Journey through the Clouds Explorer with Pre-Tour Cruise ms Nieuw Amsterdam

17 days Cruising
  • 2-Day Rocky Mountaineer Experience
  • 7-night Alaska cruise
  • Vancouver
  • Kamloops
  • Jasper
  • Banff
  • Lake Louise
  • Calgary

Virgin Holidays' view

Epic adventures don’t have to push you to your limits. Two of North America’s wildest wildernesses, West Canada and Alaska, can be explored in utter luxury and comfort by cruise and rail. The scenery steals the show as you sail the north Pacific’s Inside Passage for seven nights, experiencing UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay National Park, where creaking glaciers calve shelves of ice into the bay with thunderous plumes of water. Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam tries to live up to its dazzling route with 5-course dining menus, indulgent spa treatments*, and gallery worthy artwork; but Alaska’s ports of call lure you with promises of sights like Juneau’s massive Mendenhall Glacier; Skagway’s Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park; and Ketchikan’s hill and water-skimming homes. The inland scenery’s just as dramatic. Even near urban Vancouver, a North Shore tour reveals natural beauty at Grouse Mountain and the treetop Capilano Suspension Bridge. And there’s nothing understated about the Rocky Mountaineer’s views — or its luxury. Riding the rails for 2-days on this opulent train, you’ll pass forest-draped mountains, cascading waterfalls, and mighty rivers before arriving in Jasper, where the road takes over with journeys along Icefields Parkway to ride the Ice Explorer onto Athabasca Glacier, and through Yoho and Banff National Parks.

Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation

Begin your journey at the Vancouver cruise terminal where you board your ship. Overnight on Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam. (D)

Day 2: Cruise the Inside Passage

Enjoy sailing through the dramatic Inside Passage. Overnight on Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 3: Port of Call Juneau, Alaska

Located at the foot of grand mountain peaks on the Gastineau Channel, the town of Juneau has the massive Mendenhall Glacier and the immense Juneau Icefields at its back door. Juneau is the place to let your imagination run wild. Explore the lush Tongass National Forest, visit the rustic shops in town, set out and whale watch, flightsee, hike, kayak, raft or fish. Due to the long daylight hours, there’s plenty of time for your perfect Juneau adventure. Overnight on Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 4: Port of Call Skagway, Alaska

Take your time and poke into every little store from the Trail Bench to Lynch & Kennedy’s Dry Goods. The Red Onion Saloon, with its honky tonk piano and costumed barmaids, is a treasure trove of memorabilia featuring pictures of Klondike Kate, Peahull Annie and other vintage characters. To complete the picture of those rip-roaring days, visit the nostalgic Trail of ‘98 Museum. The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park boasts restored buildings and wooden boardwalks that invite you to take a stroll into the past. Overnight on Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 5: Glacier Bay Scenic Cruise

As Biosphere Reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Glacier Bay National Park protects a unique ecosystem of plants and animals living in concert with an everchanging glacial landscape. Bring out the camera and listen for the thunderous sound of a monumental chunk of ice that has split from a glacier as it crashes into the sea. The impact shoots water hundreds of feet into the air. Glacier Bay has more actively calving tidewater glaciers than anyplace else in the world. Overnight on Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 6: Port of Call Ketchikan, Alaska

Built out over the water and climbing weathered stairways, Ketchikan clings to the shores of Tongass Narrows and drapes the mountains with a cheerful air. Take time to explore Creek Street, the Tongass Historical Museum, Totem Bight State Park and Saxman Village, Ketchikan’s main attractions. Deep water fjords created by retreating glaciers has left behind stunning granite cliffs towering thousands of feet above the sea and countless waterfalls cascading into placid waters. Overnight on Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 7: Cruise the Inside Passage

Enjoy sailing through the dramatic Inside Passage. Overnight on Holland America’s ms Nieuw Amsterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 8: Vancouver

Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront (SilverLeaf) Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Deluxe City View Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Waterfront, Signature Harbour View Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe)

After breakfast you will disembark the ms Nieuw Amsterdam in Vancouver and spend time exploring this scenic city on your own. (B)

Day 9: Vancouver

Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront (SilverLeaf) Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Deluxe City View Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Waterfront, Signature Harbour View Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe)

Enjoy a six-hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver's majestic North Shore including the Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain (gondola admission included). Overnight in Vancouver.

Day 10: Vancouver

Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront (SilverLeaf) Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver, Deluxe City View Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Waterfront, Signature Harbour View Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe)

Enjoy a day at leisure and check out Vancouver's must-see attractions. Explore the city’s museums, art galleries, gardens, and varied neighbourhoods. Overnight in Vancouver.

Day 11: Vancouver – Kamloops

Overnight in Kamloops - Hotel confirmed at check-in for the Rocky Mountaineer 

Travel onboard Rocky Mountaineer from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops. You will see dramatic changes in scenery, from the lush green fields of the Fraser Valley, through forests and winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Coast and Cascade Mountains, to the desert-like environment of the BC Interior. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell's Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Overnight in Kamloops. (B/L)

Day 12: Kamloops – Jasper

The Crimson Jasper (SilverLeaf) Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Fairmont Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Deluxe Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe) 

Your rail adventure continues north and east to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Highlights include Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, Pyramid Falls, and the climb over the Yellowhead Pass into Jasper National Park. (B/L)

Day 13: Jasper

The Crimson Jasper (SilverLeaf) Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Fairmont Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Deluxe Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe) 

Jasper National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Canadian Rockies' largest national park. Enjoy a scenic half-day tour of some of the park's natural attractions and rugged peaks. The remainder of the day is free to explore Jasper on your own. Overnight in Jasper.

Day 14: Jasper – Banff

Banff Caribou Lodge (SilverLeaf) Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Banff Springs, Deluxe Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe)

Travel to Banff via one of the most scenic highways in the world, the Icefields Parkway. A stop will be made at Athabasca Falls before arriving at the Columbia Icefield. Here you will ride on an Ice Explorer to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier to learn more about is geological features. Your driver/guide will explain how glaciers are formed and point out some interesting geological features. Time will be available for lunch (not included). Afterwards, a brief stop will be made at Bow Lake before arriving at Banff via Lake Louise late this afternoon. Overnight in Banff.

Day 15: Banff – Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Room (SilverLeaf) Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Lakeview Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Deluxe Lakeview Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe) 

A half-day tour takes you into Yoho National Park to view some of its natural wonders. Among the attractions are the Spiral Tunnels, Emerald Lake and a natural rock bridge spanning the Kicking Horse River. The tour ends in Lake Louise where the remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy this magnificent location. Overnight in Lake Louise.

Please note: While arrival at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will be approximately 1:00pm, scheduled check-in time is not until 4:00pm. In the event that your room is not ready, your luggage will be stored and you are free to enjoy the amenities of the hotel.

Day 16: Lake Louise – Calgary

Delta Calgary Downtown (SilverLeaf) Fairmont Palliser, Fairmont Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Palliser, Junior Suite (GoldLeaf Deluxe)

 Today you will enjoy a full-day tour concluding in Calgary. Begin the morning with a sightseeing tour of Banff. Among the points of interest are Bow Falls, Lake Minnewanka, Surprise Corner and the Hoodoos. Banff Gondola included. Continue on to Kananaskis for the highlight of today’s adventure, a 12-minute Summit Helicopter Tour over the remarkable landscape of the Rockies. Your tour ends on arrival in Calgary late this afternoon. Overnight in Calgary

Day 17: Calgary

Your vacation ends upon checkout from your Calgary hotel.

 

B- Breakfast
L- Lunch
D- Dinner 

Optional Breakfast Supplement: 
Breakfast supplement includes breakfast in tour hotels on all days not on Rocky Mountaineer. If this optional supplement not taken then tour still includes breakfast on 2 days on the train. Not applicable to any extra pre and post hotels. 

Dates & prices

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability, flights (if included) and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated, not tour only. Single room and flight upgrade prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the 2018 itinerary and additional tour notes

Visa requirements

Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA)

Visitors travelling to or transiting through Canada by air are now expected to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada. If you’re arriving into Canada by air from either the UK or another destination e.g. the USA, you’ll need an eTA. This costs CA$7 and lasts for 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever is first. If you’re travelling by land or sea, you won’t need an eTA when you enter Canada. However, you must travel with acceptable travel documents and identification, i.e. your passport.

For more information on eTA system, and to apply online, visit the official Canadian government website.