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 rest of the day is at leisure; your Tour Director can suggest ways to further explore the city. Maybe take a water taxi to Granville Island with outdoor markets, street musicians, and waterfront cafes. Or, visit historic Gastown with its steam-powered clock.
Our journey begins in British Columbia's fertile valleys and continues through rich mountain forests to Lake Okanagan. Travel along the lake to the resort city of Kelowna, beautifully situated on the lake shore and surrounded by orchards and vineyards. Sample local wines on the included winery tour.
Motor north through the Okanagan Valley, famous for its peaches and vineyards. Climb up 4,379-foot-high Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park. Take a break at the pass, perfect for photos of the rugged mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. Enter Yoho National Park and ascend Kicking Horse Pass at 5,421 feet. Reach Banff National Park, gateway to the majestic Canadian Rockies. An orientation tour includes Banff's unspoiled beauty.
Banff is one of Canada's favourite year-round resorts, and home to 53 species of mammals. The most commonly seen are deer and big horn sheep. 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.
First, to Lake Louise, its turquoise waters a perfect natural mirror that reflects the mountains and glaciers. Precipitous gorges, snowcapped summits, and lakes of exquisite blues and greens come into view as the motorcoach continues northward into Jasper National Park. A highlight today is a stop at the Columbia Icefield to ride the Ice Explorer that travels on ice measuring 750 feet thick. This afternoon, join our optional float trip down the Athabasca River. Enjoy an orientation tour of Jasper townsite upon arrival.
Today, join our optional excursion to Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, and embark on a narrated cruise. The balance of the day is free to enjoy everything Jasper has to offer- from quaint shops to meandering wildlife.
Leave Jasper and follow the Fraser River to the base of Mount Robson, the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, peaking at 12,972 feet. Continue following the Yellowhead Highway south along the North Thompson River-a route pioneered by fur trappers. Overnight at the Sun Peaks mountain resort.
Head south, following the once treacherous Cariboo Wagon Trail. Via Lillooet, "Mile 0 of the Gold Rush Route," your motorcoach will follow the shores of Seton and Duffey Lakes with a late-afternoon arrival in Whistler.
Spend the day in the alpine resort of Whistler, nestled at the base of breathtaking Blackcomb Mountain. Enjoy free time to explore many sites of the 2010 Winter Olympics held here. You may decide to join one of many optional excursions, including a flightseeing excursion by floatplane over the glaciated peaks, or a gondola ride between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains-the perfect bear- spotting vantage point.
Set sail across the Strait of Georgia, known for its Mediterranean-type climate. Afternoon sightseeing in Victoria includes world-famous Butchart Gardens, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park with its unusual collection of totem poles.
A day at leisure gives you the chance to discover this splendid city, including the Royal British Columbia Museum, shopping on Government Street, or a leisurely stroll around the Harbor. Perhaps join the optional wildlife and whale-watching trip cruising the beautiful waters of the San Juan and Gulf Islands, looking for whales, porpoises, seals, and eagles.
A scenic ferry crossing to the mainland, where the trip ends at Vancouver International Airport. Please schedule flights after 1:30 pm.