Grand Rail Circle
An epic trip made of two unique rail routes fuses the sigh-triggering sights of the Rockies with a night in Whistler, Canada’s premier resort town.
Arrive in Vancouver and spend time exploring this scenic city on your own. Overnight in Vancouver.
Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia’s interior. On today’s journey you will see dramatic changes in scenery, from the lush green fields of the Fraser Valley, through forests and winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Coast and Cascade Mountains, to the desert-like environment of the BC interior. 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 into Kamloops. Overnight in Kamloops.
Your journey continues Eastward to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Once again you will see a spectacular array of scenery as you travel across ranchlands, along rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes and through the remarkable tunnels that form part of the rich rail history of the Canadian Rockies. Today’s highlights include Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, the climb over Rogers Pass, Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and, of course, the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Your rail journey ends this evening in the resort town of Banff. Overnight in Banff.
This morning, enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of Banff and Banff National Park. Among the highlights are visits to Bow Falls, the Banff Gondola (admission included), a lake cruise on Lake Minnewanka, Surprise Corner and the Hoodoos. Overnight in Banff. Note: In the event the lake cruise is not operating, interpretive experiences will be offered on the history of the founding of Banff, sampling of authentic Canadian treats, and hands-on interpretation of local flora and fauna.
Today you will have an entire day to spend exploring Banff National Park on your own. Optional activities include soaking in the mineral pools at Upper Hot Springs, enjoying a nature walk on nearby mountain trails, visiting Banff’s historic museums, cruising on Lake Minnewanka or playing a round of golf at The Fairmont Banff Springs. Overnight in Banff.
A half-day tour takes you into Yoho National Park to view some of its natural wonders. Among the attractions are the Spiral Tunnels, Emerald Lake and a natural rock bridge spanning the Kicking Horse River. The tour ends in Lake Louise where the remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy this magnificent location. Overnight in Lake Louise. Please note: While arrival at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will be approximately 1:00 p.m., scheduled check-in time is not until 4:00 p.m. In the event that your room is not ready, your luggage will be stored and you are free to enjoy the amenities of the hotel.
Enjoy a free day in Lake Louise. Local activities include canoeing, hiking in the mountains or simply relaxing and taking in the magnificent views. Overnight in Lake Louise.
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Banff and Jasper national parks via the Icefields Parkway. Among the highlights are Bow Lake, the Columbia Icefield, Glacier Skywalk and Athabasca Falls. The Columbia Icefield is one of the largest accumulations of ice south of the Arctic Circle and one of the most accessible icefields in North America. Here you will ride on an Ice Explorer to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier to learn more about its geological features. Lunch is included at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre. Arrive in Jasper late this afternoon. Overnight in Jasper.
Jasper National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Canadian Rockies’ largest national park. Today you will enjoy a scenic half-day tour of some of the park’s natural attractions and rugged peaks, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the wildlife that calls this region home. Highlights inlcude breakfast at Maligne Canyon teahouse and a stroll to view the canyon itself. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore more of Jasper independently. Overnight in Jasper.
Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the mountain resort of Jasper in the Canadian Rockies to the charming rural town of Quesnel, gateway to the North Cariboo. Pass through the Rocky Mountain Trench, with the steep Rocky and Cariboo Mountains either side, and on to the rolling hills and vast forests of British Columbia’s Northern Interior. Highlights include Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Yellowhead Pass and Moose Lake. Your day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer passes through the town of Prince George and follows the Fraser River into Quesnel. Overnight in Quesnel.
Your journey continues Southwestward today to the four-season resort of Whistler, host of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games alpine events. Enjoy breathtaking and varied scenery, from the desert-like conditions of the Fraser Canyon, through the rolling hills and vast ranchlands of the Cariboo Plateau, to the river canyons and lush farmland of the Pemberton Valley. Highlights include sweeping views of the Fraser Canyon, the crossing of Deep Creek Bridge, one of the highest railway bridges in the world, and the shorelines of glacial-fed Seton Lake and Anderson Lake. Overnight in Whistler.
The morning is free to explore Whistler Village at your leisure. This afternoon return to Vancouver onboard the Rocky Mountaineer through the stunning scenery of the Sea to Sky Corridor. Highlights of the trip include the Cheakamus Canyon, the dome peak of Mount Garibaldi, Brandywine Falls, and breathtaking views of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains. An afternoon meal is served canapé style. Your rail journey ends today on arrival in Vancouver. At the North Vancouver train platform, you will be transferred to your accommodation in downtown Vancouver. Overnight in Vancouver.
Your journey ends upon checkout from your Vancouver hotel.