Canada's favourite big-time city bids you a warm welcome and you'll have the day to ease into its laidback, friendly vibe before joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception this evening.
Discover the city's most inspiring sights on an orientation tour this morning. A true reflection of the multi-cultural Canada, Toronto is wonderfully diverse, filled to the brim with lively restaurants, stylish bars, and quirky museums. Switch the sidewalks for the spray of Niagara Falls, stepping aboard a cruise to the base of Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three waterfalls.
This morning, board VIA Rail's The Canadian for our journey across Canada. The train works its way northbound reaching the rural and forested sections of northwestern Ontario. By early afternoon, the train makes its way onto the Canadian Shield and a terrain of granite rock dotted with thousands of lakes and covered with billions of trees. The rest of the day is spent making our way north and west through the Shield and past the small towns that make up the remote expanse of northern Ontario. Today's onboard activities include a presentation on the history of Ontario, wine and beer tasting and canapes before dinner is served in the dining car.
Today we continue our trek westward through northern Ontario before crossing into the prairie province of Manitoba with a distinctive change of scenery as we leave the lakes and forests of the Canadian Shield behind for the open expanses and never ending vistas of the prairies. Today's activities include a presentation on the province of Manitoba, a game of bingo and a presentation on Winnipeg.
Today we continue travelling westbound making our way to Saskatoon for a brief one-hour stop, and then across the prairies into Alberta and Edmonton later in the evening. Small prairie towns dot the landscape mixed among rolling fields of wheat, barley, canola and other crops. Tonight, a three-hour stop will be made in Edmonton before we enter the Rocky Mountains. Activities today include a presentation on the Prairies and the town of Jasper and canapes will be served with beer and wine tasting before dinner.
After arriving in Jasper in the morning, go from the iconic to the unexpected when you embark on a guided walk of Maligne Canyon. This narrow slot-like gorge is sculpted by an icy river flowing along its base, and is a true sight to behold. Enjoy a quiet moment to feel truly free in nature before continuing on to Maligne Lake for a lunch on its shores. This afternoon, you'll have an opportunity to cruise the waters of the lake to Spirit Island, the heart and soul of jasper National Park (in season). Please note that your arrival time in Jasper is subject to local rail traffic conditions which may result in service delays and disruptions. Your included activities in Jasper may need to be re-organized to accommodate such delays.
Today will be full of possibilities and at your leisure. Why not enjoy an optional float trip down the Athabasca River, guided by a National Park licensed guide. Eat like a local, with a local on the Downtown Foodie Tour Optional Experience. Your culinary journey will begin 2:30 PM at the Visitor Information Center. From there, you will be travelling by foot to four of the best local eateries, taking in the history of Jasper as you walk the streets between restaurants. At each restaurant you will be sampling a top local dish served with a perfectly paired boozy drink, along with hearing the stories of the entrepreneurs behind each establishment, learn fascinating historical highlights and get an in-depth insight into Jasperites' way of life. Your excursion ends at 5:30 PM. Note that the tour includes four good size plates and four standard size alcoholic beverages and consists in a full progressive meal.
We crunch across the glistening icefield of the iconic Athabasca Glacier this morning, stepping aboard an Ice Explorer to see its icy carpet first-hand. Leaving this majestic glacier behind, we'll continue our scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway, slicing through the heart of Banff and Jasper National Parks. Our final stop before continuing to Banff is the natural treasure you'll never forget-beautiful Lake Louise.
We have a full day of sightseeing ahead in Banff National Park, Canada's oldest National Park. Learn the art of playing the puck like a pro when you meet a real Canadian hockey player in Canmore. 'Dive into Culture' and embrace Canada's national sport, learning the secrets and superstitions of hockey players as a professional coach walks you through a day in the life of a player. Go inside the players' dressing room and put on the full hockey gear with help of a real coach. Grab your stick and it's off onto the ice where you'll soon find out whether you are a lefty or righty and learn how to score the big goal. Keep a keen eye out for brown bears as you explore the rugged wilderness of Banff before meeting a Royal Canadian Mountie Local Specialist who will share his story about life in the 'force'. You may then be tempted to take an optional helicopter flightseeing for stunning views of the Canadian Rockies.
A day of exquisite scenery awaits as we journey over Kicking Horse Pass, which straddles the Continental Divide of the Americas. You'll stop at Spiral Tunnels, which made the descent of this pass much safer for trains after they were built at the turn of the 20th century. Then pass Mount Revelstoke National Park and journey through the vineyard and orchard country of Okanagan Valley, where you'll 'Connect With Locals' at a local winery for a memorable 'Be My Guest' dinner and wine tasting.
We wind our way through the beautiful wine country of British Columbia en route to Vancouver, one of the world's most livable cities. Delve into the heritage of the First Nations when you visit Stanley Park and see the totem poles that stand tall at Brockten Point. You'll have an evening at leisure to explore the city on your terms.
Your morning begins with a city tour of all the icons and hidden gems revealed through the eyes of your Travel Director. You'll have an afternoon and leisure to continue your exploration or simply relax after your epic trip. This evening, we'll visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and enjoy a memorable Farewell Dinner with new friends against the spectacular backdrop of the West Coast rainforest and Capilano Canyon.
Our dazzling encounter with the Canadian Rockies has come to an end. Transfer to Vancouver International Airport.