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Rocky Mountaineer - First Passage to the West Classic

4 Days Rail Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

If you’re going to do any of Canada’s historic rail journeys, this is the one to start with. It takes you through some of Canada’s most famous and fabulous landscapes – and important heritage landmarks. Linking Vancouver with Banff or Lake Louise, with an overnight stop in Kamloops on the way, the passage through BC and Alberta checks off all the essentials. From racing against the raging rivers that run parallel to your carriage, to crossing historic bridges and spots like Craigellachie (where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was hammered in to connect the East and West coasts). Comfort goes without saying, but every detail has been carefully crafted to give you a VIP experience and the best window to see the shifting scenes of ranch lands, glaciers, lakes, forests, and mountains.

Itinerary

Banff itinerary

Day 1: Vancouver

Arriving in Vancouver, the rest of your day is free to enjoy this most enchanting of cities at your leisure. Take a stroll through historic Gastown, enjoy the delights of Stanley Park, or visit the wealth of bustling markets, galleries and eateries on Granville Island. Overnight in Vancouver.

Day 2: Vancouver – Kamloops

Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia’s interior. On today’s journey 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. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Your day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer travels along the shores of Kamloops Lake, and into Kamloops itself. Overnight in Kamloops. (B/L)

Day 3: Kamloops – Banff

Your journey continues eastwards to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Once again you will see a spectacular array of scenery as you travel across ranchlands, along rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes and through the remarkable tunnels that form part of the rich rail history of the Canadian Rockies. Today’s highlights include Craigellachie (where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven), the climb over Rogers Pass, Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and, of course, the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Your rail journey ends this evening in the resort town of Banff. Overnight in Banff. (B/L)

Day 4: Banff

Your adventure ends when you check out of your Banff hotel.


Lake Louise itinerary

Day 1: Vancouver

Arrive in Vancouver and spend time exploring this scenic city. Overnight in Vancouver.

Day 2: Vancouver – Kamloops

Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia’s interior. On today’s journey 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. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Your day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer travels along the shores of Kamloops Lake, and into Kamloops itself. Overnight in Kamloops. (B/L)

Day 3: Kamloops – Lake Louise

Your journey continues eastwards to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Once again you will see a spectacular array of scenery as you travel across ranchlands, along rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes and through the remarkable tunnels that form part of the rich rail history of the Canadian Rockies. Today’s highlights include Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, the climb over Rogers Pass, the Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and, of course, the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Your rail journey ends in the mountain hamlet of Lake Louise. Overnight in Lake Louise. (B/L)

Day 4: Lake Louise

Your trip ends upon checkout from your Lake Louise hotel.

 

Please note: both tours also operate in reverse.

Dates & prices

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Tour information

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

Please click here to download a pdf of the Lake Louise 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 inclusions

  • 2 days Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf or SilverLeaf service
  • 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation
  • Vancouver Lookout
  • Luggage handling and rail station transfers in Vancouver, Kamloops and Banff/Lake Louise
  • National parks pass

Tour exclusions

  • International flight in economy class, including all UK and overseas airport taxes and applicable fuel surcharges
  • Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
  • Meals, other than specified
  • Activities, other than specified
  • Gratuities for rail, hotel and transfer staff
  • Fuel surcharges
  • GST as applicable
  • Insurance
  • Airport transfer upon arrival and on departure
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips and gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required Canada Electronic Authorization (eTA)

Dining inclusions

2 breakfasts and 2 lunches included.

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.