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Highlights of the Canadian Rockies in Winter

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3.7 stars(10 reviews)
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Embark on an epic journey through the frozen Rocky Mountains of Canada by rail

11 days From £2,395 per person

2023 Tour code: CWW23

About the tour

On this wintry train adventure, we spend time in vibrant Vancouver, visit incredible Lake Louise and travel through the spectacular frosted scenery of the Canadian Rockies.

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 sightseeing tour of Vancouver today, making our way firstly 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

You're free today to explore further. You could escape the city and take the bus to Grouse Mountain for a ride on the Skyride cable car, which boasts 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. Perhaps 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 blanketed in snow. With free time to look around after checking into our hotel for two nights, you could take 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 and take on a truly magical beauty and today we make a visit to Maligne Canyon, a 164-feet deep gorge of sheer limestone walls that's home to wildlife such as grey wolves, hoary marmot, 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 and learn about mysterious Medicine Lake. We enjoy a picnic lunch as we go, warming up afterwards with a traditional treat of hot chocolate and smores.

Day 7 - 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 8 - Tour of Banff

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

Day 9 - Free time in Banff

Enjoy a free day to make the most of wintertime in the Rocky Mountains. There are plenty of seasonal activities to keep you occupied, including snow show tours, horse and carriage rides and husky-hauled sleigh rides through the snowy countryside. If you're a keen skier, you may like to make your way into the surrounding peaks to ski a few trails. Or perhaps something a little more sedate is more your pace, in which case there are plenty of cosy cafés and restaurants where you can while away the time.

Day 10 - Calgary

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

Day 11 - London

We land in the UK and our holiday draws to a close.

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

Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, Vancouver

Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel, Vancouver

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Elk and Avenue, Banff

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Sawridge Inn, Jasper

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Train

The Canadian Train

Enhance your holiday

Upgrades

Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy
London Hotels
UK rail connections
Upgrade to a Sleeper Plus cabin on The Canadian train

Extend your holiday

Vancouver

Reviews

3.7 stars3.7 / 5 · 10 reviews

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

Sue Cook

4 stars

Submitted 30/Mar

Disappointed with timing and stopping points on train. Things were closing or closed in Winnipeg and Jasper and no time to really get to experience those places. I realise you don't set the timetable but I hadn't realised the stops would basically be in freightyards. Having said that the tour was very enjoyable. A great group and Tim was an excellent tour leader.

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Anthony Pawson

4 stars

Submitted 29/Mar

Niagara Falls and Vancouver excellent, train journey in between had significant periods of boredom - and no commentary from the train operators

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T Johnson

1 stars

Submitted 29/Mar

Badly researched by Great Rail with regard to Canada's Covid restrictions. Social interaction with our group was forbidden (although we broke the rules where we could), access to viewing area and open carriages not allowed. Felt like being in prison - confined to cabin except for meals. Would have cancelled if we had know how restricting it was. No response from Great Rail's survey afterwards either.

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G Snowdon

1 stars

Submitted 27/Mar

Taking this trip during Covid restrictions ruined the train journey as we had to remain in our cabins for 21 hours a day, only allowed out for 1 hr for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The window in the cabin was small as were the cabins. Delays meant we reached Winnipeg at 10.30 pm so no chance of a break. The coaches to take us to a restaurant for the only real time the group was together and also to the airport for the return both failed to arrive.

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Patrick

4 stars

Submitted 27/Mar

enjoyed the views-the wonders of standing in temp of -39°C at Winnipeg; the train journey itself, despite not being upgraded as promised - this because Canadian train wanted to cut movement to minimum due to C19… even managed some Geocaching.. the view of Toronto by night, open and free ice rink.. cleanliness of the cities; the power of nature seen at Niagara Falls…thanks

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Cheryl Scammell

5 stars

Submitted 26/Mar

Our tour manager introduced himself by phone and by email before our trip which was great. It was a wonderful trip and we made so many lovely memories. A great group to spend 10 days with although covid restrictions on the Canadian stopped us spending time together. On the downside, there was an issue with our transportation in Vancouver, twice in 3 days! The transport didn't turn up to take us to the Top of Vancouver for our meal and then the transport was an hour late to take us to the airport for our return flight. On the whole a fantastic trip that I have recommended to several friends. ??

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Highlights of the Canadian Rockies in Winter

Embark on an epic journey through the frozen Rocky Mountains of Canada by rail

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