Canadian Rockies by Rail with California Coastal Cruise & San Diego
Holiday Ref: 16268
Begin your journey with a stay in the beautiful Rocky Mountain town of Banff followed by a 2 day all daylight train journey through the majestic Canadian Rockies onboard Rocky Mountaineer to the Pacific Coastal City of Vancouver.
Cruise the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to San Diego onboard Holland America Line MS Nieuw Amsterdam visiting such ports as Astoria, San Francisco, Aavalon, and San Diego, California.
Upon arrival into Calgary Airport, transfer by motorcoach to the beautiful mountain town of Banff where you will stay for two nights. Overnight: Banff
Today take a ride on the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain for an awe-inspiring 360-degree panorama of sheer mountain majesty. Enjoy the interpretative hiking trails that lead along the ridge of the mountain. Overnight: Banff
Travel onboard from the mountain town of Banff to Kamloops, in the heart of the BC Interior. Enjoy the spectacular array of scenery as you travel between the glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, over mountain passes and through remarkable tunnels, along rocky lakeshores and across the ranchlands of the interior. Today’s highlights include the Continental Divide, the Spiral Tunnels, Kicking Horse Canyon, Rodgers Pass and Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven. Overnight: Kamloops
Your journey continues towards the Pacific Ocean and coastal city of Vancouver. You will again see dramatic changes in scenery, from the dessert-like environment of the interior, through winding river canyons and pristine forests, to the Coast and Cascade Mountains and the lush green fields of the Fraser Valley. Highlights include the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River and the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon. Your rail journey ends on arrival into Vancouver. Overnight: Vancouver
This flexible hop on hop off city tour offers up the highlights of downtown Vancouver, including major attractions, and scenic points of interest with live commentary. Choose to Hop-Off at any of the 20 plus stops, and Hop-On again to continue the tour. Highlights of the route include English Bay, Stanley Park, Granville Island, Gastown, Chinatown, Robson Street, and the Entertainment District. Overnight: Vancouver
Scenic Astoria, Oregon, is awash in history and raffish port town charm. For a city of just 10,000 people, there’s much to do. Climb its famous column to see a vast panorama of water and woods. Pub-crawl the waterfront Riverwalk with the help, in season, of an old-fashioned trolley. Feast on fresh seafood. Explore a state-of-the-art maritime museum, a low-tech cannery museum or a river pilot’s Gilded Age mansion. Or take a short trek to Fort Clatsop, named for the local tribe, where Lewis and Clark hunkered down in the cold, rainy winter of 1805.
Six years later, John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company started the first permanent U.S. settlement on the west coast. Located at the mouth of the Columbia River, Astoria became a vibrant port with a strong economy based on shipping, fishing and timber. In the 1980s both the Bumble Bee Seafood canneries and the Astoria Plywood Mill closed and the era of tourism began. Starting with The Goonies, the town also became a popular movie set—scenes in Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, Short Circuit, The Ring Two, Into the Wild and The Guardian were all shot in the charming, steep-hilled town
San Francisco, California, has long been America’s shining city by the sea: a beacon on the West Coast that boomed during the gold rush of 1849 and, for much of the 20th century, embodied the sunny California dream. It has always been a city of dreamers, a place that appeals both to the country’s counterculture and also, ironically, to those looking to strike it rich. The Summer of Love unfolded here in 1967, while today it is the epicenter of the Internet economy, enjoying yet another period of expansion.
One thing has remained constant throughout its colorful history—the city’s enviable location at the tip of a peninsula separating San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. Around every corner and from every hilltop, views of the water and the city’s bridges wait to be photographed.
San Francisco’s appeal has also owed much to its role as one of the Pacific Rim’s major metropolises. Its restaurants and neighborhoods reflect a population that includes communities of people originally from Asia and Latin America, and the city proudly embraces its multiculturalism. Finally, if you want to venture beyond San Francisco, some of California’s most celebrated attractions are nearby, from the soaring redwoods of Muir Woods to the infamous Alcatraz Island in the middle of the bay
Catalina, one of California's Channel Islands, lies offshore about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Los Angeles. The island's distinctive landscape—a mix of mountains, canyons, beaches and coves—is mostly undeveloped outside the charming port town of Avalon. Here you'll find a beach community with a Mediterranean flair reminiscent of a quieter time, and one that seems far from the traffic and bustle of Los Angeles. Sailboats bob in crystal-clear waters in the crescent-shaped bay, and the main street is lined with boutiques and restaurants in brightly painted bungalows.
You can easily explore Avalon in a few hours, as nearly everything is concentrated in a few blocks. That leaves the afternoon for exploring the rest of the island. Purchased in 1919 by William Wrigley, Jr., the chewing-gum magnate, Santa Catalina Island (to use its full name) once served as the spring training ground for the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Today most of the island is owned by the Catalina Island Conservancy, which works hard to preserve its flora and fauna, from Catalina Island foxes to the bald eagles flying overhead and the schools of bright orange Garibaldi fish swimming in the bay.
Disembark your ship and make your way (independently) to your hotel where you will stay for three nights.
Easygoing San Diego embodies the Southern California surfer town fantasy, with its more than 300 days of sun, mild year-round temperatures and accessible, sporty pastimes and tourist attractions. You can hike the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve to get a glimpse of whale migrations, go sailing in the bay and, of course, surf the famous swells of Del Mar, Oceanside and La Jolla (among many other superb spots). But the sixth-largest city in the United States is surprisingly nuanced, with distinctive neighborhoods: Old Town, North Park, Point Loma and Coronado are all within a few miles of the port, while the bustling Gaslamp Quarter and Little Italy are within walking distance.
And while there are lots of things to do for everyone—from visiting the country’s largest urban park to taking in the famous horse-racing season in Del Mar to riding the charming Old Town Trolley—definitely don’t pass up the chance to investigate San Diego’s quickly growing reputation as a culinary destination. Its inventive new restaurants and huge craft-brewing industry are something to be explored.