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Rockies Rail Adventure

11 Days Rail Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

Experience the very best of Alberta and British Columbia, from the Rockies to Vancouver Island. You'll spend your days on sightseeing tours, exploring the fascinating Canadian cities on foot, and by road, rail and air. Banff and Jasper will give you your National Park fix, with jaw-dropping mountain scenery and rolling views for miles. Calgary and Vancouver will top and tail your trip, with all the colour and hustle-and-bustle of city life. You’ll even have a few days in Whistler to dip into the outdoor adventures and First Nationals culture of this renowned ski village. If you wanted a way to explore the West, this is it.

Itinerary

Day 1: Calgary

Arrive at Calgary’s International Airport and transfer independently to your centrally-located hotel. Pick up your information kit at the front desk as you check in. The remainder of the day is at leisure to create your own urban adventure in this dynamic city and form your first impressions of Western canada. Overnight in Calgary.

Day 2: Calgary - Banff

This morning is your transfer to Banff bringing you through the ranching country west of Calgary. Arrive in Banff and check in at your hotel. The remainder of the day is free for exploring the town of Banff. Spend 2 nights in Banff.

Day 3: Banff

This morning, discover the resort town of Banff and its natural surroundings on a comprehensive sightseeing tour. You’ll take the Tunnel Mountain Drive to see the town of Banff. Take a walk along Lake Minnewanka, before the tour continues to Sulphur Mountain. Here you can take the Banff Gondola ride* to the top of the mountain. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 4: Banff - Jasper

Leave Banff and travel north along the famous Icefields Parkway into the untamed wilderness of Jasper National Park. Every turn unveils spectacular vistas of indomitable peaks, outstretched valleys, cascading waterfalls and colourful meadows. At the Columbia Icefield, take the opportunity to tour onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier on board the Ice Explorer. Overnight in Jasper.

Day 5: Jasper - Vancouver aboard VIA Rail's The Canadian

Today you board VIA Rail’s The Canadian heading west to Vancouver. You will have some of the most spectacular views of the Rockies, interior British Columbia and the Coastal Mountains. You will pass by rugged mountain peaks, arid ranchland and rolling, wind-swept hills. Overnight aboard VIA Rail’s The Canadian. (L/D)

Day 6: Vancouver

After you arrive in Vancouver this morning, transfer independently to your hotel. Today you will enjoy a Hop-on Hop-off trolley tour of Vancouver to familiarise yourself with this oceanside city. The tour highlights include historic Gastown, nearby Chinatown, Stanley Park, English Bay and more. After the tour, the remainder of the day is at leisure to explore this fascinating city. Spend 2 nights in Vancouver. (B)

Day 7: Vancouver

Today is at leisure in Vancouver. Take some time and peruse the shoppes and restaurants of Robson Street, or perhaps visit Chinatown for a taste of Asian culture. 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 8: Vancouver - Whistler

Today you are picked up from your hotel and depart on a fully-narrated mini-coach tour along the Sea-to-Sky highway including viewpoint stops along the way. Arrive in Whistler before noon with time to explore this amazing resort, as well as an included visit to the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre for an interactive look on the First Nation people that inhabited the area for thousands of years. Spend 2 nights in Whistler.

Day 9: Whistler

The day is free to independently explore the sights, sounds and attractions of this former host of the Winter Olympics. Perhaps arrange a canoe trip around one of the local lakes, or indulge yourself in a sumptuous culinary tour that samples some of the world-class restaurants featuring menus with delicacies both local and exotic.

Day 10: Whistler - Victoria

After your transfer from your hotel to Whistler’s Green Lake float plane dock, you take to the skies for a breathtaking one hour flight with Harbour Air to downtown Victoria. Fly high above Whistler Valley, passing glacial lakes, lush alpine meadows, the Straitof Georgia and the beautiful Gulf Islands. From the docks in the Inner Harbour, transfer independently to your Victoria hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Victoria.

Day 11: Victoria - Vancouver

Take the morning to explore vibrant Victoria and its picturesque Inner Harbour before boarding a fully-narrated coach tour to the world-famous Butchart Gardens. Marvel at the thousands of flowers arranged along the many pathways and ponds, attracting horticulturalists from around the world. Afterwards, board BC Ferries for a daytime sailing to Vancouver through scenic Active Pass. Upon arrival in Vancouver, your tour comes to an end. 

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

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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 -8 hours Western Canada

Tour inclusions

  • Scheduled transfer from Calgary to Banff
  • Accommodation for 9 nights (including 1 night on board The Canadian)
  • 3 hour sightseeing tour of Banff
  • Full day sightseeing transfer from Banff to Jasper including stop at Columbia Icefields (Ice Explorer ride included)
  • Transfer from Jasper hotel to train station
  • Overnight train ride from Jasper to Vancouver on The Canadian (section accommodation)
  • Hop-on Hop-off trolley tour of Vancouver
  • Sightseeing transfer from Vancouver to Whistler including admission to Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
  • Transfer from Whistler hotel to Green Lake Floatplane
  • Sightseeing floatplane transfer from Whistler to Victoria
  • Sightseeing tour of Victoria including Butchart Gardens
  • Transfer from Victoria to Vancouver including ferry passage on board BC Ferries
  • 1 dinner and 1 breakfast onboard VIA Rail
  • Travel and information kit
  • Provincial taxes and federal GST and/or HST

Tour exclusions

  • International flights
  • VIA Rail upgrade to Sleeper Plus Class if required, which includes a private cabin for one or two people with toilet facilities and air-conditioning. The room contains comfortable armchairs in the daytime, which convert to upper and lower beds at night. Access to a shower room, just a few steps away, with a complimentary shower kit containing soap, shampoo, cap, towel and washcloth
  • Meals and attractions unless othewise stated
  • Transfers unless otherwise stated
  • Insurance
  • National park entrance fees
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips and gratuities
  • The required Canada Electronic Authorization (eTA)
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary

Included activities

Tours listed in the itinerary.

Accommodation

Accommodation listed on the itinerary is a mix of 3-4V graded properties. 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.