Canada is the place many us want to live in, and they are pretty nice about sharing their homeland too. What’s with snowcapped beauty in the very many mountains to surfing to history lessons to multicultural vibes to the rocky mountain train ride that in itself is a sight to behold to the skiing in the Rockies to the kayaking in Jasper or Sulphur Mountains, it’s a place that offers everything and more. Steel Rail Blues is a popular song by the Canadian Folk/Country singer Gordon Lightfoot, and by the time you leave Canada, you will be so in love that you might not want to leave!
On arrival at Vancouver, get settled in to your hotel. Our recommendation is Georgian Court Hotel.
Rest of the day is for acclimatizing to this beautiful coastal city. When describing Vancouver, it’s often described as the Manhattan with mountains with cultural influences from India, China, England, France and the Pacific Northwest. Majestic mountains, sparkling ocean, rainforests and beautiful foliage all four seasons make Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Canada is known for our people's friendly nature, and Vancouver's citizens take great pride in our welcoming, clean, safe streets - day or night, all year round. With quick and easy access to Whistler Resort, the Canadian Rockies, Victoria, Vancouver Island, and of course, endless year round water and land sports, whether extreme sport or family fun, find your personal adventure here.
After a good breakfast, set off to explore Vancouver on the San Francisco-style trolley for a Vancouver city tour.
Sightsee at your own pace as you hop-on and hop-off for any length of time at many premier attractions, parks, gardens, galleries and restaurants.
The most popular areas are: Stanley Park, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island and more. The tour features a live commentary so you’ll have the opportunity to learn what makes the spectacular city so special. It’s all at your pace!
No matter how many tours you take, there is always something special about Vancouver that you discover for yourself. Today is the day of self exploration of Vancouver.
If travelling on a train for two whole days is an unforgettable beautiful experience in itself, imagine the glorious vistas that await you.
Today, board the Rocky Mountaineer for two days of all-daylight rail travel through Canada's West and the Canadian Rockies.
• 2 days onboard the Rocky Mountaineer
• 2 lunches, 2 breakfasts
• 1 night hotel accommodation
• Station and hotel transfers
Rocky Mountaineer Hosts will attend to your needs. They will welcome you with a morning toast and entertain you with interpretive storytelling. Delicious, hot entrée options served at your seat and plated to your preference. Complimentary beverages, including wine, beer, spirits and non-alcoholic drinks will be served throughout the journey, along with gourmet snacks.
Sit back and enjoy panoramic views from oversized windows in the single-level dome coach.
On the first day you will travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Kamloops. Highlights of this journey include the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River.
Once in Kamloops you will be transferred to a hotel for overnight stay.
Your rail adventure continues north and east to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Highlights of this part of the journey include Mount Robson, at 3,954 metres (12,972 feet) the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Pyramid Falls, and the climb over the Yellowhead Pass into Jasper National Park.
Your rail journey ends on arrival in Jasper this evening. On arrival you will be transferred to Crimson Jasper.
Today, set out to explore Jasper and around.
There are few prettier locations on earth than right here. Surrounded by the Rockies, Jasper is part of an 11,000sq km tract of wilderness linked by rail and the world's most scenic highway.
While Banff to the south has a carefully constructed veneer of perfect uniformity to its streetscape, Jasper is still rough around the edges, belying its past as a railway town. There's still more railway men in the Whistle Stop Pub than tourists! The railway station is still at the heart of Jasper - and there are railway carriages stacked up here, and unsightly piles of dirt and gravel and railway beams - but nothing in Canada's as pretty as throwing Frisbees at twilight in the park in Jasper's main street, while people strum guitars and sip on beers, lapping up every last sun ray of summer.
In among all this wilderness is, as you might imagine, an adventure seeker's paradise, though most who come this way barely do more than drive around being dazzled by the landscape and the never-ending fields of wildflowers that blossom by the sides of the road.
It’s time for adrenaline rushes on the rafting tour!
Get to the river by walking down a track Marilyn Monroe had built for her while she filmed the 1954 Movie ‘River Of No Return’, and launch into the freezing waters of the Athabasca River. Raft through rapids and into calm eddies while ospreys and eagles circle above and a solitary black bear trudges past on the riverbank. Wildflowers of red, white, purple, yellow and pink line the river, behind them some of Canada's tallest mountains roll on to the horizon. There's everything here from easy family rafting excursions to high-octane grade-three river thrills.
There's no shortage of kinetic movement around town. Every activity is catered for - from hiking to canoeing to mountain biking to horse riding to wildlife tours. Jasper visibly suffers from teenage-like hyperactivity that makes you feel almost guilty for lounging outside in the sunshine eating and drinking … almost.
After breakfast, head down south towards Banff with a lot of stops on the way.
Some of Canada's top natural attractions are just down the road from Jasper, including Maligne Lake, the second-largest glacier-fed lake in the world; Medicine Lake, the mysterious disappearing lake sacred to Canada's indigenous inhabitants; and Athabasca Falls, the most powerful waterfall in the whole Rockies, 32km to Jasper's south. Head a little further southward and you'll also discover the Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield south of Alaska.
A visit to Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park should not be missed before you begin your drive to Banff via the spectacular Icefields Parkway, said to be one of the most scenic routes in the world. We suggest stops at Peyto Lake and Lake Louise en route.
Drive from Lake Louise to Banff on the Bow Valley Parkway running parallel with Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Railway and the Bow River. This road allows stopping to view wildlife such as elk, osprey, mountain sheep and goats and to enjoy the rearing flanks of Castle Mountain.
Return to the road for the final stretch to Banff, where you stay at Banff Aspen Lodge.
In 1885 when three Canadian Pacific Railway workers discovered natural hot springs near what is now the Town of Banff, one of Canada's great stories - the creation of the nation's first national park - was born.
Today, Banff National Park continues to provide limitless inspiration to modern story tellers and adventure seekers alike. This place of spectacular natural beauty is also a place steeped in legendary tales of exploration, discovery and even mystery.
National Historic Sites have been designated based on their significance in Canada’s history and seven of them are located in Banff National Park! Many of the National Historic Sites, such as Banff Park Museum, Cave & Basin and Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, are easy to access. Others, including the Cosmic Ray Station on Sanson Peak, Skoki Lodge, Abbot Pass Hut and Howse Pass, require varying degrees of hiking and backcountry access.
The entire day is free to tour Banff and the surrounding area. We suggest a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. The ride offers a great perspective on the local area, including the Banff Township, Cascade and Rundle Mountains, Bow River and the calm Lake Minnewanka).
Later stroll through town admiring the many shops. You can also take a boat tour on beautiful Lake Minnewanka.
Explore the bustling town of Banff to explore its charms on your own before taking off to the lovely Calgary for the evening.
Leaving the magnificent Rocky Mountains behind you head into the Stampede city of Calgary for your final evening.
It's time to bid good bye to this beautiful country and it's wonderful people!
For more information, get in touch with us.