Canada & the Rocky Mountaineer
From the dramatic Pacific Ocean setting of Vancouver, to the laid-back city of Toronto, this incredible adventure takes us across Canada by rail, in style and comfort on board the iconic Rocky Mountaineer and The Canadian, two of the world's greatest journeys.
We depart from London Heathrow to Vancouver, arriving mid-afternoon. Vancouver is vibrant and welcoming city, combining its breathtaking setting with beautiful architecture and a perfectly-pitched way of life. It is among Canada's largest cities, and its port is the largest on North America's west coast. The first European settlers came here in 1858, as a result of a local gold rush, and in 1884 the city became the terminus for the transcontinental Canadian railway, leading to a booming population that continues to this day, no doubt aided by its stunning scenery and lively atmosphere. The city lies between the beautiful Pacific Ocean coastline and the majestic Coastal Mountains.
Our morning sightseeing tour of Vancouver today visits historic Gastown, an area of coffee shops, galleries and native art stores. We also experience the exciting scents and sights of Chinatown, and leafy Stanley Park, with its colourful totem poles. Our tour then takes in Granville Island, located in the heart of the city, which boasts a mouth-watering food market. This afternoon, you are free to discover this diverse city at your own pace.
Today, you are free to experience Vancouver at leisure. Why not take the bus to Grouse Mountain, and take the Skyride cable car (payable locally) for fantastic views over the city? Known as the 'Peak of Vancouver', the mountain is open year-round, and the Skyride offers an incredible panorama over the city, the Pacific Ocean beyond, and closer, the glittering tops of the Douglas firs that dot the mountainside.
Today we embark on a daylight journey through the Rockies on the world-renowned Rocky Mountaineer. This fantastic journey from Vancouver to Kamloops takes in one of the most dramatic stretches of the line. Keep your eyes open for Canadian wildlife as the magnificent train leaves the Pacific Coast and travels along the Thompson and Fraser Canyons. We travel in SilverLeaf Class, marvelling at the passing scenery with breakfast and lunch served at our seats. We overnight at a hotel in Kamloops.
We continue our journey through the Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer. This magnificent trip to Banff takes in the scenery of the 'First Passage to the West' route, passing over the Continental Divide and through Banff National Park. We arrive in picturesque Banff and transfer to our hotel for two nights.
Today we experience the spectacular natural beauty of Banff National Park, visiting the Spiral Tunnels, as well as the majestic Emerald Lake, renowned for its vivid colours, and the idyllic waters of Lake Louise. The views at Lake Louise are nothing short of majestic. Here, we absorb the beauty of the vibrant yet calm waters of the lake, surrounded on all sides by soaring peaks, and covered, at the base of them, by verdant pine forests that slope away from the shore. The lake itself is indeed a calming oasis amidst the drama of its backdrop.
We depart by coach along the world-famous Icefields Parkway, a 144-mile road that links Banff with Jasper and takes us through some of the world's most spectacular mountain scenery. We travel along a lake-lined valley past many of the highest and most rugged peaks in the Rockies to the Icefields Centre at the foot of the vast Columbia Icefields. Here we stop to marvel at the breathtaking Athabasca Glacier.
We arrive in Jasper where we spend two nights surrounded by majestic mountain scenery. The town of Jasper - and later the park - was named after Jasper Hawes, who used the area as a trading post in the late 19th century. The beautiful enclosure first became a park in 1907, and was granted National Park status in 1930. In 1984, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, and now attracts almost two million visitors every year, and with scenery like this, it isn't hard to see why. Day 8 is spent at leisure to further discover the beauty of Jasper.
Today we begin our epic journey on The Canadian, travelling to Toronto. We settle into our berths for our journey through the foothills of the Rockies, passing pine forests, glaciers, plunging canyons and soaring peaks. If you'd prefer to travel in added comfort and style, we have upgrades available for a reasonable supplement to Sleeper Plus Class cabins. These cabins come highly recommended, and feature private WC facilities and a greater amount of space.
Day 10 is our first full day on The Canadian. We travel through the province of Saskatchewan, crossing the prairies on our way towards Winnipeg, a fascinating city which is home to over 50 ethnic communities. Day 11 is spent crossing the Canadian Shield, and enjoying the wonderful facilities of the iconic train.
Our journey on The Canadian ends today as we arrive in Toronto, where we stay for two nights. Toronto is a multicultural melting-pot with an inviting, laid-back atmosphere. The city looks out across mesmerising Lake Ontario from its position on the northern shore, and is overlooked by the CN Tower, one of the world's tallest structures. We enjoy a guided orientation tour of Toronto, visiting many of its captivating highlights. The rest of your day is at leisure. Perhaps take in Chinatown or Kensington Market? This exciting city also houses many wonderful museums and shops - you might wish to explore the excellent Art Gallery of Ontario, with its wonderful collection by Canadian artists.
Our excursion today takes us to incredible Niagara Falls, truly one of the natural wonders of the world. During our time at the falls you can experience the awesome power of crashing waters from the viewing area or at the foot of the thundering falls on board the boat (payable locally). On Day 14 you are at leisure until the afternoon, when we transfer to the airport for our flights to London, arriving on Day 15.
Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.
An escorted experience with all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
British Citizens do not require a visa to enter Canada
This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 4 verified reviews
A great holiday in every way. Wonderful scenery, good food, Friendly party, good Hotels, and a good tour manager in Charles White.
The holiday was well organised and lived up to my expectations. The hotels were all central and had decent sized rooms. The excursions were as stated and very informative.
Enjoyable holiday, tour manager was fantastic. Would have like more breakfasts & dinners included in the price. Like more warning that half our holiday money would go on top.
Very friendly and helpful tour guide (Colin Wagstaff) who looked after us throughout the entire journey, always being available to help with problems or questions. Great holiday, especially Toronto, Niagara, the coach trip through part of the Rockies, the Rocky Mountaineer trip to Vancouver, and seeing the Orca's off Vancouver was the last bit of icing on a fabulous cake. Even though I expected the Via train trip to be a little dull, the first day was lovely through the wooded valleys and beside the lakes, and the second day was interesting seeing the difference in the terrain. By the third day, we all just wanted to get to Jasper, but freight trains take priority. Nonetheless, I expected that to be the relaxing part of the holiday, and it was! The food on both trains was good, seats comfortable, sleeping accommodation a bit small on Via train (and bunk beds, which I had not expected!) Nevertheless, we still had a great time. The Canadian Rockies are just awesome!
Brilliant. Our tour manager was excellent and smoothed over all the hitches (and there were a few).
The actual holiday was excellent even with all the challenges there were: snow, very late running of the Canadian, missing the ferry to Vancouver. However, my initial booking was not good with a mix up of cost of upgrade on flights, upgrade on Rocky Mountaineer much more than if I had been booking direct with company and then five letters all the same arriving on same day and late sending out of my final paperwork.
Wonderful trip - loved every minute of it! So well organised and great variety of places we visited. I would highly recommend this tour.
After a hiccup at the start with the airport transport everything ran smoothly and the experience was everything we were looking forward to and more.
There were some hiccups in the holiday but nothing that was insurmountable or was the fault of Great Rail Journeys.
Excellent holiday. There were moments of jeopardy, two rail derailments of freight trains, which affected the journeys. These were dealt with extremely well and efficiently, an extra night in a 5 star hotel from via rail, and a financial refund from the rocky mountaineer. Also we had a wonderful time, when a foot of snow came unexpectedly in the Rockies.
Enjoy spectacular rail journeys in the Rockies