San Francisco to Alaska Luxury Cruise & Canadian Rockies by Rail
Holiday Ref: 16260
Based on 17th May 2019 departure – other similar itineraries available – call for details
Fly from the UK to San Francisco where you will make your way independently to your central hotel.
Scenic hills, iconic trams, world famouus prisons...San Francisco has a large, diverse amount of attractions that any new or returning traveller should see and experience which truly befit a city of San Francisco's stature.
The oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, Astoria was established in 1811 on the Columbia River. The city is known as the "Little San Francisco of the Pacific Northwest" because of the colorful Victorian homes clinging to its steep hills. A fine example of that late 1800s architecture is the Flavel House, now a museum with period furnishings
Called "Shee Atika" by the Tlingit Indians, then "New Archangel" by the Russians who ousted them, Sitka boasts a multicultural heritage. Two dozen of its attractions are on the National Register of Historic Places, including Castle Hill and Building 29, a structure built by the Russians in 1835. The Sheldon Jackson Museum exhibits one of Alaska's oldest native culture collections.
For a state capital, Juneau maintains a surprising small-town charm, in part because it can only be reached by sea or air due to the surrounding wilderness. Collections from the indigenous people are displayed in the Alaska State Museum. Visit Mendenhall Glacier for outdoor adventure.
Once a Tlingit Indian stronghold, then a Russian outpost, and finally an American settlement in 1867, Wrangell has endured dramatic change and honors it. See a preserved tribal house on Chief Shakes Island. Learn about the three gold rushes that transformed the area in the Wrangell Museum. Behold the ancient petroglyphs carved into the rocks on the nearby beaches.
Totem poles are one of Ketchikan's chief attractions, and the best places to view them are Saxman Village and Totem Bight State Park. Drop by the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center to learn about the local cultures and ecosystems.
Disembark your cruise and make your way to your downtown Vancouver hotel
Day at leisure to enjoy Vancouver’s fabulous shopping, have a coffee at the cities famous harbour or search for a bargain at the Granville Island Markets. You could also take a trip up Grouse Mountain for spectacular views over the city, on a clear day you can see as far as Seattle! Overnight: Vancouver
After boarding at the Rocky Mountaineer Vancouver Station, travel through the fertile fields of the Fraser Valley. Farmland gives way to the towering peaks of the Coast Mountains before the rumble of raging waters hail the arrivals of Hell's Gate. Piney forests turn into the abstract beauty of dusty desert hills as you pull in to spend the night in Kamloops. Overnight in Kamloops.
Your journey continues eastwards to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Once again you will see a spectacular array of scenery as you travel across ranchlands, along rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes and through the remarkable tunnels that form part of the rich rail history of the Canadian Rockies. Today’s highlights include Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, the climb over Rogers Pass, the Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and, of course, the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Your rail journey ends in the resort town of Banff.
Today you will have an entire day to spend exploring Banff National Park on your own. Optional activities include soaking in the mineral pools at Upper Hot Springs, enjoying a nature walk on nearby mountain trails, visiting Banff’s historic museums, cruising on Lake Minnewanka or playing a round of golf at The Fairmont Banff Springs. Overnight in Banff.
Day at Leisure
Transfer from Banff to Calgary where you will catch your return flight back to the UK