Day 1 London - Calgary - Banff
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your journey to London Heathrow Airport for a direct, scheduled Air Canada flight to Calgary. Upon arrival, we transfer to Banff, in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, where our hotel for three nights will be the superb Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge (4T).
Day 2 Banff (Lake Louise)
Banff is regarded as one of North America’s loveliest small towns, and makes a wonderful base for exploring the stunningly scenic surrounding area. Today we head out on an excursion to Lake Louise - not without reason is this enchanting lake known as ‘the jewel of the Rockies’. Named after Queen Victoria’s fourth daughter, Lake Louise is one of Canada’s most beloved attractions and perhaps the most picturesque body of water in the world. A fine chateau, located on its eastern shore, presents postcard-pretty views of snow-capped mountains and picturesque pine forests reflected in the lake’s opal waters. We take a different route to and from the lake for the very best introduction to the natural glory of Banff National Park. With national park protection from large-scale development, Banff retains a charming, friendly atmosphere; and being so compact, it is easily discoverable on foot.
Day 3 Banff
A day at leisure to enjoy the craft shops, boutiques, cafés and restaurants, or join an optional gondola ride to Sulphur Mountain for a bird’s-eye view of six mountain ranges.
Day 4 Banff - Columbia Icefield - Jasper
We journey north through the Rockies to Jasper, with even more captivating vistas unfolding at every turn of the road. En route we make a stop at the Columbia Icefield for a unique Ice Explorer ride on the surface of the Athabasca Glacier (subject to favourable weather conditions). The vehicle’s expert driver/guide shares a wealth of enthralling information about glaciers, icefields and the environment; and there is also the chance to safely step off and stand on this icy giant. In the charming town of Jasper our hotel is the Chateau Jasper (3T) or Crimson Hotel (3T).
Day 5 Jasper
Jasper National Park is one of Canada’s oldest and largest, full of cultural treasures and miracles of nature. Our guided excursion takes in the dramatic, steep-sided Maligne Canyon, the peaceful Medicine Lake and another breathtaking icon of world travel, the unforgettable Maligne Lake, surrounded by mountains and glaciers, and itself surrounding the tiny, endlessly photogenic Spirit Island. Dinner is included at the hotel this evening with interpretative talk.
Days 6-7 Rocky Mountaineer (Jasper - Kamloops - Vancouver)
The legendary Rocky Mountaineer train is surely the most comfortable and romantic way to appreciate the breathtaking majesty of the Canadian Rockies.
An exhilarating two-day route between Jasper and Vancouver, by way of Kamloops, along sublime valleys and lake shores, over mountain passes, through forests and remarkable tunnels hewn from the rock. Highlights of the Jasper-Kamloops sector include Mount Robson, the expansive glaciers of the Albreda Icefields, the Pyramid Falls and the snow-capped Monashee peaks. Then, after a hotel stay in Kamloops (arranged by Rocky Mountaineer), we continue through the desert-like environment of the interior to the lush green fields of the Fraser Valley, admiring the Coast and Cascade mountains, the steep slopes of the Thompson River and the tumbling waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon. We disembark this iconic train in Vancouver on the afternoon of day 7, and transfer to the Metropolitan Hotel (4T+).
Day 8 - Vancouver - Alaska cruise
There will be more time to explore Vancouver at the end of our cruise, but this morning is at leisure to gather memorable first impressions of a city justly regarded for its beautiful aspects, vibrant spirit and cosmopolitan culture. We board the luxurious MS Nieuw Amsterdam (4T) at Vancouver’s waterfront, with further free time to settle into your spacious stateroom, take lunch and explore the superlative amenities before setting sail late afternoon.
Day 9 - Alaska cruise (Canada’s Inside Passage)
As our 1,600km journey north begins in earnest, take in the awe-inspiring panoramas of Canada’s Inside Passage, a peaceful and picturesque ‘marine highway’ between British Columbia’s islands and mainland, characterised by intricate fjords, dense forests and snow-draped mountains. Keep an eye out too for the wildlife that calls this region home - harbour seals, humpback whales and swooping eagles.
Day 10 - Alaska cruise (Tracy Arm - Sawyer Glacier - Juneau)
Frequent sightings of whales, seals and sure-footed mountain goats are also likely as the ship makes its serene way through the classic 45km-long fjord Tracy Arm (weather permitting). At the head of the fjord is the awe-inspiring Sawyer Glacier, shimmering blue, framed by snowy mountains and regularly calving colossal blocks of ice into the water with unearthly groans and booms. Through narrow waterways, reminiscent of the coastline of Norway, we arrive in Juneau, Alaska’s state capital since 1906. Though the borough covers a large area, this sophisticated, cosmopolitan city has a remarkably small population. Juneau’s location, in the heart of the Tongass National Forest and at the foot of the towering mountains that overlook Gastineau Channel, makes it a memorable visit.
Day 11 - Alaska cruise (Skagway)
Skagway was the coastal gateway to the goldfields of the Klondike during the ‘rush’ of the late 1890s; and this ‘boom town’ owes its size and prominence to those thousands of fortune-seekers stocking up for the slow, arduous and often deadly trek along the Chilkoot Trail. In its boardwalks, pebble streets and turn-of-the-century buildings, the town demonstrates a fascinating ‘living history’ of those frantic times. Optional excursions may be available to follow the ‘Trail of 98’ by coach into Canada’s Yukon Territory or take the White Pass and Yukon narrow-gauge railroad that became the supply line for the goldfields.
Day 12 - Glacier Bay National Park
There can be few more inspiring sights to greet you on waking than Glacier Bay National Park. This morning, you will find yourself in the midst of towering mountains, magnificent tidewater glaciers, vast icebergs and an abundance of wildlife - a paradise for photographers, artists, birdwatchers and anyone who appreciates the majesty and beauty of the natural world.
Day 13 - Alaska cruise (Ketchikan)
Beautifully located, Ketchikan stretches like a ribbon along the shoreline below Deer Mountain - so remote that it may only be reached by sea or air.
Echoes of pioneer days still haunt the historic Creek Street area; but, these days, Ketchikan is better known for its extraordinary collection of tribal totems and its salmon production. As ‘the salmon capital of the world’, it is the perfect place to sample the freshest and most delicious wild fish.
Day 14 - Alaska cruise (Canada’s Inside Passage)
We return southwards through Canada’s Inside Passage on a last full day at sea, with more epic views from the deck or time to enjoy the ship’s fine facilities.
Day 15 Vancouver
We arrive back in Vancouver this morning, and an orientation tour introduces you to its standout highlights. The afternoon is then at leisure for independent exploration from our comfortable base (for the next two nights), the Metropolitan Hotel (4T+). You may like to join an optional excursion to Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge, the world’s longest and highest suspension bridge, set in the treetops of the Capilano Canyon. This evening, why not try one of the many superlative restaurants on Robson Street and Granville Street that serve up a global selection of cuisines.
Day 16 Vancouver
Today is also free to make your own discoveries in Vancouver, or join an excursion to Vancouver Island. View Butchart Gardens with its display of flowering trees and shrubs, and also explore Victoria, one of Canada’s most beautiful cities. Amongst its many attractions are the British Columbia Museum, Thunderbird Park and the Parliament Buildings.
Day 17 Vancouver - In flight
Enjoy a further leisurely morning, with some time for shopping, before we transfer to the airport for a direct, scheduled Air Canada flight to London.
Day 18 London
Arrival at London Heathrow Airport where you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.