Rising along the border between Alberta and British Columbia, the Canadian Rockies are a wonderland of twisting peaks, jewel-colored alpine lakes and glaciers that pour down from towering heights. Watch the temperate rain forests of Vancouver give way to awe-inspiring natural wonders as we journey into this mighty mountain range aboard the iconic Rocky Mountaineer. Delve deeper into the pristine wilderness of Jasper and Banff National Parks with a National Geographic expert, taking in their beauty from every angle — amid wildflowers in lush valleys and atop powerful glaciers and craggy peaks. In Banff, we'll also be joined by Ben Gadd, a four-time Banff Film Festival award winner whose work has appeared in numerous National Geographic publications. Set out on a breathtaking trip by train and stay in historic lakeside hotels in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
Take in panoramic views of Canada's magnificent Rockies from the glass-domed cars of the Rocky Mountaineer train.
Experience Jasper National Park from many angles, cruising Maligne Lake and soaring to its summits in a skytram.
Trek across Athabasca Glacier and learn about the geology of this powerful ice mass.
Explore Banff National Park on foot, hiking across wildflower-blanketed meadows and along the shores of impossibly blue lakes.
Itinerary - 7 Days
Day 1 — U.S./Vancouver, Canada
Arrive in Vancouver midday and set off on an afternoon excursion through the city. Surrounded by snow-dusted mountains, lush forests and sandy beaches, this modern metropolis is enveloped by natural beauty. Explore Stanley Park, a stunning urban green space crisscrossed by a network of nature paths. Walk the famous Seawall — lined by temperate rain forest and the shimmering blue waters of Vancouver Harbour — for incredible views of the skyline. This evening gather with your fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner.
Wedgewood Hotel and Spa (D)
Day 2 — Rocky Mountaineer/Kamloops
Transfer to the train depot this morning and board the Rocky Mountaineer, settling into one of its two-level, glass-domed coaches. As you ride the rails in luxury accommodations, enjoy breathtaking views of the Canadian Rockies. Highlights along this leg of the journey include the thunderous rapids of Fraser Canyon, where up to 200 million gallons of water can flow per minute, and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Disembark at Kamloops and spend the evening exploring this mountain town at your leisure.
Hotel 540 or Sandman Signature Kamloops Hotel (B,L)
Day 3 — Rocky Mountaineer/Jasper National Park
The Rocky Mountaineer brings us farther north today, entering the Canadian Rockies by rail and offering increasingly dramatic panoramic views. We’ll ride by Pyramid Creek Falls, a glacier-fed cascade that flows out of a hanging valley, and over the Continental Divide at Yellowhead Pass. Our train voyage culminates in the moments we glide by Mount Robson; with craggy peaks reaching heights of nearly 13,000 feet, this behemoth boasts the tallest summit in the Canadian Rockies. This evening, arrive in Jasper National Park and check in to our lakeside lodge nestled within a forested valley in the heart of the park. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Jasper National Park
Get immersed in the pristine beauty of Jasper National Park’s glacier-sculpted landscapes today. Travel through the park to Maligne Lake, watching for moose, elk and caribous along the way. Upon arrival, embark on a classic boat cruise and sail across the lake’s turquoise waters framed by the staggering peaks of the Rockies. Then soar into the mountains via the Jasper SkyTram, reaching a height of over 7,000 feet above sea level. From the lookout point, take in 360-degree views that include six surrounding mountain ranges, glacier-fed lakes and rivers, and the town of Jasper. Tonight, we dine in town at a local restaurant. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Athabasca Glacier/Lake Louise, Banff National Park
Travel along the scenic Icefields Parkway toward Banff National Park, stopping en route at the Athabasca Glacier. This ice mass is part of the Columbia Icefield and is the largest in a chain of glaciers along Canada’s Great Divide Trail. Set out with a skilled guide on a trekking expedition across the glacier and get an up-close look at its fascinating geology. This afternoon, arrive at your accommodations at the iconic Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, situated on the dazzling alpine lake in Banff known for its sparkling blue waters. Take time upon your arrival to walk the grounds and lakeshore trail before enjoying dinner on your own at one of the many dining options on the property. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (B,L)
Day 6 — Lake Louise
You will be joined today by Ben Gadd, a four time Banff Film Festival award winner and frequent writer for National Geographic, including contributing to the National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of Canada. Accompanied by Ben's skillful interpretation, explore Moraine Lake whose sapphire waters mirror a soaring set of ice-clad summits, and Emerald Lake fringed by picturesque pine forests. Enjoy a picnic lunch and then discover the fascinating viewpoint of Spiral Tunnels, a favorite stop for railroad aficionados. At the Yoho Visitor Centre, explore interactive exhibits about the Burgess Shale and a special fossil exhibit that Ben took part in developing. Then delve into the spectacular landscapes surrounding Lake Louise, exploring the area on a series of hikes, and walking through wildflowers to pristine lakes and hidden waterfalls. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner back at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Calgary/U.S.
Transfer to the Calgary airport to catch your international flight home. (B)
Pricing starts at $8,300 per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $1,850. International airfare to Vancouver and return from Calgary is not included in the expedition cost.
Accommodations (hotels, tents and cruise cabins) are based on double occupancy. If you prefer single accommodations, and if such are available, you can pay a single supplement fee. If you are traveling alone and wish to share accommodations, we can assign a roommate of the same gender. If there is no one with whom you can share, a single supplement fee will apply.
See special terms and conditions that apply to this adventure.