- Visit the Pacific Coast's key highlights in Vancouver before heading east by rail
- Discover Kamloops, the charming town of Banff, and Banff National Park
- Enjoy the scenic views as you travel by train for three days north to Churchill
- See polar bears and other Arctic wildlife as you view the frozen tundra by buggy
|Day 1||Arrive in Vancouver||Vancouver|
|Day 2||Excursion to Vancouver Island & Victoria||Vancouver|
|Day 3||Visit Grouse Mountain, Harrison Hot Springs||Vancouver|
|Day 4||Train to Kamloops||Kamloops|
|Day 5||Train to Banff||Banff|
|Day 6||Guided Tour of Banff & Banff National Park||Banff|
|Day 7||Guided Tour of Lake Louise & Moraine Lake, Optional Afternoon Tea||Banff|
|Day 8||Fly to Winnipeg||Winnipeg|
|Day 9||Visit the Manitoba Museum, Overnight Train to Churchill||Train|
|Day 10||The Train to Churchill Continues||Train|
|Day 11||Arrive in Churchill, Transfer with Guided Tour||Churchill|
|Day 12||Tundra Buggy Adventure||Churchill|
|Day 13||Fly to Winnipeg||Winnipeg|
|Day 14||Depart Winnipeg|
Day 1: Arrive in Vancouver
Welcome to Vancouver, western Canada's coastal metropolis, where the sea and mountains meet. Upon arrival at the airport, take the Skytrain from the terminal or catch a cab downtown to your hotel. The influence of First Nations, Asian, and Anglo cultures enriches this cosmopolitan and modern city. Its compact center is easy to explore on foot, with highlights like Stanley Park and historic Gastown within easy reach. Granville Island's vibrant waterfront market is a great place to start sightseeing, where you can sample local specialties in a buzzing, open-air atmosphere.
Located along the waterfront and steeped in a rich industrial and maritime heritage, this unique destination is an artistic and cultural hub. The famous Public Market is home to over 50 independent food purveyors and contributes to the island's appeal as a renowned culinary destination. Or visit Chinatown, rich in history and architecture. This area east of downtown has a central commercial district running around six blocks, where you'll find plenty of classic Asian specialty stores, with their wares piled by the sidewalk for perusing, as well as dim sum restaurants and apothecaries.
Day 2: Excursion to Vancouver Island & Victoria
Leave the Horseshoe Bay terminal this morning to cross the Strait of Georgia and arrive on Vancouver Island, known as the "Island of Eternal Spring." Upon disembarking from the ferry, you will begin your tour with the First Nations people of the Cowichan tribe. Admire their many totems and learn more about their traditions before stopping for an educational visit to the Quw'utsun Cultural Center.
Continue your discovery of the island with a walk around the beautiful Butchart Gardens, then proceed to the provincial capital of Victoria. Highlights include its marina, market area, parliament buildings, Royal Museum, Empress Hotel, and Wax Museum. After a day of sightseeing, return to Vancouver by ferry in the evening.
Day 3: Visit Grouse Mountain, Harrison Hot Springs
Grouse Mountain offers something for all travelers, whether the snow is coming down or the weather is warm. Just 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver, spend the morning exploring this wonderland in the great outdoors. Ride the Skyride Gondola to the Peak of Vancouver for breathtaking views or enjoy distinctly British Columbian cuisine while overlooking the grandeur of the Lower Mainland, some 3,700 feet (1,128 m) below.
Day 4: Train to Kamloops
This morning you'll take a cab from your hotel to the Pacific Train Station, just 1 mile (2 km) from downtown Vancouver. Board the Rocky Mountaineer Train and travel from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia's interior. Pass dramatic changes in scenery, from the lush green fields of Fraser Valley to winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Coast and the Cascade Mountains. See the rushing waters of Hell's Gate in Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River.
Follow the shores of Kamloops Lake into Kamloops. Once settled at your hotel, spend the rest of the day exploring the city. Stroll along the riverfront, then sample locally-grown food in one of the many downtown restaurants. You can visit parks such as Riverside, McArthur Island, and Kamloops Wildlife. Or go wine tasting at one of the many local vineyards such as Monte Creek Winery or Privato Vineyard and Winery.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 5: Train to Banff
Hop back on the Rocky Mountaineer Train at the Kamloops Station to continue eastward to the Canadian Rockies and into Alberta. Once again, you'll see spectacular scenery as you travel across ranchland, rocky lakeshores, high mountain passes, and through the remarkable tunnels that form part of Canada's rich rail history. Highlights include Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven. Climb over Rogers Pass, Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels, and through the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. You'll arrive in Banff in the early evening.
Enjoy your first night in Banff by strolling Banff Avenue. This charming mountain town has excellent spots to discover, with no shortage of bustling restaurants, bars, and shops. End your evening with a stroll along the Bow River and find the majestic Cascade Mountain shadowing Banff Avenue.
Day 6: Guided Tour of Banff & Banff National Park
You'll stay put in Banff today to discover more of its natural wonders. Meet your guide and stroll through the bustling streets as you learn about the area's exciting history and culture. You'll visit key landmarks, including Bow Falls, the Hoodoos, Lake Minnewanka, and the spectacular views at the Surprise Corner. On the way, you'll also soak up the breathtaking mountain vistas and learn about the native wildlife.
After lunch, continue to the Cave and Basin National Historic Site, learning about the area's geological history and discovering the fascinating story of Banff National Park. The tour ends with a stop at the stunning Bow Valley Parkway, allowing you time to take in the superb views of the Rockies and the Bow River Valley. This is the perfect half-day tour to get the most out of your visit to Banff.
Day 7: Guided Tour of Lake Louise & Moraine Lake, Optional Afternoon TeaEnjoy a guided tour of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake in the morning. Located in Banff National Park, Moraine Lake is named after the moraines deposited by glaciers, giving the lake a distinctive blue color. Next, visit Lake Louise, with its turquoise waters and dazzling views of the Victoria Glacier. Afterward, you'll have the option to experience the tradition of afternoon tea at the Fairmont Château Lake Louise. Enjoy delicious pastries, tea sandwiches, and lovely desserts as you gaze out the table-to-ceiling windows toward Lake Louise. Afterward, return to Banff to enjoy your final evening in the mountains.
Day 8: Fly to Winnipeg
Your driver will be waiting to take you to the airport in Calgary this morning for a two-hour flight east to the Manitoban capital of Winnipeg. After you've settled into your hotel, explore the city. You could walk the Historic Exchange District, an iconic and vibrant neighborhood home to some of Canada's most fascinating historical buildings. Visit The Forks, where the Red River and Assiniboine River meet in the heart of Winnipeg. Locals gather to shop at the Forks Market, enjoy local buskers, and sample the area's restaurants.
Day 9: Visit the Manitoba Museum, Overnight Train to Churchill
Don't miss a visit to the Manitoba Museum this morning. Located in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, the museum features interactive exhibits and galleries that explore the natural and human history of the province. You can explore the Gallery of Human History, which showcases the artifacts and stories of the region's First Nations people, as well as the Gallery of Natural History, where you can learn about the province's distinctive flora and fauna. The museum also houses a planetarium with star shows and a science gallery featuring interactive displays and experiments.
Day 10: The Train to Churchill Continues
On day two of your rail journey into the great white north, awake in your cabin and enjoy a delicious breakfast onboard in the dining car. Afterward, relax with a good book as you look out the window at the changing landscape. Prairie grasslands and trees give way to boggy muskeg as you roll into Thompson. You can spend an hour exploring the town at one of the major stops as other passengers onboard join you. From there, you'll continue for your final train leg of the trip, watching the views change to icy tundra and boreal forests and spending one more night aboard before chugging into Churchill in the morning.
Day 11: Arrive in Churchill, Transfer with Guided Tour
Wake up early to enjoy the last of the onboard scenery before you pull into Churchill this morning. Upon arrival at the Churchill Train Station, you will be picked up and taken into town by a driver who will point out various places of interest in and around Churchill. The driver will stop briefly at the Polar Bear Holding Facility for photos, and then for lunch, you'll have a warm, home-cooked meal at one of Churchill's family-run restaurants.After lunch, head to the Parks Canada Visitor Center, which has in-depth displays that reveal the remarkable history of Churchill through wildlife dioramas and exhibits that portray the history of the fur trade in the area. Next, you will visit the Polar Bears International House, where you will receive a short presentation about polar bears around the world, polar bear research, climate change, and more. Finally, go to your hotel to freshen up before enjoying a memorable dinner with the group.
Day 12: Tundra Buggy Adventure
After breakfast, you and your group will be picked up from the hotel and transferred to the Tundra Buggy Dock to board the Tundra Buggy. After a safety speech from the driver, hit the trails and travel into the Churchill Wildlife Management Area (CWMA). The Tundra Buggy navigates the bumpy trails of the CWMA in search of polar bears and other sub-Arctic wildlife. At the same time, a guide shares interesting facts about the area's geology and history.
You'll enjoy an appetizing picnic lunch on the Tundra Buggy as you watch and photograph the magnificent landscapes. At the end of an incredible day on the tundra, return to town for a warm dinner with the group. Enjoy an opportunity to share photos and swap stories about your exciting adventure.
Day 13: Fly to Winnipeg
Say farewell to the frozen tundra as a driver takes you to the airport in Churchill for your 2.5-hour direct flight to Winnipeg. When you arrive, the remainder of the day is free, so you can see the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, which looks at human rights issues in Canada and abroad. Visit the Royal Canadian Mint to learn how coins are produced for 70 different countries. When in doubt, you can always soothe those tired muscles from your long trip at Themea Spa. Enjoy this Nordic-inspired spa's various thermal pools, steam rooms, and hot saunas before going to bed early.
Day 14: Depart Winnipeg
It's time to bid Canada farewell this morning. A driver will meet you and take you to the airport, where you'll catch your departing flight. Safe travels!
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