What we love about this trip
• Two and a half day Rocky Mountaineer rail journey
• Icefields Parkway Scenic transfer
• Walk on glaciers, millions of years old
• Spend time in Jasper and Banff National Parks
• Unique, small group tours in the Rockies
Please note, like most of our Canada rail packages & tours, this railway vacation can be customized to your needs - just ask one of our local experts when you call.
Eastbound itinerary shown. Westbound follows the same itinerary in reverse.
Day 1 – Begin your Canadian Rockies Train Vacation – Arrival in Vancouver
You’ll begin to unwind as soon as you arrive - the west coast Canadian city of Vancouver has that effect on everyone! Surrounded by mountains and ocean, the air is fresh, the ambiance laid back, and the residents are friendly. This is the city where Greenpeace started, where bears wander into backyards, and where coyotes sometimes stroll across the Stanley Park mini-golf course. Explore the city on your own, stopping perhaps at a sidewalk café to watch the world go by, or hiring bicycles to ride the seawall - or let us arrange private tours or a special dinner to start your vacation. Overnight in Vancouver (as usual, with your choice of 3, 4 or 5-star accommodations - see pricing options.)
Day 2 – Whistler Sea to Sky Climb train journey
Step aboard the Whistler Mountaineer train - Canada’s newest passenger train and sister to the famous Canadian Rockies train, the Rocky Mountaineer - for the start of a three-day train journey to the Canadian Rockies. Today you’ll travel from ‘sea to sky’ on a half-day train journey from Vancouver to the Olympic village of Whistler, for a relaxing afternoon and overnight stay amid the beauty of BC’s Coastal Mountains.
Along the way, the Whistler Mountaineer train winds along the shores of Howe Sound, a deep fjord surrounded by snow-capped peaks. Then slowly it chugs into the mountains, besides the rushing waters of the Cheakamus River, with waterfalls cascading down from the glaciers above. Overnight in Whistler.
Day 3 - Enjoy Whistler
Spend the day exploring Whistler. Enjoy a peak to peak Gondola pass, to whisk you up to the alpine. Stroll meadows full of wildflowers, and admire vast mountain valleys as far as the eye can see. Overnight in Whistler.
Day 4 – Onboard the Rocky Mountaineer train – Whistler to Quesnel
The Rocky Mountaineer’s whistle sounds and the smell of breakfast wafts from the galley as you pull out of Whistler heading north. Over coffee you may chat with your fellow passengers or simply gaze out of the window at some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.
In a single day you will travel through the majestic Fraser Canyon, by the winding shores of Anderson and Seton Lakes, and into the ‘cowboy country’ of the high-desert Cariboo Plateau.
In the canyon you may wonder - not for the last time - at the feat of engineering this railroad represents. As you gaze down from your window, thousands of feet to the rushing waters of the Fraser River below, spare a thought for the chutzpah of the 19th century railroad barons who conceived the project - and the skill and hard work of the engineers, surveyors and migrant workers who built it. Overnight in a hotel in the small town of Quesnel.
Day 5 – Onboard the Rocky Mountaineer train – Quesnel to Jasper
This morning return to your home on the rails – the Rocky Mountaineer train. This is the day you’ve been waiting for – the day your train reaches the breathtaking beauty of the Canadian Rockies at last. Moose, bald eagle & bear are plentiful up here, so make sure you keep your eyes peeled! Seeing the high peaks of the Canadian Rockies for the first time is a thrilling moment and as you step off the train in the quaint mountain town of Jasper the smell of pristine mountain air fills your lungs. Everyday cares are far behind as you look forward to 4 more days exploring the wonderful Canadian Rockies. Overnight in Jasper.
Day 6 – In The Canadian Rockies - Maligne Lake Tour & Cruise, Near Jasper
You first full day in the Canadian Rockies - and a guided tour through one of Jasper National Park’s most spectacular areas. Maligne Canyon will leave you in awe at the power of erosion, where 10,000 years have created a gorge so deep that it looks almost bottomless. You will learn how Medicine Lake is “mysteriously” disappearing before boarding a lake cruise bound for the serenity of Spirit Island. Looking around at the dark green of the trees, the earth’s history told in the surrounding cliffs, and the rippling water below, you can’t help but feel a sense of awe and wonder at the majesty of our world. Overnight in Jasper.
Day 7 - In The Canadian Rockies -The Icefields Parkway To Lake Louise
Today you’ll head south with on a small group tour, along one of the most scenic roads in the world - the Icefields Parkway. The road runs south down the spine of the Canadian Rockies, and your driver-guide will give an expert commentary so you don’t miss a thing. Near the highest point of your journey, a highlight is one of the optional ‘Ice Explorer’ tours onto the Athabasca Glacier itself - where you can walk a little and get a sense of the glacier’s movement and crevasses. Finally you arrive in Lake Louise for a wonderful overnight stay.
Day 8 – In The Canadian Rockies - Lake Louise to Banff
This morning you wake up in what must surely be one of the most beautiful places on the planet - Lake Louise. Whether the sun is shimmering on the water or a mist hangs over the surrounding peaks and glaciers, the magic of this place is unmistakable. The water is often turquoise in color, and so pure-looking that you want to jump right in - but renting a canoe and going for a paddle will be the warmer option! Later, travel from Lake Louise to end in the little mountain town of Banff.
Day 9 – In the Canadian Rockies – Exploring Around Banff
Today’s the day to get outside, explore, and see why the population of Banff doubles in the summer months. A guided tour lets you relax in comfort as you visit four local mountains and learn how natural phenomena have made Banff into the outdoor playground it is today. A gondola ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain gives you a panoramic view of Bow Valley - the best of the Canadian Rockies surround you on all sides and you gaze upon the pristine wilderness below, with the Bow River glistening in the distance. Now you understand the sense of peace that keeps people returning to Banff year after year. Overnight in Banff.
Day 10 - Leaving The Canadian Rockies – From Banff To Calgary
Much too soon, you leave the clean air and breathtaking beauty of the Canadian Rockies behind. Your vacation concludes as you travel through the foothills of the Canadian Rockies by coach to Calgary Airport for your flight home.
Yet you take with you memories to revisit and treasure for a lifetime.
Interested? Contact us to start customizing this trip today!
Here are just a few of the things to look forward to on this trip...
Whistler Peak to Peak gondola ride
Gourmet meals aboard the train
Glacier ride on the Ice Explorer
Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain
Cruise on Maligne Lake to Spirit Island
Customize this trip a little... or a lot
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Work with us to personalize this trip by adding some amazing side trips & activities, like...
Cruising Inside Passage to Alaska
Renting a car and exploring the area
Golfing at world-famous Banff Springs
Whalewatching in the Salish Sea
Fly fishing Bow River in the Rockies