Duration: 16 Days
Take a fantastic adventure on this affordable guided vacation in Canada. Begin in Vancouver with a tour of the city, including Stanley Park, Chinatown, the harbour, beaches, and more. Cross the Strait of Georgia by ferry to Vancouver Island for sightseeing, including Butchart Gardens. Spend a free day in Victoria as you please—from whale watching to afternoon tea. Embark on your Inside Passage cruise from Port Hardy at the northern end of the island. Cruise through spectacular scenery to see mountains, waterfalls, islands, and rainforests. Watch for sea lions, eagles, porpoises, and orcas! Disembark your ship for two overnights in the historic fishing village of Prince Rupert. Take a guided tour of British Columbia’s oldest cannery village. Board your VIA Rail train through the mountains, following the mighty Skeena River through the Pacific Coast Rainforest. Retrace the ancient steps of the First Nations and fur trading routes while keeping watch for eagles, bears, and moose. Ascend the Canadian Rockies peaks to the highest, 12,972 ft. Mount Robson. In Jasper, take in the unspoiled beauty with an optional excursion to Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, or to hike, shop, or relax. Coming down the western slopes of Alberta, you’ll roam the 750-foot-thick Columbia Icefield in the all-terrain Ice Explorer. Take in the crystal blue waters of Lake Louise reflecting the surrounding peaks and glaciers. Witness more gorges, snowy peaks, and alpine lakes of green and blue as you approach Banff National Park. Explore the park with hiking, boating, horseback riding, or join us for an optional helicopter tour of the Canadian Rockies. Continue your adventure with “the greatest outdoor show on Earth,” the Calgary Stampede! This celebration of the Old West brings to life frontier days with entertainment and exhibits, great food, world-famous Chuckwagon horse races, and the Calgary Stampede Rodeo. This amazing value tour is jam-packed with beauty and adventure that’s not to be missed.
- Adventure is knocking with everything you need for perfectly affordable touring. Cosmos includes hand-selected accommodations, guided sightseeing, and seamless transportation between destinations—with value-minded travel lovers in mind. Explore with expert Cosmos Tour Directors and Local Guides, and private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi. Enhance your free time to explore like a local with your CosmosGO mobile app!
- Ferry crossing to Vancouver Island and a journey on VIA Rail’s Skeena—from Prince Rupert to Prince George in Economy class is included.
- Maximum elevation on tour: 7,500 ft.
- Visiting and participating in activities in this region may be subject to weather conditions and vendor dates of operation.
Welcome to Vancouver! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
This morning, an included city tour highlights Stanley Park, Chinatown, the harbour, and beaches, and more. The rest of the day is at leisure, and your Tour Director will have suggestions for your further exploration of the city. Maybe take a water taxi to lively Granville Island with its outdoor markets, street musicians, and waterfront cafes, or visit historic Gastown with its steam-powered clock, antique shops, art galleries, and street vendors.
This morning, set sail across the Strait of Georgia through the spectacular Gulf Islands, an area known for its Mediterranean-like climate. Afternoon sightseeing in Victoria includes world-famous Butchart Gardens, Bastion Square, and Thunderbird Park with its unusual collection of totem poles.
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, a whale-watching cruise on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and shopping along Government Street.
An early departure from Victoria follows the eastern coastline of Vancouver Island, stopping in Chemainus, the unique village with more than 30 murals depicting pioneer settlement of the area. Then, it's through the port of Campbell River, the "Salmon Capital of the World."
Early this morning, embark on one of the world's most beautiful ocean voyages. The scenery is spectacular, with towering mountains, roaring waterfalls, endless islands, and virgin rainforests. Marine life abounds, often with sightings of sea lions, eagles, and porpoises-you may even spot a killer whale! Late-evening arrival in Prince Rupert.
NOTE: Cruising time through the Inside Passage is approximately 16 hours. Please come prepared with all medications, eyeglasses, and any other items you will need.
Enjoy an orientation tour of Prince Rupert, and visit the North Pacific Historic Fishing Village, a National Historic Site, for a guided tour of British Columbia's oldest cannery village. Learn of the canning process and what life was like in the village during peak production in the last century.
This morning, board VIA Rail's Skeena train for the trip of a lifetime. Sit back and enjoy an all-daylight journey that winds its way through the majestic Coast Mountains, follows the mighty Skeena River-often referred to as the "River of Mists." Retrace the steps of the ancient First Nations trading routes and follow the paths of the earliest fur traders. Soaring bald eagles, inquisitive black bears, browsing moose, and other wildlife may be spotted. Disembarking in Smithers, you'll continue to Prince George, for an overnight stay in British Columbia's "Northern Capital."
NOTE: Train travel is subject to unforeseen delays.
As we continue onward to Jasper National Park, the peak elevations grow, culminating with Mount Robson, the highest of Canada's Rockies at almost 13,000 feet. In Jasper, an orientation tour showcases the area's unspoiled beauty. Overnight in Jasper National Park.
Today, join the optional excursion to Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, where you embark on a narrated cruise of the lake. The balance of the day is free to enjoy everything Jasper has to offer, from guided hikes and quaint shops to meandering wildlife.
Winding our way down the western fringe of Alberta, our journey takes us through some of the Canadian Rockies' most breathtaking wilderness. Our first highlight is a stop at the Columbia Icefield to experience the Ice Explorer, an all-terrain vehicle that travels on ice measuring 750 feet thick. As we journey south, precipitous gorges, snowcapped mountain ranges, and lakes of exquisite blues and greens come into view. Visit Lake Louise, its cold waters perfectly mirroring the surrounding mountains and glaciers. Arrive in Banff National Park and enjoy an orientation tour.
Banff is one of Canada's favourite year-round resorts, with summer activities including hiking, boating, horseback riding, and fishing. Consider an optional helicopter ride high over the Canadian Rockies.
Arrive in Calgary, home to the world-famous Calgary Stampede, and take a city tour. Highlights include downtown, Fort Calgary, Stampede Park, the Saddledome, and Canada Olympic Park. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Perhaps go to the top of Calgary Tower for a 360-degree panoramic view, Heritage Park Historical Village or Studio Bell to visit the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Welcome to Calgary and "The Greatest Show on Earth." Dressed in your best Cowboy fashion from belt buckles, boots to chaps, explore the Calgary Stampede grounds at your leisure with your included admission. Step through the gates of Stampede Park into a world of wonder, fun, and "Wild West" excitement. Walk back in time and experience the traditions and culture of Canadian First Nations at Elbow River Camp or stroll the streets of a recreated frontier town. Enjoy a wide variety of exciting talent at the many entertainment stages, and then maybe head into the dazzling array of international exhibits and displays of Western art. This evening, watch the heart-stopping Chuckwagon Races in an all-out dash for the finish line, an amazing contest of nerves and horsepower. You'll be out of your seats cheering on your favourite driver during each heat. Afterward, get ready for an outdoor stage show featuring hundreds of singers, dancers, and musicians in a lavishly produced and choreographed musical variety spectacular.
Fuel up for the day's activities by visiting Fluor Rope Square at Olympic Plaza for a pancake breakfast. Return to the Stampede grounds this morning to see anything you missed yesterday, and cheer on your favourite rodeo contenders. If you haven't already, get suited with a cowboy hat, threads, and boots at one of the many stalls before heading to the Grandstand for the Calgary Stampede Rodeo this afternoon. See the best of the best as they saddle up for world-class rodeo action. Top professionals take on the West's wildest horses. You'll also enjoy rodeo's most famed event-bull riding! You will be in awe of the talent as you sit on the edge of your seat. Make the most of your time here and discover Canada's country core. With square dancing, mock gun fights, country bands, bars, restaurants and livestock, there is loads to see.
Your holiday ends this morning.