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Mountain to Sea Rail Passage

11 Days Rail Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

If anywhere perfectly captures the great outdoors, it’s Canada’s West, with its cloud-skirting mountains, forested shorelines, and wildlife-rich waters. Get an instant introduction to the Rockies’ drama and serenity as you visit the town of Banff and Tunnel Mountain Drive, for views of the Bow River Valley. The roads in this part of Canada hold a riot of experiences, whether you’re driving the Icefields Parkway to walk on a glacier, or cruising down Vancouver Island to Victoria for some whale-watching. But the rails rule here, and the journey from Jasper to Prince Rupert gives trackside views of ancient forests, valleys and Mount Robson. You’ll also take to the seas and sail to Port Hardy along the famous Inside Passage, seeing jagged fjords and resident whales and sea lions. And you’ll finish your adventures among all the pizzazz that Vancouver has to offer.

Itinerary

Day 1: Calgary

Arrive in Calgary in time to transfer by coach from Calgary to Banff. Leave the cowboy city behind and head towards the enchanting Rockies. After arriving at the resort town of Banff, nestled beneath the towering Cascade Mountain, the rest of the day is at your leisure. Stay 2 nights in Banff.

Day 2: Banff

This morning, discover the town of Banff and its unspoiled natural surroundings on a sightseeing tour with highlights that include the hoodoos, curiously shaped by centuries of erosion, Surprise Corner, Tunnel Mountain Drive which overlooks the beautiful scenery of the Bow River Valley, and the Cave & Basin where Banff’s history began (admission is included). At the end of the tour you have the choice of being dropped off at the base of Sulphur Mountain for a gondola ride (ride not included) to the top of the mountain where you’ll have a breathtaking 360-degree view of the area.

Day 3: Banff - Jasper

Today’s coach sightseeing transfer travels along the Icefields Parkway. Spectacular glaciers, cascading waterfalls, turquoise lakes and colourful meadows dot this awe-inspiring mountain wilderness. The coach will stop at the Columbia Icefield where you'll have the opportunity to venture by Ice Explorer (ride included) onto the massive Athabasca Glacier. A brief photo stop will also be made at picturesque Lake Louise. Oervnight in Jasper.

Day 4: VIA Rail: Jasper - Prince George

Prepare for an early afternoon departure for your rail trip to Prince George onboard VIA Rail. This daylight journey takes you past Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and across British Columbia’s northern region through old forest into Prince George. The evening is free for exploration. Overnight in Prince George.

Day 5: VIA Rail: Prince George - Prince Rupert

Reboard the train for an early morning departure and the continuation of your journey to Prince Rupert. Spend a day aboard the train, absorbing yourself in the dramatic scenery as you relax in comfort. Overnight in Prince Rupert.

Day 6: Inside Passage Cruise: Prince Rupert - Port Hardy*

Welcome to the glorious Inside Passage, a paradise for photographers and wildlife enthusiasts. Sail to Vancouver Island through a maze of enchanting islands, relishing the ever-changing vistas of deep fjords, densely forested shorelines, massive ice-flows and jagged inlets. Watch bald eagles soaring overhead, sea lions slumbering on the rocks and whales traversing the offshore waters. Transfer independently to your Port Hardy hotel. Overnight in Port Hardy*.

*For departures with the Inside Passage sailings up to 24 May and from 27 September onwards, the cruise will depart in the afternoon and overnight will be on board the ferry in an outboard cabin and not in Port Hardy. The cruise will end in the morning at Port Hardy.

Day 7: Port Hardy - Victoria

Today you board a scheduled coach transfer to Victoria. Travelling down the length of Vancouver Island, you pass through some of the most rugged landscapes of the west coast. Arriving in the provincial capital of Victoria, check into your hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure. Spend 2 nights in Victoria.

Day 8: Victoria

Take the day to explore the charms and delights of Victoria. Today you'll participate in a 3.5-hour whale watching tour. Cruise the waters of the harbour as the soft rays of the setting sun outline some of the orca or grey whales that you may see on this relaxing, serene tour.

Day 9: Victoria - Vancouver

A last morning in Victoria before transferring by coach and ferry to Vancouver. After checking in at your hotel, relax enjoying the amenities of the property, or perhaps arrange a tour to some of the some of the historic districts such as Gastown or Chinatown. Spend 2 nights in Vancouver.

Day 10: Vancouver

Today is at leisure in Vancouver. Take some time and peruse the shops and restaurants of Robson Street. A short trip to Stanley Park provides walkers with the ideal location to enjoy a casual stroll through the kilometers of pathways, while the aquarium always delights visitors with the antics of the friendly beluga whales.

Day 11: Vancouver

Today your package comes to an end as you independently transfer to Vancouver International Airport in time to check in for your onward flight.

Please note: this is a set tour itinerary, if you have booked any pre/post or optional tour arrangements please refer to your separate vouchers and final documents.

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability 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. Single room and flight 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 itinerary and additional tour notes

Pre/Post Tour information

If you would like to extend your trip or make the tour part of a longer holiday, we can easily add on a pre or post night stays for you. Our Sales Team will work with you to arrange the best connecting flights and book any additional hotel stays. Simply tell us what you’d like and we can arrange it.

Time difference

GMT -5 hours Eastern Canada
GMT -8 hours Western Canada

Tour exclusions

  • International flights
  • VIA Rail upgrade to Touring Class if required
  • Transfers, unless otherwise stated
  • Insurance
  • Airport improvement fee
  • National Park entrance fees
  • Meals and attractions unless otherwise stated.
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required Canada Electronic Authorization (eTA)
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary

Dining inclusions

Room only basis.

Included activities

Tours listed in the itinerary.

Accommodation

Accommodation listed on the itinerary is a mix of 3-4V graded properties. Please note some tours are up to 3 weeks in duration and there may be some nights when staying in remote locations e.g. the National Parks, when the ‘V’ rating may vary. Hotels are subject to change up until 30 days prior to departure, but you will be advised of any changes.

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.