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Rocky Mountaineer - First Passage to the West Highlights

6 days Rail Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

Taking the slow train is often more rewarding than riding the express, and nowhere more so than across the Canadian Rockies. Through an ever-changing reel of landscapes; Fraser Valley’s fields, twisting rivers, boundless deserts and mountain passes all take their turn as you travel through the Rockies territory. It’s not just the view through the window that dazzles though, and some viewpoints just can’t be reached by rail, so the roads pave the way for journeys through Yoho National Park, and around Banff where Bow Falls continue to wow wide-eyed travellers. And, when neither roads nor rails will cut it, it’s time to take to the sky. Whether that’s scaling mountain slopes by Banff Gondola or flightseeing over the Rockies in a summit-seeking helicopter.

Itinerary

Day 1: Vancouver)

Arriving in Vancouver, and spend the rest of they day 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, 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 mountain hamlet of Lake Louise. Overnight in Lake Louise. (B/L)

Day 4: Lake Louise – Banff

This morning you are free to explore beautiful Lake Louise. After lunch, 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 that spans the Kicking Horse River. At the end of the tour you will be transferred to Banff. Overnight in Banff

Please note: while departure from The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will be approximately 2:00pm, scheduled checkout time is normally 12:00pm. Your luggage will be stored upon checkout and you are free to enjoy the amenities of the hotel before the tour departs. 

Day 5: Banff – Calgary with Panoramic Helicopter Tour

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 Panoramic Helicopter Tour over the remarkable landscape of the Rockies. Overnight in Calgary

Day 6: Calgary

Your journey ends today when you check out from your Calgary hotel.

 

Please note: this tour also operates in reverse.


B - Breakfast  
L - Lunch

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 Eastbound itinerary and additional tour notes

Please click here to download a pdf of the Westbound 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
  • 5 nights hotel accommodation
  • Vancouver Lookout
  • Yoho National Park, Lake Louise to Banff
  • Banff to Calgary tour, including Banff Gondola
  • Panoramic helicopter tour
  • Calgary Tower
  • Luggage handling and rail station transfers in Vancouver, Kamloops and 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.