Welcome to Vancouver! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
This morning, an included city tour highlights STANLEY PARK, Chinatown, the harbor, beaches, and more. The remainder of the day is at leisure; your Tour Director will have suggestions. You could take a water-taxi to lively Granville Island with its outdoor markets, street musicians, and waterfront cafes, or visit historic Gastown with its steam-powered clock, antique shops, and art galleries!
3 Vancouver - Rocky Mountaineer - Kamloops.
An exciting morning as you board the Rocky Mountaineer for a 2-day, all-daylight, classic rail journey. The train travels through some of Canada's most spectacular scenery. Follow the Fraser River through snowcapped mountains, eventually arriving at Kamloops. (B/L)
4 Kamloops - Rocky Mountaineer - Glacier National Park - Yoho National Park - Banff National Park.
Reboard the train and prepare for spectacular sights, such as Shuswap Lake, the Monashee Mountains, and GLACIER NATIONAL PARK. Travel through the heart of the Selkirk Mountains before entering stunning YOHO NATIONAL PARK. The train winds through the Spiral Tunnels before climbing Kicking Horse Pass. Cross the Continental Divide and enter the province of Alberta and BANFF NATIONAL PARK. An orientation tour includes Banff's unspoiled beauty. (B/L)
5 Banff National Park.
Today is at leisure. Play golf, horseback ride, hike the many wilderness trails in the area, stroll through Banff, or simply relax at the hot springs. Banff National Park is the perfect place for photographers and wildlife watching, and as a visitor you may be lucky enough to encounter some of these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. The national park is home to 53 species of mammals. The most commonly seen are deer and big horn sheep. If the timing is right, you may spot black bears, grizzlies, or wolves. Your Tour Director will also have suggestions for an optional helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies and can offer recommendations for dinner.
6 Banff National Park - Lake Louise.
Enjoy a day of scenic grandeur. Travel to Lake Louise and return to Yoho National Park, see the Natural Bridge spanning Kicking Horse River, and visit Emerald and Moraine Lakes. Stay overnight in Lake Louise, where green-blue waters form a perfect mirror reflection of Mount Victoria.
7 Lake Louise - Columbia Icefield - Jasper National Park.
Scale Bow Pass for splendid views of Peyto Lake, then climb Sunwapta Pass for stunning vistas of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and massive glaciers. Next stop: the COLUMBIA ICEFIELD to ride the Ice Explorer that travels on ice measuring 229 metre (750 feet) thick.
8 Jasper National Park - Mount Robson - Sun Peaks.
Stand at the base of the awesome 3954 metre (12,972-foot) Mount Robson. Travel through British Columbia's Fur Trade and Cariboo regions for tantalizing glimpses of the soaring granite mountains of Canada's Rockies. Watch for wildlife as you continue to the internationally renowned Sun Peaks ski resort.
9 Sun Peaks - Lillooet - Whistler.
Head south, following the once-treacherous Cariboo Wagon Trail. From Lillooet, "Mile 0 of the Gold Rush Route," our motorcoach will follow the shores of Seton and Duffey Lakes, with a mid-afternoon arrival in Whistler. There are optional activities to choose from, including flightseeing by floatplane over glaciated peaks or a Gondola ride between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains for the perfect bearspotting perch.
10 Whistler - Ferry Crossing - Victoria.
Set sail across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. In Victoria, sightseeing includes BUTCHART GARDENS, the Empress Hotel, Legislative Buildings, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park.
A day at leisure gives you the chance to stroll around the harbor, go shopping on Government Street, or have lunch in one of the many pubs. You may choose to join an optional wildlife and whale-watching trip. Cruise the beautiful waters of the San Juan and Gulf Islands, looking for whales, porpoises, seals, and eagles. Your Tour Director will suggest several optional excursions, including a flightseeing excursion with spectacular vistas of downtown Victoria.
12 Victoria - Vancouver (Embarkation).
Board your ferry this morning and head back to the Canadian mainland, where you will transfer to Holland America's luxurious MS Volendam for a 7-night voyage through the famed Inside Passage. (D)
13 Scenic Cruising: Inside Passage.
Spend the day cruising one of the world's most spectacular waterways. Located along the coast of British Columbia, the Inside Passage is the longest sheltered inland waterway in the world. Watch the water for orcas and humpback whales. (B/L/D)
Located at the foot of grand mountain peaks on Gastineau Channel, Alaska's capital city of Juneau has massive Mendenhall Glacier and the Juneau Icefield at its back door. Visit the rustic shops in town-or get out and kayak, raft, hike, whale watch, flightsee, or fish. There's no end to the adventure because of the long daylight hours. (B/L/D)
In winter, the sidewalks are all but rolled up in Skagway, so you can imagine the frightful conditions endured by gold prospectors who passed through en route to the Yukon. Take your time and poke your head into every little shop, from the Trail Bench to Lynch & Kennedy's Dry Goods. The Red Onion Saloon, with its honky-tonk piano and costumed barmaids, is a treasure trove of memorabilia featuring pictures of Klondike Kate, Peahull Annie, and other historic characters. To complete the picture of those rip-roaring days, visit the nostalgic Trail of '98 Museum. (B/L/D)
16 Scenic Cruising: Glacier Bay.
Glacier Bay has more actively calving tidewater glaciers than anyplace else in the world. How does it feel when a colossal chunk of ice splits off a glacier and crashes into the sea? The sound is like thunder. The impact shoots water hundreds of meters into the air. You hold your breath as you capture the moment on camera, then you wait for it all to happen again. (B/L/D)
Built over the water and up weathered stairways, Ketchikan clings to the shores of Tongass Narrows and drapes the mountains with a hospitable air. (B/L/D)
18 Scenic Cruising: Inside Passage.
Cruise through the awe-inspiring Inside Passage, keeping watch for spouting whales, soaring eagles, and other wildlife. Tonight, enjoy a sumptuous dinner and onboard entertainment. (B/L/D)
19 Vancouver (Disembarkation).
Your holiday ends this morning. Please schedule homebound flights after Noon. (B)