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Western Journey

8 days Guided Tours

Virgin Holidays' view

Nothing sums up Canada quite like the drama of its natural territories. Sandwiched between some of western Canada’s most dynamic cities, the land strip from Calgary to Vancouver is peppered with national parks, scenic highways, and outdoor adventure. On this epic journey, you’ll also encounter Banff, Yoho and Glacier National with their mountain backdrops, hot springs, canyons and fjords. And you can make the trip your own by adding  a helicopter trip over the Three Sisters mountains, an Ice Explorer ride on a glacier, or a floatplane flight over Garibaldi Park’s peaks and meadows. Or all three!

Itinerary

Day 1: UK – Calgary

Arrive at Calgary’s International Airport and transfer independently to your downtown hotel. After an individual check-in, the remainder of the day is free to explore the streets of this dynamic city, famous for its annual Stampede. The tour director will contact you in the late afternoon. Overnight in Calgary.

Day 2: Calgary – Banff National Park/Canmore

This morning we set out to meet fellow travellers at breakfast before we tour the sights of Calgary. We admire such modern and historic landmarks as the Calgary Tower, Fort Calgary and the skyscrapers of the commercial district. Leaving Calgary behind we set our sights on the Rocky Mountains, which can already be seen, far off in the distance. Experience the majesty of the mountains as we first travel through the foothills and then enter Banff National Park. We tour the region around Banff amidst snow-capped peaks, sparkling glaciers and emerald green lakes and see landmark Banff Springs Hotel, Bow Falls and Tunnel Mountain. Spend the next 2 nights in Canmore. (B)

Day 3: Canmore/Banff National Park

The entire day is at leisure to tour Banff and browse through the many boutiques and specialty shops along Banff Avenue. An optional full-day tour is offered to the Columbia Icefield*. The tour starts with a visit to the turquoise waters and spectacular glacier of Lake Louise, the jewel of the Rockies. From the unsurpassed beauty of Lake Louise we enter rugged wilderness as we travel up the world famous Icefields Parkway. At the spectacular Columbia Icefield we board a Ice Explorer that will take us onto the surface of the ancient Athabasca Glacier. We return to Banff late in the afternoon. You may also take an optional helicopter tour of the world famous Three Sisters Mountains*. (B)

Day 4: Canmore – Kamloops

Our drive today is on the famed Trans-Canada Highway, following a route charted by the railroad engineers and fur traders of the mid 1800s. We continue our tour of the Canadian parks system as we cross the jagged Kicking Horse Pass into British Columbia’s Yoho National Park. From the highway, we are treated to a dazzling display of vast icefields, deep canyons, dense forests and glacier-fed streams. One awe-inspiring landscape follows another en route to Glacier National Park. We continue through the Monashee and Selkirk mountain ranges to the rugged interior town of Kamloops. Overnight in Kamloops. (B)

Day 5: Kamloops – Whistler

We can expect a day of dramatic scenery changes when we drive through the ranch lands and head for the coastal mountains. An optional Floatplane Sightseeing Tour* over Garibaldi Park gives you an inspiring view of a natural preserve of volcanic peaks, alpine lakes and meadows. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Whistler. (B)

Day 6: Whistler – Vancouver

We drive south along the spectacular Sea-to-Sky Highway through a dramatic landscape of jagged fjords and glaciated mountain peaks. We leave the countryside behind and explore the metropolis of Vancouver on a sightseeing tour. Highlights include Stanley Park, Prospect Point, English Bay, historic Gastown, bustling Chinatown and much more. The afternoon is free to discover more of this coastal gem. Spend the next 2 nights in Vancouver. (B)

Day 7: Vancouver

The Pacific Ocean and the Coast Mountains form the backdrop to your day at leisure in Vancouver. You might want to do some shopping down on Robson Street, relax in Vancouver’s playground Stanley Park or stroll through the markets of Granville Island. If you prefer to explore the outdoors, take a gondola ride to the summit of Grouse Mountain. You can also go on an optional full-day tour to Victoria*, the charming provincial capital that is proud of her maritime heritage. See the beautiful 19th century landmarks and enjoy its lively atmosphere. Before taking the ferry back to Vancouver, you will visit Butchart Gardens, one of the world’s great floral displays set in a reclaimed stone quarry. (B)

Day 8: Vancouver

The time has come for some last minute shopping as your tour comes to an end. Individually transfer to Vancouver’s International Airport for your onward flight. (B)

 

B- Breakfast

*Denotes local charge – Optional trips and excursions listed on the itinerary are bookable and payable locally. Passengers must pay by Visa or MasterCard credit card only. Cash or other methods of payment cannot be processed by our Tour Directors.

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 inclusions

  • Private air conditioned motorcoach transportation throughout
  • Accommodation and sightseeing as listed above
  • Service of an English Speaking guide

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
  • Insurance
  • Airport transfer
  • 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

7 breakfasts.

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.

Journey times

Please note due to long distances covered on some of the tours, there will be some days when the majority of the day will be spent on the coach, so just sit back and enjoy the view.

Group size

Minimum 20 passengers, maximum approximately 50 passengers (full coach).

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.