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Departures available May - September 2019
Fly from the UK to the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver prior to boarding Holland America Lines Nieuw Amsterdam for an awe-inspiring 7-night Alaska Cruise. Then travel through the Rockies as you experience SilverLeaf Service on board the award winning Rocky Mountaineer train. You also have time in Jasper and Banff before flying home from Calgary
Day 1 Fly UK to Vancouver
Arrive in Vancouver and you will be transferred to your downtown hotel.
Day 2 Board your Alaska Cruise
Spend this morning at your leisure in downtown Vancouver. You will be transferred to Vancouver Port approx midday to board Holland America Lines "Nieuw Amsterdam" for your spectacular 7 night Alaska Cruise.
Day 3 Cruise Inside Passage
Today you will cruise the Inside Passage. The Inside Passage winds through glacier-cut fjords and temperate rainforests along the rugged coast of Southeast Alaska. Arguably one of the greatest cruising routes in the world, the Inside Passage stretches through stunning landscapes, from Misty Fjords National Monument to famed Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Sailing the Inside Passage offers opportunities to spot some of Alaska’s most iconic wildlife, with humpback whales and orca plying the bountiful waters alongside the ships, bald eagles soaring overhead and brown bears lumbering on the shoreline.
Day 4 Tracy Arm/Juneau
Steep cliffs and glacier-covered mountains flank this fjord, fringed by the largest intact coastal temperate rain forest in the United States. Old-growth trees colonized Tracy Arm's mouth long ago as the Ice Age retreated. But further up the sinuous 48-kilometer (30-mile) waterway, its icy grip lingers a little. There, the twin Sawyer Glaciers flow from the peaks down to the sea, sloughing off stories-high chunks of water frozen decades or even centuries before. Even more glorious than nearby Glacier Bay, Tracy Arm is part of the 5.7 million acres (or around 23,000 square kilometers) of pure wilderness sheltered by the Tongass National Forest (America's biggest). Visitors often see bears, whales and mountain goats roaming across various corners of this pristine area—not to mention chubby baby seals resting on the ice floes. Juneau, Alaska may well be the most remote, most beautiful and strangest state capital in the United States. Surrounded by water, forest and mountain sights, visitors seeking things to do in Juneau indoors and outdoors can hike a glacier, eat fresh-caught fish on a seaside patio and tour a grand capitol building all in one day. The city itself is pleasant, but the real highlight of a visit to Juneau is tracking down some wildlife. You can hike up Mount Roberts to chance upon wild deer and bald eagles. Most sightseeing and whale-watching tours head north to Auke Bay—bring a good pair of binoculars to get the best view of these majestic and surprisingly graceful creatures. If you prefer land mammals, catch a floatplane to a nearby wildlife reserve such as Chichagof or Admiralty Island to spy some bears lolling around
Day 5 Skagway
At the height of the Klondike Gold Rush, the port town of Skagway served as the primary gateway to the legendary gold fields, and quickly grew into Alaska’s largest settlement. It was then a raucous frontier hub packed with trading posts, saloons and guesthouses. As the gold rush faded into the 1900s, so did Skagway—but today it has been reinvigorated as a gateway for a new kind of visitor: those looking to explore Alaska’s colorful history, pristine wildlife and unrivaled natural beauty. At every turn, you’ll find yourself immersed in gold rush lore, from the infamous Red Onion Saloon that still keeps a pistol that Wyatt Earp left behind en route to the Klondike, to the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, a classic narrow-gauge railway that traverses rugged mountains and passes cascading waterfalls and towering glaciers as it connects Skagway to Whitehorse deep in the Yukon. Much of the town has been preserved as part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, where rangers offer free walking tours around the historic district. Here you’ll also find a vibrant local community, home to a rich collection of local galleries, curio shops and restaurants serving seafood plucked fresh from nearby waters.
Day 6 Glacier Bay
Frosted crags descend into mossy forests and a 457-meter-deep (1,500-foot-deep) fjord at this World Heritage Site, which is also one of the planet’s largest biosphere reserves. Stone, ice and water continue to collide, sculpting a dramatic landscape that is the crown jewel of southeastern Alaska’s natural wonders. The area’s first European explorer missed it all—but with good reason. When Captain George Vancouver sailed here in 1794, a vast shield of ice, more than 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) thick, dominated the area. In one of the fastest retreats on record, the glaciers shrank back 105 kilometers (65 miles) by 1916. The formerly glacier-squashed land is rebounding now, rising 30 millimeters (1.18 inches) each year. Visitors can observe this rebirth: A spruce-hemlock rain forest has sprouted near the mouth of Glacier Bay. Farther north, the more recently exposed land shows sharper edges and thinner vegetation. Still, it’s enough to encourage the return of wildlife, from bald eagles to bears, moose and humpback whales.
Day 7 Ketchikan
Alaska’s “First City” of Ketchikan is so named because it’s the first major landfall for most cruisers as they enter the picturesque fjords of the Inside Passage, where the town clings to the banks of the Tongass Narrows, flanked by green forests nurtured by abundant rain. Ketchikan has long been an important hub of the salmon-fishing and -packing industries—visitors can try their luck on a sportfishing excursion or simply savor the fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants. It is also one of the best spots along the Inside Passage to explore the rich cultural sights of Native Alaskan nations like the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian. You can see intricately carved totem poles at the Totem Heritage Center and Totem Bight State Park, while the attractions of Saxman Village just outside of Ketchikan offers the chance to see Tlingit culture in action, with working carvers and a dance show in the clan house. And leave time to explore the sights in the town itself, including historic Creek Street, a boardwalk built over the Ketchikan Creek, where you can shop for souvenirs, smoked salmon and local art, while exploring gold rush–era tourist attractions like Dolly’s House Museum.
Day 8 Cruise Inside Passage
Today you will cruise back down the Inside Passage.
Day 9 Arrive Vancouver
Early this morning you will arrive in Vancouver, after breakfast you can disembark the ship and spend the day in Vancouver at your leisure
Day 10 Enjoy Vancouver
Spend today exploring Vancouver. Perhaps even ask one of our Canada Experts for some optional excursions that we have on offer.
Day 11 Sightseeing Vancouver
Day at your leisure. We have many pre-bookable excursions available in Vancouver, please ask one of our Canada Experts for more details.
Day 12 Rocky Mountaineer Vancouver to Kamloops
This morning you will be transferred (included) from your downtown hotel to the rail station for the start of you 2-day Rocky Mountaineer journey through the Rockies. Your journey starts gently, moving through the fertile farmland of the Fraser Valley and the rolling hills of the Coast Mountains. As your train gains altitude beyond the town of Hope, the Fraser River narrows and the waters run rampant. The train will slow to fully appreciate Hell’s Gate, a narrow canyon where the volume of water rushing through is about three times greater than Niagara Falls. At the midway point of your journey, near your overnight stop of Kamloops, the river valley remains lush and green while sagebrush covers the surrounding desert-like hills.
Day 13 Rocky Mountaineer - Kamloops to Jasper
When you board the train after spending the night in a charming Kamloops hotel, you will follow the North Thompson River, slowing to take in Pyramid Falls, a 91.5-metre (300-foot) cascade of white water. After giving you time to pick up your jaw, the train continues on to the Yellowhead Pass. Moving past teal-green lakes, you’ll close in on Mount Robson, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies. It’s so high it has its own weather system. The striking thing about this route is that once you’ve seen what you think is the most beautiful sight ever, something even more stunning comes along. To cap it all off, you’ll wind up in the alluring alpine town of Jasper.
Day 14 Explore Jasper
Spend today at your leisure exploring Jasper and the Rockies. We can also pre-book an excursion to help you experience the best on offer in this area, please ask one of our Canada Experts for details.
Day 15 Explore Jasper
Explore Jasper at your leisure today. We highlighly recommend the Maligne Valley Sightseeing and Cruise tour, ask for more details.
Day 16 Jasper to Banff - Scenic Transfer
Following the spine of the Canadian Rockies, view a never-ending procession of mammoth mountains, jagged snowy peaks, and over 100 glaciers. The entire day is spent in the majesty of Canada's two most famous National Parks, Banff and Jasper. Enroute, make a stop at Athabasca Falls located just outside of the Jasper Townsite. Among the most powerful and breathtaking falls in the Rocky Mountains, the Athabasca River thunders through a narrow gorge where the walls have been smoothed and potholed by the sheer force of the rushing water carrying sand and rock. Our next stop is the breathtaking Columbia Icefields and Athabasca Glacier where we will allow time to enjoy a Ice Explorer ride (included) on the Glacier & Glacier Skywalk (included). Next we continue to the Weeping Wall, Peyto Lake and the Crowfoot Glacier before joining the Trans Canada Highway near Lake Louise where a stop will be made to view the lake and famous Chateau, then continue on the Trans Canada Highway, passing fortress formations of Castle and Protection Mountains to arrive in to Banff late afternoon. Highlights: A hearty picnic lunch is included and will be enjoyed at a secluded location along the Icefields Parkway.
Day 17 Explore Banff
Spend today at your leisure exploring Banff National Park. We have so many pre-bookable excursion on offer in this area, please ask for details.
Day 18 Enjoy Banff
Day at leisure to enjoy Banff. Why not ask one of our Canada Experts for recommended excursions that we can pre-book for you.
Day 19 Transfer to Calgary and fly to UK
This morning you will be transferred by coach (included) from your hotel to Calgary Airport for your overnight flight to the UK.