Rail through the Canadian Rockies
Discover the magical Canadian Rockies on this 10-day escorted rail holiday to Western Canada’s must-see destinations. Your travels begin in coastal Vancouver, where you will meet your tour manager and fellow travellers. Your train adventure starts when you board the renowned Rocky Mountaineer for the all-daylight rail journey into the Canadian Rockies. We’ll overnight in the city of Kamloops, located in British Columbia’s interior, before embarking on another full day of scenic rail travel en route to Banff National Park.
Here in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, you’ll uncover Banff’s breathtaking natural attractions, journey to the nearby hamlet of Lake Louise with its stunning lake and the massive Victoria Glacier looming behind it, travel along the Icefields Parkway straddling the Continental Divide, and experience the tranquility of Jasper, Western Canada’s largest National Park.
From Jasper, set off on a classic rail experience aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian for your overnight return journey to Vancouver. Settle into your cozy onboard accommodations and admire the passing scenery including Mt. Robson and lovely Pyramid Falls as you travel west to Vancouver. Take time to explore the train, enjoying access to the Lounge and Observation Cars. Upon your return to Vancouver, explore the city on a comprehensive sightseeing tour—the perfect conclusion for a Rockies rail adventure.
Tour Inclusions and Scenic Highlights
- 2-day rail journey aboard the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff
- One-way rail transportation aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian between Jasper and Vancouver (1 night on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
- 17 meals (9 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 dinners)
- Sightseeing and scenic excursions per itinerary
- Rail station transfers
- Services of a professional tour manager
- National Parks fees
- Baggage handling
- Taxes and service charges
- Lake Louise
- Columbia Icefield
Day 1 – Arrive in Vancouver
Welcome to Vancouver! Upon arrival, transfer by coach to your hotel with the afternoon at leisure. This evening, meet your tour manager and fellow travellers over a welcome dinner at a local downtown restaurant. Overnight Vancouver. (D)
Day 2 - All aboard the Rocky Mountaineer
Early this morning, transfer to the Vancouver Rocky Mountaineer train station, where you will board your rail coach for a full day of travel into British Columbia’s interior. Scenic highlights of the journey include the colourful Fraser River Valley, the towering peaks of the Coast and Cascade Mountains, and the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate. Arrive in Kamloops early this evening with the remainder of the evening at leisure. Overnight Kamloops. (B, L)
Day 3 - En Route to Banff Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer
Today brings another full day of scenic rail travel. Sit back and relax as the train heads eastward into Alberta with the breathtaking scenery of the Canadian Rockies providing the backdrop for our travels. Highlights of today’s journey include Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, Kicking Horse Canyon, and the Spiral Tunnels. Our rail journey aboard the Rocky Mountaineer ends with our arrival in Banff this evening. Overnight Banff. (B, L)
Day 4 - Banff Sightseeing
Banff is Canada’s first National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a protected paradise for 4,126 square miles of mountains, forests, lakes, and wildlife. Today’s sightseeing shows off the best of Banff including Bow Falls, the Hoodoo Lookout, Lake Minnewanka and Surprise Corner. A highlight of the day is a ride on the Banff Gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain for a panoramic 360 degree view of the six surrounding mountains. This evening we’ll enjoy dinner at a downtown Banff restaurant. Overnight Banff. (B, D)
Day 5 - Yoho National Park / Lake Louise
After breakfast, board a motorcoach for a half-day sightseeing tour of Lake Louise and Yoho National Park. First we visit Lake Louise with the massive Victoria Glacier at one end and the elegant Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise at the other. Lake Louise is one of the most-photographed sights by visitors from around the world. Next, visit Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks. Continue across the Great Divide for a stop at the Spiral Tunnels viewpoint, where three lines of railway are laid at different elevations to cross the Kicking Horse River on four bridges. Discover the Natural Rock Bridge and marvel at Emerald Lake and Takkakaw Falls before heading back to Lake Louise. Dinner this evening will be at your hotel. Overnight Lake Louise. (B, D)
Day 6 - Icefields Parkway
The Icefields Parkway is considered one of the most scenic drives in the world. Stretching more than 140 miles from Lake Louise to Jasper, it traverses a stretch of land with more than 100 glaciers, pristine lakes, and some of the highest peaks of the Rockies. On today’s journey along the Icefields Parkway, a spectacular excursion awaits with an adventure to the Columbia Icefield! We’ll arrive at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre and shuttle to the Athabasca Glacier, where we will board the specially-designed Ice Explorer for a guided tour onto the surface of the Glacier! Overnight Jasper. (B)
Day 7 - Jasper at Leisure
The day is yours to explore Jasper National Park. Browse charming boutiques, visit art galleries, take a stroll through town, or hike through the woodlands. Dinner tonight will be at a local downtown restaurant. Overnight Jasper. (B, D)
Day 8 - Jasper / Train to Vancouver
After breakfast, the morning is yours to enjoy the peace and tranquility of Jasper before transferring to the rail station where we will board VIA Rail’s Canadian for the 14:30 pm departure bound for Vancouver. As the train departs the stations, settle into your comfortable accommodations. Admire the passing scenery from the Lounge and Observation Cars and enjoy a delicious dinner in the Dining Car. Overnight train. (B, D)
Day 9 - Vancouver
Arrive in Vancouver this morning, where a day of sightseeing awaits. Begin with a city tour to some of Vancouver’s top attractions like Stanley Park with its scenic seawall; Gastown with its unique steam clock; Chinatown; English Bay; and, the meticulously manicured Queen Elizabeth Park. Our tour continues this afternoon with a stop at the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, one of the world’s longest suspension bridges stretching above the Capilano Canyon! Next, travel to Grouse Mountain and board the Skyride—North America’s largest aerial tramway—for the one-mile journey up the mountainside to the Peak of Vancouver. Enjoy a farewell dinner tonight. Overnight Vancouver. (B, D)
Day 10 - Tour Conclusion
Your Rockies rail adventure ends after breakfast today. (B)
The Canadian travels three times per week between Toronto and Vancouver, cutting across 5 provinces and past immense forests, pristine lakes, tranquil prairies, and the majestic Canadian Rockies.
Rocky Mountaineer's First Passage to the West - Retrace the steps of 19th century explorers, travel through the legendary Spiral Tunnels and pass by the spot where the last spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven. This is the only passenger rail service on this historic route, and its construction is one of the most important in Canadian history as it united Canada from east to west. You’ll also transverse the Continental Divide and be inspired by spectacular mountains and dramatic canyons. If you’re a history buff, this route is for you.
Deluxe Train Accommodations
Superior Train Accommodations
Hotels include the Renaissance Harbourside, Banff International Hotel, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and Lobstick Lodge.
Train accommodations aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian are in Sleeper Plus class in a semi-private berth or private cabin. Access to lounge and observation cars as well as meals in the dining room are included for both onboard accommodations.