Best of the Canadian Rockies
A rail sojourn through western Canada's most stunning mountain territory of cliffs, waterfalls, pine forests and indigo-blue Lake Louise . . .
Vancouver · Jasper National Park · Lake Louise · Banff · Whistler
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Day 1 - Vancouver, British Columbia
We gather at the Pan Pacific Hotel for our champagne reception and welcome dinner. This evening, we overnight at the hotel.
Day 2 - Vancouver & Whistler / Board the American Orient Express
Our journey begins with a guided tour of Vancouver, including Stanley Park -- a thousand acre haven of wildlife in the heart of this contemporary city -- before we board the American Orient Express. The stunning route to Whistler penetrates the Rockies' colossal mountainous vistas, tracing the edge of the Burrard Inlet, along the historical gold rush trail. In some sections, the train passes sheer rock face on one side and forested waterfalls on the other. Nestled within the snowcapped peaks, Whistler is a ski resort town, and you are free to explore the boutiques and galleries, or embark on a guided hiking tour. Back on board we continue railing through some of Canada's most beautiful scenery -- intimate vignettes of water, rock and pine.
Day 3 - Canadian Rockies by Rail
Relax and indulge in the amenities of the train today as we emerge from the rocky cliffs to uninhabited expanses of rolling hills, then into the Rocky Mountains toward Jasper. Accessible only by rail, the scenery we pass through is undeniably magnificent: purple mountains penetrating the clouds, dense alpine forests, vast stretches of range that change color as the sun moves across the North American sky. You are free to participate in the day's lectures and to take afternoon tea presented by our pastry chef in the club car.
Day 4 - Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff
This morning we traverse the amazing Icefields Parkway through a conglomeration of rugged mountains, icefalls and glaciers to the top of Sunwapta Falls for a powerful view of water crashing white against stone. We lunch at the indigo-blue Lake Louise. Set against the towering Rockies and Victoria Glacier, the lake is one of Canada's most photographed sites. Later, you are free to circle the lake on foot and explore the natural treasures in the surrounding habitat. This evening we check into the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Banff & Jasper
Banff, Canada's first national park, weaves urban sophistication
with natural habitats. We navigate the city with a guide, visiting Bow Falls
and the Whyte Museum, where we immerse ourselves in the history of Banff
and the Canadian Pacific Railroad. After a gondola ride to the top of Sulfur
Mountain, with its 360 degree bird's eye viewing, we lunch at the hotel.
This afternoon we head for Athabasca Glacier, which we will further explore
Day 6 - Canadian Rockies by Rail
Explore the relaxed mountain town of Jasper on your own this morning, or board a boat for a cruise on the glacier-fed Maligne Lake to Spirit Island. From our vantage point on the lake -- one of the most photographed in the world -- we take in the sheer rock faces and slopes cradling the shoreline, the dense forests at the base, and the glacial peaks rising abruptly from the water's edge. This afternoon we board the train for lunch, and our lecturer makes their final presentation as we journey through British Columbia toward Vancouver.
Day 7 - Vancouver
The American Orient Express arrives at our final destination in the late morning. Bring your adventure to a close at this point, or opt for a tour extension to Vancouver Island by motorcoach.