Still our most popular experience, and for very good reasons that’s why we’re returning for the seventeenth year running. Boasting breath taking scenery, extraordinarily friendly locals, and a diverse itinerary delivered at a leisurely pace! The adventure begins in the beautiful city of Vancouver with exciting activity filled days including the Capilano Suspension Bridgeand cliff walk, the gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain where you’ll get a taste of the exciting things to come. Meander through Vancouver’s jewel, Stanley Park and waterfront. We then fly to Calgary where we’re guests at the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth the incredible Calgary Stampede. Our journey then continues deep into the heart of the beautiful Canadian Rockiesvisiting Banff Springs, Lake Louise, Jasper, Sun Peaks, Whistler and more. We’ll ride a Snocoach on the Athabasca Glacier, take Gondolas to mountain tops to see breathtaking panoramas, plus plenty of free time for you to pursue your personal passions. Returning to Vancouver we join our unforgettable seven day Alaskan Cruise via The Inside Passage to Alaska’s capital Juneau, followed by Skagway, Alaska’s gateway to the Yukon goldfields, and into the immense environs of Glacier Bay, and finallyKetchikan, Alaska’s Salmon capital. At the conclusion of the cruise, beautiful Victoria and the acclaimed Butchart Gardens await, and if you still yearn for more, there are options a plenty to extend your stay.
“Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen. ” - Benjamin Disraeli
2 july – 28 JULY • 25 DAYS
NEW ZEALAND – VANCOUVER three nights Vancouver
Day 1 This afternoon we begin our journey of discovery into the best of Canada and Alaska. Welcome to Vancouver! Upon arrival we will be met and transferred to our hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 2 Our full day tour today encompasses many of the attractions that make Vancouver such a special place, besides the natural beauty of its mountain backdrop and blue Pacific waters. Enter Stanley Park, with 1,000 acres of majestic evergreens. It was described by one local writer as a thousand-acre therapeutic couch, and boasts 10kms of scenic seawall. Experience the city’s kaleidoscope of cultural heritage with visits to West Coast Native Totem Poles, British-flavoured Gastown (named after Yorkshire born ‘Gassy’ Jack) with its unique steam clock, and colourful Chinatown, second in size only to San Francisco’s. Also highlighted in the day’s sightseeing will be Lions Gate Bridge, Prospect Point and English Bay. Later this morning we take a ride up Grouse Mountain for spectacular views of Vancouver, an entertaining lumberjack show and hopefully your chance to see some bears! We then go on to the historic Capilano Suspension Bridge, one of the world’s longest suspension bridges stretching 450 feet across and 230 feet above the Capilano Canyon! During our visit enjoy a tree-top walk through an old-growth forest.
Day 3 A free day to explore this beautiful city.
VANCOUVER – CALGARY three nights Calgary
Day 4 Today we are transferred to Vancouver Airport for our flight to Calgary. Our hotel is located opposite the Calgary Tower from where we will have great views of the city.
Day 5 Experience the fever that holds Calgary in its grip during the annual Calgary Exhibition and Stampede, universally acclaimed as The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. The Stampede showcases the best in rodeo with numerous events, exhibits and diverse entertainment. We have reserved afternoon Rodeo tickets.
Day 6 A free morning to explore Calgary or if you prefer a full day to enjoy all the excitement of the famous Calgary Stampede including reserved tickets for the evening Chuck Wagon Races and Show. (The show is a highlight in itself and runs for approximately 3 hours, including fireworks).
CALGARY – BANFF two nights Banff
Day 7 We are joined by our driver guide this morning who will accompany us for the next 5 days. Making our way west we join the Trans Canadian Highway, and watch the Olympic City dissolve into the foothills behind. In the distance the seemingly endless miles of prairie melts away as the landscape is transformed by the majestic Rockies. Admire the imposing Three Sisters, Fairholme and Rundle Ranges en-route to our destination, the charming mountain resort town of Banff, a thriving, four season resort of wood and stone. On arrival we’’ll take you on an orientation drive through Banff and explore some of the surrounding area including the, Hoodoo Lookout, Lake Minnewanka and Bow River Falls before settling into our hotel, then venturing into town.
Day 8 Today’s sightseeing is filled with highlights beautiful Moraine and Emerald Lakes and equally beautiful Lake Louise. Banff National Park is home to an array of wildlife including elk, moose, bear and wolf, however you have to be vigilant and always on the lookout to spot them!
BANFF – JASPER one night Jasper
Day 9 Our journey takes us along the Ice fields Parkway to the Columbia Ice Field, a 325 sq km chunk of ice 300–1200 feet thick! We’ll take an unforgettable trip aboard the Snocoach on Athabasca Glacier, recognised by Attractions Canada as Canada’s best natural outdoor site larger than 100 hectares! We stop at the Glacier Skywalk, a cliff edge walkway with the most stunning alpine and glacial vistas, before continuing on to the spectacular Athabasca Falls, arriving in Jasper late afternoon.
JASPER – SUN PEAKS one night Sun Peaks
Day 10 Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as we continue our journey via the Gold Rush and Caribou Regions, passing Mt Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and on to the quaint village of Sun Peaks.
Day 11 Enjoy a day at leisure with time to explore this quaint little village.
SUN PEAKS – WHISTLER two nights Whistler
Day 12 This morning we make our way to Whistler. En-route we lunch at historic Hat Creek Ranchand experience frontier life as it existed in the early days of British Columbia. This is a popular attraction incorporating the cultures of both the First Nations and early European settlers.
Day 13 Our hotel is located in the Whistler Village Common, set amongst restaurants, shops and other fine resorts, nestled at the foot of the spectacular Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains of British Columbia. Our time in Whistler allows you the opportunity of an optional Gondola ride up Whistler Mountain. This is well worth the effort as the Gondola climbs to altitudes where snow is frequently experienced year round, and bears can often be sighted in the summer months!
WHISTLER – VANCOUVER
Day 14 Today we begin the final leg of our journey through the Rockies. We’ll experience the scenic trip through the Coastal Mountains to Shannon Falls and southwards along Howe Sound to Vancouver, where we’ll join our Holland America Cruise.
HOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE MS VOLENDAM seven nights Holland America
Days 14–21 The MS Volendam is a mid-sized ship, perfect for cruising the Canadian and Alaskan waters. With a maximum 1,432 passengers on board and a crew of 615 it’s not hard to see that passenger care and attention is at the forefront of Holland America’s mind. From its signature spacious, light filled atrium providing guest services, shopping outlets, numerous places for entertainment, and countless options in which to drink or dine, Volendam has everything in perfect proportion. By day she provides the ideal platform to explore each enchanting little town, anchoring central to the hive of activity, a haven to return to each afternoon, and in the evening, she welcomes us to dine together in the elegant Rotterdam dining room.
Day 14 Vancouver - Set sail in the evening from Canada Place and under the Lions Gate Bridge to begin the journey through the Inside Passage.
Day 15 Cruising the Inside Passage – One of the most scenic cruise lanes in the world where deep draft vessels can sail close to steep mountains. Enjoy the scenery and explore the ship and its many facilities.
Day 16 Juneau – The Capital of Alaska and known not only for gold but for its stunningly beautiful views of glaciers, mountains and crystal clear water. Numerous shore excursions are available. These include a cable car ride, an excursion to the Mendenhall Glacier, adventure activities and fishing trips.
Day 17 Skagway – This town was the gateway to the Goldfields for those who once flocked to Alaska and the Yukon in the hope of striking it rich. In 1898 Skagway was Alaska’s largest town and here you can visit the old Saloons, and Gambling Houses or take an optional excursion on the White Pass Railway to the Yukon (US$200 approx.).
Day 18 Glacier Bay – Experience epic glaciers and awesome scenery in this ‘UNESCO’ World Heritage Site. Breathe in crisp fresh air as you glide past icebergs looking out for carving ice, whales, porpoises and seals.
Day 19 Ketchikan – Located on an island, Ketchikan began life as an Indian fishing camp. Along with the gold and timber industries it soon became the 4th largest city in Alaska. Its rich native heritage includes the world’s oldest collection of totem poles. There will be plenty of time to visit the quaint stores and wander along the board walks to see the salmon leap.
Day 20 Cruising – Relax on deck as you pass by forests in 100 shades of green. Watch out for black bears, mountain goats, bald eagles sea-otters, humpback and killer whales.
Day 21 Vancouver – Early in the morning we return to Canada’s third largest city. With its rich ethnic mix, stunningly beautiful parks and bustling natural harbour, it’s hard to believe it had its beginnings with a small sawmill and a community that surrounded it. We have a short time on land before boarding a ferry to Vancouver Island.
VANCOUVER PORT – VICTORIA two nights Victoria
Day 21 After disembarking in Vancouver we take a ferry through the Gulf Islands to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Plenty of leisure time is available to explore and wander around the colourful and lively waterfront area, surrounded by stately buildings, most notably the legislative buildings adorned with 3,333 light bulbs. Magnificent by night, and glorious by day.
Day 22 Awakening to what is sure to be a beautiful day on Vancouver Island, we make our way to the famous Butchart Gardens, rated in the top ten gardens of the world. Once a limestone quarry it has been lovingly, and quite remarkably transformed into the beautiful gardens we see today, an inspiration for many other quarries and abandoned mines around the world. Taking a stroll among the many spectacularly manicured flower beds, fountains, ponds and tree arrangements is truly an indulgence for the senses! The afternoon in Victoria is free to explore and discover this very attractive ‘Garden City’ with its Victorian architecture.
VICTORIA – VANCOUVER – NEW ZEALAND
Days 23–25 Sadly our journey has come to an end, but the memories, friendships and experiences we’ve shared together will live on well after we have settled back into life at home.