|The Canadian Rockies – 12 Nights / 13 Days|
Welcome to Vancouver! Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Day 2 Vancouver.
This morning, an included city tour highlights STANLEY PARK, Chinatown, the harbor and beaches, and more. The rest of the day is at leisure, and your Tour Director will have suggestions for your further exploration of the city. Maybe take a water taxi to lively Granville Island with its outdoor markets, street musicians, and waterfront cafés. Or, visit historic Gastown with its steam-powered clock, antique shops, art galleries, and street vendors.
Day 3 Vancouver–Kelowna.
Our journey begins in British Columbia’s fertile valleys and continues through rich mountain forests to Lake Okanagan. Travel along the lake to the resort city of Kelowna, attractively set on the lake shore and surrounded by orchards and vineyards. Sample local wines on the included WINERY TOUR.
Day 4 Kelowna–Glacier National Park–Yoho National Park–Banff National Park.
Motor north through the Okanagan Valley, famous for its peaches and vineyards. Climb up 4,379-foot-high Rogers Pass in GLACIER NATIONAL PARK. Take a break at the pass, perfect for photos of the rugged mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. Enter YOHO NATIONAL PARK and scale Kicking Horse Pass at 5,421 feet. By early evening, reach BANFF NATIONAL PARK, gateway to the majestic Canadian Rockies.
Day 5 Banff National Park.
Full day at leisure. Banff is one of Canada’s favorite year-round resorts, and your Tour Director will suggest an optional helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies.
Day 6 Banff National Park–Lake Louise–Columbia Icefield–Jasper National Park.
First, to Lake Louise, its turquoise waters a perfect natural mirror that reflects the mountains and glaciers. Precipitous gorges, snowcapped summits, and lakes of exquisite blues and greens come into view as the motorcoach continues northward into JASPER NATIONAL PARK. A highlight today is a stop at the COLUMBIA ICEFIELD to ride the Ice Explorer on ice that is 1,200 feet thick. This afternoon, join our optional float trip down the Athabasca River. Enjoy an orientation tour of Jasper townsite upon arrival.
Day 7 Jasper National Park.
Today, join our optional excursion to Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, where you embark on a narrated cruise of the lake. The balance of the day is free to enjoy everything Jasper has to offer—from guided hikes and quaint shops to meandering wildlife.
Day 8 Jasper National Park–Mount Robson–Sun Peaks.
Leave Jasper and follow the Fraser River to the base of Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, peaking at 12,972 feet. Continue following the Yellowhead Highway south along the North Thompson River—a route pioneered by fur trappers a century ago. Overnight at the mountain resort of Sun Peaks.
Day 9 Sun Peaks–Lillooet–Whistler.
Head south, following the once treacherous Cariboo Wagon Trail. Via Lillooet—”Mile 0 of the Gold Rush Route”—your motorcoach will follow the shores of Seton and Duffey Lakes with a late-afternoon arrival in Whistler. Tonight, wander the many alpine trails or enjoy the shopping and great selection of restaurants and nightlife.
Day 10 Whistler.
Spend the day in the alpine resort of Whistler, nestled at the base of breathtaking Blackcomb Mountain. Free time to explore many sites from the 2010 Winter Olympics or to join one of the many optional excursions, including flightseeing by floatplane over the lakes and glaciated peaks of Garibaldi Provincial Park.
Day 11 Whistler–Ferry Crossing–Victoria.
This morning, sail across the Strait of Georgia and through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its Mediterranean-type climate. Afternoon arrival in Victoria. Sightseeing includes Marine Drive, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park with its unusual collection of totem poles. Then, visit world-famous BUTCHART GARDENS, rated among the most beautiful gardens in the world. Stroll through the colorful Sunken Garden, the Japanese and Italian Gardens, the English Rose Garden, and the magnificent Ross Fountain.
Day 12 Victoria.
Today is at leisure to discover some of the attractions this splendid city has to offer, including the Royal British Columbia Museum, Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel, an IMAX presentation at the National Geographic Theatre, whale watching on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and fine shopping along Government Street.
Day 13 Victoria–Ferry Crossing–Vancouver.
Early this morning, enjoy a scenic ferry crossing to the mainland, where the trip ends with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Vancouver International Airport are included. Please schedule flights after 1:30 pm.