DAY 1 Board the train this evening in Toronto at Union Station (downtown) and unpack for the next 3 nights aboard VIA's Trans-Continental. Your porter is on-hand throughout the journey to ensure that you have a comfortable stay. Roll across the Canadian Shield, boreal forests, countless lakes and the hardest rock on Earth! 1/3 of the fresh water in the World is in Canada and you will see some of it on this trip.
DAY 2 & 3 Arrive into Winnipeg to take on more passengers and continue rolling through Manitoba, the province of 100,000 lakes. Drink in the vistas from the Dome Cars and enjoy the terrific on-board service including World-Class Cuisine. How about a night cap in the Park Car tonight? Enjoy the panoramic views and savour a nightcap in the Bullet Lounge.
DAY 4 Cross into Alberta before our arrival into Edmonton for a brief stop and we continue the train journey to the "Jewel of the Canadian Rockies" Jasper, Alberta. Disembark and we are transferred to our hotel for the first of 2 nights. Keep on the lookout for wild animals often seen in and around the town.
DAY 5 This morning we tour Jasper and then enjoy a cruise of magnificent Maligne Lake and its incredible aquamarine waters. The views are stunning and the water is a shade of blue found only in these mountains. Spirit Island is a famous spot for photographers seeking the perfect picture. Return to Jasper for overnight.
DAY 6 Head south by motor coach on the Icefields Parkway and stop at the Columbia Icefields, which are 125 square miles in size (massive!), with no fewer than 30 glaciers where 3 river systems flow to three different oceans. The Icefields Parkway delivers us past Bow Lake, Peyto lake and Mistaya Lake south to Lake Louise, one of the most enchanting spots on earth. We see the reflections of the mountains in her aqua blue waters and we'll find out how rock flour helps the water retain its mesmerizing color. Continue further into Banff National Park to the majestic town of Banff. Overnight at one of our Banff Hotels.
DAY 7 Join us on an afternoon tour of Bow Falls, the Hoodoos and whisk up Sulfur Mountain on the Banff Gondola. The views will take your breath away. Walk the boardwalk at the summit onto another mountain and see the ancient weather observatory there. Overnight one of our Banff Hotels.
DAY 8 Enjoy a day to explore the trails, shopping, tours and sightseeing that this area is Word famous for. Canoe rentals, horseback riding and whitewater rafting are all nearby. Patricia Lake on the Pyramid Shelf above town has great trails and has fascinating "top-secret" history from WWII. Overnight Banff
DAY 9 Depart for Kamloops by motor coach in the sunny Okanagan via Kicking Horse Pass. Pass over the Continental Divide and begin our slow downhill descent to the Pacific Ocean. Travel through Yoho National Park, one of four parks that comprise a World Heritage Sight. We arrive in the late afternoon at the "cattle country" semi-desert center of Kamloops for overnight.
DAY 10 We scoot along the shores of Kamloops Lake. Kamloops is a native word meaning "meeting of the lakes". Shadow the mighty Frasier River past Hell's Gate Canyon before we arrive in lovely Vancouver. Overnight in one of our Vancouver hotels.
DAY 11 Transfer to the airport or you may choose to extend your stay and visit Vancouver and the largest island in North America, mighty Vancouver Island. Those extending their stay can go whale watching, see Butchart Gardens and the city of Victoria on Vancouver Island or travel north to Whistler Resort area. Consider an orientation tour to include Gastown (be sure to see the steam clock), Chinatown (second largest in North America), the harbor area and the famous Totem Poles at Stanley Park. Vancouver is beautiful.