Calgary Stampede and Canadian Rockies from Chicago
Experience the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth on this 9-day tour to the Calgary Stampede, celebrating its 101st anniversary, and its must-see highlights including the GMC Rangeland Derby and Grandstand shows, the Western Oasis, Indian Village, Bell Midway Circus among hundreds of other events and activities. In addition to this fantastic annual event, highlights of this 9-day escorted tour include visits to some of the most distinctive towns and attractions within the Canadian Rockies including the resort town of Banff and tranquil Lake Louise with its famous Chateau.
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the iconic Empire Builder
Your 9-day tour begins at Chicago's Union Station, where you will meet your tour manager and fellow travelers. Early this afternoon, board Amtrak's Empire Builder train for the 1,475-mile journey across five states to Shelby, Montana. Relax in your onboard accommodations, visit the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge for spectacular views of the passing scenery, or enjoy a hot meal in the Dining Car. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - Across the Canadian Border to Lethbridge
During the day, the Empire Builder rolls across the remote flatlands of North Dakota and eastern Montana. Late this afternoon the train pulls into Shelby, Montana. A boxed dinner will be provided on the train prior to our arrival. The deluxe motorcoach that will transport you across the Canadian border and into the Canadian Rockies will be waiting for us. Overnight Lethbridge Ramada Hotel. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Banff
After breakfast we board our motorcoach and travel northwest to Banff. The awesome Canadian Rockies will soon dominate the horizon. Upon arrival early this afternoon, embark on a sightseeing tour of this breathtaking resort town. A highlight of your sightseeing excursion will be the gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain for spectacular views of the surrounding area. Overnight Banff Aspen Lodge. (CB)
Day 4 - Excursion to Columbia Icefield and Lake Louise
Today embark on an excursion along the Icefields Parkway, North America's most scenic highway, for a visit to the Columbia Icefield. A ride out onto the Athabasca Glacier in a specialized Snocoach will be a true highlight of the tour. Another high point will be a visit to beautiful Lake Louise and its famous Chateau. The setting is one of the most picturesque in the Rockies. A boxed lunch will be served en route. Overnight Banff Aspen Lodge. (CB, L)
Day 5 - Calgary Stampede
The morning is free to relax, shop or continue to explore all that Banff has to offer. This afternoon, transfer by motorcoach to Calgary for the annual Calgary Stampede. There will be time to freshen up at your hotel and have dinner at a nearby restaurant before heading to the GMC Rangeland Derby and Transalta Grandstand show. The Derby is the world's premier chuckwagon racing event complete with 36 drivers, 288 horses and their teams of outriders vying for over one million dollars in prize money. This is the Stampede's most renowned event! The Grandstand show features the Volte. This stunning program includes a rock opera musical score and gravity-defying sights as well as fireworks and performing black stallions. Overnight Ramada Hotel Downtown Calgary.
Day 6 - The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth
The entire day is at your leisure to enjoy all that this major world event has to offer. Discover displays, attractions and events including the Art and Lifestyle Showcase, nonstop entertainment on the Window of the West Stage, creative arts and crafts and more! Don't miss the Co-Op Kitchen Theater. Some of the world's top entertainers will perform. Overnight Ramada Hotel Downtown Calgary.
Day 7 - Stampede Rodeo
This morning is yours to continue to the explorations you began yesterday. This afternoon we'll conclude our Stampede visit experiencing the thrill of one of the world's all-time greatest rodeos. Six major events-Bareback, Bull Riding, Barrel Racing, Saddle Bronc, Steer Wrestling and Tie-Down Roping-are the backbone of the Stampede Rodeo. This evening we'll make the journey back to Lethbridge by motorcoach. Overnight Lethbridge Ramada Hotel.
Day 8 - Empire Builder to Chicago
After breakfast this morning, we'll make the drive by motorcoach across the border to Shelby, Montana, to board Amtrak's iconic Empire Builder for the train journey east to Chicago. Once your train journey is underway, you'll want to visit the Sightseer Lounge for expansive views of the passing scenery. Overnight train. (CB, L, D)
Day 9 - Arrival in the Windy City
When you awake this morning the Empire Builder will be departing Minneapolis, continuing its journey south along the west bank of the Mississippi River. The train is scheduled to arrive in Chicago late this afternoon, where your Calgary Stampede and Canadian Rockies adventure comes to an end. (B, L)
Prices are land-only, per person based and are subject to change.