Experience the magnificent Rocky Mountains, travel along the ‘road of steel’ and finally arrive at Vancouver as one of the most naturally beautiful cities. The Canadian Rockies must surely rank amongst the very finest of scenic and wildlife holidays on earth. The magnificent Rocky Mountains are Canada’s crowning glory and we stay in Banff, the very heart of the mountains.
The magnificent Rocky Mountains are Canada’s crowning glory: home to bears, majestic elk, moose and beaver, with vast forests that seem to go on forever. Opaque lakes of stunning emerald green and turquoise reflect the magnificent scenery like no other place on earth. Carpets of wild flowers bedeck the green meadows spread beneath the towering glaciers - huge expanses of brilliant white ice and snow, contrasting with the muted greys and pinks of the jagged peaks. We stay in Banff, the very heart of the mountains, then travel along a monument to man’s engineering prowess, the ‘road of steel’ that is the great Trans-Canadian railway, on the incredible Rocky Mountaineer train. Crossing high passes, deep ravines and innumerable spectacular bridges, places that can only be seen by rail, the Rocky Mountaineer is acknowledged as the ultimate way to travel through the beautifully rugged terrain of Alberta and British Columbia.
Finally, we arrive in Vancouver, nestling beside the immense majesty of the Pacific Ocean, which ranks alongside Sydney, Cape Town and San Francisco as one of the world’s most naturally beautiful panoramas. With its gleaming glass skyscrapers reflected in the azure-blue ocean, Canada’s third largest city is a fascinating and cosmopolitan metropolis encircled by water and mountains.
You fly to Calgary, where you will be met on arrival and transferred to the three-star superior Marriott Calgary Downtown Hotel.
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.
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 world’s 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. We’ll ride on a giant ‘Snocoach’ (weather permitting) across the Athabasca Glacier for a closer inspection of the massive crevasses before returning to Banff.
Today we have a free day. Why not take a leisurely ‘float’ trip on the Bow River or a dip in Banff’s 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 there’s 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.
This morning we set off on what is one of the world’s greatest train journeys! Boarding the Rocky Mountaineer you’ll 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. Our overnight stay is in a range of medium-class hotels in the town of Kamloops.
We continue our journey to Vancouver. Following the Fraser and Thomson River canyons, passing the Jaws of Death Gorge, Avalanche Alley and Hell’s Gate Canyon, we criss-cross the river many times as we travel through some of British Columbia’s most scenic country. We finally reach Vancouver during the afternoon after our 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 regularly features as one of the world’s 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 - there’s plenty to see and do in this sophisticated city. A popular, easy walk starts from Vancouver’s 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 Bay’s sandy beach, a lovely spot to watch the sunset.
This morning is at leisure. Those returning home will transfer to the airport at the appropriate time for their flight, arriving next morning.
You arrive back home.
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a room. Single rooms are available at the relevant supplement. Price includes:
Under Canada’s Electronic Travel Authorization Programme, Irish passport holders are required to obtain an eTA prior to travelling to Canada rather than obtaining a full tourist visa. The application must be done via the website: www.canada.ca/eta.
You will need to provide some basic personal information similar to what was previously collected on arrival into Canada. eTA is electronically linked to your passport, which means you will need to travel with the same passport you used when applying for and obtaining your eTA.
Whilst care has been taken to ensure that the information provided relating to visa requirements is true and correct at time of publication, changes in requirements after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information. Therefore, whilst we strive to provide the most up-to-date information, we strongly suggest that you re-confirm requirements with the relevant embassy prior to application. Other nationality passport holders should check with the relevant embassy.
There are no current health requirements for travel to Canada, however, whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that we often enjoy walking tours (sometimes over unmade paths) so this holiday may not be suitable for clients of greatly impaired mobility. Please bear this in mind when considering this holiday.
We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.
All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us.
|Arrival airport||First hotel location||Transfer time||Final hotel location||Departure airport||Transfer time|
|Calgary International Airport||Calgary||20 mins||Vancouver||Vancouver International Airport||30 mins|
I have just returned from South Africa and am amazed at how much we managed to fit in. Jean was our tour guide and I can't praise her enough. She was really good fun, attentive and knowledgeable. Even when the weather was too bad...
Mrs Marian Cutler
What a wonderful holiday! My friend and I flew from Birmingham to join this holiday and from the first minute of meeting Maggie, our Tour Guide, and Roland our driver, it was amazing. We did, and saw, so much but there was still ...