Cosmos

Heart of the Canadian Rockies with Alaska Cruise (8915) - 2014

17 days from Calgary to Vancouver


Heart of the Canadian Rockies with Alaska Cruise
The floral displays in the Butchart Gardens
The floral displays in the Butchart Gardens
Beautiful view of downtown Calgary at sunset
Ice Explorer
Visit metropolitan Calgary
The Vancouver Harbour at dusk
The beautiful harbour in Vancouver
View of downtown Vancouver
Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies
Absorb the splendor of Jasper National Park
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Vacation Overview

Travel to the heart of the Canadian Rockies on this spectacular vacation. Begin in Calgary with a sightseeing tour of Calgary’s highlights and a visit to Fort Calgary. Head west through the foothills of the Canadian Rockies into Banff National Park, Canada’s oldest national park and gateway to the Canadian Rockies. Spend two overnights at this popular year-round resort with time to explore on your own or to take an optional excursion. On the way to Jasper National Park, stop in Lake Louise and discover this world-famous location with its cold waters reflecting the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Next, a vacation highlight: take a thrilling ride aboard an all-terrain Ice Explorer on the Columbia Icefield, the largest expanse of ice in the Canadian Rockies. In Jasper National Park, the largest national park in Canada, enjoy two overnights and an orientation tour in Jasper. Depart Jasper, follow the Fraser River to the base of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and overnight in Kamloops. Travel to the Pacific Coast and board a ferry for Victoria, where you’ll enjoy two overnights and a city tour plus time for optional activities, including a whale-watching cruise. Also visit world-famous Butchart Gardens with its 55 acres of showcase floral exhibits. Sail through the spectacular Gulf Islands back to Vancouver and enjoy sightseeing of the famous landmarks. Board your Holland America cruise ship for a spectacular journey through Alaska’s picturesque Inside Passage and Glacier Bay. Hear the thunderous roar as glaciers crash into the sea, experience some of Alaska’s small towns, and watch for wildlife such as sprouting whales and soaring eagles—a great way to wrap up your majestic Canadian Rockies vacation.

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Similar Vacations that may interest you:

Sightseeing:
In Calgary, Victoria, and Vancouver; Fort Calgary, Columbia Icefield (Ice Explorer ride), Butchart Gardens, and Stanley Park.

Scenic Highlights:
Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Mount Robson, Fraser River, Thompson River with spectacular views of the Monashee Mountains, British Columbia’s Coast Mountain Range, and the Gulf Islands.

Guides:

Services of a professional Tour Director; crew member service while cruising on Holland America’s MS Volendam or MS Zuiderdam.

NOTE:

  • Cruise itineraries are provided by Holland America Line and are up to date at time of publishing. Your travel documents will contain the most current information.


Day 1Calgary

Welcome to Calgary! 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 2Calgary–Banff National Park

The discovery of oil converted this ranching town into a sophisticated city with skyscrapers and elegant shopping centers. It is also home to the world-famous Calgary Stampede. Tour many of the city’s attractions, including Canada Olympic Park, the Saddledome, and FORT CALGARY. Motor west through the foothills and into BANFF NATIONAL PARK, gateway to the majestic Canadian Rockies. Join the optional excursion to Sulphur Mountain for panoramic views of Banff’s spectacular scenery. Tonight, take an optional excursion to the theatre for a Canadian show and dinner.

Day 3Banff National Park

Banff is one of Canada’s favorite year-round resorts, with summer activities such as hiking, boating, and fishing. With a free day, your Tour Director will suggest an optional helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies.

Day 4Banff National Park–Lake Louise–Columbia Icefield–Jasper National Park

Enjoy a day of scenic grandeur. First stop is Lake Louise, whose turquoise waters create a perfect natural mirror that reflects the surroundings. Next, journey north into JASPER NATIONAL PARK, where precipitous gorges, snowcapped summits, and lakes of exquisite blues and greens come into view as the motorcoach scales two mountain passes. Another highlight on the agenda is a stop at the COLUMBIA ICEFIELD to experience the Ice Explorer, an all-terrain vehicle that travels on ice that is 365 meters (1,200 feet) thick. Later, your Tour Director suggests an optional float trip down the Athabasca River. Enjoy an orientation tour of Jasper townsite upon arrival.

Day 5Jasper 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 6Jasper National Park–Mount Robson–Kamloops

Depart Jasper and follow the Fraser River to the base of Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. The Yellowhead Highway continues south along the mighty Thompson River, with spectacular views of the Monashee Mountains. Overnight in Kamloops.

Day 7Kamloops–Ferry Crossing–Victoria

As you travel through British Columbia’s Coast Mountain Range to its majestic Pacific coastline, the vegetation changes from desert landscape to lush alpine forests. Board your afternoon ferry for the spectacular crossing to Vancouver Island. Sightseeing in Victoria includes the Inner Harbour, Bastion Square, Thunderbird Park, and world-famous BUTCHART GARDENS. This evening, consider a stroll along the lively Waterfront Promenade.

Day 8Victoria

Today is a free day for independent sightseeing. Your Tour Director will have ideas to enhance your enjoyment of this most British of Canadian cities. Take an optional whale-watching cruise and seek out pods of killer whales. A suggestion for this evening is an optional historic walk followed by dinner in Chinatown.

Day 9Victoria–Ferry Crossing–Vancouver

This morning, set sail across the Strait of Georgia and through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an archipelago known for its climate. In Vancouver, city sightseeing includes STANLEY PARK, Gastown, Chinatown, and many other famous landmarks. The remainder of the day is free to explore Robson Street and experience British Columbia’s premier shopping and entertainment location.

Day 10Vancouver (Embarkation)

Embark your cruise ship. (D)

Day 11Inside Passage (Scenic Cruising)

The Inside Passage is one of the most scenic sea lanes in the world, and one of the few where deep-draft vessels can sail close to steep mountain walls. The scenery is unbelievable, with forests in a hundred shades of green and tumbling turquoise glaciers. The Inside Passage is a lifeline to the outside world. (B,L,D)

Day 12Juneau

No roads lead to Juneau. Accessible only by air and water, Juneau is located at the base of two towering mountains in the heart of Alaska’s Inside Passage, and is home to a rich Gold Rush history, Native culture, wildlife, and a wealth of natural wonders. Step ashore to shop for gold nuggets; visit the stately Governor’s Mansion; saunter through the swinging doors at the Red Dog Saloon, the city’s famous watering hole; or visit mighty Mendenhall Glacier, an impressive river of ice that is 12 miles long and 1.5 miles wide. (B,L,D)

Day 13Skagway

Step back in time as you stroll along the town’s wooden sidewalks and step into the Red Onion Saloon, or explore the restored buildings and wooden boardwalks of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park. Today you can still ride the antique White Pass & Yukon Route narrow-gauge railway up past Deadhorse Gulch to see what it was like ages ago. (B,L,D)

Day 14Glacier Bay National Park (Scenic Cruising)

This Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site protects a unique ecosystem of plants and animals living in an ever-changing glacial landscape. Witness an amazing spectacle of thunder and flying spray as tremendous slabs of ice break off and “calve” into the sea, making for lasting memories. National Park rangers accompany the ship to add expert commentary to the day’s events. (B,L,D)

Day 15Ketchikan

Ketchikan clutches the shores of the Tongass Narrows, with many shops and houses built right out over the water in the town that calls itself the “Salmon Capital of the World.” Experience Native Alaska firsthand. Meet the spirits of the raven, whale, and eagle as you view the largest collection of totems in the world at Saxman Totem Park or Totem Bight State Historic Park. Or explore Creek Street, now home to contemporary art galleries and quaint boutiques.(B,L,D)

Day 16Inside Passage (Scenic Cruising)

Cruise through the awe-inspiring scenery of the Inside Passage. Keep your cameras ready for spouting whales, soaring eagles, and other wildlife. Tonight, enjoy a sumptuous dinner and onboard entertainment. (B,L,D)

Day 17Vancouver (Disembarkation)

Disembark this morning and transfer to Vancouver International Airport for your return flight home. Please schedule flights after Noon. (B)

Transportation:
Ferry crossing to/from Vancouver Island; Holland America’s MS Volendam or MS Zuiderdam; private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.


CALGARY Days Inn Calgary South (MF)
BANFF NATIONAL PARK Homestead Inn (ST)
JASPER NATIONAL PARK Marmot Lodge (F)
KAMLOOPS Hotel Five540Forty Downtown (F)
VICTORIA Royal Scot Hotel & Suites (F)
VANCOUVER Holiday Inn & Suites Vancouver Downtown (F)
ALASKA CRUISE Holland America’s MS Volendam or MS Zuiderdam

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners



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As recommended by Budget Travel