What we love about this trip
2 days on VIA Rail's Skeena train
Explore the magnificent Rocky Mountains & Vancouver Island's east coast
Grizzly watching and whale watching opportunities
Campbell River’s Painter’s Lodge
Vancouver and the spectacular Butchart Gardens in Victoria
Inside Passage day cruise
Option to add a Rocky Mountaineer train journey to the end of your trip
Day 1 Arrive in Vancouver
As you arrive into Vancouver today, you are met at the Airport and transferred to your hotel downtown.
Day 2 – Vancouver
You have a full day to explore the sights of Vancouver. Discover Gastown, English Bay, Granville Island, the colorful totem poles of scenic Stanley Park at your leisure with a full day hop-on and off trolley pass.
Day 3 – Vancouver to Victoria
You leave Vancouver behind today after a leisurely coach and ferry sightseeing transfer to Victoria. Along the way, admire views of misty gulf Islands and distant mountain peaks, and see Victoria’s famous Butchart Gardens. Check into your hotel, then explore the quaint seaside city of Victoria.
Day 4 – Victoria Whale Watching
Spend the morning on a thrilling adventure, as you set out in a covered boat to discover the majectic Orca whales reside in the Strait of Georgia, along with a naturalist guide.
Day 5 – Victoria to Campbell River
Your journey takes you from charming Victoria today, as you pick up a rental car and drive to coastal Campbell River. Settle into your hotel and enjoy the lovely views of Painters Lodge and Marina. Spend two nights at the historic Painter’s Lodge, considered the world’s finest salmon fishing destination.
Day 6 – Campbell River
Spend the day exploring Campbell River. You may choose to escape into the old growth rainforest and mountains of Strathcona Provincial Park, or sign up for one of the many marine activities run by the lodge. During the fall season, ask about adding a grizzly bear tour to the Great Bear Rainforest, to see these magnificent animals gorge on the annual salmon-run. Overnight in Campbell River.
Day 7 – Campbell River to Port Hardy
Travel north along Vancouver Island today as your drive makes its way along the Island’s coast. This scenic transfer takes you to Port Hardy, a quaint fishing town on the Northern tip of Vancouver Island. Here you can drop off your car, and prepare for your cruise up the Inside Passage tomorrow.
Day 8 – The Inside Passage - Prince Rupert to Port Hardy on BC Ferries
The Inside Passage stimulates your senses and keeps you in awe all day. This is the Pacific Northwest at its finest. Calm inlets, majestic old-growth forests, and towering coastal mountains appear before you. The salt tinged air of the Pacific Ocean fills your lungs as the breeze tickles your face. Included is a private outboard cabin. Arrive late this evening in Prince Rupert in the North of BC.
Day 9 – Explore Prince Rupert
Enjoy today exploring spectacular Northern British Columbia. You may wish to visit Museum of Northern British Columbia, where First Nations artists work in the Carving shed, open to the public.
From May to late July, ask your vacation specialist about adding a cruise to the untouched wilderness of Khutzeymateen Valley, home to the highest population of Grizzlies in North America. Here you can spot your first grizzly bear grazing in a meadow or tending her cubs, in a completely natural environment.
Day 10 – Canadian Train – Prince Rupert to Prince George onboard VIA Rail’s Skeena
Start your train vacation back onboard VIA Rail’s Skeena train. Enjoy the rugged beauty and pioneering character of a landscape once solely traveled by First nation people and fur traders. The train follows the turbulent currents of the Skeena River traveling through the spectacular canyons and open valleys in the presence of ever present mountain ridges. Overnight in Prince George.
Day 11 – Canadian Rockies by Train – Prince George to Jasper onboard VIA Rail’s
Continue your train journey, bound for the Rockies today. All around you are windows – 360 degrees of spectacular scenery surround the Skeena train as you travel through the dense forest of British Columbia. Endless mountain ranges, remote communities and native history are just outside your window, so don’t take your eyes off the horizon. Arrive into the small Rockies town of Jasper tonight, where one of our representatives whisks you to your hotel.
Day 12 – A Full Day in the Rockies – Discover Jasper
After picking up another car, today is a full day in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Explore the rich Maligne Valley, and take a cruise on breathtaking Maligne Lake. Taking an early morning or evening cruise is a great way to see wildlife.
Day 13 – The Icefields Parkway – Jasper to Lake Louise
Many wonders await you today on a drive along the Icefields Parkway. The most exciting of these is a visit to the Columbia Icefield, one of the largest and most accessible icefields south of the Arctic Circle. Step out of the Ice Explorer and set your feet on ice millions of years old. Elk, moose, mountain goats and even bears like to make an appearance for our guests, seen clambering up mountainsides or drinking from the cool mountain streams. After nearly a full day exploring, you arrive in Lake Louise. Enjoy your evening! Overnight at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.
Day 14 – Lake Louise to Banff
After a leisurely morning in Lake Louise, drive to bustling Banff, the liveliest town in the Canadian Rockies. Spend the afternoon exploring soaking in the atmosphere, strolling along the turquoise Bow River, or simply admiring the views from your hotel.
Day 15 – Explore the Southern Canadian Rockies – Banff
Wake up to the sound of swaying mountain pines - then head out to discover Banff and its surrounding areas. The Bow Valley, Lake Minnewanka, and Sunshine Meadows are our favorite spots. Finally, soar to the peak of Sulphur Mountain on a Gondola ride, before heading back to your hotel. Overnight in Banff.
Day 16 – With Fond Memories Made – Depart to Calgary
Much too soon, you leave the clean air and colorful sights of Canada behind as your Canadian vacation comes to an end. Drop off your car at the Calgary Airport and check in for your flight home.
Note - the drive from Banff to Calgary is around 2 hours.
Interested? Contact us to start customizing this trip today!
Here are just a few of the things to look forward to on this trip...
Whale watching excursion
Visit to charming Victoria
BC Ferries Inside Passage Cruise
Gourmet meals on the train
Rental car to explore the area
Glacier ride on the Ice Explorer
Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain
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...
Staying at a remote fly-in lodge
Grizzly bear viewing safari
Salmon fishing guided adventure
Canoe paddling Lake Louise