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The Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska Cruise

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16 days From £5,295 per person
4.7 stars(31 reviews)
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Soak up the breathtaking sights of Canada and Alaska, journeying on the world-famous Rocky Mountaineer before a seven-night cruise along Alaska's incredible wild coastline

Mobility Rating 2

2025 Tour code: RPO25

About the tour

A spectacular discovery of natural wonders awaits on this exploration by land and sea.

From the picturesque mountain towns of Banff and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies, we marvel at the spellbinding beauty of Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway before boarding the iconic Rocky Mountaineer. This fantastic rail journey transports us to vibrant Vancouver, where we set sail on an unforgettable cruise.

Admiring the dramatic landscapes of Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm, we also visit the former Gold Rush towns of Juneau and Skagway and uncover Ketchikan's indigenous history.

Unforgettable experiences

Sensational scenery on the renowned Rocky Mountaineer
Sensational scenery on the renowned Rocky Mountaineer
From the magnificent landscapes of Jasper National Park to coastal Vancouver, enjoy two stunning daytime trips on this iconic train’s Journey into the Clouds route, admiring the panoramic views from unique, glass-domed carriages.
Admiring the jaw-dropping beauty of the Rocky Mountains
Admiring the jaw-dropping beauty of the Rocky Mountains
Based in the charming resort towns of Banff and Jasper, we enjoy timeless views of spectacular peaks and rushing rivers in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Marvelling at the turquoise water of iconic Lake Louise
Marvelling at the turquoise water of iconic Lake Louise
Enjoy a coach excursion of this famous glacial lake, framed by magical snow-capped mountains – one of the most photographed locations in Canada – with free time to bask in its impressive majesty.
Exploring the Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield
Exploring the Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield
Journey along the remarkably scenic Icefields Parkway between Banff and Jasper and marvel at the view of the eye-catching Athabasca Glacier and the thundering waters of the nearby Athabasca Falls.
Setting sail for a seven-night Alaska cruise
Setting sail for a seven-night Alaska cruise
Unwind on an amazing cruise along the Inside Passage, appreciating captivating views of ethereal Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm inlet, as well as visiting the historic, charming towns of Juneau and Skagway.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - The Trans-Canada Highway into the Rocky Mountains

Meeting our fellow travellers and Tour Manager at London Heathrow this morning, this incredible adventure gets under way immediately as we board a flight across the Atlantic to Calgary. Arriving around midday local time, we leave this shimmering city of the Canadian west to travel into the Rockies by coach.

Travelling along the Trans-Canada Highway, we pass through Native American reservations, before the imposing foothills of the Rocky Mountains gather round the route. Our destination is Banff, a quintessential Rockies town nestled beneath the imposing Cascade Mountain. We check into our hotel in mid-afternoon and the rest of the day is free to spend as you wish.

As one of the main tourist destinations in the Canadian Rockies, there are many things to do in Banff, with many shops and restaurants in its walkable town centre. Dining independently this evening, you could pop into one of the attractive eateries for some hearty and warming food.

Day 2- Breathtaking Banff National Park and stunning Lake Louise

Our first full day in Canada begins with an optional journey up to the summit of Sulphur Mountain to enjoy views across beautiful Banff.

We then take a coach excursion to astonishing Lake Louise. This turquoise glacial lake is framed by towering snow-capped mountains often reflected in the serene waters. As one of the most photographed sights in the Canadian Rockies, this remarkable view has become intrinsically linked with the region but is equally impressive in person. There is time to soak up this glacier-fed lake and its spellbinding backdrop before spending free time over lunch in Lake Louise village.

We continue to the vivid Emerald Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Yoho National Park - stopping enroute at Spiral Tunnels Viewpoint. On returning to our hotel, we meet a retired member of the Canadian Mounted Police Force in uniform, affectionately known as a 'Mountie', who talks about their time in service, before we dine independently.

Day 3 - Free day to explore Banff at leisure

With a day at leisure, you have time to explore the mountain resort town of Banff at your own pace.

Founded in 1883 near a planned railway tunnel and called 'Siding 29', Banff was later renamed by Lord Strathairn in honour of his Scottish hometown and is surrounded by wonderful wilderness and spectacular scenery. As Canada's premier year-round destination, there are various excursions available from here, including guided visits to Lake Minnewanka - a glistening turquoise lake, known by the First Nations people as the 'Lake of the Spirits' - and the wide, low, but powerful Bow Falls.

Banff itself attracts many tourists, for shopping as well as nature and, with its creative community, has an alternative side to it. You may prefer to stay local and soak up the charms of the Main Street, a row of half-timbered independent shops and a variety of restaurants.

This gorgeous town is renowned as one of Canada's foodie capitals with its 'mountain-to-table' movement and wild game dishes. Enjoy innovative local cuisine in a cosy and stylish eatery of your choice as we dine independently.

Day 4 - Along the incredible Icefields Parkway to Jasper

Leaving Banff by coach this morning, we journey along the famous Icefields Parkway, a 144-mile road that links Banff and Jasper and passes through some incredible scenery.

We travel past many of the highest and most rugged peaks in the Canadian Rockies, pausing to admire the views across the turquoise waters of Peyto Lake, surrounding rugged mountains and the blanket of pine forests, before arriving at the Icefields Centre. Here, we stop to marvel at the magnificent Athabasca Glacier squeezing between the peaks. There is the option to enjoy a ride over the ice field by giant, all-terrain Snocoach (payable locally).

Afterwards, we make a short stop at the Athabasca Falls, where thundering waters cascade their way through the idyllic mountain scenery. We spend the night in the friendly Rocky Mountain town of Jasper - a popular destination that retains a small-town feel. There is free time this evening to explore this charming town with streets peppered with interesting shops and quaint buildings. Tonight, you are free to dine in one of the local restaurants.

Day 5 - The Rocky Mountaineer’s Journey through the Clouds

Boarding the Rocky Mountaineer early this morning, we begin the first of our superb daylight journeys through some of Canada's most jaw-dropping scenery. Our trip to Kamloops is aptly named the 'Journey through the Clouds' route. Travelling in SilverLeaf Class, in unique, glass-domed cars with breakfast and lunch included at our seats, we marvel at panoramic views of Canada's spectacular scenery unfolding in front of us on this relaxed journey.

Leaving Jasper, we climb upwards through the Yellowhead Pass, a historic trading route through the Rockies used since the mid-1820s. Along the way we pass crystalline lakes and dense forests as we wind beside the Fraser River. Due to the pristine wilderness, keep an eye out for some of the local wildlife, including elk, moose, caribou, bears and wolves.

The highest mountain in the Rockies, the magnificent Mount Robson, hones into view before we continue southwards along the North Thompson River, passing the cascading Pyramid Creek Falls. Disembarking in the early evening in Kamloops for a night at a local hotel, there is time to explore and dine independently.

Day 6 - The Rocky Mountaineer to the Pacific coast

Our wonderful Rocky Mountaineer experience continues this morning on another dramatic stretch of the line through varied landscapes. Enjoying breakfast and lunch on board, we journey along the impressive Thompson and Fraser Canyons, past the rushing waters of Hell's Gate, as we keep our eyes open for native Canadian wildlife.

From the rugged Rockies and dense forests, through arid, desert landscapes and into the Fraser Valley's fertile fields, the stunning scenery is as dazzling as it is varied. From the Cascade Mountains, the route begins its descent towards the lush rainforests of the Pacific coast, before we arrive in Vancouver for a two-night stay.

The city is considered one of the world's most desirable places to live, thanks to its incredible setting. Blending the vibrancy and culture of a cosmopolitan city with spectacular scenery, Vancouver quietly impresses its many visitors.

Our hotel is a short distance from both Downtown and the gorgeous harbour. After check in there is a free evening to try some of western Canada's finest cuisine, including top-class seafood.

Day 7 - Exploring the sights of picturesque Vancouver

We get to know this friendly city this morning as a local guide joins us on a four-hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver's most characterful districts.

As Vancouver's original Downtown, the area known as Gastown is the city's most historic area. Redbrick Victorian buildings dot the tree-lined streets surrounding pretty Maple Tree Square. Many upmarket fashion boutiques, trendy coffee shops, art galleries and the famous Gastown Steam Clock can be found in this area named after talkative Hull-born sailor and barman 'Gassy' Jack Deighton.

Crossing East Hastings Street, we arrive in Chinatown - the largest in Canada - where we relish the sights and sounds of the lively streets and tranquil squares. From here, we venture to leafy Stanley Park, where we view colourful totem poles celebrating the region's Native American history.

The rest of the day is free to explore independently, and you might like to travel to Granville Island to sample its mouthwatering food markets or view the boutique shops and cafés. This evening, you have the opportunity to enjoy Vancouver's restaurants at your leisure.

Day 8 - Setting sail for our Alaskan cruise

After a relaxing morning, we are transferred to Vancouver's bustling port to board the MS Zaandam for a spectacular seven-night cruise through the Inside Passage to Alaska.

Our vessel is elegant and comfortable, featuring decoration influenced by music, and is equipped with a relaxing spa and a variety of restaurants. After settling into our cabins, we can wave farewell to the Canadian mainland as we head into the Strait of Georgia, surrounded by verdant islands as we head north towards Alaska.

All food is included on our cruise, and this evening we sit down for our first meal on board the ship - admiring the beautiful views of Vancouver Island and the coastline of British Columbia on our way to the Inside Passage. Historically an important sea route for prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1890s, it has since become one of the most popular and striking cruising routes in the world.

Day 9 - Cruising the Inside Passage to Alaska

Awaking this morning in the extraordinary landscapes provided by the Inside Passage, we cruise onwards towards Alaska. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner on board today as we wind through this UNESCO-protected network of waterways, following in the slipstream of adventurers and prospectors.

Passing stunning fjords and deep inlets along the wild and rugged coastlines of British Columbia and southeast Alaska, this is an area of pristine waters, snow-capped mountains and glacial waters. This region was first charted by King's Lynn-born sailor Captain George Vancouver between 1791 and 1795, for whom our port of departure was named. Vancouver, who sailed with James Cook's second voyage, was well thought of by indigenous peoples. His maps of the Inside Passage were so detailed and accurate that they were used by many future generations.

As well as its history and beautiful scenery, this is also renowned as a haven for marine animals - and we may be lucky enough to spot a whale from the deck of our ship.

Day 10 - Majestic Tracy Arm fjord and remote Juneau

Sailing into the breathtaking Tracy Arm fjord, where we make a short service stop, we enter a landscape of floating ice and thundering waterfalls. Here you have the option of joining an excursion to see the crystal blue beauty of the twin Sawyer Glaciers up close, or simply enjoy the experience on board.

Naturalist John Muir described Tracy Arm as 'one of the most dramatically stunning fjords of southeast Alaska'. The ice-carved fjord is surrounded by steep cliffs, glacier-covered mountains and the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the United States. In this pristine wilderness, it is possible to see bears, whales and mountain goats.

Lunch is served as we travel to the Alaskan state capital, Juneau. Completely inaccessible by road, this former gold rush city is set against a backdrop of mountains, and you have a free afternoon here to explore its picturesque waterfront area and charming frontier-era streets. Dinner is served back on board the MS Zaandam this evening.

Day 11 - The Gold Rush town of Skagway

With graceful mountains rising on either side of the serene waters of Taiya Inlet, we make our way this morning to the colourful port town of Skagway, where we spend the day.

Once the lawless hub of the Klondike Gold Rush, Skagway served as the entry point for the gold fields and people rushed here in the hoping of making it rich. This rough and ready frontier town quickly turned into Alaska's largest settlement, full of saloons and traders - its Red Onion Saloon has a pistol reputedly left by legendary lawman Wyatt Earp. While peaceful now, the town retains its authenticity as its buildings have been authentically preserved.

With free time here, you could wander the town's historic boardwalk, which looks much the same as it did in the 1850s, browse the galleries and craft shops or watch local life go by from a coffee shop or saloon. You could also choose to book an additional excursion (payable locally) on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, riding a restored vintage rail car to the summit of White Pass.

Day 12 - Alaska’s dramatic Glacier Bay

A feast for the ears as well as the eyes, spellbinding Glacier Bay is one of the region's most spectacular locations. Marvel at the crystal-clear beauty of the bay's numerous tidewater glaciers, rugged fjords and shimmering mountain peaks, soundtracked by the creaks of 'living ice' and the shrill of gulls and eagles overhead.

Spending our day on board the MS Zaandam allows us to cruise through this evocative and iconic Alaskan landscape. Glacier Bay's ice formations are around 4,000 years old and are protected by UNESCO.

In this untouched and pristine environment, we can celebrate the stark majesty of nature from thick, mossy forests and pure glacial waters to the creatures that inhabit them - such as humpback whales, bears, mink and moose. Wrap up warm and venture out on deck with your cameras to observe an unforgettable highlight of our Alaskan adventure.

Day 13 - Ketchikan – Alaska’s ‘First City’

Clinging to the forested banks of the Tongass Narrows, picturesque Ketchikan is known as the 'First City' of Alaska as it was the first main settlement most visitors reached on their way north.

We dock here this morning, where you have the day to explore. Apart from being the Salmon Capital of the World, Native Alaskan culture and art flourishes here and, with the world's largest collection of standing totem poles, this may be one of the best spots on our cruise to see these intricately carved cultural artefacts. The Totem Heritage Centre is easy to reach and an interesting place to visit, with its large display of poles, retrieved from abandoned villages. A little further north, you'll find Totem Bight State Park, which has another collection of famous poles, and a native community house. The town itself has a museum, souvenir shops and local art - and there are plenty of dining options to sample the town's celebrated salmon.

Day 14 - Return to Vancouver

On the last full day onboard this fabulous Alaskan cruise, we set sail for Vancouver today, passing through the legendary Inside Passage. Cruising this route today we may be lucky to see orca or humpback whales alongside our ship, and possibly bald eagles soaring high above.

Indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner on board, while relaxing as the MS Zaandam glides through a maze of isolated islands blanketed in dense rainforests. Although appearing remote and inhospitable, these lands have been the home of many indigenous peoples for thousands of years, including the Tlingit. The first recorded encounter between the Tlingit and European explorers was with Russian adventurers in 1741 and they soon formed a maritime fur-trading company.

Named after the British explorer who mapped this area, Vancouver Island is one of Canada's largest and shelters the Johnstone Strait and Strait of Georgia from the wild Pacific as guides us towards our destination.

Day 15 - Homeward bound

After breakfast, we leave our cruise ship and disembark in Vancouver, where you are free to explore until mid- afternoon.

This attractive city's distinctive architecture and laid-back way of life make it one of the world's most desirable cities to live in. You might like to return to some of the vibrant neighbourhoods we explored on our guided tour to spend time at leisure in Gastown's galleries, museums or cosy coffee shops, or take a stroll along the waterfront towards Stanley Park. Enjoy some of western Canada's best cuisine for lunch as you savour a final taste of this incredible country. Many of the city's restaurants serve up delicious salmon, oysters and Dungeness crab while, with a multicultural population, you can also find delicious local versions of Asian and Mexican dishes.

In late afternoon, we bid a fond farewell to Vancouver as we transfer to the airport for our overnight flight back to the UK.

Day 16 - Arrival in London

As our plane touches down at London Heathrow this morning, our spectacular Canadian and Alaskan adventure comes to an end.

By road, rail and sea, we have traversed the breathtaking Rocky Mountains and sailed the Inside Passage to witness many jaw-dropping natural wonders with new friends.

From the charming mountain towns of Banff and Jasper and the awe-inspiring vistas of the Canadian Rockies, we travelled on board the glorious Rocky Mountaineer to Vancouver. From this popular port city, we recreated the journeys of pioneering prospectors as we sailed on our cruise through Alaska's glacial bays, spellbinding fjords and old Gold Rush towns.

As our memorable expedition concludes, we say farewell to our fellow travellers and Tour Manager with whom we will share these fantastic memories for a long time to come.

Additional information

Departure times

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.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Banff Ptarmigan Inn

Banff Ptarmigan Inn, Banff

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Caribou Lodge, Banff

Caribou Lodge, Banff

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Rundlestone Lodge, Banff

Rundlestone Lodge, Banff

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Forest Park Hotel

Forest Park Hotel, Jasper

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Metropolitan Hotel, Vancouver

Metropolitan Hotel, Vancouver

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Train

The Rocky Mountaineer

Ship

MS Volendam

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Upgrade your cruise with an outside cabin
Upgrade to GoldLeaf Class on the Rocky Mountaineer
Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Extend your holiday

Grizzly Bears of Knights Inlet Lodge
Vancouver Island

Reviews

4.7 stars4.7 / 5 · 31 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (24)
  2. 4 stars
    (6)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

customer

5 stars

Submitted 20/Jun

Great trip very well organised Rocky Mountaineer was brilliant fantastic food + crew really enjoyed the sights didn’t like Tonquin hotel but couldn’t fault all other hotels and cruise (all staff on board were great) had a fantastic time not your “everyday holiday”

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Customer

5 stars

Submitted 20/Jun

A fabulous adventure. Amazing scenery, great service, especially on Rocky Mountaineer. Suzi, our guide was excellent, lots of fun and had everything under control Our group of 24 was just right and a great mix of people

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Sara Jane Venn

4 stars

Submitted 13/Jun

The Rocky Mountaineer Train was excellent. The views were exceptional and the staff on the train, were polite, very friendly and humourus. Would recommend it to all friends and family. The cruise also was excellent we saw some lovely places. The only thing I had against it, was that the company did not leave it up to the passenger to decide what amount of gratuity should be given to the staff. Some of the Wait staff did not deserve a tip they were pushy and unfriendly.

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Mr Hicks

5 stars

Submitted 11/Jun

It was everything I hoped for and more. Completely hassle free with all the organisation taken care of by the tour manager.

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David Stephenson

5 stars

Submitted 7/Jun

Brilliant !!!

from Great Rail Journeys
Hi David, Thank you for your review. That is fantastic to hear! Sophie.
1 comment

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D M Hall

4 stars

Submitted 7/Jun

This holiday had been on our ‘to do’ list for many years, and we were so happy to be able to go! Our tour manager was so good, and provided us with a lot of information before, and during our trip. We were surprised that so few meals were included, especially breakfasts. So be aware if you book this holiday, that you’ll need to budget for all your meals on the days when you’re staying at hotels (ie not on the train or the cruise) We had some wonderful experiences during our time in Canada, from seeing the frozen Lake Louise, the wildlife, walking on the Athabasca Glacier, flying over glaciers in a seaplane… So, why isn’t this a five star review? The Rocky Mountaineer is amazing - fantastic service from all the crew, lovely meals, and the views are wonderful. The only drawback was the hotel allocation in Kamloops: a good hotel, but a long way from any restaurants or cafes where we could get an evening meal. The Alaska cruise is well organised, and the places we visited were really interesting. The crew were very friendly and polite. The drawback here was our cabin - a Vista Suite (for which we had paid extra) was above one of the bars where live music was played in the evening. The noise in our cabin was awful. We also booked a two day extension in Victoria. Once you leave the cruise, this means that you’re no longer part of the Great Rail Journey group, and very much left on your own. GRJ’s partners, Jonview, send information through, which is unclear and confusing at best. Would I recommend this trip? Yes, it’s a fantastic experience, but be aware of the extra costs involved!

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