Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 3 three-course dinners including a farewell dinner in Banff
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Breakfast NOTE:Operation of the canoe trip is subject to favorable weather conditions.
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.
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.
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.
Banff. Breakfast this morning is served on top of Sulphur Mountain. Take a scenic ride on the [LF] BANFF GONDOLA to the top of the mountain and then enjoy spectacular views of the valley below as you savor a flavorful meal. Additional sightseeing in Banff includes a visit to Bow Falls and the Hoodoos. The balance of the day is at leisure. Consider an optional flightseeing trip for a bird’s-eye view of the Rockies. This evening, join your Tour Director for a farewell dinner.
Banff–Rocky Mountaineer–Kamloops. This morning, board the ROCKY MOUNTAINEER and travel over the Continental Divide and along the Kicking Horse River. We travel westward to Shushwap Lake with its thousand miles of shoreline and then overnight in 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 that it satisfies our high standards of cleanliness and comfort.
Kamloops–Rocky Mountaineer–Vancouver. Back aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, enjoy your amazing journey through the fertile fields of the Thompson Valley and the beautiful Fraser Canyon. Late this afternoon, arrive in Vancouver, where you’ll be transferred to your hotel. (B,L)
Vancouver. Your vacation ends this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided.