What we love about this trip
• Spend two days on the comfortable and welcoming Skeena Train by VIA Rail
• Explore the East Coast of Vancouver Island and the stunning Rocky Mountains
• Enjoy an unforgettable opportunity to spot whales and grizzly bears in the wild
• Visit Campbell River’s Painter’s Lodge
• Tour the vibrant city of Vancouver and the lush greenery of Butchart Gardens in Victoria
• Take a day cruise along the Inside Passage
• Take a ride on the Rocky Mountaineer at the end of your trip (optional)
Day 1 – Arriving in Vancouver
Your driver will greet you with a smile as you disembark at the Vancouver airport. Transfer to your hotel downtown and get your first glimpse of this cultured, vibrant and outdoor-loving metropolis.
Day 2 – Vancouver
Vancouver is known as one of the best places to live in Canada – and perhaps even in the world. With scenic parks, a great art scene, loads of museums, delicious authentic international food and much more, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular place. Take a full day to soak up all of the sights, including Granville Island, English Bay, Gastown and scenic Stanley Park with its First Nations totem poles. Your hop-on-hop-off trolley pass will allow you to explore the city at your own pace.
Day 3 – Vancouver to Victoria
The quaint seaside city of Victoria is located on wild and beautiful Vancouver Island, where it offers a fascinating blend of West Coast culture and British charm. Explore top-notch museums, art galleries and much more. Today you will take the ferry through the misty green Gulf Islands to visit Victoria and see the famous Butchart Gardens.
Day 4 – Victoria Whale Watching
Feel the sea mist on your face and breathe in the fresh air as you gaze out over the Strait of Georgia. Watch in awe as majestic Orca whales breach the surface of the water. Your naturalist guide will reveal many fascinating facts about these massive creatures.
Day 5 – Victoria to Campbell River
Drive along the scenic roads of Vancouver Island from Victoria to Campbell River, a lovely town tucked along the coast. From your hotel, savour views of Painter’s Lodge and Marina -- one of the best salmon fishing destinations in the world.
Day 6 – Campbell River
Spend the day exploring Campbell River, hiking through the mountains and old growth forest in Strathcona Provincial Park. Painter’s Lodge and Marina runs many marine activities for your enjoyment. During the fall season, take a grizzly bear tour to the Great Bear Rainforest so that you can watch these enormous beasts dining on salmon fresh from the river.
Day 7 – Campbell River to Port Hardy
Weave your way north along the scenic roads of Vancouver Island until you reach Port Hardy. This quaint fishing town is located on the Northern tip of the Island and is surrounded by wild and rugged scenery. Drop off your car here and prepare for your Inside Passage cruise tomorrow.
Day 8 – The Inside Passage
Inhale the fresh clean air on the deck of the cruise ship as you admire the views along the Inside Passage. Lush green coastal mountains, thick old-growth forests, tranquil grey-blue water and perhaps even a soaring hawk or eagle – this unspoiled scenery will captivate your imagination. Arrive in the town of Prince Rupert in Northern BC in the evening.
Day 9 – Prince Rupert
There is plenty to discover in this Northern BC town. Visit the carving shed at the Museum of Northern British Columbia, where First Nations artists create traditional works of art. Between May and July, your vacation specialist can add a cruise to the wild and unspoiled Khutzeymateen Valley, which provides great opportunities for spotting grizzly bears in their natural habitat.
Day 10 – Prince Rupert to Prince George
Board the VIA Rail Skeena Train and glide down the tracks alongside the raging Skeena River. You’ll pass by past canyons, valleys and mountain ranges where fur traders and First Nations people once traveled. Reach the city of Prince George where you will spend the night.
Day 11 – Canadian Rockies by Train
Continue your train journey toward the Canadian Rockies. The Skeena Train has large windows perfect for viewing the rugged peaks and dense green forests all around you. Sit back with a cup of coffee and admire the views. Spend the night in the small mountain town of Jasper, a quiet retreat surrounded by pristine alpine wilderness.
Day 12 – Jasper
Jasper is a peaceful small town in the Rocky Mountains, which makes it an ideal base while enjoying everything this area has to offer. Take a cruise along the mirror-like surface of tranquil Maligne Lake and hike through Maligne Valley. Keep your eyes open for wildlife -- you never know when you might spot a deer, elk, moose or bighorn sheep.
Day 13 – The Icefields Parkway
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk along the surface of a glacier? The Columbia Icefield is one of the biggest glaciers south of the Arctic Circle – an enormous sheet of ice that has been slowly sliding down a mountain for millions of years. Tour this remarkable place on the Ice Explorer – an incredible vehicle with wheels taller than a grown man. You might also spot elk, moose, bears and other creatures that love to drink from the cool, clear, glacial streams.
Stay overnight at the luxurious Lake Louise and savour the views over this turquoise lake surrounded by mountain peaks.
Day 14 - Lake Louise to Banff
Journey to Banff, a friendly and vibrant town surrounded by mountains on all sides. Spend the afternoon enjoying the fun, relaxed vibe. Unwind in the park alongside the Bow River, visit the many quirky local boutiques and cafes along Banff Avenue or go for a hike on one of the trails just outside of town.
Day 15 – Banff
Wake up to the sound of mountain songbirds and the scent of pine trees. Take a full day to discover the wilderness surrounding the town of Banff, including Sunshine Meadows, Lake Minnewanka and the Bow Valley. Enjoy a ride up to the top of Sulphur Mountain on the Gondola and admire the panoramic Rocky Mountain vistas. Overnight in Banff.
Day 16 – Depart to Calgary
Wave goodbye to the Rocky Mountains as you drive to the Calgary Airport to catch your flight home. The amazing sights you have seen on your Canadian adventure have become memories that you will never forget.
Interested? Contact us to start customizing this trip today!
Here are just a few of the things to look forward to on this trip...
Whale watching excursion
Visit to charming Victoria
BC Ferries Inside Passage Cruise
Gourmet meals on the train
Rental car to explore the area
Glacier ride on the Ice Explorer
Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain
Customize this trip a little... or a lot
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Work with us to personalize this trip by adding some amazing side trips & activities, like...
Staying at a remote fly-in lodge
Grizzly bear viewing safari
Salmon fishing guided adventure
Canoe paddling Lake Louise