Welcome to Vancouver! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
This morning, an included city tour highlights Stanley Park, Chinatown, the Harbor, beaches, and more. The remainder of the day is at leisure; your Tour Director will have suggestions. You could take a water-taxi to lively Granville Island with its outdoor markets, street musicians, and waterfront cafés, or visit historic Gastown with its steam-powered clock, antique shops, and art galleries!
An exciting morning as you board the Rocky Mountaineer for a 2-day, all-daylight, classic rail journey. The train travels through some of Canada's most spectacular scenery. Follow the Fraser River through snowcapped mountains, eventually arriving at Kamloops. (B,L)
Reboard the train and prepare for spectacular sights, such as Revelstoke National Park, Shuswap Lake, the Monashee Mountains, Glacier National Park, and Castle Mountain, which early explorers compared to that of a medieval castle. Travel through the heart of the Selkirk Mountains before entering stunning Yoho National Park. The train winds through the Spiral Tunnels before climbing Kicking Horse Pass. Cross the Continental Divide into the province of Alberta. Enter Banff National Park, and journey to Lake Louise, where green-blue waters form a perfect mirror reflection of Mount Victoria. (B,L)
Enjoy a day of scenic grandeur. Visit Natural Bridge and Emerald and Moraine lakes before arriving in Banff. Upon arrival, an orientation tour includes Banff's unspoiled beauty. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for independent activities.
Today is at leisure. Play golf, horseback ride, hike the many wilderness trails in the area, stroll through Banff, or simply relax at the hot springs. Banff National Park is the perfect place for photographers and wildlife watching, and as a visitor you may be lucky enough to encounter some of these amazing creatures in their natural habitat. If the timing is right, you may spot black bears, grizzlies, or wolves. Your Tour Director will also have suggestions for an optional helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies and can offer recommendations for dinner.
Scale Bow Pass for splendid views of Peyto Lake, then climb Sunwapta Pass for stunning vistas of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and massive glaciers. Next stop: the Columbia Icefield to ride the Ice Explorer that travels on ice measuring 750 feet thick.
Stand at the base of the awesome 12,972-foot Mount Robson. Travel through British Columbia's Fur Trade and Cariboo regions for tantalising glimpses of the soaring granite mountains of Canada's Rockies. Watch for wildlife as you continue to the internationally renowned Sun Peaks ski resort.
Head south, following the once- treacherous Cariboo Wagon Trail. From Lillooet, "Mile 0 of the Gold Rush Route," our motorcoach will follow the shores of Seton and Duffey Lakes, with a mid-afternoon arrival in Whistler. There are optional activities to choose from, including flightseeing by floatplane over glaciated peaks or a Gondola ride between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains for the perfect bear-spotting perch.
Set sail across the Strait of Georgia to Vancouver Island. In Victoria, sightseeing includes Butchart Gardens, the Empress Hotel, Legislative Buildings, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park.
A day at leisure gives you the chance to stroll around the Harbor, go shopping on Government Street, or have lunch in one of the many pubs. You may choose to join an optional wildlife and whale- watching trip. Cruise the beautiful waters of the San Juan and Gulf Islands, looking for whales, porpoises, seals, and eagles. Your Tour Director will suggest several optional excursions, including a flightseeing excursion with spectacular vistas of downtown Victoria.
Board your ferry this morning and head back to the Canadian mainland, where you will transfer to Holland America's luxurious MS Zuiderdam for a 7-night voyage through the famed Inside Passage. (D)
Spend the day cruising one of the world's most spectacular waterways. Located along the coast of British Columbia, the Inside Passage is the longest sheltered inland waterway in the world. Watch the water for orcas and humpback whales. (B,L,D)
Located at the foot of grand mountain peaks on Gastineau Channel, Alaska's capital city of Juneau has massive Mendenhall Glacier and the Juneau Icefield at its back door. Visit the rustic shops in town-or get out and kayak, raft, hike, whale watch, flightsee, or fish. There is no end to the adventure because of the long daylight hours. (B,L,D)
In winter, the sidewalks are all but rolled up in Skagway, so you can imagine the frightful conditions endured by gold prospectors who passed through enroute to the Yukon. Take your time and poke your head into every little shop, from the Trail Bench to Lynch & Kennedy's Dry Goods. The Red Onion Saloon, with its honky-tonk piano and costumed barmaids, is a treasure trove of memorabilia featuring pictures of Klondike Kate, Peahull Annie, and other historic characters. To complete the picture of those rip-roaring days, visit the nostalgic Trail of '98 Museum. (B,L,D)
Glacier Bay has more actively calving tidewater glaciers than any place else in the world. How does it feel when a colossal chunk of ice splits off a glacier and crashes into the sea? The sound is like thunder. The impact shoots water hundreds of metres into the air. You hold your breath as you capture the moment on camera, then you wait for it all to happen again. (B,L,D)
Alaska's "First City" of Ketchikan is so named because it is the first major landfall for most cruisers as they enter the picturesque fjords of the Inside Passage, where the town clings to the banks of the Tongass Narrows, flanked by green forests nurtured by abundant rain. An important hub of the salmon-fishing and -packing industries-visitors can try their luck on a sport-fishing excursion or simply savour the fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants. It is also one of the best spots along the Inside Passage to explore the rich cultural sights of Native Alaskan nations like the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. (B,L,D)
Arguably one of the greatest cruising routes in the world, the Inside Passage stretches through stunning landscapes, from Misty Fjords National Monument to famed Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Sailing the Inside Passage offers opportunities to spot some of Alaska's most iconic wildlife, with humpback whales and orca plying the bountiful waters alongside the ships, bald eagles soaring overhead and brown bears lumbering on the shoreline. (B,L,D)
Your cruise ends this morning. Please schedule flights after Noon. (B)