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Incredible Canada

2 October 2014

Whatever your preconceptions are about Canada - forget them. In such a huge and diverse country there are so many adventures to be had, so many jaw-dropping sights to see and so many unforgettable places to visit. Take any Great Rail Journeys Canada tour and you'll have plenty of opportunity to enjoy as many of the unique, exciting and truly memorable experiences as you wish.

Vancouver

Starting on the west coast, at Vancouver, you could leave land and take to the air on a thrilling sea plane ride that gives you sensational views of the whole, beautiful landscape. But if you prefer to glide across the water, a water taxi ride will let you see the city from a whole different perspective. For a longer trip out to sea, join professional naturalists for a 3 to 5 hour whale watching tour. Not only will you find the Orcas (Killer Whales), you'll have the opportunity to see a diverse marine ecosystem, including bow riding Dall's porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles, and seals.

Once you head into the massive Rocky Mountains, you'll find plenty of opportunity for spotting grizzly bears. In the Jasper National Park you can do it from an aerial perspective on the awesome Jasper Tramway. This is the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada and the only guided aerial ropeway in the Canadian Rockies. You'll experience unprecedented views of six mountain ranges, glacial fed lakes, the Athabasca River and the scenic mountain town-site of Jasper. The adventure begins at 1304 metres (4279ft) in the safety of an enclosed tram cabin. During the seven minute trip to the Upper Station, knowledgeable tour guides accompany you pointing out the area, animal life and history as well as answering questions.

Banff

On the boundary of the Banff and Jasper National Parks is the Columbia Icefield, one of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle, covering an area of nearly 325 square kilometres. The continuous accumulation of snow feeds eight major glaciers including the Athabasca, Dome, and Stutfield Glaciers, all visible from the Icefields Parkway. Take the Columbia Icefield Glacier Experience, operated by Brewster, and you travel on specially-built all-terrain Ice Explorers out onto the Athabasca glacier, the most accessible in the massive Columbia Icefield and an experience that no visitor to Canada should miss.

The Banff National Park offers another must-do experience - the ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain on the Banff Gondola. Here you'll experience a bird's eye view of six mountain ranges - more mountains in a moment than most people see in a lifetime. Your adventure begins with an eight minute journey to the summit of Sulphur Mountain in a modern, fully-enclosed four passenger gondola cabin. The views become increasingly spectacular as you climb 698m (2,292ft) to an elevation of 2,281m (7,486ft) at the Summit Upper Terminal where, as you'd expect, the views are sensational.

Niagara Falls

Travelling on towards Toronto, another essential place to visit is, of course, Niagara Falls. Here you can gaze in wonder at this sensational sight from one of the viewing points or, for a more close-up experience, take a trip on the Maid of the Mist - a magnificent boat ride that allows you to see the power and majesty of one of the natural wonders of the world from the point where 600,000 gallons of water a second plunge into the Niagara River on their way to Lake Ontario.

These are just a few of the unforgettable experiences that Canada has to offer. You'll find many, many more on a Great Rail Journeys Canada tour - truly the holiday of a lifetime.

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