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Canadian Rockies at Christmas

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10 days Sold out

The magic of Christmas and the quiet glory of Canada’s winter landscape create a holiday journey to remember on this rail vacation aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian.

Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager

2023 Tour code: CWX24

About the tour

This 10-day expedition exposes the breathtaking frozen panoramas of the Canadian Rockies and the warm ambiance of Western Canada's cities and resort towns in the winter. Our journey begins in Vancouver, where a sightseeing tour showcases the city's eclectic neighborhoods and famous sites. Vancouver is the gateway to the Rockies, and it's here where we board one of Canada's most iconic trains, VIA Rail's Canadian, for a journey to Jasper. Enjoy a taste of classic overnight train travel on the one-night journey into the Canadian Rockies. While on the train, relax in your private accommodations, visit the domed-glass sightseeing lounge, and dine on delectable chef-prepared cuisine. On arrival in Jasper, witness the stunning beauty of Maligne Canyon frozen in time on a guided ice walk across the canyon floor. Next, a drive along the Icefields Parkway finds us first in Lake Louise to visit this famous hamlet and then in Banff. Here, a guided tour introduces us to all of Banff's natural wonders from the ground and from the top of Sulphur Mountain. Enjoy a free day to enjoy a variety of seasonal activities ranging from sleigh rides to skiing before returning home from Calgary. The beauty of Western Canada in winter is undeniable, and with this tour you have the grand opportunity to experience it first-hand.


What’s included


Day 1 - Arrive in Vancouver

We arrive into Vancouver, checking into our hotel for a three-night stay. Overnight Vancouver. 

Day 2 - Discovering Vancouver

We set out on a sightseeing tour of Vancouver today, making our way firstly to Gastown. Named after 'Gassy' Jack Deighton, a Yorkshire seaman who settled here in 1867, today Gastown is a popular downtown area, full of cafés, contemporary fashion shops, galleries and more. Continuing to Chinatown, one of the largest of its kind in North America, we soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the Asian inspired streets and food stalls. Finally, we visit Stanley Park, 400 hectares of wild open space that's home to the city's famous and colourful totem poles which celebrate Canada's Native American heritage. Overnight Vancouver.

Day 3 - Free time in Vancouver

You're free today to explore further. You could escape the city and take the bus to Grouse Mountain for a ride on the Skyride cable car, which boasts jaw-dropping views across Vancouver's skyline, Pacific Ocean and nearby Gulf Islands. At the top, you can enjoy a range of seasonal activities, including sleigh rides or a snow limo. Perhaps stay closer to the bustle of the city and sample the flavours of Granville Island, which boasts a mouth-watering food market and an array of craft studios. Overnight Vancouver.

Day 4 - The Canadian

We transfer to Union Station and board The Canadian for our overnight journey through the majestic Rocky Mountains to Jasper. The Canadian is truly iconic, transporting us in restored stainless steel carriages through incredible landscapes in comfort. During the night, we climb into the foothills of the Rockies, awakening to the sight of glaciers, lakes, plunging canyons, frozen waterfalls and soaring snow-covered peaks illuminated by the sun's first rays of the day. Overnight train.

Day 5 - Jasper

We arrive in Jasper, a quaint mountain town at the edge of the wilderness and located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. The town is surrounded by tree-covered mountains, and at this time of year, is often blanketed in snow. With free time to look around after checking into our hotel for two nights, you could take a walk through the wintry streets, admiring quaint houses and small shops. It isn't unusual to even see a family of elk crossing the road. Overnight Jasper.

Day 6 - Maligne Canyon

The Rockies are transformed by snow and ice in winter taking on magical beauty. We experience this with a visit to Maligne Canyon, a 164-foot deep gorge of sheer limestone walls that's home to wildlife such as grey wolves, hoary marmots, caribou and moose. During our time here, we take part in an ice walk with a local guide, heading to the canyon floor to explore frozen waterfalls, ice caves and incredible ice formations. We also learn about the mysterious Medicini Lake, enjoying a picnic lunch as we go. Afterwards, we warm up with a traditional treat of hot chocolate and smores. Overnight Jasper.

Day 7 - Christmas Day

We enjoy a relaxed day of festivities to celebrate Christmas, including a fantastic lunch of traditional treats and all the trimmings. And there's no better environment to enjoy your annual Christmas walk. Overnight Jasper.

Day 8 - Boxing Day in Banff

Leaving Jasper and its national park behind, we begin the drive to Banff, traveling along the world-famous Icefields Parkway - a 144-mile road that links Banff and Jasper. Traveling along a lake-lined valley, past many of the highest and most rugged peaks in the Rockies, we pass by the Columbia Icefields and the Athabasca Glacier. Along the way, we stop at Lake Louise, which at this time of year is completely froxen over, to admire the views of soaring peaks covered in verdant pine forests which slope away from the lakeshore. Overnight Banff.

Day 9 - Tour of Banff

Today's excursion takes us on a tour around the natural wonders of Banff. Exploring with a local guide, we visit Two Jack Lake where we're greeted by a stunning backdrop of emerald-green waters and a sweeping panorama of Mount Rundle and the Banff Hoodoos, a cluster of needle-like sedimentary rocks. We also admire Surprise Corner which, as the name suggests, delivers spectacular and surprising views of Bow Falls. A highlight of the day is a ride on the Banff Gondola. This cable car transports us to the summit of Sulphur Mountain to marvel at the wintry scenes laid out beneath us. Overnight Banff.

Day 10 - Tour Conclusion

Your tour concludes with a group transfer to Calgary airport for flights departing after 5pm. 

Additional information

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

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.


Elk and Avenue Hotel, Banff

Elk and Avenue Hotel, Banff

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Forest Park Hotel

Forest Park Hotel , Jasper

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Blue Horizon Hotel, Vancouver

Blue Horizon Hotel, Vancouver

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