Wonders of the Rockies & Cruise

17 day Guided Tour - from £2350

Before embarking on a once in a lifetime Alaskan cruise, capture the astounding natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies from magnificent snowcapped mountains to glistening glacial lakes – this trip will leave you breathless.

Highlights:

  • View stunning mountains and waterfalls in Banff
  • Enjoy the quaint, cowboy town of Calgary
  • Discover Peyto Lake and the Columbia Icefield
  • Admire soaring mountain peaks and the glistening waters of Lake Louise
  • Explore Vancouver’s Chinatown and Stanley Park
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Calgary

Welcome to Calgary, gateway to the Canadian Rockies. Get settled in at your hotel before meeting your Travel Director this afternoon.

Hotel: Ramada Plaza Calgary Downtown

Day 2 - Banff National Park

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.

Hotel: Inns of Banff

Day 3 - Banff National Park

Today is set aside as a free day for you to explore the area at your leisure. Consider taking an optional, exhilarating helicopter flightseeing tour, a ride up to the top of Sulphur Mountain at 7,500 feet (2,301 metres) on the Banff gondola or a more in depth exploration of Banff National Park and the surrounding wilderness including world-famous Lake Louise and stunning Moraine Lake.

Hotel: Inns of Banff

Optional: Royal Canadian Tour

This journey will only enhance the Three Sisters Peaks Tour by exploring the Goat and Sundance Ranges of the Rocky Mountains. You will see mountain peaks, alpine meadows, waterfalls and untouched glacier lakes. Perhaps even a glimpse of some wildlife. It’s an extraordinary adventure not to be missed.

Optional: Three Sisters Peak Tour

The most action packed twelve minutes of your life. Get up close and personal with the world famous Three Sisters Peaks. Reach out and touch them as you whisk by before escaping into the Spray Valley where you will explore the extraordinary hues of the Spray Lakes. Your return flight travels along the Goat Range before following the pristine Bow River back to Canmore.

Optional: Brewster Banff Gondola

At the Banff Gondola, you’ll see more mountains in a moment than most see in a lifetime! Ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain to experience a bird’s eye view of six mountain ranges of the Canadian Rockies. Begin with an eight-minute journey to the summit in a fully enclosed four-passenger gondola cabin. The views become increasingly spectacular as you climb to an elevation of 7,486 feet (2,281 meters) to the Summit Upper Terminal. Witness the breathtaking views in every direction or go to the restaurant area to enjoy the views inside or from its upper deck. You can also take the Banff Skywalk for a short self-guided interpretive walkway along the summit ridge leading to the Cosmic Ray Station National Historic Site of Canada. Subject to weather conditions. Approx. duration: 2.5 hours.

Day 4 - Jasper (via Icefields Parkway)

Drive along the Icefields Parkway, offering spectacular mountain views. Stop at Peyto Lake (weather dependent) and marvel at its beautiful azure-blue waters. See the Columbia Icefield, the largest in the Rockies. Ride across the Athabasca Glacier aboard a giant Ice Explorer for a closer look at this massive glacier. Later, arrive in Jasper for an orientation tour.

Hotel: Lobstick Lodge

Day 5 - Jasper National Park

Enjoy a full day at leisure in the largest National Park of the Canadian Rockies. The beauty of the area will leave you breathless. Optional activities abound-from a gentle float trip on the scenic Athabasca River, to a wilderness hike to view the glacier on Mount Edith Cavell, or a scenic cruise on Maligne Lake.

Hotel: Lobstick Lodge

Optional: Jasper Float Trip

Join the fun and experience an easy rafting / scenic float trip down the Athabasca River, a designated Canadian Heritage River. A National Park licensed guide will provide commentary on the human and natural history of Jasper while navigating you along the same route used by the “fur traders” over 2 centuries ago. Life jackets and the specially designed, 25 foot (7 meters) long, oar-powered rafts; offer a safe and comfortable ride through several small, easy sets of rapids and calm stretches that any first-time rafter will enjoy.

Don’t worry the guides do all the rowing; you sit back and enjoy while exploring all the spectacular scenery drifting down a route that was used by fur traders many years ago. There is always a chance of seeing various wildlife including elk, deer, moose, coyotes, wolves, eagles, ospreys, mountain sheep and bears. Tours will operate rain or shine, and a poncho will be provided when required. Approx. duration: 50-90 minutes.

Optional: Mount Edith Cavell Guided Walk

Join your guide on the “Path of the Glaciers” with Mount Edith Cavell’s snow-capped peak towering a mile overhead. See the emerald green of the “Lake of Forgiveness” and look out for incredible glacial formations, including icebergs and ice avalanches. Be sure to wear your good walking shoes for this 90-minute moderate walk.

You’ll have plenty of stops for picture taking, enjoying the scenery and learning about the local history and geography. You may also spot wildlife during the 40-minute drive to and from this area. Operates seasonally. Approx. duration: 3 hours.

Optional: Maligne Lake Boat Cruise

Nestled in a ring of towering mountains, Maligne Lake is the largest glacially fed lake in the Canadian Rockies. Here you’ll discover world-famous Spirit Island, the crown jewel of Jasper National Park. The Maligne Lake Cruise is an experience like no other with an experienced crew who will guide you through the rich history, ecology and geology of Maligne Lake. This interpretive tour has been declared the “Best Boat Cruise in Canada” by 8 million Reader’s Digest subscribers.

You’ll be inspired by the beauty of Maligne Lake’s vibrant blue waters and by the stunning lofty peaks as you cruise to Spirit Island, a world-famous destination and one of the most photographed locations in the Rockies, accessible only by boat. Subject to weather conditions. Approx. duration: 1.5 hours

Day 6 - Kamloops

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 Kamloops, where you could head straight to Victoria Street in the downtown area where all the action is at.

Hotel: Comfort Inn and Suites Kamloops

Day 7 - Victoria

Pass through the charming town of Hope before boarding a ferry bound for Victoria. Enjoy picturesque views of the many islands dotting the Strait of Georgia before docking at Swartz Bay. A short drive takes you into the charming city of Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia. An introductory sightseeing tour takes you along the waterfront district, past the Parliament Buildings and Government Street, and through Beacon Hill Park.

Hotel: Comfort Inn and Suites

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 - Victoria

This morning, enjoy an Iconic Breakfast at world-famous Butchart Gardens in the Blue Poppy Restaurant with its conservatory atmosphere where light pours in through skylights and large windows face the gardens. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the many delights Victoria has to offer.

Hotel: Comfort Inn and Suites

Meals: Breakfast

Optional: Victoria Whale Watching

Board your vessel to enjoy a three-hour whale-watching expedition in the waters off Victoria. While it can’t be guaranteed in advance which of the abundant marine wildlife you’ll see on your journey, chances are you’ll also spot magnificent bald eagles, porpoises or seals. Spring and summer are the best times of the year to see the resident Orca whales in all their glory. Approx. duration: 3 hours.

Day 9 - Vancouver

Travel to Vancouver and see Gastown, the city’s oldest neighbourhood, designated a National Historical Site. See Chinatown and stop at Stanley Park and see its famous collection of totem poles.

Hotel: Pacific Gateway Hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Optional: Capilano Suspension Bridge and Cliff House Farewell Dinner

Only 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, allow 2 – 3 hours for your visit to Vancouver’s iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge, hanging 450 feet across and 230 feet above Capilano River. The park offers more than just the bridge. Its surrounding 27 acres celebrate nature, history and culture in unique and thrilling ways. No more so than with the newest attraction, CLIFFWALK. Cliffwalk hangs for 213m and reaches 91m high, hugging the granite cliffside and offering a panoramic view of the thriving rainforest and canyon far below. On Treetops Adventure venture from one magnificent old growth Douglas-fir to another on a series of seven elevated suspension bridges, reaching as high as 33m, for a squirrel’s eye view of the forest. Guides, signage and interactive exhibits throughout the park help you in your understanding of rainforest ecosystems and their sustainability. After time in the park, join your fellow travellers for a farewell dinner at the restaurant inside the park with spectacular views of Capilano Canyon, the Suspension Bridge and the West Coast rainforest. Enjoy a locally inspired menu focusing on fresh ingredients, including a glass of regional craft beer or BC wine.

Day 10 - Depart Vancouver

Continuing on Holland America Line’s Alaska cruise, you will be dropped off at Canada’s Place where you will board the ms Volendam. Your ship sails at 4:30 p.m., passing below Vancouver’s spectacular Lion’s Gate suspension bridge.

Meals: Dinner

Day 11 - Cruise the Inside Passage

Your first full day at sea and there’s plenty of time to ease into shipboard life and take in the amazing scenery of the Inside Passage. The fabled Inside Passage is one of the most scenic sea-lanes in the world, and one of the few where deep-draft vessels can sail close to steep mountain walls.

The scenery is unbelievable, with forests in a hundred shades of green, tumbling turquoise glaciers, and evocative towns loaded with history, culture and adventure. With most of Southeast Alaska accessible only by boat or plane, the Inside Passage is a lifeline to the outside world. All day long it hums with activity.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 12 - Cruise Tracy Arm and Juneau

Nestled between 3,000-foot high granite walls, the narrow, twisting slice of ocean called Tracy Arm Fjord weaves through the Tongass National Forest for roughly 35 miles. The shoreline is spotted with waterfalls created by melting snowcaps and trees sprouting at odd angles from rocky outcroppings.

The dramatic Sawyer Glaciers at the end of Tracy Arm are framed by mountains on either side, and are often bathed in a light mist that amplifies the blue hue of the ice. The glaciers also are home to black and brown bears, wolves, deer and moose, and seals and whales make their home in the fjord’s icy waters.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 13 - Cruise to Skagway

Some of the aspiring Klondike gold rushers who made it to Skagway took a look at the long journey that lay ahead of them and decided a change of profession was in order. So many of them set up shop as provisioners in Skagway, the largest city in Alaska by the end of the 19th century. Booms fade and dreams move on, but the glory days still reverberate through the town.

Ride the antique White Pass and Yukon narrow-gauge railway, step into the Red Onion Saloon or peruse the restored buildings and wooden boardwalks of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 14 - Cruise Glacier Bay

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think Glacier Bay ostentatious for the way it flaunts its ice. The glaciers practically terminate in your lap. A cruise to Glacier Bay National Park with Holland America Line will show you a UNESCO World Heritage Site that protects a unique ecosystem of plants and animals living in concert with an ever-changing glacial landscape.

When a monumental chunk of ice splits off a glacier and thunders into the sea the impact shoots water hundreds of feet into the air. You hold your breath as you catch the moment on film. Then you wait for it all to happen again. And it does: Glacier Bay has more actively calving tidewater glaciers than anyplace else in the world.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 15 - Ketchikan

Ketchikan clutches the shores of the Tongass Narrows, with many shops and houses built right out over the water. The stairways are weathered and the vibe is cheerful in the town that calls itself the Salmon Capital of the World. Besides the main attractions – Creek Street, the Tongass Historical Museum, Totem Bight State Park and Saxman Village – try a flightseeing trip to Misty Fjords National Monument.

These deep-water fjords were gouged out by retreating glaciers, leaving granite cliffs towering thousands of feet above the sea and countless waterfalls plunging into placid waters.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 16 - Cruise the Inside Passage

Returning through the Inside Passage, soak in the crisp air and phenomenal scenery on your final day at sea.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 17 - Depart Vancouver

Sail into Vancouver Harbour this morning, depart the cruise ship and make your way to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

Meals: Breakfast

17 day Guided Tour - from £2350

With flights from £2783

Alternative Option

Alternatively, choose our 10 day Wonders of the Rockies Guided Tour from £1099 for shorter stays.

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All prices are per person, based on 2 sharing a twin room, and include meals where shown. Call Freedom Destinations for departure dates and availability. Seasonal variations may apply – call or enquire now for more details. Itineraries may vary for tours departing from 1st April 2021 onwards.

Wonders of the Rockies & Cruise

YOUR TOURING EXPERIENCE

First class touring with the company of others. Our experienced guides will make sure you don’t miss a thing.

Your Guided Tour includes:

  • Superb sightseeing, walks and activities
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach travel
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation
  • 7 night cruise
  • Selected meals as shown
  • Expert tour director

Departure dates:

20 & 27 April 2020
4, 11, 18 & 25 May 2020
8, 15 & 22 June 2020
6, 13, 20 & 27 July 2020
3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 August 2020
7, 14, 21 & 28 September 2020
5 & 21 October 2020

 

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