Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska Cruise
|Resort:||Canadas Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Cruise|
DAY 1 ARRIVAL IN CALGARY
ARRIVAL IN CALGARY
You will fly from the UK to Calgary where you will be met and transferred tothe three-star superior Delta Bow Valley hotel in central Calgary for one night.
Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Cruise route map Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska Cruise route map
DAY 2 CALGARY
Today we start our spectacular journey from Calgary across the gently rolling prairies of Alberta and soon the amazing slate-grey, snow-capped peaks of the Rockies come into view. Our hotel for the next three nights is the three-star superior Banff Park Lodge, in the spa resort of Banff. With its wood-panelled interior, cozy fireplace and excellent indoor pool, our hotel is an easy 5-minute stroll into the centre of this attractive small town.
DAY 3 BANFF
This morning our breathtaking journey is along the Icefields Parkway, one of the most spectacular roads in the world, with stunning mountain vistas. Our first stop is famous Lake Louise, completely encircled by high peaks, perhaps the most photographed view in the Rockies. We then take in Peyto Lake, one of the worlds most beautiful azure-blue glacial waters. Finally we see the Columbia Icefield, the largest in the Rockies, covering an area of over 200 square miles with depths of over 1,000 feet. Well ride on a giant Snocoach (weather permitting) across the Athabasca Glacier for a closer inspection of the massive crevasses before returning to Banff.
Lake Louise, Banff Lake Louise, Banff
DAY 4 FREE DAY
Today we have a free day. Why not take a leisurely float trip on the Bow River or a dip in Banffs relaxing hot springs. There are also helicopter trips on offer, or perhaps a ride up to the top of Sulphur Mountain at 7,500 feet on the Banff gondola. Several walks commence from the peak and theres also a restaurant with an open-air terrace. Also very popular is afternoon tea at the magnificent Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, built in the style of a massive Scottish baronial castle.
Sulphur Mountain Sulphur Mountain
DAY 5 ROCKY MOUNTAINEER TRAIN
ROCKY MOUNTAINEER TRAIN
This morning we set off on what is one of the worlds greatest train journeys! Boarding the Rocky Mountaineer youll be led to your assigned comfortable reclining seats, with plenty of legroom and large panoramic windows. The train begins its spectacular two-day 585-mile journey following the wide Bow River valley before crossing the Continental Divide at Kicking Horse Pass. Next come the famed spiral tunnels, an engineering marvel built 100 years ago, and as we follow the Columbia River we cross the dramatic 500-foot steel span of Stoney Creek bridge. The excellent on-board commentary highlights the intriguing history of the towns en route and the building of the railway itself. Meals in SilverLeaf Class include excellent hot meals served at your seat on each day including complimentary snacks, tea and coffee, non-alcoholic drinks, plus beer and house wine with lunch, all served at your seat (bar service at extra cost). Upgrade to the excellent GoldLeaf Services and their impressive Dome carriages – see overleaf for details. Our overnight stay is in a range of medium-class hotels in the town of Kamloops.
Rocky Mountaineer train Rocky Mountaineer train
DAY 6 VANCOUVER
We continue our journey to Vancouver. Following the Fraser and Thomson River canyons, passing the Jaws of Death Gorge, Avalanche Alley and Hells Gate Canyon, we criss-cross the river many times as we travel through some of British Columbias most scenic country. We finally reach Vancouver during the afternoon after a truly once-in-a-lifetime journey. Our hotel for the next two nights is the three-star superior Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in downtown Vancouver, close to the main shopping areas and the harbour-front promenade.
Vancouver Harbour at sunset Vancouver Harbour at sunset
DAY 7 VANCOUVER
Vancouver regularly features as one of the worlds most naturally beautiful cities: the blue of the Pacific Ocean with its picturesque harbour, the glass skyscrapers reflecting the sunlight and the lush coastal mountains form a stunning backdrop. This morning we tour the city stopping at Stanley Park, with its famous collection of totem poles and Prospect Point, which offers lovely views. The afternoon is at leisure – theres plenty to see and do in this sophisticated city. A popular, easy walk starts from Vancouvers waterfront pedestrian promenade to the huge expanse of Stanley Park. The path continues along the seashore and offers stunning vistas across the bay until you reach English Bays sandy beach, a lovely spot to watch the sunset.
Vancouver city through the autumn trees Vancouver city through the autumn trees
DAY 8 EMBARK MS NIEUW AMSTERDAM
EMBARK MS NIEUW AMSTERDAM
For all those continuing on to our Holland America Line Inside Passage cruise, embarkation begins at 11.30am and cabins are normally available from around 1pm. Our ship sails at 5pm, passing below Vancouvers spectacular Lions Gate suspension bridge.
MS Nieuw Amsterdam MS Nieuw Amsterdam
DAY 9 AT SEA
Our first full day at sea and theres plenty of time to ease into shipboard life and take in the amazing scenery of the Inside Passage. For anyone who prefers a little more activity, there are a huge variety of onboard talks and activities available. This evening is the first formal night of the cruise.
Inside Passage Inside Passage
DAY 10 JUNEAU
We spend the morning cruising the narrow 25-mile long Tracy Arm fjord to view the massive twin Sawyer Glaciers. Hemmed in by near vertical ice-scoured granite mountainsides, the glaciers are surrounded by a wild and barren landscape reminiscent of the last Ice Age! Look out for harbour seals basking on the many ice floes in the bay. After lunch we arrive in Juneau, Alaskas state capital. From here theres a widely varying selection of shore excursions on offer, ranging from flying to a glacier by helicopter and dog-sledding with teams of huskies, to whale-watching, kayaking, a typical Alaskan salmon bake, fly fishing by sea plane and a variety of hikes in the surrounding area.
Sawyer Glacier Sawyer Glacier
DAY 11 SKAGWAY
An early start today as we arrive in Skagway at 7am. Our ship remains here all day allowing plenty of time to explore this historic gateway to the Klondike, originally a lawless tented city during its gold rush days. The shore excursions include a number of helicopter glacier sightseeing opportunities, but what makes Skagway unique is that its the start of the White Pass & Yukon railroad and there are a number of excursions that include a fascinating ride on the restored carriages of this 100-year old route through the Alaskan wilderness. The most striking feature of Alaska is the sheer sense of isolation and tranquil beauty. People are a rarity, settlements more so; the land is not farmed or used by man in any way and the forests, seemingly, unmanaged! Theres wildlife galore, safe in the sanctuary of this pristine wilderness – there are few places like this left on the planet.
Yukon railroad Yukon railroad
DAY 12 GLACIER BAY
Today is yet another tour highlight as your cruise ship slowly enters the magnificent Glacier Bay National Park, with eight actively calving glaciers, more than anywhere else on Earth, access to this amazing spectacle is strictly controlled by the US Parks Service. Surrounded by snow-clad 10,000-foot peaks of the Fairweather Range, the nutrient-rich waters teem with salmon and humpback whales. On-shore its also home to black bears, moose and wolves. Our ship will spend the day cruising this huge area comprising 900 square miles of marine waters and although we do not actually dock anywhere, National Park Service rangers will come on board to provide specialist commentary and answer any questions.
Glacier Bay National Park Glacier Bay National Park
DAY 13 KETCHIKAN
After a mornings cruising, we arrive at the small town of Ketchikan after lunch, where a number of breathtaking trips are available, via seaplane, into the nearby Misty Fjords National Monument or the remote Tongass National Forest a perfect environment, only accessible by air, where bears can be spotted fishing for salmon. Amongst the many other activities available, theres salmon fishing, a crab feast, sea kayaking, and for the really adventurous, a zip-line descent through the forest canopy!
Samoln fishing bear in Ketchikan Samoln fishing bear in Ketchikan
DAY 14 AT SEA
Our last full day is spent at sea returning through the Inside Passage.
Inside Passage at sunset Inside Passage at sunset
DAY 15 RETURN FLIGHT
We arrive back in Vancouver in the morning, where you disembark and transfer to the airport at the appropriate time for your return flight.
DAY 16 ARRIVE HOME
We arrive back in the UK, with some wonderful memories.