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Calgary Stampede, Canadian Rockies & Glacier

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4.3 stars(16 reviews)
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The storied beauty of the Rocky Mountains awaits your exploration on this 10-day journey, which features excursions to three of the four national parks that make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as Glacier National Park in Montana, and concludes with a memorable trip to the one and only Calgary Stampede.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
20212022
10 days From $3,420 per person

2022 Tour code: PP-CSRA-22

About the tour

Ten days of mountains, glaciers, pristine lakes, national parks and unforgettable experiences beckon on this rail tour to Canada. The excitement begins with an overnight journey aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder. As the train pulls into the station in Whitefish, MT, the first peaks of the Canadian Rockies come into view. We spend a full day taking in the awe-inspiring scenes of Glacier National Park in Montana before crossing the border into Canada. A brief stop in Cranbrook allows us to see one of the largest collections of vintage train cars in North America, and we are also treated to the insurmountable beauty of Kootenay National Park before arriving in Banff. Our time in Banff brings visits to Lake Louise, and the Columbia Icefield, as well as a ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain aboard the Banff Gondola. As if the adventures in the Rockies were not enough, the tour wraps up with even more thrills in Calgary at the Calgary Stampede. Whether it is the serenity of nature or tradition and urban culture you seek, this rail vacation is your ticket to the best of both worlds.

Highlights

Activity level Natural Explorer

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You don’t mind spending the day on your feet. You enjoy sightseeing that includes walking, standing or stair climbing. You’re okay with longer days that are more active, such as multiple sightseeing stops, longer motorcoach journeys and getting on and off ships and trains.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart Chicago aboard the Empire Builder

Arrive at Chicago Union Station and board the  Empire Builder. Settle into your onboard accommodations and prepare for your overnight rail journey. Travelers may elect to travel from Seattle or points in-between and meet the group in Whitefish, MT. Overnight train.

Day 2 – En Route to Whitefish, MT

Your time aboard the Empire Builder is spent admiring the picturesque scenery. Sights of mountains, plains and brilliant blue skies leave the lights of the city in the background. Take time to admire the changing scenery from the Sightseer Lounge Car. Large panoramic windows provide the perfect lookout over the natural undulations in the land. Upon arrival in Whitefish, transfer to your hotel. Overnight Whitefish, MT.

Day 3 – Glacier National Park

One of the most iconic ways to enjoy the lush landscape of Glacier National Park is from vintage Red Jammer buses. These "Rubies of the Rockies" were built in the 1930s and feature iconic red paint that was inspired by ripe mountain ash berries in Glacier National Park, as well as roll-back convertible tops that allow for unobstructed views from all angles. With the top back and the windows down, we make our way along the gorgeous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Learn about the wildlife, geology and history of the park from your Jammer, the quirky name for Glacier's tour bus drivers, which originated from the "jamming" of the gears up Going-to-the-Sun Road before the bus transmissions were switched to automatic. Lean your head back and gaze up at the imposing mountain peaks and big blue skies. Enjoy the peaceful ambiance that overtakes you when there is not a building in sight, just vast meadows, plunging valleys and rugged mountain scenes. Highlights along the way include the Crown of the Continent at Logan's Pass, Lake McDonald Valley, St. Mary Valley and Swiftcurrent Valley. Overnight Whitefish, MT. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 4 – Cranbrook/Kootenay National Park/Banff

We make our way across the Canadian border en route to Banff in the heart of the Canadian Rockies this morning. The journey is taken by deluxe motorcoach, and from our comfortable seats, we gaze upon the beautiful Kootenay and Purcell Mountains. The first stop of the day is in Cranbrook, BC. Here we learn about the history of Cranbrook and the surrounding area through the collections at the Cranbrook History Centre and get acquainted with the region's railway history at the museum's Canadian Museum of Rail Travel. In fact, this museum houses 28 historic rail cars - one of the largest collections in North America! The cars are in a constant state of restoration, allowing visitors to experience the various stages of caring for vintage trains as a docent tells their stories. We also enjoy lunch at the museum in the 1906 Royal Alexandra Hall, which was saved from demolition in Winnipeg. Back on the road, we continue north through Radium Hot Springs and Kootenay National Park before arriving in Banff this afternoon. Check in at the hotel, with the remainder of the day at leisure. Overnight Banff, AB. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Day 5 – Banff Sightseeing

Spend the day enjoying the undeniable splendor of downtown Banff and Banff National Park at your own pace. Surrounded by views of Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade, downtown Banff is brimming with stunning views and laid-back ambiance. You may spend some time meandering through the shops, restaurants and galleries, or take a dip in Banff Upper Hot Springs. The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies is a favorite with visitors, as is Banff Park Museum. If you desire adventure, there are over 1,000 miles of well-maintained hiking trails throughout the park, as well as ziplining courses, mountain bike trails, waterways for whitewater rafting, wildlife tours and so much more. Later this afternoon, head to the Banff Gondola for a ride above the treetops to the summit of Sulphur Mountain. The ride to the top takes less than 10 minutes, and upon arrival, you have time to explore the Banff Interpretive Center, to soak in views of six mountain ranges from the rooftop deck, to watch a film in the Banff Theater and to explore on foot by crossing the Sulphur Mountain Boardwalk to reach Sanson's Peak. Enjoy dinner in Banff this evening before spending the remainder of the evening at leisure. Overnight Banff, AB.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 – Lake Louise/Columbia Icefield

The day's sightseeing begins with a visit to Lake Louise, where the surrounding  mountain vistas are complemented by the turquoise-colored waters of the glacier-fed lake. Next, we travel along the Icefields  Parkway to the Columbia Icefield, where we board an Ice Explorer for an unforgettable  experience atop an expansive glacier.  Overnight Banff, AB.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 – En Route to Calgary

Watch as the dramatic scenery of Alberta changes from mountains to city as we drive towards Calgary today. Our drive takes us out of the front range of the Rockies and through unique little hills known as drumlins. Past the hills, we cross over Scott Lake Hill before arriving on flatter land, where the cities come into view and small rock formations signify the last remnants of the Canadian Rockies. Entering into Calgary city limits, we head to Heritage Park, Canada's largest living history museum. Immerse yourself in yesteryear by speaking with costumed interpreters and visiting interactive displays that showcase the development of Western Canada. Following our visit, our motorcoach takes us to our downtown Calgary hotel, where we have the evening at leisure to get acquainted with the city. Overnight Calgary, AB.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 8 – Calgary Stampede

Today is a free day in Calgary. Work your way through the landmarks and hotspots of the city or use your included admission tickets to visit the Calgary Stampede. The Calgary Zoo is a favorite of visitors, as is the Glenbow Museum, where local arts and history are presented through interesting displays. Seeing the architecture of the city and the surrounding scenery from the Calgary Tower is an experience not to miss. If you are in the mood for nature, Prince's Island Park and the Riverwalk are gorgeous. Of course, there are numerous museums, galleries and shops to explore, as well. Tonight we meet at Stampede Park for a special dinner in the Clubhouse, located on the fourth level of the Grandstand, before the main event, the Chuckwagon Races and Grandstand Show. The Chuckwagon Races are an event to remember, as 36 wagon drivers compete for over $1 million in prize money. Feel the excitement build over each of the nine heats, as sounds of horse hooves pounding the earth fill the air. When the winner crosses the finish line, the Grandstand Show begins. Acrobats, musicians, dancers and other talented performers entertain us all night before the evening concludes with a colorful fireworks display. Overnight Calgary, AB.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9 – Calgary Stampede

The morning is yours to continue your explorations of Calgary. This afternoon, we make our way to the Stampede Grounds for the world-renowned Stampede Rodeo. Take in the sights and sounds of the rodeo, shop at the many vendors, sample the food and experience the amazing events. Traditional rodeo events, such as bareback bronc riding, bull riding, barrel racing, saddle bronc, steer wrestling and tie-down roping, keep the excitement going all throughout the day and into the evening. Overnight Calgary, AB. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 10 – Tour Conclusion

Your Calgary Stampede adventure concludes after breakfast this morning. A group transfer to Calgary International Airport will accommodate flights departing after 1:00 p.m.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

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 vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotels

Royal Canadian Lodge, Banff

Royal Canadian Lodge, Banff

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Fairfield Inn & Suites Calgary Downtown

Fairfield Inn & Suites Calgary Downtown

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Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, Williams

Grand Canyon Railway Hotel, Williams

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Train

Amtrak's Empire Builder

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Reviews

4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 16 reviews

  1. 5 stars
    (6)
  2. 4 stars
    (9)
  3. 3 stars
    (1)
  4. 2 stars
    (0)
  5. 1 star
    (0)

Esther M, Canon, GA

4 stars

Submitted 22 Dec 2018

Loved our tour director and motor coach driver. They were so informative. Looking at taking another trip in the future. What a way to see the beautiful USA. Thank you!!

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Nancy P, Fargo, ND

4 stars

Submitted 19 Dec 2018

I hate to see it end, all the people in the group were very lovely & tour guides were great

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Frederick H, Seminole, FL

4 stars

Submitted 12 Dec 2018

Overall the trip was excellent...The tour guide done an outstanding job. The experience exceeded our expectations.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Kathy V., Fairbury, IL

5 stars

Submitted 27 Nov 2018

It was an incredible trip! This trip was by far the most fascinating trip I have taken so far. The Canadian Rockies exceeded my expectations.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Margaret

3 stars

Submitted 18 Nov 2018

Tour guide did a very good job of taking us to most of the places we were scheduled to see despite the forest fires in Montana and Canada. The bus driver-Canadian- was terrible. Very cynic about the USA

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Karen S., Indianapolis, IN

4 stars

Submitted 08 Nov 2018

Tom is wonderful, kind, organized, thoughtful. Driver, Jose is impressive. He took great care of us. Train experience was so enjoyable! Meals were as fine as any upscale restaurant and the service top notch. You good folks thought of everything from what to see, how much to see and how to see it. The Stampede experience was a dream come true. I am grateful to Vacations by Rail for a spectacular tour and a wonderful vacation. Not enough space to sing VBR's praises! Thank you!

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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