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 - Victoria. This morning, tour Vancouver, including the waterfront, Chinatown, and Stanley Park with its old-growth evergreen forests and totem poles. Catch the FERRY over to Vancouver Island and Victoria. Visit world-famous [LF] BUTCHART GARDENS, followed by a special dinner in the original Butchart family residence. See major attractions on your city orientation tour including the Fairmont Empress Hotel, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park. (B,D)
Day 3 - Victoria. The day is free to explore on your own; your Tour Director suggests an optional marine wildlife and whale-watching trip. Shoppers will love Government Street's elegant shops and Market Square's specialty stores, while history buffs should be sure to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum. (B)
Day 4 - Victoria - Whistler. Today, board a BC FERRY and cross the Strait of Georgia and cruise through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its Mediterranean-type climate. Stop at SHANNON FALLS, where a boardwalk leads to a viewing platform near the base of the roaring falls. On to the alpine resort of Whistler at the base of breathtaking Blackcomb Mountain. Time to explore the 2010 Winter Olympics' sites. (B)
Day 5 - Whistler. Today is free to explore all that Whistler has to offer. You might enjoy a trip on Whistler's Peak2Peak Gondola, connecting Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Enjoy spectacular scenery and incredible photo opportunities as you travel via the longest unsupported gondola span in the world. Other options include a walk in the tree tops, a sightseeing excursion by air, shopping in the village, or just relaxing at your resort. (B)
Day 6 - Whistler - Sun Peaks. 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. Then, journey north through the heart of the magnificent Cariboo region. Spectacular scenery abounds as you pass by rolling hills, deeply incised rivers, and sparkling lakes. Afternoon arrival in Sun Peaks with the balance of the day at leisure. You may take advantage of an optional canoe trip on Lake McGillivray, where, surrounded by beautiful scenery, you learn about Canada's fur trade. (B) NOTE:Operation of the canoe trip is subject to favorable weather conditions.
Day 7 - Sun Peaks - Jasper. Continue north, following Yellowhead Highway and hugging the mighty North Thompson River, into the province of Alberta. See the base of 12,972-foot Mount Robson (the highest point in the Canadian Rockies) before entering JASPER NATIONAL PARK. Marvel at the precipitous gorges, snowcapped summits, and lakes of exquisite blues and greens in this wild mountain wilderness. Before arriving at your hotel, perhaps take an optional float trip down the historic Athabasca River, where your experienced guide will navigate as you absorb the splendor of Jasper National Park. (B,D)
Day 8 - Jasper. Excursion to Maligne Lake. Enjoy a sightseeing tour to see Jasper's unspoiled beauty. Afterward, travel to glacial Maligne Lake for a narrated CRUISE to Spirit Island. On the return journey, stop to view Maligne Canyon. Balance of the day is at leisure to explore Jasper on your own. (B)
Day 9 - Jasper - Columbia Icefield - Lake Louise - Banff. This morning, travel through Jasper National Park on Icefields Parkway to the 1,200-foot-thick Columbia Icefield for a thrilling ICE EXPLORER RIDE. Climb Sunwapta Pass to savor stunning vistas of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and massive glaciers, then scale Bow Pass with splendid views of Peyto Lake. Next, stop at Lake Louise, whose green-blue waters form a perfect mirror reflection of Mount Victoria. Continue into BANFF NATIONAL PARK. (B)
Day 10 - Banff. Enjoy sightseeing with a ride on the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain. Afterward, a scenic drive around Tunnel Mountain - watch for animals like elk and deer and unique landscape features like the Hoodoos and Bow River. Later, take advantage of an optional helicopter flightseeing trip with dramatic aerial views of the Rocky Mountains and Banff or stroll the town's colorful streets. This evening, meet a [LF] CANADIAN MOUNTIE who will share stories and the history of the RCMP. There will be time for questions and answers before a chance at some great photo ops! Then, your Tour director hosts a special farewell dinner. (B,D)
Day 11 - Banff - Calgary. Welcome to Calgary and the "Greatest Show on Earth." Meet your Tour Director this evening at 6 pm for a welcome drink.
Day 12 - Calgary. Today, 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. Stroll the streets of a recreated frontier town and walk back in time on a [LF] "behind-the-scenes" visit to an authentic FIRST NATIONS VILLAGE, where you'll learn more about the Native people, hear their stories, and meet a tribal elder. Enjoy a wide variety of exciting talent at the many entertainment stages, then maybe head into the dazzling array of exhibits and displays of Western art. This evening, watch the heart-stopping CHUCKWAGON RACES in an all-out dash for the finish line, an amazing contest of nerves and horsepower. Afterward, get ready for an outdoor STAGE SHOW featuring hundreds of singers, dancers, and musicians in a lavishly produced and choreographed musical variety spectacular. (B)
Day 13 - Calgary. A day at leisure to explore the Stampede grounds. Maybe visit Rope Square with its variety of Western entertainment and fun. 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 the rodeo's most famed event"bull riding! Take home a SOUVENIR PROGRAM to remind you of your time in Calgary. (B)
Day 14 - Calgary. The tour ends this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided. (B)