Cosmos

Canadian Train Odyssey with Alaska Cruise (8965) - 2014 / 2015

22 Day Tour from Toronto to Vancouver


Canadian Train Odyssey with Alaska Cruise
The Vancouver Harbour at dusk
The Vancouver Harbour at dusk
Beautiful Niagara Falls at sunset
Vancouver is named after George Vancouver, who explored the inner harbour of Burrard Inlet in 1792
Get an up close view of Niagara Falls
The beautiful harbour in Vancouver
Experience the Northern Lights as viewed from Alberta
Vancouvers skyline and harbour
Visit Butchart Gardens with over 50 acres of floral extravagance
Vancouver Island
TOUR FOR 8+ PEOPLE

Vacation Overview

This train adventure across Canada begins in Toronto, ends in Vancouver, and includes beautiful scenery and fun-filled activities in some of Canada’s most popular cities. Cosmopolitan Toronto, the largest city in Canada, hosts world-class shopping and spectacular sights. Head to Niagara Falls, where you’ll take a sightseeing boat to enjoy up-close views of the falls from river level. Then, board VIA Rail®’s The Canadian—a premier continental train—and head west. The next three days and nights are spent in first-class, refurbished art deco rail cars. Observe unparalleled views of the countryside as you journey through Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. After passing through the majestic Canadian Rockies to Jasper, the rail portion of this journey ends. Spend two nights in Jasper with free time to explore. Then, board your motorcoach to Banff National Park. Along the way, take a thrilling ride aboard an Ice Explorer on the Columbia Icefield, the largest expanse of ice in the Canadian Rockies. In Banff you’ll have two nights and time to relax, hike, or join an optional activity, such as a helicopter ride over the Canadian Rockies or a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain. Travel through Yoho and Glacier National Parks before arriving at the cattle-ranching center of Kamloops. Then, board a ferry for a spectacular crossing to Vancouver Island. Sightseeing in Victoria includes the Inner Harbour, Bastion Square, Thunderbird Park, and world-famous Butchart Gardens, while guided sightseeing also shows you Vancouver’s highlights. Finally, 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 end your Canadian vacation.

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Similar Vacations that may interest you:

Sightseeing:
In Niagara Falls, Victoria, and Vancouver; Butchart Gardens, Niagara Falls sightseeing cruise, orientation tour in Jasper, Columbia Icefield (Ice Explorer ride), and Stanley Park.

Scenic Highlights:
Niagara Falls, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Canadian Rockies, Jasper National Park, Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, Lake Louise, Yoho National Park, Glacier National Park, Fraser River, Strait of Georgia, and Gulf Islands.

Guides:

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

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 1Toronto

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 that includes a SIGHTSEEING BOAT CRUISE past the world-famous falls. 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 Niagara Falls sightseeing cruise is subject to favorable weather and/or river conditions. When unfavorable conditions exist, a walking tour through the scenic tunnels will be substituted. Last day of operation for the 2014 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 use of the lounges and access to the domed Skyline Car for spectacular viewing. (B,L,D)

Day 4Via Rail The Canadian–Winnipeg

An early arrival into 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. (B,L,D)

Day 5Via Rail The Canadian–Jasper

Wake early 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. (BR)

Day 6Jasper

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 over the Canadian Rockies. Later, join the optional excursion to Sulphur Mountain for a gondola ride with panoramic views of the stunning 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.”

Day 10Kamloops–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 11Victoria

Be sure to discover some of the attractions this splendid city has to offer, including the Royal British Columbia Museum, Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel, a whale-watching cruise on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and fine shopping along Government Street. This evening, join our optional excursion in Chinatown, complete with colorful lanterns and dinner at an authentic restaurant.

Day 12Victoria–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 13Vancouver

Today is at leisure for independent sightseeing. 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.

Day 14Vancouver

Continue your stay in Vancouver for the evening.

Day 15Vancouver (Embarkation)

Embark your cruise ship. (D)

Day 16Inside 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 17Juneau

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 18Skagway

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 19Glacier 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 20Ketchikan

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 21Inside 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 22Vancouver (Disembarkation)

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

Transportation:
Private bedroom on VIA Rail’s® the Canadian train from Toronto to Jasper in Sleeper Plus class; ferry crossing to/from Vancouver Island, Holland America’s MS Volendam; private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.


TORONTO Best Western Primrose (F)
VIA RAIL CANADIAN TRAIN Sleeper Plus class
JASPER Lobstick Lodge (F)
BANFF NATIONAL PARK Mount Royal Hotel (F)
KAMLOOPS Hotel Five540Forty (F)
VICTORIA Royal Scot Hotel & Suites (F)
VANCOUVER Sandman Suites on Davie (F)
ALASKA CRUISE Holland America’s MS Volendam

9 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 8 lunches, 9 dinners


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.

BARBARA BURYIAK

Years of Experience: 22 years

As a Tour Director for more than two decades, I've always had a passion for travel. At 18, I traveled solo throughout Europe. A few years later, I was one of three youth ambassadors on a cultural exchange to Burkina Faso. As a Tour Director, I enjoy showing off America's Heartland. I encourage my guests to talk to the locals and try the regional foods. Guests often tell me that their fondest memories are of their time spent in small towns with "real Americans."



Ship Information

UNESCO World Heritage Sites


The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on the Canadian Train Odyssey with Alaska Cruise:

  • Banff National Park
  • Jasper National Park


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