Independent VIA Rail Tours
Winter Rail Tours
Western Circle Explorer - 8 Days/7 Nights
A grand circle through Canada's mountain West! Experience the pampering of VIA Rail's Sleeper Touring class aboard 'The Canadian' from Vancouver to Jasper. Then explore off-rail in a luxury motorcoach as you travel through the amazing Canadian Rockies back to Vancouver. This independent vacation hits all the highlights and still gives lots of time to relax.
- 6 nights hotel accommodation
- 1 night aboard VIA Rail in Sleeper Plus Class
- Select meals
- Explore Jasper Tour
- Icefield Parkway & Glacier Experience from Jasper to Banff
- Discover Banff Tour
- Kelowna Wine Tasting
- Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure
- Banff Gondola Ride
- Transfer from Jasper Train Station to Jasper Hotel
- Banff to Lake Louise
- Brewster Sightseeing Excursion discount coupon
- Icefield Photograph
- National Park entrance fees
- Hotel luggage handling
Day 1 - VIA Rail's Canadian from Vancouver to Jasper
Transfer to VIA Rail Station on your own. Your vacation begins with an evening departure from Vancouver on VIA Rail's Canadian Sleeper Plus class with Dome and classic dining car. Overnight train.
Day 2 - Arriving in Jasper
In the early morning you will enter the Canadian Rockies, traveling in daylight to the resort town of Jasper. Winding through the Yellowhead Pass, view Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Arrive in Jasper in mid-afternoon to begin a 2 night stay. Overnight Jasper.
Day 3 - Discovering Jasper
Experience Jasper National Park through the travels of the early explorers and view the unspoiled grandeur! A morning excursion will begin along the mighty Athabasca Canadian Heritage River, learning about David Thompson and the valley ecosystem. Travel above Maligne Canyon, with its narrow gorge and limestone walls created by 10,000 years of water flow. Visit a place of mystery and Indian legend as you continue to Medicine Lake, where sometimes it actually disappears! On your adventure, you are sure to see a variety of mountain wildlife. The rest of the afternoon is free to shop and explore the townsite. Overnight Jasper.
Day 4 - Jasper to Banff Sightseeing
Tour the Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefield. Enjoy an Ice Explorer ride onto the Athabasca Glacier. In the afternoon continue along the Icefields Parkway to the alpine town of Banff. Overnight Banff.
Day 5 - Exploring Lake Louise and Banff
This morning, take the informative "Explore Banff" excursion with a visit to sights such as Bow Falls and the Banff Hoodoos. In the afternoon, transfer to Lake Louise for time to explore and enjoy this fabulous setting. Overnight Lake Louise.
Day 6 - Lake Louise to Kelowna
After a morning departure from Lake Louise, ascending Roger's Pass, the summit of Glacier National Park. This route follows the Canadian Pacific rail line all along the way. One of the highlights of the trip is a stop at the Spiral Tunnels. This unique feature is an engineering marvel that loops into the heart of Mount Stephen. This was created in 1909 in order to reduce the steep grade of the rail line, a hazard of early travel that caused the concern for runaway cars due to the 4.5% grade (2.2% is the desired grade). A lunch break (included) is made in the alpine town of Revelstoke, founded in 1880 when the CP Railroad was built through the area. Today, it's a growing favorite destination among outdoor enthusiasts for golf, hiking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, skiing and heli-skiing.
Driving further south, the Trans Canada Highway travels past Craigellachie, the site of the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. This railway system connects Canada from coast to coast. Then the road winds its way out of the Monashee Mountains and you'll make a quick stop in Sicamous, the "Houseboat Capital of Canada". The last a stop today is in the small town of Armstrong before continuing on your journey south into the famed wine region of the Okanagan Valley, through the town of Vernon, home of Silver Star ski area.
Kelowna is the overnight destination and is the cosmopolitan and cultural centre of the Okanagan Valley, including five pristine golf courses, white sand beaches, orchards and Big White ski area, in addition to over a dozen local wineries. An evening arrival at your selected Kelowna hotel allows time for dinner (meal not included) and exploration of the lakefront. Overnight Kelowna.
Day 7 - Kelowna to Vancouver
After a hearty breakfast (included), the first stop of the day is at a local winery for an exclusive tour and educational wine tasting. Sample a variety of hand-crafted Okanagan wines in this unique and authentic setting, surrounded by the actual vineyards where the fruit is produced on site.
Depart the Okanagan Valley on the Coquihalla highway which travels through the interior to the town of Merritt. There, time is allowed at the Visitor Centre to stretch and learn about this historic territory, one of the premier ranching settlements in British Columbia from 1880. Then continue your trek on the Coquihalla Highway through the heart of ranching country and back into mountainous territory. Later in the day, a two hour stop at Minter Gardens will feed your body and soothe your senses with a delectable lunch (included) and guided walk through the exquisite gardens. Following lunch, connect with the mighty Fraser River (named after Simon Fraser, a fur trader who explored the area in 1808), a major salmon spawning route. Up to 10 million fish a year travel up to this waterway each fall to the exact stream bed of their birth where they will complete their life cycle by spawning and dying. This act, in turn, will attract and feed many predators such as eagles and bears who depend on this yearly feast to build body fat that will sustain them during the lean winter months ahead. On the last leg of your journey, you'll find yourself travelling through the lush Fraser delta region and then into downtown Vancouver, for a late afternoon arrival. Overnight Vancouver.
Day 8 - Departing Vancouver
Check-out from your hotel this morning to end your Western Circle Explorer vacation.
Hotels include Chateau Jasper, Mount Royal Hotel, Deer Lodge, Manteo Resort, and the Renaissance Vancouver. VIA Rail accommodations are Sleeper Touring Class semi-private berth. Meals are included onboard the train along with exclusive access to the Park car with its lounges and 360-degree panoramic views.
Hotels include Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Banff Springs, Delta Grand Okanagan, and Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. VIA Rail accommodations are Sleeper Touring Class in a private cabin. Meals are included onboard the train along with exclusive access to the Park car with its lounges and 360-degree panoramic views.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be of similar quality and amenities.
* When day tours or attractions are not operational in the off-season, the price will be adjusted or there will an alternative excursion/attraction made available.
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your Western Circle Explorer vacation.
Prices are per person, based on double occupancy and do not include 6% GST. Prices are in USD (converted as of 9/25/12) and are subject to currency fluctuations. Please note moderate accommodations include a semi-private berth in Sleeper Touring Class aboard the train.Single traveler and child prices are available upon request. All prices are subject to change without notice.