Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Day 2Toronto–Niagara Falls Excursion–Via Rail The Canadian
This morning, enjoy an included sightseeing excursion to Niagara Falls with a MAID OF THE MIST cruise. Return to Toronto and join this evening’s optional outing that combines dinner with the spectacular sight of Toronto’s lights from the CN Tower. Afterward, transfer to Union Station for a late evening 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 first-class rail cars are refurbished art deco cars from the 1950s. Try the observation dome for views of the Canadian countryside as you roll past Ontario’s landscapes, or pass the time in one of the comfortable lounges. All meals are included, and you won’t want to miss any of them, as the chef offers a tempting array of soups, salads, main courses, and desserts.NOTE:Operation of the Maid of the Mist cruise is subject to favorable weather and/or river conditions. When weather is unfavorable, a walking tour through the scenic tunnels will be substituted. Last day of operation for the 2013 season is October 24.
Day 3Via Rail The Canadian
Today, watch the scenery as you whisk by the ever changing Canadian landscape and travel the full length of the Canadian National Railway’s breathtaking mainline. Enjoy the many great onboard features, like the lounges and access to the domed skyline car for spectacular viewing. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4Via Rail The Canadian–Winnipeg
Arrive early in Winnipeg, Manitoba’s capital, a city rich in history and culture. In the early afternoon we continue our journey through Manitoba’s prairies and into Saskatchewan. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5Via Rail The Canadian–Jasper
Wake up and enjoy a delicious breakfast as you continue on the Canadian into the very heart of the Canadian Rockies. Arrive in Jasper this afternoon. An orientation tour includes Jasper’s unspoiled beauty. Perhaps an optional float trip on the Athabasca River to end the day? The evening is free to enjoy the ambiance of this delightful mountain setting. (Brunch)
Consider an optional trip to Maligne Lake, where you embark on a narrated cruise to much-photographed Spirit Island. On the return journey, stop to view mighty Maligne Canyon. With free time this afternoon, you might take a hike along the trails and watch for wildlife, or stroll the streets of Jasper.
Day 7Jasper–Columbia Icefield–Lake Louise–Banff National Park
Board your motorcoach this morning and journey through JASPER NATIONAL PARK, stopping along the way at the COLUMBIA ICEFIELD to experience the Ice Explorer, an all-terrain vehicle that travels on ice that is 1,200 feet (365 meters) thick. Continue down Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise, where cold waters mirror the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Arrive in BANFF NATIONAL PARK for a leisurely 2-night stay. Tonight, try an optional dinner featuring cuisine and entertainment all about Canada.
Day 8Banff National Park
This morning, consider an optional helicopter ride high over the Canadian Rockies. Later, join the optional excursion to Sulphur Mountain for a thrilling gondola ride, complete with panoramic views of Banff’s spectacular scenery and a stop at sparkling Bow Falls.
Day 9Banff National Park–Yoho National Park–Glacier National Park–Kamloops
This morning, leave Banff National Park and travel over Kicking Horse Pass on the Continental Divide. Travel through YOHO NATIONAL PARK, where pre-Cambrian fossils were discovered, and GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, where recreational mountain climbing was introduced to North America a century ago. Late this afternoon, arrive at the cattle-ranching center of Kamloops, a Shuswap Indian word for “meeting of the waters.”
We continue west along Kamloops Lake and follow the mighty Fraser River to Vancouver, spectacularly set on the Burrard Inlet. Upon arrival in Vancouver, see STANLEY PARK, Gastown, Chinatown, and the harbor on your included city tour.
This morning, sail across the Strait of Georgia and through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its Mediterranean-type climate. Upon arrival, enjoy a Victoria city tour. This afternoon, take a scenic trip to the famed BUTCHART GARDENS to stroll along paths that wind through 50 fragrant acres of blossoms, enchanting theme gardens, streams, and lily ponds!
A full free day. With your free time, be sure to check out some of the other 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. Suggestion for this evening: a harbor cruise and dinner at one of Victoria’s waterfront restaurants.
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Return ferry service to Vancouver and airport transfers to Vancouver International Airport are provided. Please schedule flights after Noon.
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