Breakfast daily, 3 brunches as provided on VIA Rail, 6 lunches, 15 three-course dinners including a farewell dinner in Vancouver
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Day 1 ARRIVE IN TORONTO
Welcome to Toronto! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
Day 2 TORONTO. EXCURSION TO NIAGARA FALLS
Drive along the shores of Lake Ontario to Niagara Falls. For the adventurous, your Tour Director will suggest optional flightseeing over the falls. Then, enjoy a Niagara Falls sightseeing CRUISE for a thrilling boat ride to view the thundering falls from river level. Return to Toronto for an orientation tour. This evening, enjoy dinner atop the 1,815-foot-tall CN Tower. NOTE:Operation of the Niagara Falls sightseeing cruise is subject to favorable weather and/or river conditions. Favorable conditions usually exist from May to mid-October. When weather is unfavorable, a walking tour through the scenic tunnels will be substituted.
Day 3 TORONTO–VIA RAIL, THE CANADIAN–ONTARIO
After breakfast, transfer to Union Station for departure on the CANADIAN, VIA Rail’s premier transcontinental train. Spend the next three days and nights on this classic trip across Canada’s heartland. Your Sleeper Plus class rail cars are refurbished art-deco cars from the 1950s. Domed observation cars let you enjoy views of the Canadian countryside as you roll past Ontario’s landscapes. NOTE:On VIA Rail, during the day your cabin for two offers armchairs, toilet, and a picture window. By night it transforms to upper and lower beds where guests must be able to climb a ladder to reach the upper bed. Traveling as a single, your cabin by day features small couch-style seating, toilet and sink, and a large picture window. By night, an economy of space requires the pull-down bed to fill the space (obstructing the furniture and bathroom facilities). Public restrooms remain available in each coach. NOTE:Train travel is subject to unforeseen delays.
Day 4 VIA RAIL, THE CANADIAN–ONTARIO–WINNIPEG, MANITOBA
Watch the scenic countryside from your windows as you relax in first-class rail accommodations. Travel past the sparkling lakes and sun-dappled forests of Ontario. Try the observation dome for unparalleled views or enjoy quiet conversation in one of the comfortable lounges. Enter Manitoba with its endless golden prairies and vast cultivated fields. In the late evening, arrive in Manitoba’s capital city of Winnipeg for a brief stop before continuing west into Saskatchewan.
Day 5 VIA RAIL, THE CANADIAN, THROUGH MANITOBA & SASKATCHEWAN
Continue through the prairies and winding rivers of Manitoba and Saskatchewan. View the ever-changing landscape with ease and comfort as you meet and mingle with fellow passengers and enjoy freshly prepared meals that showcase Canadian cuisine and regional specialties.
Day 6 VIA RAIL, THE CANADIAN, THROUGH SASKATCHEWAN & ALBERTA–JASPER
Travel from Saskatchewan to Jasper with brief stops in Saskatoon and Edmonton. Admire the scenery as your train roughly parallels the famed Yellowhead Route, Canada’s historic trail of westward expansion. Arrive in Jasper for local sightseeing. Later, enjoy an excursion to Maligne Lake for a full-narrated CRUISE to Spirit Island.
Day 7 JASPER–COLUMBIA ICEFIELD–LAKE LOUISE–BANFF
This morning, travel through JASPER NATIONAL PARK on Icefields Parkway to the 750-foot-thick Columbia Icefield for a thrilling ICE EXPLORER RIDE. Climb Sunwapta Pass to savor stunning vistas of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and massive glaciers. Next, stop at Lake Louise, whose green-blue waters form a perfect mirror reflection of Mount Victoria. Continue into BANFF NATIONAL PARK.
Day 8 BANFF
This morning’s sightseeing includes the Bow River and Falls. The rest of the day is at leisure. Consider an optional helicopter flightseeing trip for a bird’s-eye view of the Rockies.
Day 9 BANFF–KAMLOOPS
This morning, travel through the spectacular beauty of Yoho National Park, one of Canada’s most popular recreational areas and site of pre-Cambrian fossil finds. On to Canada’s Glacier National Park, where the motorcoach climbs 4,379-foot-high Rogers Pass, a perfect spot for photos of the surrounding mountain cliffs and glaciers. Continue to your riverside resort. Tonight, enjoy a riverside BBQ with S’MORES.
Day 10 KAMLOOPS–VICTORIA
Catch a BC FERRY to Vancouver Island and the very British “Garden City” of Victoria. Upon arrival, visit world-famous BUTCHART GARDENS. Later, your orientation tour of Victoria includes the gardens of Beacon Hill Park, the Fairmont Empress Hotel, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park. After dinner this evening, enjoy a special TREAT with dinner. Learn of the Nanaimo bar, a regional Canadian confection dating back to the 1950s.
Day 11 VICTORIA
Today is at leisure for independent sightseeing and shopping. Your Tour Director suggests an optional wildlife and whale-watching trip. For shoppers, Government Street’s elegant shops and Market Square’s collection of specialty stores are good places to start. History buffs should be sure to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum. Enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many restaurants in this harbor city.
Day 12 VICTORIA–VANCOUVER
This morning, take the BC FERRY and sail through the Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its Mediterranean-type climate. Arrive in Vancouver for a city tour that includes the harbor and beaches, Chinatown, historic Gastown, and Stanley Park with its towering evergreen forests and totem poles. This evening, your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner.
Day 13 VANCOUVER (EMBARKATION)
Embark Holland America’s MS Koningsdam or MS Volendam (September 4 & 11 departures only).
Day 14 SCENIC CRUISING: INSIDE PASSAGE
Sit back and relax as you cruise through the beautiful and awe-inspiring scenery of the Inside Passage. Keep your cameras ready for spouting whales, soaring eagles, barking seals, and other wildlife.
Day 15 TRACY ARM & JUNEAU
This narrow, 26-mile-long fjord is another of Alaska’s most dramatic glacier settings. The lush rainforest recedes to reveal a stunning canyon of bare rock. The panorama of 7,000-foot mountain peaks and nearly vertical rock cliffs is astounding. Waterfalls appear at every turn. Icebergs make their way to the sea in all sorts of wondrous shapes. And tucked away at the end of this remarkable waterway are two very active reminders of the Ice Age—the twin Sawyer Glaciers, which calve icebergs into the jade-colored inland sea. Kittiwakes, mountain goats, and seals are a common sight. Whales and bears may even make an appearance in this magical place. If the ship is unable to visit Tracy Arm, an optional excursion may be available out of Juneau. Additional details will be available from the cruise line. Visit one of the most remote capital cities—Juneau. Accessible only by air and water, Juneau is located at the base of two towering mountains in the heart of Alaska’s Inside Passage, and is home to a rich Gold Rush history, Native culture, wildlife, and a wealth of natural wonders. Shop for gold nuggets, visit the stately Governor’s Mansion, saunter through the swinging doors of the historic Red Dog Saloon, or visit mighty Mendenhall Glacier, an impressive river of ice that is 12 miles long and 1.5 miles wide.
Day 16 SKAGWAY
Once a major port for gold prospectors who passed through en route to the Yukon, today you can still ride the antique White Pass & Yukon Route narrow-gauge railway up past Deadhorse Gulch to see what it was like ages ago. Step back in time as you stroll the wooden sidewalks of the town, preserved as a U.S. National Historic Park.
Day 17 SCENIC CRUISING: GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK
This Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site protects a unique ecosystem in an ever-changing glacial landscape. Witness the spectacle of thunder and flying spray as huge slabs of ice break off and “calve” into the sea—making for lasting memories. National Park rangers accompany the ship, adding expert commentary to the day’s events.
Day 18 KETCHIKAN
Experience Native Alaska firsthand. Meet the spirits of the raven, whale, and eagle as you view the largest collection of totems in the world at Saxman Totem Park or Totem Bight State Historic Park. Or, explore Creek Street, now home to contemporary art galleries and quaint boutiques.
Day 19 SCENIC CRUISING: INSIDE PASSAGE
Take a second spin through Alaska’s Inside Passage to enjoy the spectacular contrast from wide bays of still waters and barrier islands to narrow waterways edged with towering forested cliffs.
Day 20 VANCOUVER (DISEMBARKATION)
The vacation ends this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Please schedule flights after Noon.