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The Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska Cruise

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Breathtaking Canada and Alaska by rail and cruise ship

16 days From £4,995 per person
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys
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2023 Tour code: RPO23

About the tour

Soak up the breathtaking views which scenic Canada and magnificent Alaska have to offer, journeying on the world-famous Rocky Mountaineer ahead of a seven-night cruise through Alaska's glacier-filled waters and remote coastline.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London, Calgary and Banff

Following our flight from London Heathrow, we arrive in Calgary, Canada, and transfer by coach to our hotel in Banff for three nights.

Day 2 – Banff and Yoho National Park

We enjoy an excursion to crystal-clear Lake Louise, one of the most photographed and iconic sights in the Canadian Rockies. Banff National Park is famous for its picture-perfect vistas, from snow-covered mountain peaks to the aquamarine waters of this idyllic lake. Later, we continue to Emerald Lake, the largest of Yoho National Park's lakes, and known for its vivid colours. Following a day of spectacular natural wonders, this evening we meet a retired member of the Canadian Mounted Police Force, or Mountie, who gives us a fascinating talk about their time in service.

Day 3 - Free time in Banff

Enjoy a free day to look around the mountain town of Banff. There are a number of excursions available that depart from Banff, including guided visits to Lake Minnewanka and Bow Falls. Or perhaps you'd like to stay local and soak up the quaint charms of Main Street, a row of half-timbered independent shops and restaurants. Alternatively, enjoy a ride on the Banff Gondola, a cable car which transports you to the summit of Sulphur Mountain to marvel at the panoramic views.

Day 4 - The Icefields Parkway

We depart by coach along the famous Icefields Parkway, a 144-mile road that links Banff and Jasper and passes through some incredible scenery. We travel past many of the highest and most rugged peaks in the Rockies, pausing to admire the views over the turquoise waters of Peyto Lake, before making our way to the Icefields Centre at the foot of the Columbia Icefields. Here, we stop to marvel at the Athabasca Glacier and you have the option to enjoy a ride over the ice field by giant Snocoach (payable locally). Afterwards, we continue to Athabasca Falls, where thundering waters carve their way through the peaceful mountain scenery. We spend the night in Jasper.

Day 5 - The Rocky Mountaineer

Boarding the Rocky Mountaineer, we begin the first of our superb daylight journeys through some of Canada's best-loved scenery. Our 309-mile trip to Kamloops takes in the scenery of the 'Journey Through the Clouds' route, passing through Banff National Park and crossing the Continental Divide as we soak in the sights of rolling rivers, the cascading Pyramid Falls and mighty Mount Robson. We travel in SilverLeaf Class, with plenty of time to watch the unfolding story of Canada's landscapes as breakfast and lunch are served at our seats. We disembark for a night at a local hotel in Kamloops.

Day 6 - The Rocky Mountaineer

Our Rocky Mountaineer experience continues on another dramatic stretch of the line that takes us along the Thompson and Fraser Canyons, past the sinisterly-named Hell's Gate, as we keep our eyes open for native Canadian wildlife. The line begins its descent towards the Pacific Coast, and before long we arrive in Vancouver for a two-night stay.

Day 7 - Vancouver

Our day begins with a guided sightseeing tour of Vancouver, one of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world the city was founded by European settlers who came over during the Gold Rush of the mid 19th century. Since then, Vancouver has evolved into a thriving and lively coastal city and is regularly ranked as one of the world's most desirable places to live. Our tour includes the old Gastown Quarter - an area of stylish coffee shops, galleries, native art stores and home to the famous Gastown Steam Clock - Chinatown, with its colourful, traditional architecture, and leafy Stanley Park, home to a set of unique totem poles that honour the city's Native American heritage.

Day 8 - Alaska cruise

We say goodbye to mainland Canada, boarding MS Volendam for an incredible seven-night Alaskan cruise. After settling into our cabins, we enjoy our first dinner on board this evening

Day 9 - Inside Passage

Our cruise takes us on the first section of our journey through the famous Inside Passage to Alaska, an area of pristine waters, snow-capped mountains and deep fjords that are renowned as a haven for marine animals.

Day 10 - Tracy Arm and Juneau

Our ship arrives at Tracy Arm, a fjord surrounded by high-rock cliffs and plunging waterfalls that's home to the blue-tinged North and South Sawyer Glaciers. As we sail through the Tracy Arm Inlet, we enjoy lunch on board before arriving into the Alaskan state capital of Juneau. Completely inaccessible by road, this former gold rush city is set against a backdrop of mountains and your time here is free.

Day 11 - Skagway

We call at Skagway, famed for its association with Jack London's 1903 novel, 'The Call of the Wild.' With free time here, you might like to take a stroll along the town's historic boardwalk, which still looks much the same today as it did back in 1858, or keep an eye out for any vintage trains that may be running along the White Pass and Yukon Route Railroad. Skagway is also home to a number of craft breweries, so perhaps enjoy a pint while overlooking the vast mountain scenery.

Day 12 - Glacier Bay

Our day is spent on board as we cruise through some of the most amazing scenery in Alaska. The ice formations of Glacier Bay are thought to be 4,000 years old and are protected by UNESCO as part of the 3.3 million acres of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Home to a number of incredible creatures, from the whales and seals that inhabit the water to the bears, mink and moose that stalk the shores, this is the perfect time to pop up to the upper decks with your camera.

Day 13 - Ketchikan

We dock at Ketchikan today, where you have the option to disembark and explore. Native culture and art flourishes throughout Alaska and perhaps no more so than here. Totem poles and tribal houses are all accessible via the town, at most a short walk or taxi ride away. Here, the Totem Heritage Centre is not to be missed, with its large display of poles that were found in abandoned villages. A little further north, you'll find Totem Bight State Park, which boasts another collection of famous poles, along with a native community house.

Day 14 - Vancouver

We set sail for Vancouver today, cruising back along the Inside Passage.

Day 15 - Vancouver

After breakfast, we disembark in Vancouver, where you have some free time. Vancouver combines its breathtaking setting with beautiful architecture and a perfectly-pitched way of life; perhaps sample some local cuisine or visit one of the world-class galleries or museums. Later this afternoon, we transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK.

Day 16 - London

Following our overnight journey, we land at London Heathrow and our holiday comes to an end.

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. 

We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Caribou Lodge

Caribou Lodge, Banff

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Sheraton Wall Centre hotel, Vancouver

Sheraton Wall Centre hotel, Vancouver

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Train

Rocky Mountaineer

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The Rocky Mountaineer and Alaska Cruise

Breathtaking Canada and Alaska by rail and cruise ship

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Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Simon Laverack
Simon
Ashleigh Howe
Ashleigh