Seattle Alaska Cruise & Canadian Rockies Rail JourneyReference CTS9731
What a fantastic combination! A stay in the vibrant city of Seattle, and beautiful Vancouver perched on the edge of the Pacific Ocean in the shadow of the Coast Mountains, but before all that embark on a spectacular 7 night Alaska Cruise onboard Ruby Princess, then to top it all off take the trip of a lifetime onboard the Rocky Mountaineer which promises to be a magical experience.
Upon arrival into Seattle Airport, clear customs and make your way to your hotel. The remainder of today and tomorrow is at leisure. Check out Pike Place Market and take a photo underneath the famous market sign before walking through the hundreds of stalls, Space Needle one of Seattle top attractions, or the Chihuly Gardens & Glass. a stunning museum.
These are serene waters, where one moment you can be sailing a wide bay of barrier islands and the next you’re cruising through a narrow waterway flanked by towering forested walls. That’s the splendid spectacle of the Inside Passage – the scenery is constantly changing, from picturesque shores to friendly coastal towns.
Stretching from Puget Sound, Washington, through the British Columbia coast and into the Gulf of Alaska, the Inside Passage includes more than 1,000 islands, seemingly endless shoreline and thousands of idyllic coves and bays. Sailing with Princess, you’ll marvel at the breath-taking scenery and encounter ports like Gold Rush-era Skagway, Salmon Capital of the World Ketchikan, the capital city of Juneau and British-flavored Victoria.
In 1880, it was slow going for Joe Juneau and Richard Harris as they searched for gold with the help of Native guides. After climbing mountains, forging streams and facing countless difficulties, they found nuggets "as large as beans."
From their discovery came three of the largest gold mines in the world. By the end of World War II, more than $150 million in gold had been mined. Eventually the mines closed, but the town Joe Juneau founded became the capital of Alaska and the business of gold was replaced by the business of government.
Skagway was the gateway to the gold fields for the thousands who flocked to Alaska and the Yukon with the hope of striking it rich. Skagway may have boasted the shortest route to the Klondike, but it wasn't the easiest.
Over 100 years ago, the White Pass route through the Coast Mountains and the shorter but steeper Chilkoot Trail were used by countless stampeders. Many a would-be miner perished on the treacherous Chilkoot Trail.
The gold rush was a boon and by 1898, Skagway was Alaska's largest town with a population of about 20,000. Hotels, saloons, dance halls and gambling houses prospered. But when the gold yield dwindled in 1900, so did the population as miners quickly shifted to new finds in Nome.
Just west of Juneau, this breath-taking national park and preserve boasts some of the world's most spectacular tidewater glaciers, such as Margerie Glacier, which often drops colossal chunks of ice into the sea. Not surprisingly, Glacier Bay National Park and its epic ice giants are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprising Alaska's magnificent park system.
During your scenic cruise, friendly Park Rangers will join the ship to share their knowledge of this amazing place and host a fun Junior Ranger program for kids. They may even be able to help you identify Glacier Bay's abundant wildlife, including humpback whales, sea otters, porpoises, harbour seals, black bears, mountain goats, bald eagles and large colonies of seabirds.
Take in the awe-inspiring scenery as you enjoy an unforgettable day of sailing through this dazzling park, where you'll glide along emerald waters and past calving icebergs, and can breathe in the crisp, fresh air to your heart's content.
Ketchikan is known as Alaska's "First City" because it's the first major community travellers come to as they journey north. Located on an island, Ketchikan began life as an Indian fishing camp. The name Ketchikan comes from a Tlingit phrase that means "eagle with spread-out wings," a reference to a waterfall near town.
In the early 1900s, when gold was Alaska's claim to fame, fishing and timber industries were established in Ketchikan. The growth of these industries helped make this Inside Passage port Alaska's fourth-largest city.
Visitors to Ketchikan will be intrigued by its rich Native heritage, which includes the world's oldest collection of totem poles at Totem Heritage Centre. The Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian are all a part of the city's colourful history. Ketchikan, with its abundance of salmon, is also a sport fishing paradise. Sightseers will be impressed with both the scenic town and its surroundings, especially Misty Fjords National Monument.
Victoria exudes old-world charm and fragrant and colourful flowers are everywhere. Founded in 1843 by James Douglas of the Hudson's Bay Company, the city was first known as Fort Victoria. By 1848, Vancouver Island was a British colony and Victoria was its capital.
In 1858, Victoria was a tent city and the base for some 25,000 prospectors on their way to the Frasier River gold fields. When Vancouver Island was incorporated with mainland British Columbia in 1868, Victoria became the capital of the entire province.
Although it's a port city, Victoria is not as industrially oriented as Vancouver. The harbours, especially Inner Harbour, are dotted with pleasure craft, ferries and floatplanes. The city is renowned for its beautiful gardens, charming houses and very British feel.
Disembark your cruise ship and make your way independently to your overnight hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Today you will check out of your Seattle hotel and transfer by scheduled coach to Vancouver. Remainder of the day is at leisure.
Today your sightseeing tour begins with an introduction to downtown including Canada Place, and Robson Street. Wind through historic and modern architectural wonders en route to Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre natural oasis, surrounded by the
Pacific Ocean. View the First Nations Totem Poles, and gaze upon rainforest and shoreline scenery on the way through the park. Get the camera ready for a photo stop at Prospect Point, with a great view of Lions Gate Bridge. Continue to the English Bay beach area, followed by the eclectic Granville Island Market. Top off this adventure with a glass elevator ride 169 meters above the streets, at the Vancouver Lookout, for views of the ocean, the Coastal Mountains, the city and rugged shoreline. This tour is a great introduction to the scenic and historic highlights of Vancouver.
Today you will travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia’s interior. On today’s journey you will see dramatic changes in scenery, from the lush green fields of the Fraser River valley, through forests and winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Coast and Cascade mountains, to the desert-like environment of the interior. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Your day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer travels along the shores of Kamloops Lake and into Kamloops. Overnight in Kamloops
Today 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 may take a Gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain (included) for amazing 360 degree views of six mountain ranges that surround the town, and over the Bow Valley below. Spend the remainder of the day strolling along Banff Avenue with its many shops, coffee houses, restaurants & nightlife.
Today you will transfer by scheduled coach from Banff to Calgary Airport where you will board your flight back to the UK.