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Mountain to Sea Rail Passage
- Prince George
- Prince Rupert
- Port Hardy
Virgin Holidays' view
If anywhere encapsulates the great outdoors it’s Canada’s West. A gallery of cloud-skirting mountains, forested shorelines, and wildlife-rich waters, it’s ripe for exploring by rail, road, boat, and foot. Travel from Calgary for a stay in Banff which gives an instant introduction to the Rockies’ contrasting drama and serenity, as you tour places like Tunnel Mountain Drive for views into the Bow River Valley; and Cave & Basin where Banff began. The West’s roads are a riot of experiences, whether you’re travelling the Icefields Parkway to walk on Athabasca Glacier and see Lake Louise, or the length of Vancouver Island to Victoria, for a whale watching trip among orca and grey whales. But rails rule here, and the VIA Rail journey from Jasper to Prince Rupert, stopping off to sleep in striking Prince George, gives trackside views of ancient forests and valleys, and photo opportunities of Mount Robson. If rails rule inland, then water rules the coastline. The easiest way to experience the jagged fjords, fishing villages, creaking ice floes, and resident whales and sea lions, is by boat, sailing to Port Hardy along the famous Inside Passage. And it’s the water that takes you to Vancouver, where you’re let loose.
Day 1: Arrival in 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 to 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 have the opportunity to venture by Ice Explorer (ride is 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 to 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 to 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 to 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 June 9 and September 15 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 to 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 whalewatching 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 to 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.
Days 11-12: End of Tour
Today your package comes to an end as you independently transfer to Vancouver International Airport in time to check in for your return flight.
Meals: This tour is based on Room Only basis.
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.
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.
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.
GMT -5 hours Eastern Canada
GMT -8 hours Western Canada.
- Accommodation for 10 nights
- Transfer from Calgary to Banff
- 3-hour sightseeing tour of Banff
- Full day sightseeing transfer from Banff to Jasper with stop at the Columbia Icefields and Ice Explorer ride (ride included)
- Jasper / Prince George / Prince Rupert rail passage on VIA Rail’s route (economy)
- Prince Rupert to Port Hardy Inside Passage cruise (passenger only)
Please note: up to and including 9 June and on or after 15 September, the cruise will be overnight
- Transfer from Port Hardy to Victoria
- Transfer from Victoria to Vancouver
- Departures from 12 May–22 Aug includes Sunset Whale watching on Day 8, other departures includes regular whale watching during the day
- Travel and Information kit
- Provincial Taxes and Federal GST and/or HST, less tour package rebate
- International flights
- VIA Rail upgrade to Touring Class if required
- Transfers, unless otherwise stated
- 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
Room only basis.
Tours listed in the itinerary.
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.
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.