Save $100 *per person on the following departure when you book by April 28, 2014. Use promotion code LASTCALL
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*Offer valid on new bookings only.Overview
Experience some of the world’s most stunning scenery on our epic land and train journey through the Canadian West. Begin your adventure by exploring the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver, then board the Rocky Mountaineer
for two exciting days traveling by train through the heart of the Canadian West. Enjoy the highest level of service and relax in a comfortable lounge chair in our reserved dome car for panoramic views of breathtaking scenery, including coastal forests, roaring river canyons, and snowcapped mountain ranges. Arrive in the quaint town of Banff, nestled deep in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. From here you’ll journey deep into Banff National Park for visits to stunning Moraine Lake, Valley of the Ten Peaks, and Lake Louise. Travel the stunning Icefields Parkway and take a once-in-a-lifetime guided “ice coach” tour of the Athabasca Glacier. Have your binoculars handy to spot wildlife such as grizzly bear, bighorn sheep, moose, elk, and caribou found all along the way. You’ll also stop at the Whyte Museum, which showcases the region’s art, culture, and history, and savor a sumptuous lunch at the majestic Banff Springs Hotel, a World Heritage site. Limited to 44 participants.Check out our slide show for a photo journey of this tour!
View photos by clicking "Next Photo" at top of page!August 7 — Vancouver
Individual arrivals during the afternoon in Vancouver at the Sheraton Wall Center located in the heart of the downtown area. Gather with fellow travelers and Smithsonian Expert Barry Lane
at the hotel for a welcome reception, opening remarks, and dinner. (R,D)August 8 — Explore Vancouver
Set off for a full-day tour of Vancouver. Stop at Stanley Park
, the city’s densely forested urban park, to enjoy the scenic views of water, mountains, and majestic trees along the famous Seawall. Meander through the first downtown area of Vancouver, historic Gastown
, known for its British charm and unique steam clock. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch of seafood and other specialties at a local restaurant. You’ll also see the spectacular Lions Gate Bridge, Prospect Point, English Bay, and the meticulously manicured Queen Elizabeth Park
. This evening gather for a talk by your Smithsonian Expert, then transfer to a local restaurant for a festive group dinner. (B,L,D)August 9 — Rocky Mountaineer: Vancouver to Kamloops
This morning board the renowned Rocky Mountaineer
and set out for a two-day adventure through a breathtaking landscape of lofty snowcapped mountains, roaring river canyons, and coastal forests of the Canadian West. You’ll ride the Rocky Mountaineer in their highest level of service (Gold Leaf) featuring fine meals, comfortable lounge chairs, and a special dome car with panoramic views.
Travel through the Coast Mountains, the westernmost range of the Pacific Cordillera, and continue east through the ranch lands of the Fraser River Valley Canyon and the Thompson River Valley. Here the train hugs the canyon wall as you view spectacular scenery and roaring rushing rivers below. Late in the day arrive in Kamloops and check in to your local hotel for the remainder of the evening at leisure. The name Kamloops itself is derived from a Shuswap Indian word meaning “meeting place” referring to the joining of the North and South Thompson Rivers on which the town is located. (B,L)August 10 — Rocky Mountaineer: Kamloops to Banff
Return to the Rocky Mountaineer
early this morning and experience the thrill of the Canadian Rockies as you travel along the Kicking Horse Route toward Banff
. Learn more about the history and engineering of the famous railway as you pass through the Spiral Tunnels
, a unique architectural wonder completed in 1909 after two years of construction, which ascends over a thousand feet over 10 miles to reach the Continental Divide. Enjoy the spectacular scenery of the majestic mountain peaks of the Canadian Rockies
as you head toward Banff, arriving in the evening at the Banff Caribou Lodge
. (B,L)August 11 — Lake Louise, Banff National Park & Yoho National Park
Awaken to the beauty of Banff with its snowcapped peaks, enchanting lakes, and pristine wilderness. Over the next three days enjoy exploring the treasures of Banff National Park, a World Heritage site
. Today, drive along the Bow Valley Parkway for amazing views of Castle Mountain and the Sawback Range
. Stop at Moraine Lake, located in the dramatic Valley of the Ten Peaks, then continue to Lake Louise, often known as the "Jewel of the Canadian Rockies."
Enjoy lunch and spectacular views at the Lake Louise Station Restaurant. From here, enter Yoho National Park to visit the Spiral Tunnels viewpoint, offering a different perspective of your rail journey of the previous day, and stop at Emerald Lake and dramatic Takakkaw Falls
. Return to Banff and enjoy a group dinner at a local Banff restaurant. (B,L,D)August 12 — Icefields Parkway, Athabasca Glacier
After breakfast, take a memorable drive through spectacular scenery on the Icefields Parkway. Look for wildlife, such as deer, elk, mountain goat, and grizzly bear, and view massive glaciers and roaring waterfalls and rivers surrounded by pristine forests. Columbia Icefield
, which lies on the boundary of Banff and Jasper National Parks, is one of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle. At the Icefield’s Discovery Center, board your specially outfitted ice coach and venture onto the Athabasca Glacier, as your local guide provides insight into this sheet of ice over three miles in length and over a half mile in width. Gather for lunch at the center with time to browse the many exhibits. Return to Banff late in the day and enjoy your evening at leisure. (B,L)August 13 — Banff, Whyte Museum, Banff Springs Hotel
Following a morning presentation, depart for a tour of the Whyte Museum
, featuring collections that celebrate the history and heritage of the Canadian Rockies. Continue to the historic Banff Springs Hotel
, the grand dame of the Canadian Rockies, which was constructed during the 19th century in the Scotland Baronial style as one of Canada's grand railway hotels. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch and tour of this historic property. In the afternoon enjoy free time to explore the village of Banff or return to the hotel to relax. This evening depart for a local restaurant for a concluding talk by your Smithsonian Expert, followed by a festive farewell dinner. (B,L,D)August 14 — Calgary, Home
After breakfast, depart by motor coach for Calgary and Calgary International Airport for flights home. (B)