The sophistication of multicultural Toronto and the thunderous roar of Niagara Falls are followed by a cross country flight to Calgary – the gateway to the Rockies. Internationally-acclaimed, scenic highways traverse Banff and Jasper National Parks, revealing the stark beauty of ancient glaciers and the glass-like reflections of mountain lakes. The ranch lands of the British Columbia interior maintain a vibrant cowboy culture, while the lofty heights of Whistler embody alpine luxury and celebrate outdoor sport and adventure. The bountiful gardens and public spaces of Victoria invite all visitors to soak in the serenity, while Vancouver seamlessly combines public parks, cultural diversity and an invigorating West Coast chic lifestyle.
Arrive at Pearson Airport, Toronto. Individual transfer to your centrally-located hotel. After checking in with your tour director, the remainder of the day is free. Overnight in Toronto.
Accommodation: Toronto for 3 nights
We start the day with a sightseeing tour of Toronto and discover the many identities of Canada’s most cosmopolitan city. Highlights include the provincial legislative buildings (Queen’s Park), City Hall, the financial district, Chinatown, residential areas, the waterfront and a ride up the CN Tower. The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration, shopping or simple relaxation. Overnight in Toronto (B)
Enjoy a full-day excursion to the splendour of Niagara Falls. Our route takes us through the lush fruit-growing district of the Niagara Peninsula and we see the historic village of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The Niagara Parkway follows the Niagara River, bordered with parkland, and leads us to our first unforgettable glimpse of the falls. Included is a thrilling boat ride on the Hornblower Niagara Cruises – Voyage to the Falls, taking us right to the foot of the Horseshoe Falls. Afterwards, you can enjoy an optional Niagara Helicopter Tour or Niagara Skywheel that gives you a breathtaking view of Niagara Falls region.
Today we transfer to Pearson International Airport in Toronto and check in for our flight to Calgary, Alberta. Having crossed two thousand kilometres of Canadian wilderness and western wheatland, we arrive at Calgary International Airport and transfer to our hotel. After check-in at the hotel the remainder of the day is free. Explore the Old West at the Glenbow Museum or Fort Calgary on your own, browse through the Eau Claire Market, ride up the Calgary Tower for a great view and savour the great restaurants and dynamic nightlife. Overnight in Calgary. (B)
Accommodation: Calgary for 1 night
We begin the day with a city tour of Calgary. We travel west on the Trans-Canada Highway into the rolling foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The majestic peaks of the Canadian Rockies soon fill the horizon as we approach Banff National Park, our first of several in the Canadian national parks system. We soon arrive in the charming resort town of Banff. Overnight in Banff. (B)
Accommodation: Banff for 2 nights
Today we will enjoy a tour of the region around Banff. The area became Canada’s first national park in 1885 to protect its natural hot springs. An optional Helicopter Sightseeing Tour will give you the chance to see the eastern ranges of the Rocky Mountains. Alternatively you can take an optional gondola ride to spectacular Sulphur Mountain. Bring your camera! The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the surroundings of Banff, stroll along Banff Avenue, or relax and enjoy the scenery. Overnight in Banff. (B)
Today’s journey through Banff and Jasper national parks promises to be a highlight of our Rockies Trail programme. Shortly after leaving Banff we visit the famous scenery of Lake Louise, one of the most photographed lakes in Canada. Afterwards, we travel north on the famed Icefields Parkway through a rugged wilderness flanked by dramatic mountain ranges. At the Columbia Icefield we board a specially constructed Ice Explorer to ride on the surface of the ancient Athabasca Glacier. Close to Jasper, you have the chance to go on an optional raft trip on the Athabasca River. Your experienced guide will point out the natural and human history as you raft through short rapids and stretches of calm waters. Overnight in Jasper. (B)
Accommodation: Jasper for 1 night
Before leaving Jasper National Park this morning, you can take part in an optional Spirit Island Cruise on Maligne Lake, the most picturesque and largest glacier-fed lake in the park. You may alternately take an optional motorcycle tour of Jasper, riding in the comfortable sidecar with an unmatched view of the forests and mountains. Then, we travel west along the Yellowhead Highway and into the heartland of British Columbia. Breathtaking, unspoiled vistas await visitors in every season of the year. The route takes us along the Thompson River through the picturesque Shuswap Highlands. Overnight in Kamloops. (B)
Accommodation: Kamloops for 1 night
We can expect a day of dramatic scenery changes when we drive through the ranch lands and head for the coastal mountains. A journey along the Duffey Lake Road exposes new vistas at every turn. An optional Floatplane Sightseeing Tour over Garibaldi Park gives you an inspiring view of a natural preserve of volcanic peaks, alpine lakes and meadows. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Whistler. (B)
Accommodation: Whistler for 1 night
The Sea-to-Sky Highway leads us south through spectacular coastal scenery today. You will visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge suspended high above a magnificent canyon. From Horseshoe Bay, we cruise by ferry across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island and continue by coach to Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city. Arriving in Victoria, we embark on a city tour of this former British enclave. Overnight in Victoria. (B)
Accommodation: Victoria for 2 nights
Proud of her maritime heritage, Victoria has retained a quaint, colonial demeanor evident in the many 19th century landmarks throughout the city. Today we treat ourselves to a tour of the world famous Butchart Gardens, one of the world’s great floral displays set in a reclaimed stone quarry. Time will be allocated here for browsing through the regal gardens. You can take part in an optional Floatplane Sightseeing Tour over downtown Victoria and the Strait of Juan de Fuca with the Olympic Mountains in the distance. You can also go on an optional Whale watching Excursion aboard a Zodiac or a regular vessel. Watch for the orcas and the abundance of marine wildlife. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the city’s delights. Overnight in Victoria. (B)
We continue through the resort region of the Gulf Islands to the oceanside city of Vancouver. Upon arrival in Vancouver, we enjoy an interesting tour of the city, including Stanley Park, English Bay, Gastown, Chinatown, and much more. The remainder of the day is free for independent exploration or simple relaxation. This evening features our farewell dinner. Overnight in Vancouver. (B/D)
Accommodation: Vancouver for 1 night
A time for last-minute shopping and sad farewells. Individual transfer to Vancouver International Airport in time to check in for your return flight. (B)