Tour begins: 6:00 PM, Fairmont Waterfront, Vancouver. A transfer is included from Vancouver Int'l Airport to Fairmont Waterfront in the heart of the city. Meet your Tauck Director and travel companions at the welcome reception followed by dinner.
Vancouver highlights and a floatplane to Victoria
Home to an active cultural scene and abundant natural resources, Vancouver is a city steeped in pleasures. On a sightseeing tour this morning, enjoy a docent-led tour of the Bill Reid Gallery, a showcase for contemporary Aboriginal art of the Northwest Coast. One of Canada's greatest artists, Bill Reid was an acclaimed Haida master goldsmith, carver, sculptor and writer, whose work is on display here. Continue on to Stanley Park, a stunning green oasis in the midst of the city, and enjoy lunch on your own at your choice of Granville Island's tempting eateries. This afternoon, travel by float plane and enjoy flightseeing over the pristine Gulf Islands en route to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, for a two-night stay at a gracious landmark hotel with stunning waterfront views.
The Butchart Gardens, afternoon tea in Victoria and time as you please
Throughout your stay in Victoria, you'll discover more than a bit of British influence in its double-decker buses, horse-drawn carriages and formal gardens, all surrounded by the rustic beauty of the Pacific coast. You'll find floral beauty in exceptional form at The Butchart Gardens, begun over a century ago. During your visit this morning, explore what has grown to encompass 55 magnificent acres of flowers and show gardens; each year over a million bedding plants in some 900 varieties promise an uninterrupted bloom from March through October. During your visit, see the Sunken Garden, the first to be planted by Jennie Butchart, and stroll through the Rose Garden, Japanese Garden and the Italian Garden. Following your return to Victoria early in the afternoon, and afternoon tea at the famed Fairmont Empress, the remainder of the day is free to spend as you please. Downtown restaurants and shops, as well as the attractions of Fisherman's Wharf, are within walking distance.
Ferry to Vancouver & a rail journey
Board a ferry this morning across the Strait of Georgia to the city of Vancouver, crossing from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen; travel to the train station for a late afternoon departure aboard VIA Rail's The Canadian - and your journey to the awe-inspiring Canadian Rockies begins. Celebrate the start of your overnight journey to the Canadian Rockies with a champagne toast; dine aboard the train this evening and sleep on board the train tonight - you will be nothing less than stunned by the spectacular alpine scenery that dawn reveals!
Rafting and more in Jasper National Park
Arrive today in Jasper National Park; travel to The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, in the heart of the park; you'll be awed by the region's natural beauty as it envelops you... the waters of the Athasbaca River and Jasper Lake shimmer, the evergreens are abundant, and the pristine spectacle of rugged mountain peaks and lush forests are amazing in this place an abundance of wildlife calls home... Join us for a BBQ lunch in the Clubhouse then travel to Maligne Canyon, which is the deepest canyon in the Rockies. Return to Jasper mid-afternoon and spend the remainder of the day as you please.
A day as you please in Jasper National Park
Spend an entire day enjoying the fun on offer at your wilderness lodge, where activities include whitewater rafting, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, wildlife tours, golf and swimming (some at additional cost). Early evening, a Parks Canada representative shares tales of the natural wonders that surround you. Dine at leisure this evening at your choice of hotel restaurants.
Icefields Parkway, a glacier ride & Lake Louise
The Icefields Parkway, linking Jasper and Lake Louise, is among North America's most spectacular drives. Travel this roadway today as it winds through snow-domed peaks and past hanging glaciers; keep watch for wandering elk, deer, bighorn sheep or bears. At the Athabasca Glacier, board a specially designed Ice Explorer for a smooth, slow ride up this 7,200-ft.-high part of the Columbia Icefield - one of the largest ice masses outside of the Arctic Circle. Its meltwaters flow on to feed into the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. Your final destination today is The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise; your welcome includes a lake-view room of this majestic lake within Banff National Park, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Banff National Park... from Lake Louise to Banff
Spend the morning at leisure indulging in the amenities and natural beauty of your Lake Louise resort. This afternoon, enjoy a change of scenery and resorts when you settle into your resort in Banff National Park. It was the discovery by Canadian Pacific Railway workers of wonders like the Cave and Hot Spring Basin that led to this park's establishment in the early 1880s - and of your castle-like hotel in the park in 1888, when the railway first opened tourism to the Rocky Mountains. Enjoy dinner this evening at leisure at The Fairmont Banff Springs.
Day in Banff National Park, as you wish
The day begins with a float along the Bow River where the natural beauty of Banff National Park unfolds around every bend of the river - viewing it from the river is special, an entirely different experience to land. Spend the remainder of the day as you wish from your grand alpine resort - it was built more than a century ago in the style of Scottish baronial castles. You might choose to explore the town of Banff... or your resort offers a full range of optional activities (some available at additional cost); perhaps you'll take a guided nature walk, book a treatment at the renowned Willow Stream Spa, enjoy horseback riding or a round of golf... perhaps explore the town of Banff or ascend into the mountains aboard the scenic Banff Gondola. Join us tonight for a farewell reception and dinner at the fabulous Fairmont Banff Springs.
Tour ends: Calgary International Airport. Tauck travels through the Canadian Rockies to Calgary International Airport this morning (approximately 80 miles) for your journey home. Fly home anytime after 12:00 noon. Tauck can arrange additional nights at The Westin Calgary for guests wishing to extend their stay in Calgary; an airport transfer is included for these bookings. Allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in.