Canadian Rockies by Rail
Banff to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer
It’s hard to steal the spotlight from the marvels of Banff National Park or the vibrant city of Vancouver, but the train trip between the destinations pulls it off. Spend two days enjoying the GoldLeaf service on board the Rocky Mountaineer while taking in the breathtaking beauty of snow-capped mountains, glacial lakes, rushing rivers, and the sheer unspoiled wilderness of Canada. The rail journey between Banff and Vancouver is Rocky Mountaineer’s original route, and it’s also the most historic: these tracks are the very ones that formed the transcontinental railway, linking Canada from east to west back when it opened in 1886. Rocky Mountaineer is the only passenger train that travels these tracks, making this route a must for history buffs!
NOTE: A passport is required to travel to this destination and must be valid for at least six months after your return.
Wed, Aug 2: Fly to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Transfer to the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and enjoy some leisure time before joining the group for a Welcome Dinner. (Meals: Dinner)
Thu, Aug 3: Today enjoy a sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s North Shore. Take the Skyride Gondola at Grouse Mountain for breathtaking views of the city, the sparkling Pacific Ocean, and snowy mountain peaks. Let thrill be your reward with a canopy walk across the world’s longest suspension foot bridge, perched 230 feet above the thriving rainforest canyon at Capilano Suspension Bridge. Later, a leisurely evening awaits to relax and enjoy at your own pace. (B)
Fri, Aug 4: Board Rocky Mountaineer and journey in luxury along the rails of their original and exclusive route from Vancouver to Banff. Indulge in the elegant GoldLeaf Service featuring gourmet cuisine, an outdoor viewing platform, and signature glass-dome car, a room with an uninterrupted panoramic view! Relax as the treacherous waters of Hell’s Gate rush through the Fraser Canyon, bearing witness to the dramatic change of scenery, from the Cascade Mountains, winding river canyons and pristine coastal forests, to the inland desert and grassy plains of the British Columbia’s Interior. End with an overnight in Kamloops, which boasts surprisingly diverse dining experiences. You be the judge as dinner is on your own! (B,L)
Sat, Aug 5: Resume the awe of raw, undisturbed beauty as you venture east on Rocky Mountaineer from Kamlooops to the mountain town of Banff. Today affords another mind-bending array of wonder while traveling through the spiral tunnels of Roger’s Pass and Kicking Horse Canyon and alongside the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Upon final reach of Lake Louise, disembark the train, and transfer to the Rimrock Resort Hotel located on magnificent Sulphur Mountain.(B,L)
Sun, Aug 6: Today travel along one of the most scenic highways in the world, the Icefields Parkway. Visit the Columbia Icefield and take an Ice Explorer excursion to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier. Experience what it’s like to step on a glacier, taste glacier water, and learn of the geological formation of this massive wonder. The Columbia Icefield is one of the largest accumulations of ice south of the Arctic Circle and one of the most accessible in North America. Visit the Glacier Skywalk, a glass platform that provides an awe-inspiring experience and features the only unobstructed, completely accessible glacier view in the world! (B,L)
Mon, Aug 7: Today, marvel at Emerald Lake, the spiral tunnels and the natural bridges of Yoho National Park. Witness a different perspective with a stop at Canada’s ingenious Spiral Tunnels Viewpoint, where the three lines of railway were laid at different elevations for the crossing of Kicking Horse River. Visit Lake Louise, often known as the “Jewel of the Canadian Rockies,” where your hotel, the Fairmont Château Lake Louise, proudly stands at one end with the Victoria Glacier reflecting off the other. Check in to your accommodations enjoy a delightful dinner with your fellow travelers. (B,L,D)
Tue, Aug 8: Depart for Calgary, but first, see the world from the Sulphur Summit with a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. En route to Calgary, visit the famous Bow Falls and the Hoodoos of the Canadian badlands. Upon arrival in Calgary, be ready to discover How the West Once Was at Canada’s largest living history museum, Heritage Park Historical Village, an impressive 127-acre attraction that proves Calgary to be more than just cowboys and rodeos. It is a place where hundreds of exhibits and daily demonstrations tell historical tales of all those who have gathered there. Spend your final afternoon in this city that calls you to explore! (B)
Wed, Aug 9: Transfer to the Calgary Airport and fly home. (B)
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Known as the ‘Castle in the City’, this hotel has been symbolizing timeless elegance and luxury since 1939. Its prime downtown location is within walking distance of Vancouver’s best restaurants and top galleries. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker • complimentary WiFi Internet access • restaurant • bar • indoor pool and sauna • fitness center.
Kamloops hotel will be announced approximately one month prior to departure. All accommodations in Kamloops are of moderate standard.
The Rimrock Resort Hotel, Banff. Casually elegant, offering simply breathtaking views from all rooms with rugged, snow-capped peaks and lush, tree-filled alpine valleys. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker • mini-fridge • complimentary WiFi Internet access • two restaurants • two cocktail lounges • indoor pool and hot tub • fitness room • spa & sauna.
Fairmont Château Lake Louise. Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, the majestic Victoria Glacier and a glistening emerald lake, the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise hotel is located in Alberta’s Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker • complimentary WIFI • five restaurants/ bars • fitness center • indoor pool • spa • winter adventure programs including snowshoeing, cross country skiing, icefalls walk, ice skating, dog sledding, snowmobling (fees apply) • specialty shops.
Fairmont Palliser Calgary. The city’s premier hotel ideally located in downtown Calgary. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker • complimentary WiFi Internet access • restaurant/bar • Starbucks • indoor pool and hot tub • spa • fitness center.
* Subject to change due to increase in exchange rate or fuel surcharge
Documents Required: Valid Passport. Visit travel.state.gov for specific requirements.
CANADA ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Any person may be denied entry to Canada for reasons including, but not limited to, security risks, human or international rights violations, medical reasons, financial reasons, misrepresentation, failure to comply with Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, having an inadmissible family member and involvement in criminal activity (regardless of degree or length of time since such crimes occurred) such as DUI, DWI, reckless driving, negligent driving, misdemeanor drug possession, all felonies, domestic violence, shoplifting, theft, and other crimes. It is recommended that a person who has ever been charged with, or convicted of, a crime obtain the necessary approval documents before attempting to enter Canada. To learn more about applying for and receiving these approvals and corresponding documentation, we strongly recommend that you visit the following website for details regarding the requirements and process: https://www.canada.ca/en/services/immigration-citizenship.html. This is only a guide. A Canadian immigration officer will decide if you can enter Canada when you arrive at a port of entry.