Canadian Wildlife & Rail Adventure with Luxury Alaska Cruise
Holiday Ref: 16321
Weekly departures May - September 2018. 2019 Now on Sale! Call now for details.
This holiday really is a wonderful combination that displays the best of North America’s natural beauty. Your journey begins with a cruise of the famed Inside Passage to Alaska onboard the luxurious Silver Shadow, then you will experience first-hand the excitement of seeing Grizzly Bears in their natural habitat. Get up close as you view these wonderful creatures from specially constructed viewing platforms as they feed on the salmon in the Glendale River. To top it all off, you will board the world famous Rocky Mountaineer for an unforgettable rail journey through the spectacular Canadian Rockies from Vancouver to Jasper, before concluding your trip in to the beautiful mountain town of Banff.
Upon arrival into Vancouver Airport, make your way independently to your overnight hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore this vibrant city.
Enjoy a morning at leisure soaking up any remaining sights in Vancouver before checking out of your hotel. Transfer to the cruise terminal where you will embark on your 7-night voyage onboard your Silver Shadow Cruise.
Today, relax and make use of the world-class facilities onboard this ship. Place your bets at the casino, get pampered at the spa or make a splash in the pool – the decision is yours on how you will spend your day at leisure.
Experience Eden firsthand with a stop in Ketchikan. Kayak tranquil saltwater fjords fringed by ancient forests, making sure you keep an eye out for black bear and playful porpoise. Tour the great outdoors by foot or bike, or whiz above ocean shores and never-ending forests by zipline. Ketchikan is nature's playground for anyone with a keen sense of adventure.
Accessible only by water or air, Juneau is shrouded with a sense of mystery and is surprisingly full of small town charm. Once you arrive, Alaska's capital city will delight you with its bounty of water, forests, and mountains. View the majestic Mendenhall Glacier from the East Glacier Loop Trail, or sail 1,800ft via gondola to Mount Roberts, allowing you to take in panoramic views of Alaska's capital city. The fresh air is sure to whet your appetite so take some time to sample a local treat - crisp crab cakes.
Called "Shee Atika" by the Tlingit Indians, then "New Archangel" by the Russians who ousted them, Sitka boasts a multicultural heritage. Sitting opposite snow-capped Mount Edgecumbe, Sitka is known for its fishing, its annual summer classical-music festival and, of course, its many historic visitor attractions. 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. On a clear day Sitka, the only city in southeast Alaska that actually fronts the Pacific Ocean, rivals Juneau for the sheer beauty of its surroundings.
Soak up the scenery or explore the facilities onboard your cruise ship once again at leisure. This is another day spent completely at leisure, and so can be as relaxed or busy as you wish.
Nicknamed “The Best Place on Earth”, Victoria is walkable seaside city packed full of fragrant gardens, waterfront paths, engaging museums, and beautiful 19th century architecture and British influence. In the summer, the Inner Harbour – Victoria’s social and cultural centre – buzzes with visiting yachts, horse and carriage rides, street entertainers and excursion boats heading out to visit pods of friendly local whales.
Wave goodbye to your Alaskan adventure as you disembark from your ship in Vancouver and make your way independently to your hotel. The remainder of the day is for you to enjoy at leisure. Overnight in Vancouver.
Knight Inlet is a 100 km long fjord carved by glaciers in the coastal mountains. This pristine wilderness is the native habitat of the elusive grizzly bear and your 3-night stay with provide you will the perfect opportunity to practise your wildlife-watching skills. Every spring when the bears come out of hibernation, they can be seen from a boat on the banks of Glendale Cove eating the sedge grasses, mussels and barnacles that abound in the cove.
In the fall the bears feed heavily on the returning salmon to the Glendale River and can be seen in large numbers from the specially constructed viewing platform. Make sure you pack your camera – these are memories you will want to relive over and over again.
Situated 60 kilometres from the mouth of the inlet is Knight Inlet Lodge, your home for these 3 nights. The floating lodge is tucked into Glendale Cove - which offers one of the few protected anchorages in the inlet - and it is here that you will begin each day’s adventure.
You are free today to explore this coastal city at leisure. No trip to Vancouver would be complete without a visit to Stanley Park - its seawall, beaches, walking trails, totem poles, pool, miniature railway and more attract 8 million visitors each year. Later, indulge in 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 in Vancouver.
Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia’s interior. 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. 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 you will continue your rail journey through the ever-changing landscape. Rolling hills morph into snowy peaks, before Pyramid Falls tumbles out of its hanging valley and falls 92 meters into the North Thompson River. The glittering Alberta Icefields and glorious Mount Robson mark the entry into the World Heritage Site of Jasper. Make sure you have a camera on-hand to capture the beauty of the scenery. Your time onboard the Rocky Mountaineer comes to a close as you arrive in Jasper. Overnight in Jasper.
Today is yours to explore the phenomenal Jasper National Park at your leisure. Why not take a trip to Maligne Lake, one of the most photographed locations in Canada? Enjoy a cruise through the Valley of the Ten Peaks to truly appreciate the magnitude of the nature surrounding you. If you would like to see the park from the skies, take a ride on the Jasper Sky Tram (not included) for the kind of views you have always dreamed of. Overnight in Jasper.
Today you will follow the very backbone of the Canadian Rockies, view a never-ending procession of mammoth mountains, jagged snowy peaks, and over 100 glaciers. The entire day is spent in the majesty of Canada’s two most famous National Parks; Banff and Jasper. En route, make a stop at Athabasca Falls located just outside of the Jasper Townsite. Among the most powerful and breath-taking falls in the Rocky Mountains, the Athabasca River thunders through a narrow gorge where the walls have been smoothed and potholed by the sheer force of the rushing water. Your next stop is the awe-inspiring Columbia Icefields and Athabasca Glacier, where we will allow time to enjoy an Ice Explorer ride on the Glacier and the Glacier Skywalk (optional). Next, we continue to the Weeping Wall, Peyto Lake and the Crowfoot Glacier before joining the Trans-Canada Highway near Lake Louise. A stop will be made at these famous turquoise waters to view the lake and famous Chateau, then continue on the Trans-Canada Highway, passing fortress formations of Castle and Protection Mountains to arrive in to Banff late afternoon. Overnight in Banff.
Today you will learn about the people, geology and wildlife of the Canadian Rockies while exploring the spectacular sights of the renowned mountain town of Banff. This excursion is highlighted with a journey (included) on the Banff Gondola, for a 360º view of six mountain ranges that surround the town. After a brief stop at Lake Minnewanka, you will be dropped off at your hotel. Overnight in Banff.
Today you will transfer by scheduled coach from Banff to Calgary Airport for your return flight back to the UK.