The prismatic beauty and pioneering history of Alaska comes alive on this journey of a lifetime. The rugged personality of the region is reflected in the distinctive towns of Skagway, Ketchikan and Sitka, yet the biggest state in the U.S. is defined by its vast, unfettered wilderness. From Hubbard Glacier to the Seymour Narrows, immerse yourself in the ultimate Alaskan experience.
Enjoy the ultimate train ride - a two day, all daylight tour of the Canadian Rockies aboard the legendary Rocky Mountaineer. Relax as the stunning vistas parade before your eyes. From the amazing beauty of the lakes and peaks of the Rockies to the rushing waters of Hell's Gate in the Fraser Canyon and gentle farm lands as you enter Vancouver. Cross the Continental Divide. See the Spiral Tunnels and Hell's Gate. Spend two nights in Banff, and an overnight in rustic Kamloops.
Day by day itinerary
UK to Anchorage
Enjoy the use of a VIP airport lounge before your flight to Anchorage. Upon arrival, take your included shared transfer to your hotel for an overnight stay at the Captain Cook Hotel on a B&B basis.
Check out of the hotel and transfer to Seward to embark Silver Shadow.
It is hard to believe that a place as beautiful as Seward exists. Surrounded on all sides by Kenai Fjords National Park, Chugach National Forest, and Resurrection Bay, Seward offers all the quaint realities of a small railroad town with the bonus of jaw-dropping scenery. This little town of about 2,750 citizens was founded in 1903, when survey crews arrived at the ice-free port and began planning a railroad to the Interior. Since its inception, Seward has relied heavily on tourism and commercial fishing.
Cruising The Hubbard Glacier
Hubbard Glacier, off the coast of Yakutat, Alaska, is the largest glacier in North America, with a calving front that is more than six miles wide. One of the main sources for Hubbard Glacier originates 76 mi inland. It has been a very active glacier, experiencing two major surges in the past 30 years. This glacier was named after Gardiner Greene Hubbard, a U.S. lawyer, financier, and philanthropist. He was the first president of the National Geographic Society.
Juneau, Alaska's capital and third-largest city, is on the North American mainland but can't be reached by road. The city owes its origins to two colorful sourdoughs (Alaskan pioneers)—Joe Juneau and Richard Harris—and to a Tlingit chief named Kowee, who led the two men to rich reserves of gold at Snow Slide Gulch, the drainage of Gold Creek around which the town was eventually built. That was in 1880, and shortly thereafter a modest stampede resulted in the formation of a mining camp, which quickly grew to become the Alaska district government capital in 1906.
Located at the northern terminus of the Inside Passage, Skagway is a one-hour ferry ride from Haines. By road, however, the distance is 359 miles, as you have to take the Haines Highway up to Haines Junction, Yukon, then take the Alaska Highway 100 miles south to Whitehorse, and then drive a final 100 miles south on the Klondike Highway to Skagway. North-country folk call this sightseeing route the Golden Horseshoe or Golden Circle tour, because it passes a lot of gold-rush country in addition to spectacular lake, forest, and mountain scenery.
It's hard not to like Sitka, with its eclectic blend of Alaska Native, Russian, and American history and its dramatic and beautiful open-ocean setting. This is one of the best Inside Passage towns to explore on foot, with such sights as St. Michael's Cathedral, Sheldon Jackson Museum, Castle Hill, Sitka National Historical Park, and the Alaska Raptor Center topping the town's must-see list.
Ketchikan is famous for its colorful totem poles, rainy skies, steep–as–San Francisco streets, and lush island setting. Some 13,500 people call the town home, and, in the summer, cruise ships crowd the shoreline, floatplanes depart noisily for Misty Fiords National Monument, and salmon-laden commercial fishing boats motor through Tongass Narrows. In the last decade Ketchikan's rowdy, blue-collar heritage of logging and fishing has been softened by the loss of many timber-industry jobs and the dramatic rise of cruise-ship tourism.
Cruising The Inside Passage
Vancouver is a delicious juxtaposition of urban sophistication and on-your-doorstep wilderness adventure. The mountains and seascape make the city an outdoor playground for hiking, skiing, kayaking, cycling, and sailing—and so much more—while the cuisine and arts scenes are equally diverse, reflecting the makeup of Vancouver's ethnic (predominantly Asian) mosaic. Vancouver is consistently ranked as one of the world's most livable cities, and it's easy for visitors to see why. It's beautiful, it's outdoorsy, and there's a laidback West Coast vibe.
As you debark the ship the local Silversea representative is on hand to direct you to your motor-coach for a three-hour deluxe sightseeing tour of Vancouver. The city is renowned for its splendid gardens, as well as the mountains, ocean forest and parklands surrounding the city. Following your tour the balance of the day is at leisure. Lunch and dinner are at your own expense.
Overnight at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver to Kamloops
This morning transfer to the Rocky Mountaineer Rail Depot to begin your journey (Gold Leaf). Enjoy breakfast aboard the train. Your journey today takes you through the scenic Fraser Valley and over the dramatic Fraser Canyon. At Hell's Gate you see one of the most spectacular scenes along the entire route as thousands of gallons of rushing water are forced through one of the canyon's narrowest points. Continue alongside the Thompson River as you make your way toward Kamloops, British Columbia. A variety of lunch entrees is offered in the dining car for those who have booked "Gold Leaf" service.
At the end of the day, arrive in Kamloops, British Columbia and transfer to your hotel for check-in. Breakfast and lunch are served on the train. Dinner is at your own expense.
Overnight at the Thompson Hotel (or similar 3-star property) - Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
Kamloops to Banff
Rise and shine early today to re-board the Rocky Mountaineer and continue eastward to the Canadian Rockies. Breakfast is served on the train. You travel through vast ranchlands to Shuswap Lake Pass Craigellachie where the "last spike" was driven completing the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885. Beyond Craigellachie is Rogers Pass with its tunnels, glistening glaciers, and snowcapped mountains. Thrill as you pass through the Spiral Tunnels in Yoho National Park.
Lunch is served on the train as the magnificent scenery continues to parade past.
Arrive in Banff in the early evening and transfer to the historic Fairmont Banff Springs Resort. For more than a century, 'The Castle in the Rockies' has provided the unique blend of luxurious comfort, individualized service and timeless beauty for the most discerning traveler. Please note: rooms in all categories vary in size and location. Dinner this evening is on your own.
Overnight at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel - Banff, Alberta, Canada
After breakfast at the hotel, the rest of the morning is spent at your leisure.
A visit to the Banff Visitor Centre, which features a uniquely original interpretive program, offers an outstanding overview of the area.
After lunch on your own, depart for a sightseeing tour of Lake Louise, the 'Jewel of the Canadian Rockies'. Along with Moraine Lake, this area is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Upon arrival, time is made available to take photos, explore their shorelines, and learn about the area's mountaineering history. Your tour concludes with a stroll to a viewpoint in the Valley of Ten Peaks for splendid views and photo opportunities overlooking Moraine Lake.
Following your visit, transfer back to the hotel for dinner at your own expense.
Overnight at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel - Banff, Alberta, Canada
Banff to Calgary to UK
Following breakfast this morning, check-out of the hotel. Your transfer to the airport in Calgary is pre-arranged to depart the hotel four (4) hours prior to your flight time. Fly from Calgary to the UK, arriving the following day
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