Sightseeing:In Vancouver and Victoria; orientation tour in Jasper, Stanley Park, winery tour, Columbia Icefield (Ice Explorer ride), and Butchart Gardens.
Scenic Highlights:Lake Okanagan, Okanagan Valley, Glacier National Park, Yoho National Park, Kicking Horse Pass, Banff National Park, Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise, Jasper National Park, Fraser River, Mount Robson, Seton & Duffey Lakes, Whistler, Strait of Georgia, and the Gulf Islands.
Services of a professional Tour Director; local host service in Vancouver, where information is provided for independent exploration and dining.
Welcome to Vancouver! Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
This morning, an included city tour highlights STANLEY PARK, Chinatown, the harbor and beaches, and more. The rest of the day is at leisure, and your Tour Director will have suggestions for your further exploration of the city. Maybe 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, art galleries, and street vendors.
This morning, 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, attractively set on the lake shore and surrounded by orchards and vineyards. Sample the local wines on the included WINERY TOUR this afternoon.
Day 4Kelowna–Glacier National Park–Yoho National Park–Banff National Park
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, a perfect spot for photos of the rugged mountains, glaciers, and waterfalls. Enter YOHO NATIONAL PARK and scale Kicking Horse Pass at 5,421 feet. By early evening, reach BANFF NATIONAL PARK, gateway to the majestic Canadian Rockies.
Day 5Banff National Park
Banff is one of Canada’s favorite year-round resorts, with activities ranging from skiing in the winter to hiking, boating, and fishing in the summer. With this free day, your Tour Director will suggest an optional helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies. Tonight, why not take in an optional dinner theater performance featuring cuisine and entertainment about Canada?
Day 6Banff National Park–Lake Louise–Columbia Icefield–Jasper National Park
A day of scenic grandeur. 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. Another highlight on today’s agenda is a stop at the COLUMBIA ICEFIELD to board the Ice Explorer, an all-terrain vehicle that travels on ice that is 1,200 feet (365 meters) thick. Late this afternoon, your Tour Director suggests an optional float trip down the Athabasca River. Enjoy an orientation tour of Jasper townsite upon arrival.
Day 7Jasper National Park
Today, join our optional excursion to Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, where you embark on a narrated cruise of the lake. The balance of the day is free to enjoy everything Jasper has to offer—from guided hikes and quaint shops to meandering wildlife.
Day 8Jasper National Park–Mount Robson–Sun Peaks
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 a century ago. Overnight at the mountain resort of Sun Peaks.
Day 9Sun Peaks–Lillooet–Whistler
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 mid-afternoon arrival in Whistler. There are plenty of optional activities to choose from, including flightseeing by floatplane over the lakes and glaciated peaks of Garibaldi Provincial Park. Tonight, wander the many alpine trails or enjoy the shopping and great selection of restaurants and nightlife.
Day 10Whistler–Ferry Crossing–Victoria
This morning, sail across the Strait of Georgia and through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its Mediterranean-type climate. Afternoon arrival in Victoria. Sightseeing today includes Marine Drive, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park with its unusual collection of totem poles. Then, visit world-famous BUTCHART GARDENS, one of Victoria’s most celebrated sites and rated among the most beautiful gardens in the world. Once there, stroll through the colorful arrangements of the Sunken Garden, the Japanese and Italian Gardens, the English Rose Garden, and the magnificent Ross Fountain.
Today is at leisure to discover some of the attractions this splendid city has to offer, including the Royal British Columbia Museum, Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel, an IMAX presentation at the National Geographic Theatre, whale watching on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and fine shopping along Government Street.
Day 12Victoria–Ferry Crossing–Vancouver
Early this morning, board the ferry for a scenic crossing to the mainland. Check into your Vancouver hotel, the Sandman Hotel City Centre, for the next two nights.
The day is at leisure for independent activities or choose from a variety of optional excursions. Your local host will have ideas on the best places to shop and dine.
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers are provided to Vancouver International Airport.
Transportation:Ferry crossing to/from Vancouver Island; private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
This Cosmos travel package does not include meals. Most of our hotels offer anything from coffee to a full breakfast, so you can start the day the way you like best. At most lunch stops, your Tour Director will have information on local restaurants. Dinnertime is your chance to sample local cuisine. Sometimes your Tour Director will offer an optional dinner outing.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade…We’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Years of Experience: 7 years
Originally from London, I worked at a hotel in Germany and as a Local Guide in northern Italy before becoming a Tour Director. I have conducted tours all over Europe, North Africa, Asia Minor, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Russia, South America, and all 10 provinces of Canada. Today, I call Toronto home. I love to cook, process the pictures I take on tour, and read. Every day, I wake up and have a wonderful, learning experience awaiting me.