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 rest of the day is free to explore the 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. Plan to pack a small carry-on bag with necessities for the train portion of the tour, including medications, eyeglasses, and other important items.
Day 4 - Kamloops - Rocky Mountaineer - Banff. Back aboard the ROCKY MOUNTAINEER, journey from Kamloops eastward to Shuswap Lake with its many miles of shoreline. Follow the Kicking Horse River and pass over the Continental Divide into 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 [LF] NATURE WALK with a picnic lunch or enjoy a thrilling ride on the BANFF GONDOLA. Enjoy spectacular views of the valley below as you savor lunch. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Banff - Lake Louise. En route to Lake Louise, a side trip showcases 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 checking into your room, the rest of the day is free to enjoy the beauty, romance, and serenity of this famous location. (B,D)NOTE:The visit to Moraine Lake is normally possible from late May to early September. SPECIAL FEATURE: Overnight at the spectacular Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Built as a log cabin in 1890, the historic chateau has become world famous, hosting celebrities and royalty 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.
Day 7 - Lake Louise - Columbia Icefield - Jasper. Travel on awe-inspiring Icefields Parkway past towering peaks and immense hanging glaciers to JASPER NATIONAL PARK. 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 bask 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 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 on a city highlights tour. Later, perhaps stroll around the Parliament buildings or do some shopping. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants in this delightful harbor city. (B)
Day 11 - Victoria. Today, another choose your experience activity! 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. Visit one of the most 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. Shop for gold nuggets, visit the stately Governor's Mansion, saunter through the swinging doors of the historic Red Dog Saloon, 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 U.S. National Historic Park. (B,L,D)
Day 16 - Scenic Cruising: Glacier Bay National Park. This Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site protects a unique ecosystem in an ever-changing glacial landscape. Witness the spectacle of thunder and flying spray as huge slabs of ice break off and "calve" into the sea"making for lasting memories. National Park rangers accompany the ship, adding 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. Take a second spin through Alaska's Inside Passage to enjoy the spectacular contrast from wide bays of still waters and barrier islands to narrow waterways edged with towering forested cliffs. (B,L,D)
Day 19 - Vancouver (Disembarkation). The vacation ends this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers are provided to Vancouver International Airport. Please schedule flights after Noon. (B)