GREAT CANADIAN RAIL ADVENTURE
150TH YEAR BIRTHDAY
JUNE 23-JULY 11, 2017
Join us for Canada's sesquicentennial –150th birthday! We will enjoy some special events celebrating Canada's 150th Birthday, as we ride by rail through the best scenery in Western Canada on some restored steam trains, interurbans and street cars. There will be time to tour the Canada Rocky Mountains parks, cruise the inside passage along the B.C. Coast, visit heritage villages, and stop for photos of the trains we will ride. We will make a loop around British Columbia and Alberta.
Day 1 Friday June 23:
Independent arrivals in Seattle, recommend taking the LRT from the Airport to Downtown. Local Hotel Check-in.(Lodging not included in the tour price)
Day 2 Saturday June 24: (B-D)
We depart Seattle on Amtrak Cascades in Business class at 7:45am for the ride across the border to Vancouver B.C. The rail route follows scenic shores of the Pacific Ocean. On arrival at 11:45am we travel to Surrey to ride the Fraser Valley Heritage railway restored interurban and take a shop tour. We then proceed to the Burnaby Central Railway to ride 1/8 scale trains on over 2 miles of track. (Alternately you could choose to tour downtown Vancouver on your own). In the evening we take a boat cruise of Vancouver Harbor with a "Welcome to Canada" Dinner cruise.
Day 3 Sunday June 25:
By motor coach we travel the scenic highway along Howe Sound, with views of the coastal mountains, to the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish. View the Royal Hudson steam train and vast Railway collection and take a ride on the mini rail around the park. Subject to weather, we ride the Sea to Sky Gondola for fabulous mountain top views of the Squamish area, Howe Sound and mountains surrounding Whistler. There are short trails to look out points. Returning to Vancouver we stop by Shannon Water Falls and take a drive around Stanley Park, forested nature area at the edge of downtown Vancouver, surrounded by ocean. Free time in the evening to explore Vancouver.
Day 4 Monday June 26: (B-L)
This morning we board the Rocky Mountaineer train in Silver Leaf class from Vancouver we follow the Fraser River through the farming communities of the Fraser Valley. By mid-morning we pass Hope and enter the steep walled Fraser River canyon riding on the Canadian Pacific Railway line. The walls are nearly vertical in parts of the canyon and we travel through several tunnels winding along the River canyon walls. View Hell's Gate at the narrowest part of the River. By afternoon we have crossed the Fraser River and then follow the Thompson River through a more arid climate to Kamloops. While the mountains are less steep, there will still be a number of tunnels and fantastic views of slide areas, rock sheds and river rapids through the trip. Late afternoon we see Kamloops Lake and some of the driest part of B.C. on our approach to Kamloops.
Day 5 Tuesday June 27: (B-L)
We board the Rocky Mountaineer from Kamloops to Banff. We climb through several mountain passes today, a challenge for the builders and operators of the early Canadian Pacific Railway. Today we will pass the last spike ceremonial location of the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada and travel under Rogers Pass, along winding rails, through deep river canyons and the base of towering mountains. By afternoon our train climbs through the Spiral Tunnels crossing the Continental divide to the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Banff. Free time for dinner and to explore downtown Banff.
Day 6 Wednesday June 28: (L)
This morning we travel by Motor Coach with stops to follow the Rocky Mountaineer on its return to Vancouver. This will give us plenty of opportunity to view some of the most scenic parts of the previous day's train ride, with photo opportunities of the train. Photo stops may include Morant's Curve, Spiral Tunnels and Field. Then we tour scenic highlights of the Rockies, including Emerald Lake, Lake Louise and parks around Lake Louise with time to explore the famed original Canadian Pacific Hotel Chateau Lake Louise. A group lunch is planned at the original Lake Louise Train Station, now a Restaurant. Overnight back in Baniff.
Day 7 Thursday June 29:
Today we travel along the Ice Fields Parkway through the heart of the Canadian Rockies. At the Columbia Ice Fields, we board a snow coach, for a walk on the Glacier. Through the trip we will stop by some lakes and scenic viewpoints of the mountains. We leave the Rockies behind, traveling through the Alberta prairies to visit Rocky Mountain House where we stay overnight.
Day 8 Friday June 30:
This morning we travel to Stettler for a steam festival with opportunities to photograph the famed 6060 Canadian National Steam engine and 2 other steam engines and special events. After hotel check in we ride behind a steam double header with the Alberta Prairie Steam engine # 41 and visiting CNR #1392 train with on board entertainment to Big Valley for a steak dinner. Visit the roundhouse interpretive centre, fully restored railway station and grain elevators to learn the history of Canada’s Prairie Provinces. On arrival by train late evening we overnight in Stettler.
Day 9 Saturday July 1:
You will have a choice this morning to sleep in a bit with breakfast at the hotel and take the motor coach to Big Valley or an early morning departure by steam train to Big Valley for breakfast. From Big Valley we travel by Motor Coach to the Badlands of Alberta; Drumheller and to take a tour of the Royal Tyrrell Museum. Explore the land and history of the dinosaurs. We travel from Drumheller to Calgary afternoon hotel check in and free time to take in Canada Day festivities and fireworks celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday. There are fireworks planned along the river front this evening. Overnight downtown Calgary.
Day 10 Sunday July 2: (B)
Today we will ride the LRT to and tour Calgary Heritage Park Historical Village. With over 180 exhibits on 127 acres of land. This is Canada's largest living history museum. Ride the steam train, street car, paddle wheeler and view historical railway equipment in the roundhouse. Plenty of other attractions and history with restored buildings in a relaxed park like setting. We travel to Edmonton overnight.
Day 11 Monday July 3:
Tour Fort Edmonton Heritage Park with steam train and vintage Streetcar rides. The Park is divided into four distinct Eras: The Fur Trading Era as represented by the Hudson Bay Company Trading Fort (circa 1846), The Settlement Era as depicted on 1885 Street, The Municipal Era (post railway) brought to life on 1905 Street, The Metropolitan Era portrayed on 1920 Street with the Johnny J Jones Midway. In the afternoon we ride a historic Streetcar on the High Level Bridge operated by The Edmonton Radial Railway Society. Alternatively some may wish to visit the massive West Edmonton Mall. With over 800 stores and attractions it is the largest mall in North America.
Day 12 Tuesday July 4:
Boarding the VIA Canadian Passenger train we leave the prairies behind and head back into the Rockies through the foot hills to Jasper at the north end of the Canadian Rockies park chain. We have spacious comfortable coach seats, breakfast in the Skyline car and access to views from the Skyline Dome car. In the afternoon enjoy a Maligne Lake boat cruise on a vast glacier fed lake. Free time in the late afternoon and evening to explore the town of Jasper or perhaps take a hike or ride the Jasper Sky Tram to the top of Whistlers Mountain. At 7500 feet you’ll get a stunning view of the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and valleys below. Overnight Jasper.
Day 13 Wednesday July 5: (D)
After free time in the morning we board VIA's Skeena train in Touring class with access to the Park Car with rounded end lounge area, access to the dome car and seating in the Panorama Glass roof car with meals served at your seat. Departure is at 12:45pm with arrival in Prince George at 7:P00pm. The route follows the best of the northern Rockies. On a clear day you can see Mount Robson the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Crossing the Continental divide, we head west along the head waters of the Fraser River as the valley widens, with distant mountain views. Overnight Prince George.
Day 14 Thursday July 6: (B-L-D)
We depart at 8:00am for a full day in touring class on the VIA Skeena train to Prince Rupert on the B.C. coast. We head towards the coastal mountains, following along the Skeena River. There are often views of eagles, bears and other wild life on this more remote of train tours. Arrival is scheduled for 8:25pm. Overnight in Prince Rupert near the Ocean.
Day 15 Friday July 7: (B)
We have a free day in Prince Rupert. There are options for scenic plane tours, boat cruises, fishing or relaxing and exploring the local town. We will list all of the options in a upcoming tour bulletin. These options are extra fare.
Day 16 Saturday July 8: (B)
Early morning departure on B.C. Ferries inside passage cruise, the same route used by the Alaskan cruise ships. 274 Nautical miles and 15 hours of stunning views of remote islands and coast line with deep inlets, glacier fed waterfalls, distant snow-capped mountains, frequent wild life viewings, including bears, soaring eagles and whales. The ferry has various food options, restaurants and seating areas. You may wish to arrange for a cabin with beds and private washroom for the day trip to give you a place to rest up. We will list cabin options and prices in an upcoming tour bulletin which are extra fare. We arrive just after mid-night in Port McNeill.
Day 17 Sunday July 9: (B-D)
This morning we travel down Vancouver Island, with a stop to view the Canfor logging railway, then to Port Alberni to ride the Steam train. The train ride takes us from the waterfront through the forests to the McLean Mill. We will see this steam powered sawmill in operation and view the collection of logging artifacts. Following our tour and return steam train ride, we pass through Cathedral Grove where some of the oldest trees on the island are up to 800 years old and 250 feet in height. Overnight in Parksville on the east coast of Vancouver Island near the beach.
Day 18 Monday July 10:
In the morning we head south down Vancouver Island stopping in Chemainus to tour the Town of Murals, then to the BC Forest Discovery Center Museum and a short railway ride. We view preserved steam railway equipment, narrow gauge and logging history of the island. A short ride on the Mill Bay Ferry, then explore the 55 acre Butchart Gardens. We have our final tour dinner at the gardens. After dinner we continue on to Victoria for hotel check-in.
Day 19 Tuesday July 11:
This morning we visit the Royal BC Museum’s numerous galleries with walk through life like exhibits telling the story of British Columbia history. You have the afternoon free to explore downtown Victoria’s many attractions, perhaps tour the original Canadian Pacific Empress hotel or have the famous “afternoon tea” in the Empress. Evening departure on the Victoria Clipper high speed catamaran to Seattle. We enjoy the sunset during this scenic trip through the coastal islands. End of tour upon arrival in Seattle.
PRICES ARE PER PERSON in usd
Double Room Occupancy$6,595
Single Room Supplement$995
Deposit to hold space confirmed$1,500
Early Bird Discount book by December 1-$300
Final payment due by March 23, 2017
** 16 MEALS
** FULLY ESCORTED
** VANCOUVER HARBOR DINNER CRUISE
** 17 NIGHTS LODGING IN UPPER TOURIST CLASS
** ROCKY MOUNTAINEER IN SILVER LEAF CLASS
** ALL TRAIN RIDES AS DESCRIBED IN THE ITINERARY