of the Rockies. Boarding a comfortable VIA Rail train for an overnight journey to Vancouver, the majesty of the mountain peaks and valleys will astound you. Arriving in Vancouver, depart on a full day excursion up the Sea-to-Sky highway for a tour of the world-famous Whistler Village, including a stop the tumbling waters of Shannon Falls as the perfect end to your western Canada experience.
Jasper River Rafting, £46 per person - This relaxing rafting trip is a unique and fun way to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Jasper National Park. Enjoy a gentle rafting tour on the Athabasca River, following the route used by the fur trader’s centuries ago. The ten mile journey passes through many small sets of rapids and calm stretches, which allows your National Park Licensed guide to point out the natural and human history of Jasper. Specially designed rafts offer a safe, comfortable ride that any first time rafter will enjoy. This trip is for everyone from children to seniors.
Maligne Valley Wildlife Tour, £48 per person - If you want to see wildlife when visiting the Rockies your best opportu-nity is in Jasper! The area the town occupies is the largest inhabitable valley in the Canadian Rockies, which means more food for “All Creatures Great and Small” Put on your safari hat as you set out into the Park with your own Wildlife Interpreter in search of Bear, Elk, Sheep, Goats, Coyote, Wolves, Moose and many of Mother Nature’s other mountain creatures. This three hour tour is the perfect chance to enjoy spectacular scenery and learn more about Jasper’s original inhabitants. Don’t forget your camera!
Columbia Icefields Tour, £57 per person - Widely regarded as one of the most scenic highways in the world, the beautiful Icefield Parkway takes you through the heart of the Canadian Rockies and offers views of snow-capped mountains, lush forest and spectacular waterfalls. There is also a good chance to see wildlife including bears, bighorn sheep, moose and mountain goats along the route. Stop at the Athabasca and Sunwapta Falls as well as other scenic view points as you head along the Parkway to Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefields Centre. Here you can explore this beautiful glacier at your own pace and there is the optional chance to board the ‘snocoach’ for the arguable highlight of the trip, an ‘Ice Explorer’ tour of the glacier.
Maligne Valley Sightseeing & Boat Cruise, £78 per person - This introduction to Jasper begins with a short tour of the town be-fore heading across the Athabasca River to Maligne Lake. A century after Mary Schaeffer’s remarkable adventure, come discover “World-renowned” Maligne Lake for yourself! A stop at Maligne Canyon offers staggering views of the river thundering through a series of magnificent waterfalls in a gorge 10,000 years in the making. Farther up the valley, stop to solve the mystery of “disappearing” Medicine Lake. Next we’ll carry on to the pinnacle of our tour, breathtaking Maligne Lake! Once there you can enjoy an interpretative boat cruise bound for Spirit Island, truly another of Canada’s iconic images, or a nice guided walk along the shoreline of this unimaginable beauty.
Vancouver Harbour Cruise, £25 per person - This relaxing 75 minute cruise takes you on a circular tour through Canada’s ‘Gateway to the Pacific’- the Burrard Inlet. The informative narration will ensure you do not miss any of the sights and you will enjoy close-up views of Stanley Park, the Lookout tower, Lions Gate Bridge, the striking Downtown skyline, historic Gastown and the magnificent North Shore Mountains.
Vancouver Trolley Hop-on/Hop-off, £26 per person - Explore the captivating city of Vancouver with a Vancouver Trolley Hop-on Hop-off ticket. The classic turn-of-the-century trolleys loop round the city past all the major sights, attractions, parks and gardens. There are 23 stops along the loop including downtown Vancouver, Stanley Park, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island and more! The trolley tour is fully narrated by an expert guide and the entire loop takes around two hours, although you can get off at any of the stops to visit attractions, shop or dine before re-boarding the next trolley to continue with your tour.
Capilano Suspension Bridge, £30 per person - Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park invites you to venture across Vancouver’s oldest visitor attraction. There is something for everyone – facts and fiction at the Story Centre, exhibits at the Living Forest, guided nature walks through the West Coast Rain Forest, shopping at the Trading Post, colourful totem poles and native carving. Experience a thrilling “tree tops adventure” and discover seven acres of West Coast Rainforest through a maze of suspended footbridges swaying between towering Hemlocks, immense Red Cedars and colossal Douglas firs. More thrills await you at the “cliff-hanger walk” which takes you out over the canyon’s cliff edge.
Deluxe Vancouver City Tour, £49 per person - This is the perfect introduction to a wonderful city where it's possible to ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon. Visit all the major sites on this informative city tour. See Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Public Library, Chinatown, the two major sporting arenas and Historic Gastown. You will be given some free time to shop or enjoy a bite to eat at bustling Robson Street before continuing into the heart of Stanley Park – 1000 acres of forest and gardens surrounded by beaches – where you will again have time to explore on foot.
Grouse Mountain Skyride, £39 per person - Experience a spectacular mountain top adventure 365 days of the year at the peak of Vancouver. During summer enjoy helicopter tours, lumberjack shows, the Grouse Mountain Wildlife Refuge for endangered wildlife, birds in motion demonstrations and so much more. In winter, discover the snowy wonderland renowned for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating and sleigh rides. Throughout the year, relax and savour great tastes at any of the superb restaurants from casual to elegant dining.
Grouse Mountain Sunset Tour, £49 per person - A wonderful alternative to the daytime Vancouver tours. Your tour starts with a scenic journey aboard a trolley bus through renowned Stanley Park before heading over spectacular Lions Gate Bridge. From here you will be taken to the base of Grouse Mountain where you will board a gondola to whisk you to her peak. The one mile journey will take you high above the forests and between mountain peaks, affording stunning views of the city skyline, harbour and far-off Vancouver Island. At the summit, you have around two hours to explore, dine or simply enjoy the wonderful sunset views. There are a host of restaurants that cater for all tastes and reservations can be made aboard your trolley bus. Other attractions include Grouse Mountain's Mile High Theatre in the Sky where you can view Canada's first high definition video presentation "Born to Fly" or the grizzly bear cub orphanage where Grinder and Coola romp and play in a protected natural habitat. After two hours exploring the mountain, return to the base and re-board the Trolley for the return trip to your point of embarkation.
Vancouver Panorama Seaplane Tour, £93 per person - Enjoy unforgettable aerial views of Downtown Vancouver and her surrounds as you take a thrilling over this wonderful city and close to the surrounding mountains. This is the ideal introduction to seaplane aviation. Take off on the sea on this 20-minute flight over beautiful Vancouver. You will see all the major downtown sights and also experience spectacular views of Grouse Mountain before the tour concludes with a thrilling landingback on the water.
Whistler & Shannon Falls, £94 per person - Journey along the Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler through a spectacular mountain paradise where you will discover cascading waterfalls, pristine virgin forest, breathtaking mountain views and snow covered peaks. Your journey starts with wonderful views of majestic Howe Sound as you follow the scenic highway that winds along this glacial fjord past picturesque seascapes and old growth rainforest. Circling bald eagles can often been seen as will as a host of other migratory birds. Continue along the Sea-to-Sky highway into the Canadian Rockies past mountain scenes and snowcapped peaks. Various photogenic stops will be made en route to Whistler including the 335-metre high Shannon Falls, the third highest waterfall in British Columbia and Brandywine Falls. On arrival in Whistler you will enjoy plenty of free time to explore this bustling mountain resort, dine and shop. During the summer you will have the chance to ride the gondola to the Peak of Whistler Mountain (gondola ticket payable locally) for stunning views across the Rockies. The leisurely journey back to Vancouver includes further scenic stops and points of interest.
Whale Watching Safari, £108 per person - If you're in Vancouver between April and October, you must take this 'once in a lifetime' tour to witness these magnificent and intelligent animals who are at the very top of the ocean's food chain. The Orca or Killer whales visit the North West Pacific coast around Vancouver regularly between April and October in search of salmon. Sighting chances are 85 per cent and you are also likely to encounter other marine wild life such as Dall's Porpoises, seals, sea lions, and bald eagles. On rare occasions Minke whales and sea elephants have been encountered. You travel protected from the elements in covered, comfortable, high-speed boats equipped with washroom facilities.
Day 1 - ARRIVAL IN CALGARY / CALGARY TO BANFF ( 130 KM )
After arriving in Calgary, you pick up your car and depart the city and set your sights today on the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Experience the majesty of the mountains as you first travel through the foothills and then enter Banff National Park where the lofty peaks form a picturesque crown around the parklands. After you have arrived in the bustling town of Banff, the remainder of the day is free to explore its many dining and shopping venues. Overnight in Banff.
Day 2 - BANFF NATIONAL PARK
Banff National Park is a stunning wilderness and your outdoor playground for the day. A highlight of your day will be a ride on the Banff Gondola as it ascends to the pinnacle of Sulphur Mountain for an awe-inspiring 360- degree panorama of sheer mountain majesty. Enjoy the interpretative hiking trails that lead along the ridge of the mountain. After an invigorating hike, perhaps enjoy one of the two excellent restaurants at the summit. Overnight in Banff.
Day 3 - BANFF TO LAKE LOUISE ( 75 KM )
Today you will be driving through the Bow Valley to get to beautiful Lake Louise. This glacier-fed body is the acclaimed “Jewel of the Rockies”, said to be Canada’s most photographed lake. With the Victoria Glacier in the background, this emerald-coloured lake is sure to leave an indelible impression. Admire the stunning vista from inside the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise standing atop a giant glacial moraine formed after the last ice age. Across the valley from Lake Louise Village, you can take a chairlift up Whitehorn Mountain for even more dramatic views of this pristine area. Overnight in Lake Louise.
Day 4 - LAKE LOUISE TO JASPER ( 320 KM )
Today you depart for Jasper via the spectacular Icefields Parkway - one of the most scenic routes in the Canadian Rockies. We suggest a stop at Peyto Lake and a visit to Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park to experience the quiet trails and forests first hand. At the Columbia Icefield, why not pre-book a specially designed Ice Explorer for a journey on to the massive Athabasca Glacier and experience the thrill of walking on centuries-old glacial ice. After this exciting experience, continue on to arrive at the resort town of Jasper. Overnight in Jasper.
Day 5 - JASPER NATIONAL PARK
Today is at your leisure to explore the uniquely beautiful landscape of Jasper National Park where serene lakes and gentle meadows stand in stark contrast to jagged peaks and spectacular glaciers. We suggest a Maligne Lake boat cruise, a visit to Miette Hot Springs, or a ride on the Jasper Tramway. Perhaps enjoy a quiet meal for your final night in Jasper. Overnight in Jasper.
Day 6 - VIA RAIL’S THE CANADIAN - JASPER TO VANCOUVER
After dropping off your car, today you board VIA Rail’s The Canadian and head west to Vancouver. You will have some of the most spectacular views of the Rockies, interior British Columbia and the Coastal Mountains. You will pass by rugged mountain peaks, arid ranchland and rolling, wind-swept hills. Overnight aboard VIA Rail’s The Canadian. Dinner included.
Day 7 - VIA RAIL’S THE CANADIAN / VANCOUVER
After you arrive in Vancouver this morning, transfer independently to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore this wonderful oceanside city. Some highlights of the city include historic Gastown, nearby Chinatown, Stanley Park and English Bay. The waterside markets and bistros offer casual meals or a pleasant place to enjoy the refreshing breezes cascading off the water. Overnight in Vancouver. Breakfast included.
Day 8 - VANCOUVER
Today you spend the day on a full-day tour along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway to the world famous ski resort of Whistler. Along the way you’ll make a stop at Shannon Falls, cascading over 300 metres above frothy pools and set in a tranquil provincial park. Upon arrival at Whistler Village, the pedestrian squares and laneways offer a magnificent view of forested slopes and misty peaks in the distance. The rest of the day is free to explore this idyllic resort town with its many shopping, dining and recreational activities before returning to Vancouver. Overnight in Vancouver.
Day 9 - END OF TOUR
Return to Vancouver International Airport in time to check-in for your return flight.