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.
Services of a professional Tour Director.
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)
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.
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.
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.
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers are provided to Vancouver International Airport.
Transportation:Private bedroom on VIA Rail’s® the Canadian train from Toronto to Jasper in Sleeper Plus class; ferry crossing to/from Vancouver Island; private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
2 breakfasts, 1 brunch, 2 lunches, 2 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.
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."