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Rockies Explorer

LUXURY ESCORTED COACH & RAIL TOUR

Tranquil lakes, mountains and wildlife abound on this journey. Explore Vancouver, Whistler and Victoria; visit Jasper and Banff as well as enjoying the luxury GoldLeaf Service on the iconic Rocky Mountaineer.

              

Arrive in Vancouver

DAY 1

On arrival into Vancouver, you’ll be met by an APT representative and transferred to your hotel. Settle in to your elegant room and enjoy lovely views of the city skyline. Meet your fellow travellers and APT Tour Director at an informal Welcome Dinner this evening. Dinner included. You will be booked into Four Seasons Vancouver (or similar) for two nights.

              

Vancouver

DAY 2

Join a local guide for a tour of cosmopolitan Vancouver, introducing you to the city’s must-see attractions. Visit Stanley Park, a world-class, 400-hectare evergreen oasis located just steps away from downtown Vancouver. Then head to Granville Island, the heart of Vancouver’s cultural scene. Here, wander amid the colourful public market. You’ll also see picturesque English Bay and Vancouver Harbour, before enjoying the afternoon and evening to spend at your leisure, discovering this vibrant harbourside city. You may like to wander through the old cobblestone streets of Gastown, the birthplace of Vancouver, whilst others may prefer to visit the shopping mecca of Robson Street. Those seeking tranquillity can admire the native trees and scenic views of the local parks. Breakfast included.

              

Rocky Mountaineer to Kamloops

DAY 3

This morning, step aboard the famous Rocky Mountaineer and relax in the comfort of your GoldLeaf carriage as you set out into the mountains along this awe-inspiring route. Take in the lush fertile  elds of the Fraser River Valley; see the towering peaks of the Coast Mountains; pass the thundering waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon; and glide past the steep rocky slopes as your train follows the Thompson River on its way to the city of Kamloops. One-night stay in Kamloops (hotel as assigned by Rocky Mountaineer – Kamloops has limited accommodation of two- or three-star hotels). Breakfast and lunch included.

              

Rocky Mountaineer to Banff

DAY 4

Your Rocky Mountaineer rail journey continues east this morning towards the magni cent Canadian Rockies. Journey through vast ranchlands past Shuswap Lake and along the South Thompson River; see the engineering marvel of the Spiral Tunnels; and traverse Kicking Horse Pass, which takes you across the Continental Divide of the Americas and into the province of Alberta. On arrival in Banff National Park, disembark and head for the ‘Castle in the Rockies’ - The Fairmont Banff Springs. Enjoy the evening at leisure to relax and take in your incredible setting. Breakfast and lunch included. You will be booked into Fairmont Banff Springs (or similar) for two nights.

              

Banff (Freedom of Choice)

DAY 5

Today you’ll enjoy the opportunity to select from a range of exciting ‘Freedom of Choice’ activities in Banff. You may like to take part in the Banff Experience which includes a visit to the fascinating Cave and Basin National Historic Site. Alternatively, absorb views of this spectacular National Park as you take to the skies on a wonderful heli- ightseeing trip; enjoy a scenic  oat trip down the beautiful Bow River; relax at the indulgent Willow Stream Spa; cruise across picturesque Lake Minnewanka; or perhaps embark on a Voyageur Canoe Tour. For lovers of Canada’s national sport, take a tour of the Canmore Eagles’ dressing room, try on their gear and step onto the ice to experience a day in the life of a Canadian ice-hockey player. Breakfast and dinner included.

              

Banff to Lake Louise

DAY 6

This morning you’ll meet a Mountie, who’ll regale you with tales of the iconic Royal Canadian Mounted Police and their fascinating history. Afterwards, board the Banff Gondola and ascend to the top of Sulphur Mountain, where you’ll be awe-struck by the sweeping panoramic views out over six mountain ranges. Later, join an expert Mountain Heritage Guide and learn about the rich natural history of the region as you set off on a leisurely stroll before travelling to your iconic hotel, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Later this evening, choose where to dine from a selection of exceptional restaurants located in your hotel. Breakfast and dinner included. You will be booked into Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (or similar) for one night.

              

Lake Louise to Jasper

DAY 7

This morning following breakfast, you’ll set out along the Ice elds Parkway. Travel along this famous, picturesque route winding its way through the Canadian Rockies past the ancient glaciers, vast ice elds, broad sweeping valleys and pristine lakes that straddle the Continental Divide of the Americas. After pausing to admire the bright, turquoise colour of Peyto Lake, continue on to the giant Columbia Ice eld. Here, you’ll board a specially-designed Ice Explorer vehicle and journey right out onto the Athabasca Glacier, formed from snow falling as long as 400 years ago. Afterwards, having entered Jasper National Park, you’ll stop to take in the spectacle of powerful Athabasca Falls before arriving at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. After settling in, enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants located within your lodge. Breakfast and dinner included. You will be booked into Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (or similar) for one night.

              

Jasper to Sun Peaks

DAY 8

With its impressive collection of glaciers, lakes, forests and mountains, it’s easy to see why World Heritage-listed Jasper National Park is considered one of Western Canada’s most beautiful regions. Today you will join the Yellowhead Highway, and stop to take in views of the south face of Mount Robson - the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. On arrival in the town of Blue River, board a custom-designed boat and skim over the waterways, watching for the grizzly and black bears that are frequently sighted here, as well as the caribou, moose, eagles and many other native creatures that call the Monashee Mountains home. After disembarking from your Blue River Safari, enjoy lunch before continuing on by coach to Sun Peaks, a delightful European-style alpine resort village nestled at the base of three mountains. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. You will be booked into Sun Peaks Grand Hotel (or similar) for one night.

              

Sun Peaks to Whistler

DAY 9

This morning following breakfast, depart Sun Peaks and follow the tracks of the early gold rush pioneers through the rugged Cariboo region. Travel via the city of Kamloops and the rural town of Lillooet, stopping along the way to take in the pretty scenic views out over both Seton and Duffey lakes. Later, you’ll travel though the towering Coast Mountains before arriving in the iconic alpine town of Whistler. Breakfast and dinner included. You will be booked into Westin Whistler Resort (or similar) for one night.

              

Whistler to Victoria

DAY 10

This morning you’ll depart Whistler, travelling down the Sea-to-Sky Highway via pretty Shannon Falls on the way to Horseshoe Bay. From here, board a ferry for the journey across Georgia Strait to the small city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. Disembark, and travel by coach via Chemainus, home to a number of unique outdoor murals, to Victoria. Breakfast included. There is an option today to take a  oatplane  ight from Whistler to Victoria (at your own expense). You will be booked into Hotel Grand Pacific (or similar) for two nights.

              

Victoria (Freedom of Choice)

DAY 11

This morning visit The Butchart Gardens before the crowds arrive, and enjoy breakfast in the original Butchart residence. Afterwards go on your selected ‘Freedom of Choice’ activity. Perhaps go on a whale-watching cruise; take a seaplane  ight; tour the city’s historic houses and gardens;  sh for salmon; ride in a horse-drawn carriage; or delight in afternoon tea at The Fairmont Empress Hotel. Tonight, as the land portion of your trip draws to an end, enjoy a Farewell Dinner. Breakfast and dinner included.

              

Victoria to Vancouver – End of Package

DAY 12

Today say farewell to Victoria. Following breakfast this morning you will be transferred by coach and ferry back to Vancouver International Airport in time for your flight back to the UK.