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Highlights of Canada and the Rocky Mountains at Christmas

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The ultimate Christmas getaway in Canada

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20222023
11 days From £3,395 per person

2023 Tour code: CWX24

About the tour

Celebrate the festive season with a fabulous journey through the Rockies on the iconic Canadian. Discover the sights, sounds and scents of Canada at Christmastime as we explore vibrant cities lit up with cheery lights and enjoy a wonderfully festive Christmas surrounded by the landscapes of Jasper National Park.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London and Vancouver

We fly from London Heathrow to Vancouver, checking into our hotel on arrival for a three-night stay.

Day 2 - Discovering Vancouver

We set out on a fascinating sightseeing tour of Vancouver today, first making our way to Gastown. Named after 'Gassy' Jack Deighton, a Yorkshire seaman who settled here in 1867, today Gastown is a popular downtown area, full of cafés, contemporary fashion shops, galleries and more. Continuing to Chinatown, one of the largest of its kind in North America, we soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the Asian-inspired streets and food stalls. Finally, we visit Stanley Park, 400 hectares of wild open space that's home to the city's famous and colourful totem poles which celebrate Canada's Native American heritage.

Day 3 - Free time in Vancouver

Explore more of Vancouver at your own pace. You could escape the city and take the bus to Grouse Mountain for a ride on the Skyride cable car admiring the jaw-dropping views across Vancouver's skyline, Pacific Ocean and nearby Gulf Islands. At the top, you can enjoy a range of seasonal activities, including sleigh rides or a snow limo. Alternatively, you could stay closer to the bustle of the city and sample the flavours of Granville Island, which boasts a mouth-watering food market and an array of craft studios.

Day 4 - The Canadian

We transfer to Union Station and board The Canadian for our overnight journey through the majestic Rocky Mountains to Jasper. The Canadian is truly iconic, transporting us in restored stainless steel carriages through incredible landscapes in comfort. During the night, we climb into the foothills of the Rockies, awakening to the sight of glaciers, lakes, plunging canyons, frozen waterfalls and soaring snow-covered peaks illuminated by the sun's first rays of the day.

Day 5 - Jasper

We arrive in Jasper, a quaint mountain town at the edge of the wilderness and located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. The town is surrounded by tree-covered mountains and, at this time of year, is often blanketed in snow. With free time to look around after checking into our hotel for three nights, you could enjoy a walk through the wintry streets, admiring quaint houses and small shops. It isn't unusual to even see a family of elk crossing the road.

Day 6 - Maligne Canyon

The Rockies are transformed by snow and ice in winter taking on magical beauty. We experience this with a visit to Maligne Canyon, a 164-foot deep gorge of sheer limestone walls that's home to wildlife such as grey wolves, hoary marmots, caribou and moose. During our time here, we take part in an ice walk with a local guide, heading to the canyon floor to explore frozen waterfalls, ice caves and incredible ice formations. We also learn about the mysterious Medicine Lake enjoying a picnic lunch as we go. Afterwards, we warm up with a traditional treat of hot chocolate and smores.

Day 7 - Christmas Day

We enjoy a relaxed day of festivities to celebrate Christmas, including a fantastic lunch of traditional treats and all the trimmings. And there's no better environment to enjoy your annual Christmas Day walk.

Day 8 - Boxing Day in Banff

Leaving Jasper and its national park behind, we begin the drive to Banff, travelling along the world-famous Icefields Parkway - a 144-mile road that links Banff with Jasper. Travelling along a lake-lined valley, past many of the highest and most rugged peaks in the Rockies, we pass by the Columbia Icefields and the Athabasca Glacier. Along the way, we stop at Lake Louise, which at this time of year is completely frozen over, to admire the views of soaring peaks covered in verdant pine forests which slope away from the lakeshore.

Day 9 - Tour of Banff

Today's excursion takes us on a tour around the natural wonders of Banff. Exploring with a local guide, we visit Two Jack Lake where we're greeted by a stunning backdrop of emerald-green waters and a sweeping panorama of Mount Rundle and the Banff Hoodoos, a cluster of needle-like sedimentary rocks. We also admire Surprise Corner which, as the name suggests, delivers spectacular and surprising views of Bow Falls. A highlight of the day is a ride on the Banff Gondola. This cable car transports us to the summit of Sulphur Mountain to marvel at the wintry scenes laid out beneath us.

Day 10 - Calgary

We transfer to Calgary, where we board our flight back to London Heathrow.

Day 11 - London

Landing in the UK, our festive holiday finishes and you're free to continue home.

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

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

Elk and Avenue, Banff

Elk and Avenue, Banff

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Forest Park Hotel

Forest Park Hotel, Jasper

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Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, Vancouver

Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, Vancouver

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Train

The Canadian Train

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Reviews

4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 2 reviews

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  5. 1 star
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Frances Williams

3 stars

Submitted 5/Jan

The holiday was a realisation of a long-held ambition. Unfortunately because of covid restrictions it was not as enjoyable as I hoped. Our UK leader was unable to travel and we needed her expertise to enjoy the break

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Patricia

5 stars

Submitted 3/Jan

The whole trip was very good and special thanks must go to our tour manager Harriet Pearson who was brought in at very short notice but her experience as a tour manager enabled her to deal with both U.K. and USA Covid tests and form filling, which she dealt with exceptionally well. The whole trip was most enjoyable.

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Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2023

Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2023

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Highlights of Canada and the Rocky Mountains at Christmas

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