TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

17 Meals (9 Breakfasts, 8 Dinners)
Private Luxury Motorcoach for Sightseeing
Visit Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver, Kelowna
Glacier National Park. Lake Louise
Banff National Park, Calgary
See the Space Needle, Butchart Gardens, the Columbia Icefields
Scenic Highlights: Puget Sound, Olympic National Park, Fraser Canyon, Athabasca Falls
Sunwapta Pass, Jasper National Park

DAY 1 - SEATTLE, WA - We meet at the Jackson International Airport this morning to board the flight to Seattle. Relax and enjoy your flight as we make our way to the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Upon arrival in Seattle, transfer to the famous Space Needle for an endless panorama of the skyline and distant mountains. Enjoy dinner this evening hosted by your tour director. (D)

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DAY 2 - PORT TOWNSEND - VICTORIA, BC - Depart Seattle and ferry across Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island. Skirt Olympic National Park with a break in historic Port Townsend, renowned for its eclectic downtown architecture and colorful Victorian homes. Then board the MV Coho for a spectacular sail across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria. Be on the lookout for Orcas (killer whales), porpoises, and bald eagles. Sightseeing on the way to the hotel includes the gardens of Beacon Hill Park, the Empress Hotel, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park with its unusual collection of totem poles. (B,D)

DAY 3 - VICTORIA - BUTCHART GARDENS - Begin the day with a leisurely visit to world-famous Butchart Gardens, 50 acres of floral extravaganza subdivided into different themes: the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, the formal Italian Garden, and the showpiece Sunken Garden. On the way back to your hotel, take Marine Drive and see some of Victoria's most beautiful neighborhoods. The afternoon is free. Be sure to discover some of the attractions this splendid city has to offer, including the Royal British Columbia Museum, Afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel, the National Geographic [MAX Theater, and fine shopping along Government Street. Suggestion for this evening is a visit to a replica of Ann Hathaway's cottage, followed by a delicious English-style dinner. (B)

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DAY 4 - GULF ISLANDS - VANCOUVER - Set sail across the Strait of Georgia and through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an area known for its Mediterranean?like climate. Late morning arrival in Vancouver. Sightseeing of Canada's "Gem of the Pacific" includes world?famous Stanley Park, as well as Gastown. Chinatown, and the Downtown area. The rest of the day is at leisure. Ideas for your free time include a bike ride around the seawall of Stanley Park with its beautiful gardens, towering evergreen forests, and inviting beaches, For the shoppers, take a water taxi to lively Granville Island with its outdoor markets street musicians, and entertainers. Tonight you have a choice for dinner, either eat downtown at your leisure at a specially selected restaurant. or at the Bridge House located next to the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge. (B, D)

DAY 5 - HELL'S GATE - KELOWNA - East through the fertile Fraser Valley and into the mighty Fraser Canyon, a rugged region steeped in history from the gold rush of the 19th century. Stop at Hell's Gate for a tram ride across the narrowest part of the roaring Fraser River. You'll also see the fishways were over two million salmon annually swim upstream to their spawning grounds. Afterward cross the Cascade Mountains to the western shores of beautiful Okanagan Lake. A stop to sample some wine at a renowned vineyard before arriving at your lakefront hotel. Ask the natives to tell you about the Ogopogo, the local version of the Loch Ness Monster. (B, YahoD)

DAY 6 - LAKE LOUISE - Continue your journey through orchards and vineyards of the Okanagan Valley to Canada's Glacier National Park. On Rogers Pass enjoy panoramic vistas of peaks exceeding 10,000 feet. Travel Yoho National Park and view Natural Bridge and the Spiral Tunnels before scaling Kicking Horse Pass. Enter the province of Alberta before reaching the scenic heart of the Canadian Rockies and the resort village of Lake Louise, situated on the pristine Pipestone River. Before dinner, tonight join your tour director for a cocktail at the splendid Chateau Lake Louise. (B, D)

DAY 7 - JASPER - Head back to Lake Louise, whose cold, green waters form a perfect reflection of 11,365-foot Mount Victoria and its glacier under the morning sun. Later visit spectacular Moraine Lake nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks before following the Icefeld Parkway to Jasper National Park. Great scenery all the way before stopping at 1,000?foot thick Columbia Icefield for a thrilling ride aboard a snowcoach. See Athabasca Falls before reaching the resort village of Jasper. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore Jasper townsite with its array of local craft shops and boutiques. You may find the Jasper Yellowhead Museum with its many historic exhibits of the area interesting. Your tour director will also suggest an exciting optional raft trip adventure down the scenic Athabasca River. Your river guide will navigate and narrate the journey as you absorb the splendor of Jasper National Park. (B,D)

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DAY 8 - BANFF - A free morning in Jasper. Perhaps join our optional drive to Maligne Lake with a narrated cruise of the glacial lake. Later head south with lots of photo stops enroute as you retrace your steps along the Icefield Parkway. First climb Sunwapta Pass to savor stunning vistas of alpine meadows, waterfalls, and glacier masses. Then scale Bow Pass, with splendid views of turquoiseblue Peyto Lake. An orientation drive of Banff townsite before arriving at your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B,D)

DAY 9 - BANFF NATIONAL PARK - Morning sightseeing includes stops at the famed Banff Springs Hotel, the Hoodoos -weirdly shaped pillars along the Bow River, and Bow Falls. Also look forward to a thrilling gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain. The balance of the day is free to appreciate the tranquil setting of this mountain resort. You may wish to sign up for our optional raft trip down the Bow River. For the even more adventurous, there's our helihiking excursion: a scenic flight up to the timberline of Kananaskis Country wilderness for a leisurely hike with an expert guide who helps you spot the wildlife of the area. Tonight your tour director hosts a farewell dinner, the perfect finale to a great adventure through British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies. (B,D)

 

DAY 10 - CALGARY - It's a short drive to Calgary where an orientation tour will point out all the highlights. A break for lunch in the downtown pedestrian mall area before heading to the airport for tour members who have connecting flights returning homeward with many fond memories of your Classic Canadian Rockies adventure.