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The Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska Cruise

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4.5 stars(11 reviews)
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Breathtaking Canada and Alaska by rail and cruise ship

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20232024
16 days From £4,895 per person
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2023 Tour code: RPO23

About the tour

Soak up the breathtaking sights of Canada and Alaska, journeying on the world-acclaimed Rocky Mountaineer before a seven-night cruise through Alaska's incredible glacial region and wild coastline.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London, Calgary and Banff

Following our flight from London Heathrow, we arrive in Calgary, Canada, and transfer by coach to our hotel in Banff for three nights.

Day 2 – Banff and Yoho National Park

Our morning starts with a cable car ride on the Banff gondola up to the summit of Sulphur Mountain to enjoy panoramic views of the timeless Rocky Mountains. After some free time soaking up the amazing vista, and maybe enjoying a coffee or browsing the gift shops, we take a coach excursion to breathtaking Lake Louise. This turquoise glacial lake is framed by towering snow-capped mountains and is one of the most photographed sights in the Canadian Rockies. You're free over lunchtime here, and there are some great bakeries and cafés to choose from. We continue to the vivid Emerald Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Yoho National Park - stopping enroute at Spiral Tunnels Viewpoint. This evening we meet a retired member of the Canadian Mounted Police Force, affectionately known as a 'Mountie', who talks about their time in service.

Day 3 - Free time in Banff

With a day at leisure, you have time to explore the mountain resort town of Banff at your own pace. Surrounded by wilderness, there are a number of 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. You might also like to take a dip in the Upper Hot Springs Pool - a site with an incredible view. The town attracts many tourists, for shopping as well as nature, and with its creative community, has an alternative side to it. So you may be happy to stay local and soak up the charms of the Main Street, a row of half-timbered independent shops and a variety of restaurants.

Day 4 - The Icefields Parkway

We depart by coach 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 over the turquoise waters of Peyto Lake, before making our way to the Icefields Centre at the foot of the Columbia Icefields. Here, we stop to marvel at the Athabasca Glacier and you have the option to enjoy a ride over the ice field by giant Snocoach (payable locally). Afterwards, we continue to Athabasca Falls, where thundering waters carve their way through the peaceful mountain scenery. We spend the night in the friendly Rocky Mountain town of Jasper.

Day 5 - The Rocky Mountaineer

Boarding the Rocky Mountaineer, we begin the first of our superb daylight journeys through some of Canada's best-loved scenery. Our trip to Kamloops is aptly named the 'Journey Through the Clouds' route. The route heads upwards through the Yellowhead Pass, and along the way we see the magnificent Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Rockies. We travel through Banff National Park, cross the Continental Divide and pass the cascading Pyramid Falls. We travel in SilverLeaf Class, in panorama cars with food and wine included. Your journey is relaxed and scenic, watching Canada's landscapes unfold, as breakfast and lunch are served at our seats. We disembark for a night at a local hotel in Kamloops.

Day 6 - The Rocky Mountaineer

Our Rocky Mountaineer experience continues on another dramatic stretch of the line that takes us along the Thompson and Fraser Canyons, past Hell's Gate, as we keep our eyes open for native Canadian wildlife. The line begins its descent towards the Pacific Coast, and before long we arrive in Vancouver for a two-night stay.

Day 7 - Vancouver

Our day begins with a guided sightseeing tour of Vancouver, one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world the city was founded by European settlers who came over during the Gold Rush of the mid 19th century. Since then, Vancouver has evolved into a thriving and lively coastal city and is regularly ranked as one of the world's most desirable places to live. Our tour includes the old Gastown Quarter - an area of stylish coffee shops, galleries, native art stores and home to the famous Gastown Steam Clock - Chinatown, with its colourful, traditional architecture, and leafy Stanley Park, home to a set of unique totem poles that honour the city's Native American heritage.

Day 8 - Alaska cruise

We say goodbye to mainland Canada, boarding MS Volendam for an incredible seven-night Alaskan cruise. After settling into our cabins, we enjoy our first dinner on board this evening

Day 9 - The Inside Passage

We awake this morning in an entirely different landscape as we sail through the extraordinary Inside Passage to Alaska. We wind through this UNESCO protected network of waterways, passing stunning fjords and deep inlets, along Southeast Alaska's wild and rugged coastline. This area of pristine waters, snow-capped mountains and glacial waters is renowned as a haven for marine animals - this may be our first opportunity to spot a whale from the deck of our ship.

Day 10 - Tracy Arm and Juneau

Our ship arrives at Tracy Arm, where we make a short service stop. Here you have the option of joining an excursion to see the twin Sawyer Glaciers up close, or simply enjoy the experience on board. The 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 rain forest in the United States. 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.

Day 11 - Skagway

Today we call at the colourful port town of Skagway. Once the lawless hub of the Klondike Gold Rush, the town hasn't lost its authenticity, and its buildings have been authentically preserved. With free time here, you could wander along 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 excursion on the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, riding a restored vintage rail car to the summit of White Pass.

Day 12 - Glacier Bay

Our day is spent on board as we cruise through some of the most dramatic scenery in Alaska. You'll experience wide tidewater glaciers, fjords and shimmering mountain peaks with a soundtrack of creaking 'living ice' and the shrill screeching of gulls and eagles. Glacier Bay's ice formations are around 4,000 years old and protected by UNESCO. We're likely to see wildlife - whales and seals inhabit the water, while bears, mink and moose stalk the shores - so wrap up warm and get on deck with your camera.

Day 13 - Ketchikan

We dock at Ketchikan 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 this may be one of the best spots on our cruise to see intricately carved totem poles and other culture 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 - Vancouver

We set sail for Vancouver today, cruising back along the legendary Inside Passage. Regarded as one of the world's greatest cruising routes, we pass through spectacular landscapes of glacier-shaped fjords and lush rain forests as we travel south. Cruising this route today we may be lucky to see orca or humpback whales alongside our ship, and possibly bald eagles soaring high above.

Day 15 - Vancouver

After breakfast, we disembark in Vancouver, where you are free to explore until early afternoon. Vancouver's breathtaking setting, 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 explore the vibrant Gastown area of the city (the city's first settlement, named after a Yorkshire seaman!), wander through stunning Stanley Park - with its fabulous Native American totem poles - find a great place for lunch, or spend some time in a gallery or museum. Early this afternoon, we transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK.

Day 16 - London

Following our overnight journey, we land at London Heathrow and our holiday comes to an end.

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

Caribou Lodge, Banff

Caribou Lodge, Banff

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Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, Vancouver

Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, Vancouver

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Train

The Rocky Mountaineer

Ship

MS Volendam

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

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

Reviews

4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 11 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (8)
  2. 4 stars
    (2)
  3. 3 stars
    (0)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (1)

A Shephard

5 stars

Submitted 11 Oct 2022

Brilliant well woth the wait.

Collected by Trustpilot

Janice Whitworth

5 stars

Submitted 08 Oct 2022

This was a holiday well worth waiting for. It had originally been booked for September 2021 but was cancelled then due to Covid and Canadian border restrictions. I’m so pleased we were able to take it this year instead. There were many highlights: spectacular scenery in Alberta and British Columbia, two memorable days on the Rocky Mountaineer with superb service from our hosts, delicious food, an opportunity to experience some of what Vancouver has to offer and a cruise that was both relaxing and stimulating with interesting talks, classical music concerts, varied entertainment and a range of shore excursions, whale watching in Juneau being particularly exciting. The company, Great Rail Journeys, proved to be efficient and helpful, particularly when a problem arose like a cancelled BA connection flight. We also really appreciated the company of our Tour Manager, Tracey, who ensured that all arrangements were in place, was responsive if there was an issue and was always good fun and interesting to be around. I couldn’t recommend this holiday highly enough. It was one of the best ever!

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S Cotter

5 stars

Submitted 06 Oct 2022

It exceeded our expectations we had such a wonderful time. It was my retirement holiday and the Rocky Mountaineer was an absolute highlight!

Collected by Trustpilot

Mr Norwood

5 stars

Submitted 04 Oct 2022

Great tour & cruise

Collected by Trustpilot

Michael Wall

5 stars

Submitted 29 Sep 2022

Amazing scenery and breathtaking views of Canada and Alaska. Superb service from staff on the train and cruise. This made it to the top two of our trips on our world travels. So many great memories as we head home.

Collected by Trustpilot

Mrs Carol Wright

5 stars

Submitted 28 Jun 2022

Perfect l would do it again

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The Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska Cruise

Breathtaking Canada and Alaska by rail and cruise ship

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