Contrasts of Canada
Spend two weeks exploring the contrasts of Canada - the quiet serenity of nature and the awe-inspiring hustle of the city - on this road and rail adventure.
Embark on an epic adventure through Canada aboard one of the country's most iconic trains. Begin your journey with full days of group touring and independent exploration in Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler. From Whistler, we wind our way to Kamloops. Then enjoy a sampling of some of the region's national parks as you travel to Banff; Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Yoho and Banff National Parks are all on the itinerary. Upon arrival in Banff, take part on an in-depth city tour before returning to your overnight accommodations.
Next, move through the unique landscapes of Lake Louise and the Columbia Icefields as you make your way to Jasper. It is here that your group tour comes to a close and your independent expedition on VIA Rail's Canadian begins.
Spend two days traversing the country before arriving in Toronto. There is much to see and do in this booming metropolis; see the best on an included Hop-on/Hop-off Tour and a visit to Niagara Falls. After 16 days of thrilling travel, your tour comes to a close in Toronto.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Iconic train journey aboard VIA rail's The Canadian
- 15 full breakfasts
- 2 lunches
- 8 dinners
- City tour of Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler and Banff
- View Lake Louise, Stanley Park, Yoho and Mount Revelstoke National Parks
- Scenic drive along the Sea-to-Sky Highway and Icefield Parkway
- Hand-picked 4 and 5 star accommodation
Day 1 - Arrive Vancouver
Welcome to Vancouver, check into your hotel and get settled or head out to explore. Then gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow traveling companions for a Welcome Reception this evening. Overnight at Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel. (D)
Day 2 - Vancouver Sightseeing
Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge Park before delving into the historic neighbourhoods of Chinatown and Gastown, whose Victorian heritage stems from a single tavern founded by 'Gassy Jack'. We explore the city's leafy peninsula on a visit to Stanley Park. (B)
Day 3 - Vancouver to Victoria
Travel by ferry to Vancouver Island to savour the crisp, sweet flavours of craft cider during a visit to one of the island's most renowned cider houses. Continue to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Overnight at Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour. (B)
Day 4 - Victoria Sightseeing
Enjoy breakfast at Butchart Gardens and learn how the spectacular floral display was once a giant disused quarry. Spend some time strolling through the garden. Enjoy a your choice dining experience tonight. (B, D)
Day 5 - Victoria to Whistler
Set out for Chemainus, famous for its outdoor murals. Return to the mainland by ferry and then we embark on a scenic road-trip, winding along the Sea-to-Sky to the ski resort sensation of Whistler where our Stay with a Story is the alpine village's landmark ski-in ski-out hotel. Overnight at Fairmont Chateau Whistler. (B, D)
Day 6 - Whistler Sightseeing
Start the morning with a visit at the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre and listen to a traditional welcome song from your Local Specialist First Nations ambassador. Spend the rest of your day at leisure. Overnight at Fairmont Chateau Whistler. (B)
Day 7 - Whistler to Kamloops
We wind our way from Whistler to Kamloops. The evening is yours to enjoy on your terms. Overnight at Kamloops DoubleTree Hotel. (B)
Day 8 - Kamloops to Rocky Mountain National Park & Banff
Sample the best of Canada's natural treasures in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks. Travel through Mount Revelstoke National Park and Yoho National Park. Cross the Continental Divide, enter Banff National Park and arrive at your quintessential mountain resort for a relaxing two-night stay. Enjoy a Local Specialist presentation where you will learn all about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police from a real life "Mountie." Overnight at Banff Park Lodge. (B)
Day 9 - Banff Sightseeing
Immerse yourself in the natural glories of Banff, including the classic viewpoint of Surprise Corner, spectacular Bow Falls, and the hoodoo rock formations. The afternoon is free. In the evening, join your traveling companions for a visit to a ranch in the beautiful Kananaskis Valley as your hosts greet you for a memorable Be My Guest experience and dinner. Overnight at Banff Park Lodge. (B, D)
Day 10 - Banff, Lake Louise & Jasper
Arrive on the shores of lovely Lake Louise with a short lakeside talk. Get ready for a unique adventure at the Columbia Icefield where you board an Ice Explorer and drive on the massive Athabasca Glacier. Later this afternoon, arrive at your hotel in the heart of Jasper National Park. Join your newfound friends for a "Farewell to the Rockies" Dinner. Overnight at The Sawridge Inn. (B, D)
Day 11 - VIA Rail's The Canadian
Bid farewell to your Travel Director and fellow travelers as you board VIA Rail's The Canadian for your independent transcontinental journey across Canada, from Jasper to Toronto. Take in the legendary scenery, one of the most renowned long-distance journeys in the world. Get settled in and relax in your Sleeper Plus or Prestige Sleeper Class (optional upgrade) compartment. Overnight The Canadian. (B, D)
Days 12 & 13 - Aboard The Canadian
Enjoy the full experience of traveling aboard VIA Rail's flagship: delicious meals are prepared fresh by local chefs and served in the elegant, fully renovated dining cars. Enjoy wine tastings and interactive presentations on the history, geography and culture of the regions you travel through. From time to time, musicians play on board, providing a soundtrack for the journey. As you travel across the continent, take in the sweeping landscapes from the comfort of your private compartment or from the Bullet Lounge, Mural Lounge or the scenic glass dome Skyline and Park cars, where you can unwind with a coffee or make new acquaintances. Overnight The Canadian. (Day 12 - B, L, D, Day 13 - B, L, D)
Day 14 - Arrive Toronto
Arrive in Toronto, Canada's most cosmopolitan city located on the shore of Lake Ontario. On arrival, you will be met and taken to your recently renovated hotel in the heart of Toronto's vibrant city. Time permitting, start exploring Toronto with your complimentary hop-on/ hop-off city sightseeing tour. Overnight at the Sheraton Centre Toronto. (B)
Day 15 - Niagara Falls
Today, venture to the Niagara Peninsula for a full day sightseeing tour. Take in the picturesque countryside of the Niagara Peninsula and stop at one of the local wineries where you can sample selections of some of Ontario's finest wines. Continue along the Niagara Parkway to Niagara Falls with photo opportunities at the famed Floral Clock. Board the Hornblower for an exhilarating boat ride to the base of the majestic Horseshoe Falls. Enjoy some free time around the falls before heading back toward Niagara-on-the-Lake, stopping along the way for photo opportunities at the observation deck. Once in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, you will have time to stroll through the charming streets, soaking up the history and heritage of one of Canada's most famous landmarks. The rest of the day is free. Overnight at the Sheraton Centre Toronto. (B)
Day 16 - Depart Toronto
Your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Toronto Pearson International Airport. (B)
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Cabins purchased on VIA rail for a single traveler are Cabins for 1. For upgrade options, ask your rail specialist for details.