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Ultimate Canada and The Rocky Mountaineer

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Enjoy a spectacular rail journey through the Rockies, spending two days on the iconic Rocky Mountaineer.

14 days From £4,795 per person
Operated by our sister company Great Rail Journeys

2023 Tour code: TCJ23

About the tour

From the dramatic Pacific Ocean setting of Vancouver to bustling Toronto, this legendary adventure takes us across Canada in style and comfort on board the iconic Rocky Mountaineer and The Canadian - two truly great rail journeys.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – London and Vancouver

After our flight from London Heathrow, we land in Vancouver for two nights, checking into our hotel on arrival.

Day 2 - Vancouver

We join a morning sightseeing tour of one of the country's largest and most cosmopolitan cities, visiting historic Gastown, an area of coffee shops, galleries and native art stores that make up one of Vancouver's best-loved neighbourhoods. We also experience Stanley Park. Larger than Central Park and home to over half a million trees, Stanley Park first opened in 1888, quickly becoming a widely recognised symbol of the city known for its beauty. Its most famous feature though, has to be its large collection of totem poles, displaying the impressive designs of the indigenous peoples of North America. We continue to Chinatown, soaking in the area's enticing scents and sights.

Day 3 - The Rocky Mountaineer to Kamloops

We embark on a daylight journey towards the Rockies on the world-renowned Rocky Mountaineer, travelling to Kamloops along one of the most dramatic stretches of the line. Leaving the Pacific Coast, we pass through lush green forests and dramatic valleys, home to an abundance of Canadian wildlife, and make our way along the dramatic Thompson and Fraser Canyons before entering the desert-like environment of Canada's interior. Keep your eyes peeled for Rainbow Canyon, which gets its name from the huge number of colours that can be seen reflected in the rocks. You'll also want to watch for 'hoodoos' - tall skinny spires of rock that protrude from the dry arid surroundings of the Thompson Plateau. Local mythology describes these as giants that were turned to stone by the Great Spirit. The train arrives in Kamloops and we disembark for an overnight stay.

Day 4 - The Rocky Mountaineer to Banff

Re-boarding the Rocky Mountaineer, we enter the towering landscapes of the Rocky Mountains, following the 'First Passage to the West' route and crossing Stoney Creek Bridge. Along the way, we experience the legendary spiral tunnels, a feat of engineering which allows trains to easily overcome the steep gradients of the Rockies by gradually increasing the incline of the line, and traverse the Continental Divide. The highest section of the line, we enjoy spectacular views before arriving in the town of Banff, our base for two nights.

Day 5 - Banff National Park

Immersing ourselves in the natural beauty of Banff National Park with our local guide, we visit the Spiral Tunnels, seeing them from a different vantage point, as well as Emerald Lake, renowned for its vivid colours. We continue to the idyllic waters of Lake Louise, admiring a picture-book landscape of soaring peaks covered in verdant pine trees which slope away from the lakeshore. Afterwards, we meet a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, known locally as a 'Mountie', who gives a talk and answers our questions about their time in service.

Day 6 - Jasper National Park

We depart by coach along the world-famous Icefields Parkway, a 144-mile road that links Banff with Jasper. Travelling along a lake-lined valley, past many of the highest and most rugged peaks in the Rockies, we stop at the Icefields Centre, set at the foot of the vast Columbia Icefields. Here, we marvel at the breathtaking Athabasca Glacier, an offshoot of the vast Columbia Icefield. Arriving in Jasper for two nights, we admire the majestic mountain scenery that helped make this area a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984.

Day 7 - Free time in Jasper

With a free day today, you could head into Jasper National Park. Full of sublime natural attractions, including canyons, lakes and hot springs, you could visit Maligne Canyon, a 164-feet deep gorge of sheer limestone walls featuring a number of interesting rock formations, and Maligne Lake - the largest glacier-fed body of water in the region. There's plenty of wildlife to watch out for too, such grey wolves, hoary marmot, caribou and moose. Proud elk can also be found in the forests and out on the mountains, while a variety of birdlife can be seen circling the cloudy mountains.

Day 8 - The Canadian

We begin our epic journey aboard The Canadian, travelling to Toronto over the next two days and nights. We settle into our berths for the journey through the foothills of the Rockies, passing pine forests, glaciers, plunging canyons and soaring peaks.

Day 9 - The Canadian

Today is our first full day on board, and we travel through the province of Saskatchewan, crossing the prairie lands on our way to Winnipeg, a fascinating city home to over 50 different ethnic communities.

Day 10 - Across the Canadian Shield

Today is spent crossing the Canadian Shield from the comfort of the glass-roofed panoramic observation car. Sit back and watch the world go by as we skirt the scenic lake-lands of northern Ontario ahead of our arrival into Toronto.

Day 11 – Toronto and Niagara Falls

Stepping off the train, we make our way to our hotel for two nights. The rest of your day is free to start exploring Toronto, a multi-cultural melting-pot with an inviting, laid-back atmosphere. At 1,815 feet tall, you could head up the CN Tower - one of Canada's most recognisable and celebrated monuments. The tower stands in the heart of Toronto and offers terrific panoramic views across the city and waterfront. Or perhaps take a stroll past the finest collection of Victorian-era industrial architecture in North America, with some time in Toronto's unique Distillery District. Home to a plethora of art galleries, restaurants, bars and live music venues, the brick-paved streets of this neighbourhood have been designated as a National Heritage Site. During your time here, why not try a Caesar Cocktail, Canada's national cocktail? A trendy take on a Bloody Mary, the celery is often replaced with a piece of crispy Canadian bacon.

Day 12 - Niagara Falls

Our day takes us to the incredible Niagara Falls, which straddles the US-Canadian border. Split into three separate sections, we tour American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls as well the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, which date back about 12,000 years, when melting glaciers allowed a passage of water from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. The Horseshoe Falls are the second largest in the world, after Victoria Falls in southern Africa, and are also the easiest to access and view. Here, the Niagara River cascades over the crest at a rate of 600,000 US gallons every second, travelling at an incredible 20 miles per hour.

Day 13 - Toronto and London

Enjoy a free morning to do some last-minute sightseeing before we transfer to the airport for our overnight flight to London Heathrow.

Day 14 - London

We arrive back in London today.

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

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

View hotel

Chelsea Hotel

Chelsea Hotel, Toronto

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Sheraton Wall Centre hotel, Vancouver

Sheraton Wall Centre hotel, Vancouver

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Trains

Rocky Mountaineer
The Canadian

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Ultimate Canada and The Rocky Mountaineer

Enjoy a spectacular rail journey through the Rockies, spending two days on the iconic Rocky Mountaineer.

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Lynne Broadley
Lynne
Ashleigh Howe
Ashleigh
Simon Laverack
Simon