'Awe inspiring', 'picturesque', 'mind blowing' - all of these words describe the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, and yet none of them do this phenomenal region justice. The rugged, snowcapped peaks and shining, glacier fed emerald green lakes are in a league all of their own, all of which you'll see on this 10-day nature extravaganza.
Welcome to big hearted, fun loving Calgary! A beautiful city packed with trendy restaurants, a lively nightlife scene and all the honky tonk fun you could ever want, Calgary is best known for hosting the annual Calgary Stampede, which happens every July. After settling in to your hotel you'll meet up with your Travel Director this afternoon, then head out to discover the city for yourself. Need a good coffee to wake yourself up after a long flight? Then the neighbourhoods of Inglewood and Kensington should be high on your agenda.
Calgary – Banff (2 Nights)
After one final orientation tour of Calgary, you'll be hitting the road this morning in the direction of Banff. The journey is part of the adventure so enjoy watching the changing landscape from the comfort of your seat as the craggy, snow-capped peaks of the Rockies come into view. Banff is famed for its world class national parks, glassy emerald green lakes and dramatic vistas, a taste of which you'll be getting on a sightseeing tour that will take you along Tunnel Mountain Drive, spotting sights such as Cascade Mountain, Mt. Rundle, Bow Falls, and the surreal, nature beaten hoodoos rock formations, which have formed their bizarre twisted shapes over years of erosion from water and wind.
Banff Free Time
Waking up today we hope you're full of energy, as the vast natural playground outside of your front door isn't going to explore itself. Venture into the stunning wilderness of Banff National Park, or better still you could take advantage of our enticing range of Optionals to truly unlock this region in real Costsaver style. We've got a variety of helicopter flights to see you soaring over sights including the Three Sisters Peak, the Sundance Ranges and the Gloria and Assiniboine Glaciers, or perhaps you'd prefer to catch the gondola to the very top of Sulphur Mountain for a bird's eye view of six mountain ranges within the Rockies, spotting glorious Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in the distance. However you choose to explore today, one things for sure - Banff will be an experience you'll never forget.
Banff – Icefields Parkway – Jasper (2 Nights)
The magnificent Icefields Parkway awaits you today, a striking 232km stretch of road that cuts straight through the backbone of the Rockies, serving up ancient glaciers, mountain lakes and broad sweeping valleys en route. As you make your way up to the 'Jewel of the Rockies', the vibrant turquoise Lake Louise, you will make a short stop before heading on to explore the Columbia Icefield which covers an area of over 200 square miles and is as deep as 1000 feet in parts. Here, you'll ride the giant Ice Explorer across the Athabasca Glacier for a closer look at this ancient marvel of nature, before heading on to unpretentious, heart-warming Jasper, which sits at heart of one off the most beautiful protected wildernesses in the world.
Jasper National Park Free Time
Today promises to be action packed! Stepping outside and smelling the fresh mountain air, let the prospect of a day exploring stunning Jasper bring a smile to your face. As the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies your options are limitless, and as always we've also got a range of exciting Optionals on hand to help personalise your experience. Perhaps you'll choose a gentle float trip down the Athabasca River^, which provides ample wildlife spotting opportunities, or maybe a guided walk on the "Path of the Glaciers" as you make your way to the emerald green "Lake of Forgiveness". Have your heart set on exploring beautiful Maligne Lake? Then a boat cruise around the largest glacially fed lake in the Canadian Rockies has your name all over it.
Jasper – Sun Peaks
Heading out of Jasper today you'll continue your journey through Jasper National Park, passing towering pine forests, surging rivers, vast waterfalls and alpine meadows on the way. The crowning glory of your journey will undoubtedly be catching your first glimpse of Mount Robson, the most prominent mountain in the North American Rockies and the highest point in the Canadian range. You'll then finish your journey in Sun Peaks.
Sun Peaks – Victoria (2 Nights)
Today you will drive to the coast where you will board a ferry bound for Vancouver Island. After docking at Swartz Bay and making the short drive into Victoria, you'll no doubt be struck by the English influence of the city. An introductory sightseeing tour will take you along the waterfront district and into the downtown area, passing the Parliament Buildings, Government Street and through Beacon Hill Park so you can really get your bearings. Keen to explore even further? Victoria has more cycle routes than any other Canadian city, so the best way to get around is undoubtedly on two wheels.
Victoria Free Time
Breakfast this morning is a real treat - you'll be heading to the world famous Butchart Gardens in the Blue Poppy Restaurant where, surrounded by beautiful blossoms and blooms, you'll eat a fresh, seasonal breakfast with sunlight pouring in from the vast skylights above. You will have a chance to visit the gardens on your own, before the gates are opened to the regular visitors. Feeling full, the rest of the day is yours to explore Victoria whichever way you please. Keen to make your visit here memorable? Why not join our Whale Watching Optional Experience^, where you'll head out into the protected waters of Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to try and catch a glimpse of the orca whales who are known to reside here during spring and summer. Of course, with wild animals sightings are never guaranteed, but even if the orcas are a no show you'll be sure to spot magnificent bald eagles, porpoises and seals.
Victoria – Vancouver
The outdoorsy, trendy city of Vancouver awaits today, which you'll reach by ferry. Regarded as one of the world's most naturally beautiful cities, Vancouver is framed by dramatic vistas on all sides, and is the kind of place where, given its proximity to nature, you can ski in the morning and swim in the ocean in the afternoon! You'll kick off your stay here with a sightseeing tour of historic Gastown, vibrant Chinatown and the green jewel in the city's crown, the much-loved Stanley Park. With the rest of the day at your disposal, you could opt for our Capilano Suspension Bridge Optional, which hangs 70 metres above the Capilano River and really tests your head for heights, or alternatively take to the streets and explore Vancouver's diverse culinary scene which boasts some of the best Asian cuisine in North America.
Vancouver – Inside Passage Cruise
After being dropped at iconic Canada Place, board your Holland America cruise liner for a 4.30pm departure that will pass below Vancouver's spectacular Lion's Gate suspension bridge.
Deep fjords, forested islands and snowcapped peaks are your surroundings today as you cruise the Inside Passage.
Tracy Arm – Juneau
High granite walls will surround you as you venture into Tracy Arm Fjord, weaving through the Tongass National Forest to reach the Alaskan capital of Juneau.
Gold rush era buildings and spectacular vistas await you in Skagway, the largest city in Alaska that still retains a magical glory days feeling.
Glacier Bay National Park
A UNESCO World Heritage site protecting a unique eco-system of plants and animals, soak in the glacial landscape unlike anywhere else in the world.
Venturing into the 'salmon capital of the world', enjoy the cheerful atmosphere that surrounds you in Ketchikan.
Returning through the Inside Passage, soak in the crisp air and phenomenal scenery on your final day at sea.
Sailing back into Vancouver this morning, your cruise will end on arrival.