Soak up the magnificent views that scenic Canada and stunning Alaska have to offer. With a Gondola ride above the mountains of Banff National Park, a spectacular daylight journey on the world-famous Rocky Mountaineer, and a 7-night cruise through Alaska's sparkling waters, we take in the very best these two incredible destinations have to offer.
Our holiday begins with a flight from London to Calgary, where on arrival we are met by a coach for our transfer to Banff, a scenic town set in Canada's oldest National Park. On arrival, you are free to settle in and unwind as you wish.
Day 2 begins with an excursion into the Canadian Rockies. Perhaps ride the Banff Gondola (payable locally) to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, for a bird's-eye view. Each four-person gondola sails above the tree-tops, showcasing stunning panoramas of Banff National Park and its six surrounding mountain ranges, as we glide to the peak. Here, you have free time to soak up the views and collect snapshots for your holiday album, perhaps venturing to the rooftop observatory for truly a uninterrupted outlook across the landscape, from a breathtaking elevation of 7,486ft. After descending, our next stop is crystal-clear Lake Louise, one of the most photographed and iconic sights in Canada. This region is famous for its picture-perfect vistas, from snow-covered mountain peaks to the aquamarine waters of this idyllic lake. Later, we continue to Emerald Lake, the largest of Yoho National Park's lakes, known for its vivid colours. Following a day of spectacular natural wonders, your evening is free in Banff .
We depart by coach along the world-famous Icefields Parkway, a 144 mile road that links Jasper with Lake Louise and passes through some incredible scenery. We travel past many of the highest and most rugged peaks in the Rockies, pausing for a photo opportunity above the turquoise waters of Peyto Lake, before making our way to the Icefields Centre at the foot of the vast Columbia Icefields. Here we stop to marvel at the breathtaking Athabasca Glacier, and you have the option to enjoy an exciting ride over the icefield by giant Snocoach. Afterwards, we continue to Athabasca Falls, where thundering waters carve their way through the peaceful mountain scenery. We spend the next two nights in Jasper.
Today we take in one of the highlights of UNESCO-listed Jasper National Park, with a visit to the majestic Maligne Lake and Canyon. Maligne Canyon, a 164 ft deep gorge of sheer limestone walls, waterfalls and rock formations, is famed for its dramatic beauty, whilst the gorgeous Maligne Lake lays claim to the title of the largest glacier-fed body of water in the region. We have free time to enjoy these fantastic sights, before an afternoon at leisure in Jasper.
Early on Day 5, we board the Rocky Mountaineer, for a superb daylight journey through some of Canada's best-loved scenery. This 309 mile trip to Kamloops takes in the scenery of the 'Journey Through The Clouds' route, passing through Banff National Park and across the Continental Divide. We travel in SilverLeaf Class, with plenty of time to watch the unfolding story of Canada's landscape, with breakfast and lunch served at our seats. We overnight at a hotel in Kamloops.
On Day 6, our Rocky Mountaineer experience continues, on one of the most dramatic stretches of the line, travelling along the Thompson and Fraser Canyons. As you keep your eyes open for Canadian wildlife, the line descends towards the Pacific Coast. We overnight in Vancouver, where your evening is free.
Late this morning, we say goodbye to mainland Canada, as we board the MS Nieuw Amsterdam for our incredible 7-night Alaskan cruise. After settling in, we enjoy our first dinner on board this evening. Day 8 takes us on our first step of our journey through the famous 'Inside Passage' to Alaska, an area of pristine waters, snow-capped mountains, and deep fjords, famous as a haven for wildlife.
This morning, our ship arrives at Tracy Arm, a fjord surrounded by high-rock cliffs and plunging waterfalls, known as the home of the ice-blue Sawyer Glaciers - icons in their own right. As the ship sails through the Tracy Arm Inlet, we enjoy lunch on board, and this afternoon we arrive into the Alaskan state capital, Juneau. Completely inaccessible by road, this former Gold Rush city is set against a backdrop of crisp mountains, which you are free to explore under your own steam. On Day 10 we call at Skagway, famed for its association with Jack London's 1903 novel, 'The Call of the Wild.' With time at leisure here, you may wish to take a stroll along the town's historic boardwalk.
Today is spent on board the MS Nieuw Amsterdam, as we cruise through some of the most spectacular scenery in Alaska. The ice formations of Glacier Bay are thought to be 4,000 years old, and are protected by UNESCO as part of the 3.3 million acres of Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. The bay is also home to a number of incredible creatures, from whales and seals that inhabit the water, to bears, mink and even moose that stalk the shores. Our ship welcomes rangers from the park on board, to offer their expert insight into the park and its inhabitants, from an excellent viewing position on the top deck. With ample opportunity to capture the ice-encrusted waters on film, this is the perfect time to pop up to the upper decks with your camera.
On Day 12, we dock at Ketchikan, for free time to explore. Native culture and art flourishes throughout Alaska, and perhaps no more so than in Ketchikan. Totem poles, dances, and tribal houses are all accessible from the town, most only a short walk or drive away. In town, the Totem Heritage Centre is not to be missed, with its large display of poles that were found in abandoned villages. North of town is Totem Bight State Park, which boasts another collection of famous poles, along with a native community house.
Our ship begins its journey back to Vancouver today, as we cruise back along the Inside Passage to Vancouver. After breakfast in Day 14, we disembark in Vancouver for a guided city tour. Vancouver is one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It is among Canada's largest cities, and its port is the largest on North America's west coast - handling a staggering 65 million tonnes every year. With its European settler roots stemming from the Gold Rush of 1858, Vancouver has developed over the centuries, and is now consistently ranked as one of the planet's top three most desirable places to live. This evening, you are free to enjoy the city's fantastic cuisine at your own pace.
Your next two days are at leisure in Vancouver. Perhaps visit the old Gastown quarter - an area of coffee shops, galleries, native art stores and home to the famous Gastown Steam Clock - or venture out to Chinatown, with its unique oriental-inspired architecture, serving as a refl ection of the city's diversity. On the afternoon of Day 16 we transfer to the airport for our flight home, arriving on Day 17 in London, where our tour concludes.
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 and all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Delicious meals included
Fantastic rail experiences
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your tour
Soak up the magnificent views that scenic Canada and stunning Alaska have to offer