Canadian Rockies & Alaska Cruise
CALGARY | BANFF | LAKE LOUISE | JASPER | ROCKY MOUNTAINEER | VANCOUVER | HOLLAND AMERICA ALASKA CRUISE
Enjoy some of the most stunning scenery on earth as you combine a journey through the amazing Rockies with a cruise through the Inside Passage aboard a luxury cruise liner to the pristine glacial wilderness of the Alaska Coast.
• Ride on the Rocky Mountaineer, one of the world’s most iconic rail journeys
• Cruise the Inside Passage to Alaska, spotting wildlife along the way
Canadian Rockies & Alaska Cruise
Day 1 : Arrive Calgary
On arrival into Calgary a private transfer is included to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Set dramatically between prairies and peaks, Calgary is a chic Canadian metropolis, buzzing with rich western heritage. Surrounded by incomparable natural beauty, this is a place where you can explore the magic of the Canadian Rockies or the mystery of the badlands by day and be back in time for dinner. Calgary’s boasts a fantastic arts and performing arts scene and the city’s ever-evolving culinary scene is definitely something worth trying. Perhaps you’ll ride to the top of the Calgary Tower for views over the city.
Day 2 : Calgary - Banff
This morning take a scenic drive through to the resort town of Banff. This is a town that truly celebrates its heritage, lives and breathes mountain culture and never takes its backyard for granted. In all directions you’re surrounded by strikingly beautiful and rugged mountains that seem to burst straight out of the ground. You might even see a herd of deer wandering down the main street. On arrival enjoy a short tour visiting such points as Bow Falls, and Surprise Corner, and a stop at the Banff Gondola to ride up into the mountain tops for spectacular views (admission included), before arriving at your hotel. The rest of the day is free. Perhaps go out and discover the many sights and highlights of the town, or try out one of the many fantastic restaurants on offer.
Day 3 : Banff - Lake Louise
Enjoy a free morning in Banff. Perhaps stroll down Banff Avenue or walk the Bow Falls Trail and look at Bow Falls before you leave in the early afternoon for a short drive via the scenic Bow Valley to Lake Louise.
Day 4 : Lake Louise - Jasper
Travel by coach along one of the most scenic highways in North America - the Icefield Parkway. Visit the Columbia Icefield for an included Ice Explorer ride on the Athabasca Glacier and a walk on the new Glacier Skywalk. Along the way stops will be made at Bow & Peyto Lakes, the Crowfoot Glacier and the Athabasca Falls. This highway is renowned for sightings of bear, elk, moose and mountain sheep, so keep your camera handy.
Day 5 : Jasper
Today is free to explore this charming mountain village close to many terrific scenic highlights. This pleasant alpine village is nestled amidst some of Canada’s most stunning scenery. The “Gem of the Canadian Rockies” is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, thundering waterfalls, glaciers, lakes and rivers running in deep canyons, a region where wildlife abounds. Perhaps take a gondola ride to Jasper’s alpine tundra for stunning views of six mountain ranges, or maybe a gentle raft ride down the Athabasca River; then stroll around the village and relax with a coffee. Jasper National Park was established in 1907 and is the largest national park in the Rockies. With over 4,000 acres of alpine forests, white-water rivers, hot springs, soaring mountain peaks and tranquil river valleys there’s little chance you’ll see it all! Perhaps you’ll visit the limestone gorge of Maligne Canyon or volcanic Medicine Lake, named by tribal elders who believed its waters had healing powers. Admire the breath-taking beauty of glacially fed Maligne Lake and perhaps cruise to Spirit Island (not included). This evening experience the Jasper Wonderland for some amazing close-up photo opportunities of wildlife. Destinations can include the Maligne Valley or Pyramid Bench with its beaver ponds.
Day 6 : Rocky Mountaineer - Jasper - Kamloops
All aboard the Rocky Mountaineer in SilverLeaf Service for a scenic rail journey to Kamloops in the interior of British Columbia. Leaving Jasper National Park behind you travel the ‘Yellowhead’ route past the sprawling grandeur of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Follow the mighty Thompson River, the route of early fur traders, before arriving in Kamloops.
Day 7 : Rocky Mountaineer - Kamloops - Vancouver
Leaving Kamloops follow the Thompson River, pass through Rainbow Canyon and Fraser Canyon, where at Hells Gate watch water torrent past the canyon walls at its narrowest point. The last leg of the journey takes you through the fertile farming region of the Fraser Valley to arrive in the Pacific port of Vancouver late afternoon. On arrival at the station, a transfer will take you to your hotel.
Day 8 : Vancouver
A free day to explore Vancouver, voted the world’s third most liveable city and most liveable in Canada; a young, friendly city with countless natural charms in close proximity. Shop on chic Robson Street or explore the funky Granville Island with its market and artists enclave; visit the city’s vast array of museums; walk or cycle around the 1000-acre Stanley Park or visit quaint and atmospheric Gastown. Discover the surrounding peaks of the Coastal Mountains or go whale watching on the Pacific Ocean. Dining is a delight and a dilemma, there’s so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from; the nightlife so varied you’ll be spoiled for choice. Across the Strait of Georgia, Vancouver Island has Victoria, the quintessentially British provincial capital; famed for its gardens and history, with plenty of remnants of its 1840’s origins to be found around the picturesque Inner Harbour. It makes an interesting day out by ferry or floatplane
Day 9 : Board Holland America Cruise
Enjoy a morning at leisure, before transferring to the Vancouver cruise terminal to check in for your cruise. MS Volendam sets sail at 5pm this evening.
Day 10 : Inside Passage
A day at sea as you cruise the British Columbia coast towards the Alaska Panhandle. Glide past rocky headlands, through the frigid waters of the Inside Passage close to steep mountain walls in one of the world’s most picturesque sea-lanes.
Day 11 : Juneau
Your ship will dock in Juneau today, Alaska’s capital city born of the gold rush of 1880; today it is the scenery and fauna that is the town’s fortune with wild mountains, fjords and glaciers dominating. Wildlife is abundant – you may spot humpback and killer whales, sea lions, porpoise, eagles and deer and the majestic Mendanhall Glacier is close by.
Day 12 : Skagway
At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush Skagway served as the primary gateway to the legendary gold fields and quickly grew into Alaska’s largest settlement. It was then a raucous frontier hub packed with trading posts, saloons and guesthouses. As the gold rush faded into the 1900s, so did Skagway—but today it has been reinvigorated as a gateway for a new kind of visitor: those looking to explore Alaska’s colourful history, pristine wildlife and unrivalled natural beauty. At every turn, you’ll find yourself immersed in gold rush lore, from the infamous Red Onion Saloon that still keeps a pistol that Wyatt Earp left behind en route to the Klondike. Much of the town has been preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, where rangers offer free walking tours around the historic district. Here you’ll also find a vibrant local community, home to a rich collection of local galleries, curio shops and restaurants serving seafood plucked fresh from nearby waters.
Day 13 : Glacier Bay
Wake to the breath-taking sight of World Heritage-listed Glacier Bay National Park with its formidable rivers of ice. There are more active calving tidewater glaciers here than anywhere else in the world. A local ranger will join you on board to explain the geological wonders and point out some of the diverse wildlife and marine mammals as you cruise through this breath-taking region. It’s not surprising that long, narrow Glacier Bay attracts so much wildlife. Along one side runs the edge of Glacier National Park, home to wolves, moose, grizzly and brown bears, blacktail deer and lynx. Listen for the sound of a glacier “calving” – once you hear it you’ll never forget it.
Day 14 : Ketchikan
Arrive in Ketchikan today, a lovely town that is set right on the shores of the Tongass Narrows, with many colourful shops and houses built right over the water. After breakfast, disembark and set off to discover this charming town. Perhaps join a walking tour of the town or learn about Tlingit Indian culture at Saxman Native Village (both at own expense). Alternatively, Ketchikan offers many attractions including the Tongass Historical Museum and Totem Bright State Park, which you may like to visit during your time at leisure.
Day 15 : Inside Passage
Spend today cruising south through the majestic landscape of the Inside Passage. Take the time to relax on-board as you glide past the icy fjords, watching for the abundant native wildlife.
Day 16 : Disembark Vancouver
Arrive into Vancouver this morning. A private transfer is included to your hotel, then the day is at leisure.
Day 17 : Vancouver departure
Take an included transfer to the airport for your onward journey.