Glacier and Canada’s Mountain Majesty
By train, coach and foot, take in the awe-inspiring mountain scenery of both the United States and Canada on this 11-day adventure.
Embark on a dual-country train vacation as you discover the natural beauty of Glacier National Park and the wonder of the Canadian Rockies. Begin your trip in Chicago, where you board the legendary Empire Builder for a 1,620-mile overnight journey to Glacier National Park. Tour the park with the group, then enjoy all of the dazzling mountain scenery, sparkling lakes, and diverse wildlife Glacier National Park has to offer over the spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Highway.
After your time at Glacier National Park, board a motorcoach for a full-day scenic journey to Banff. Explore this breathtaking alpine town as you embark on a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. From Banff, the famed Icefields Parkway takes us to the Columbia Icefields and Lake Louise on the way to your next destination, Jasper.
Spend the day at leisure discovering the gorgeous city of Jasper, then the next morning, embark on a day excursion to Maligne Lake for a scenic cruise, followed by a motorcoach tour of Yellowhead Pass for spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies. Reboard the Empire Builder in Shelby, Montana for the ride back to Chicago, where this tour comes to a close.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Round-trip transportation by rail from Chicago
- Two nights Coach Class with reclining coach seat with leg rest
- First-class hotel accommodations for eight nights
- 9 meals
- Extensive sightseeing including admissions to the Glacier National Park, Sulphur Mountain Gondola, the Glacier Snocoach, Maligne Lake Cruise, and Heritage Park
- Baggage handling, taxes & tips
- Services of a professional Tour Director
Day 1 - Depart Chicago
Glacier and Canada's Mountain Majesty tour members will meet the Tour Director in Chicago's Union Station. We will board Amtrak's Empire Builder for the 1620-mile journey at 2:15 p.m. across five states to Whitefish, Montana. Relax in your comfortable reclining coach seat with leg rest. Roomettes or Bedrooms are available at an additional cost and include dining car meals. Go to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car for spectacular viewing. This evening you can enjoy an optional full-course dinner in the dining car; lighter fare is available in the lounge car. We'll have a short stop in Minneapolis - St. Paul this evening.
Day 2 - En Route to Whitefish
During the day we will roll across the remote flatlands of North Dakota and eastern Montana. This evening a dramatic panorama of Rocky Mountain peaks will begin to rise above the horizon, becoming increasingly dynamic as we approach Glacier National Park. The scenery is striking as we wind past waterfalls, river gorges and other sights. The glass-walled lounge provides an excellent vantage point. Arrival in Whitefish is scheduled this evening. The Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge is our home for the next two nights.
Day 3 - Glacier National Park
After breakfast, we'll depart on an all-day tour of one of America's most beautiful attractions. Our group will travel over the spectacular Going-to-the-Sun Highway, acclaimed as one of the outstanding scenic roadways of the world. The drive affords magnificent views of the mountain scenery. Dense forests, picturesque lakes, brilliant flowers, and abundant wildlife enhance the excellent views. We'll stop for a leisurely “on-your-own” lunch at Lake McDonald Lodge and return to our hotel by late afternoon. Dinner is included this evening. (B, D)
Day 4 - En Route to Banff
Following breakfast we'll board our motorcoach this morning and begin a full day of stimulating travel northwest to Banff. The scenery will be breathtaking as we cross into British Columbia and begin to encounter the awesome Canadian Rockies. We'll stop in Cranbrook, B.C., for an “on-your-own” lunch. We'll also visit Cranbrook's fascinating Railway Museum and Gallery. You'll tour the perfectly restored 1929 Trans-Canada Limited. By late afternoon, we'll arrive in the beautiful mountain village of Banff. Our lodging for the next two nights will be the attractive, conveniently located High Country Inn. (B)
Day 5 - Banff
This morning we'll embark on a Discover Banff Tour. The highlight of the tour will be the gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain for a spectacular view. You're free this afternoon to rest, shop along Banff Avenue, or visit the Natural History or Parks Canada Museums. (B)
Day 6 - Jasper
Today our travelers will experience the Icefields Parkway, North America's most scenic highway. We'll visit the Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Falls. A ride out onto the Athabasca Glacier in a specialized Snocoach will be a highlight of the tour. Frequent photo stops will be made. Another high point will be the visit to 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. We will arrive in Jasper by late afternoon. Our lodging for the next two nights will be the conveniently located Whistlers Inn. (B, L)
Day 7 - Maligne Lake Cruise & Mt. Robson
This morning we'll travel to nearby Maligne Lake and embark on a scenic cruise. This afternoon we'll board our motorcoach and travel west through the Yellowhead Pass about 50 miles to enjoy more of the spectacular Canadian Rockies scenery. We'll view Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 12,972 feet. We'll return to Jasper for a second night.
Day 8 - Icefields Parkway
This is one of the extraordinary tours where you experience North America's most scenic highway in BOTH directions. There will be time for an “on-your-own” lunch. We will stop for an included dinner en route to the International Hotel Calgary, our home for the evening. (D)
Day 9 - Calgary
Today we will visit Heritage Park where you will take a “step back in time” at Canada's largest living history museum. We will enjoy a guided tour of the park. There are more than 180 exhibits and attractions spread over 127 acres. You will explore exhibits from 1860 to 1950 including Heritage Town Square, 1900s Living Historical Village, an 1880s Pre-Railway Settlement, and an 1860s Fur Trading Fort. Following our visit, we'll continue south to Shelby, Montana. Our home for the night will be the Best Western Shelby Inn & Suites. (B)
Day 10 - En Route
This morning following a continental breakfast, we'll transfer to the Shelby Amtrak station to board the Empire Builder for Chicago. Departure is scheduled for 11:33 a.m. You'll experience the same accommodations and amenities you experienced on the westbound trip. (B)
Day 11 - En Route to Chicago
We'll go through Minneapolis-St. Paul, we head south along the west bank of the Mississippi River. The train winds between the river bank and high bluffs. Later in the morning, we pass through the picturesque Dells Country of Wisconsin. The Empire Builder is scheduled to arrive at Chicago's Union Station late this afternoon. At the conclusion of the tour, some travelers will continue to home destinations. Others will spend the night in Chicago and continue home tomorrow.
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Click here to view testimonials for Glacier and Canada’s Mountain Majesty.
Good schedule of sites, beautiful coaches- comfortable, clean, good guides at site locations. Meals and housing stops were very good. No complaints from us, great tour
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