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Canadian Rockies: Jasper, Banff & Vancouver

10 days Nature & Wildlife
Explore Canada’s Rocky Mountains as you take in the jewel-colored lakes and snowy summits of Banff and Jasper National Parks. Just when you think the scenery can’t get any more spectacular, climb aboard the Rocky Mountaineer to ride the rails through the soaring peaks and twisting valleys of the Coastal Range to Vancouver. With endless dazzling landscapes, this tour will open your eyes to western Canada’s gems.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 30 travelers

Tour Pace: You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across moderately uneven terrain, including paved roads and dirt paths, with some hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 9 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 3 lunches, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Expert Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

  • Rocky Mountaineer SilverLeaf Service with available GoldLeaf Service upgrades

Calgary, Alberta 1 night Hotel info

Day 1: Arrival in Calgary

  Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Canada! Arrive in Calgary and settle in to your hotel before getting to know your Tour Director and fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Lake Louise 1 night Hotel info

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Calgary

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Head out on a guided sightseeing tour of Calgary, site of the 1988 Winter Olympics. Pass by the Calgary Olympic Park and enjoy sweeping views of the city from atop the Calgary Tower as you go.

Later this afternoon, transfer to Lake Louise for a half-day excursion.

• Step aboard the Lake Louise Gondola to take in breathtaking views of the surrounding scenery and enjoy lunch mid-mountain

• Stroll along the lake’s glittering shores

• Visit the grand Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, an iconic hotel located on the eastern shore

Jasper 2 nights Hotel info

Day 3: Jasper via Moraine Lake

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Drive along the UNESCO-recognized Icefields Parkway, viewing Bow Lake and the region’s countless glaciers en route to Jasper, a picturesque town nestled in the middle of Jasper National Park. As you go, pass through the Valley of the Ten Peaks in Banff National Park to stop at Moraine Lake and take in its beautiful turquoise waters (seasonal, June-September).

Day 4: Medicine Lake & Maligne Lake

  Included meals: Breakfast

Set out into Jasper National Park to explore the secluded Maligne Lake, famed for its azure hue. 

• View the steep limestone walls of Maligne Canyon on the way to Medicine Lake

• Board a Maligne Lake cruise and travel through Samson Narrows to Spirit Island (seasonal, June-September) Please note: When Maligne Lake cruise is not available, it will be replaced with entrance to the Jasper SkyTram.

• Disembark for a short walk to the Spirit Island viewpoint where you’ll be treated to fantastic sights of the surrounding mountains

Enjoy a free afternoon in Jasper or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Athabasca River Raft Tour $65pp* Details

Fall in love with the Canadian wilderness on a leisurely journey down the Athabasca River, tracing the same route that early fur traders once followed. Along the way, your river guide will teach you the river’s natural and human history. Your tour passes through a calm stretch of the river, but some splashing is to be expected and waterproof ponchos are recommended. Please note: This optional excursion is seasonal and runs from mid-May through September only.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Banff, Alberta 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Banff via Athabasca Glacier & Peyto Lake

  Included meals: Breakfast

Travel to the awe-inspiring Banff National Park, one of the natural wonders of the world and the birthplace of Canada’s national park system.

• Visit the Columbia Icefield, one of the world’s most spectacular mountain glaciers

• Take a guided drive across Athabasca Glacier on an Ice Explorer and step out onto the ice to take in the scenic surroundings (seasonal, mid-May-September)  

• Make stops at the sparkling Peyto Lake (weather permitting) and Crowfoot Glacier for photo opportunities

Day 6: Sightseeing tour of Banff

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

WIth your Tour Director as your guide, set out into Banff National Park to discover its beautiful landscapes and diverse wildlife.

• Pass by Bow Falls, the Banff Springs Hotel and Lake Minnewanka

• Discover a landscape rich in wildlife and history

Kamloops 1 night Hotel info

Day 7: Transfer to Kamloops

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Board a vintage Rocky Mountaineer train in Banff for a ride through the untamed beauty of the Rockies to the city of Kamloops, taking in glacial lakes, towering mountain peaks and raging rivers on your day-long journey.

Vancouver 2 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Transfer to Vancouver

  Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Continue your scenic journey on the Rocky Mountaineer as you make your way south to Vancouver, crossing through the coastal range of British Columbia.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Vancouver

  Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, tour the multicultural, cosmopolitan city of Vancouver with your guide before enjoying a free afternoon for exploration of your own. 

• Visit Granville Island and Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre public space 

• See the historic Gastown district

Tonight, celebrate your trip over a farewell dinner with your group.

Day 10: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or continue exploring Vancouver.

Add Vancouver $269 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Delve deeper into the diversity and vibrancy of British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada. Many cultures meet in the seaport of Vancouver, which boasts thriving Chinese and Indian neighborhoods. Spend your days wandering around the original settlement in Gastown or enjoying the great outdoors. Then, spend your evenings feasting on Chinese food and checking out the lively music scene. Opt to spend a day taking in the beauty and refinement of Victoria or the fresh air and adventurous spirit at Whistler.

Vancouver 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Free day in Vancouver

  Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day to explore Vancouver on your own or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Victoria Sightseeing $189pp* Details

Board a ferry for a scenic ride to Victoria, where a local guide will introduce you to the city’s downtown area. Next, take in a passing view of the Parliament Buildings, the Inner Harbour and the iconic Empress Hotel. After a few hours to eat lunch and explore on your own, travel through the countryside for a guided tour of the famed Butchart Gardens, home to 55 acres of stunning floral displays. Your evening comes to a close as you head back to the docks to catch your return ferry to Vancouver.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $199)

Day 11: Free day in Vancouver

  Included meals: Breakfast

Spend another day in Vancouver at your leisure or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Vancouver: Scenic Landscapes & Gondola Ride $89pp* Details

With an underground train ride at the Britannia Mine Museum and a breathtaking ascent on the Sea to Sky Gondola, this adventurous excursion takes you from the depths of the earth to the heights of the mountains. Today, you’ll visit the charming town of Horseshoe Bay; view the impressive Stawamus Chief, the world’s second largest granite monolith; cross the 210-foot-high Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge; and see Canada’s southernmost glacial fjord. Please note: Warm layers and comfortable walking shoes are recommended. This excursion is seasonal and rus from the end of May through September.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Day 12: Departure

  Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Lake Louise, Canada
  • Jasper, Canada
  • Banff, Alberta, Canada
  • Kamloops, Canada
  • Vancouver, Canada
Temperature Precipitation
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Passport & visa requirements

A valid passport is required for U.S. citizens traveling to Canada. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, please be sure to have your required identification with you as well.

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Be advised that most domestic airlines impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage, and that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Clothing & packing tips

We recommend packing light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers are also recommended. Hiking boots might come in handy, if you plan to do any extensive walking or hiking. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any event—a lightweight jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. Restaurants are typically informal in this region of Canada. Remember to bring a small carry-on bag for your overnight in Kamloops.

Health

Please be aware that you will be traveling at altitudes between 7,000 and 9,000 feet above sea level on this tour. These high altitudes can sometimes cause difficulty breathing and other health problems with travelers who have heart problems or respiratory ailments. If you suffer from any of these conditions, please speak to your doctor regarding any potential health risks. Even healthy travelers may sometimes experience altitude sickness, a temporary condition featuring symptoms of headache, fatigue, nausea and lightheadedness. Until your body acclimates to the higher altitudes, we suggest that you drink plenty of fluids and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol. Otherwise, there are no major health risks when traveling to this region. During the summer months, take care for sun exposure and heat. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and personal travel requirements.

Cuisine

One of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling is the delightful variety of local cuisine—even if you’re not traveling far. Most of the cuisine on this tour is well-known, but look out for especially delicious French, Acadian and indigenous influences.

Transportation

Flights arrive in Calgary, where a Go Ahead representative escorts you to your hotel for check-in. Return flights depart from Vancouver. A train ride is included on the Rocky Mountaineer from Banff to Vancouver via Kamloops. All other included transportation on tour is by private motor coach.

Electricity

All regions operate on the Canadian standard 110 volts.

Time zones

Most of your tour will fall on Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is two hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST). Vancouver is on Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is three hours behind EST. For most of your tour, when it’s noon in New York City, it’s 10am on tour.

Currency

Canadian dollars will be the currency on your tour. You can find kiosks at the airport with good exchange rates, but the best way to change your money is simply by using an ATM.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/ CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

Purchasing excursions on tour

If you have not yet purchased your optional excursions, you may be able to do so while on your tour. Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions. Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See the separate “Optional Excursions” sheet for more information.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

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5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/18/2015

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: VA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Absolutely fabulous trip

The Canadian Rockies trip in September was wonderful: great tour director, great bus driver, and great locations. I would recommend this trip to anyone! The Gold Leaf Service on the train was impeccable.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/25/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Absolutely amazing!

This was my first tour with Go Ahead and certainly won't be my last. I lost my husband 4 years ago and although I don't mind traveling alone, I chose Go Ahead as it gave me the opportunity to travel on my own, but yet I really wasn't. I didn't have to research the hotels, where to eat, what to see, etc. - everything was done! And a bonus was that I never worried about my safety. I will admit I was a little anxious in the beginning, but had no reason to be. From being picked up at the airport until I was dropped back off, everything was completely organized and very well orchestrated. We had a busy itinerary, but were allowed to tailor it somewhat to meet our needs. Our tour director Alexander (Sandy) was fantastic and made a point of checking in with us regularly to make sure we were satisfied with our accommodations and overall enjoying ourselves. The group I was with was very welcoming. I was likely a whole generation younger than most, but that wasn't a barrier at all. The trip itself more than met my expectations and am looking forward to scheduling another with Go Ahead next year.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/18/2015

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

YOHO (Cree word for awe) HO!

We never thought about the Canadian Rockies until my husband's boss urged us to go see them. It's part of our trying to outdo each other with vacation pictures. So we set for the the Canadian Rockies tour on September 18, 2015 with tour director Alan. He told the group that we will have many, many OOH AAH moments on the trip. He was absolutely right!. Along with Lorne, the "bestest" driver, Alan made the trip sooo informative and sooo interesting. We marveled at the majestic snow covered peaks, the magnificent waterfalls, ice fields and glaciers, and the unbelievable turquoise waters of many of the lakes. We even had a bride and groom at Lake Moraine. Weather was perfect and the tour group crazy and fun. Who would get themselves trapped in an elevator, have the fire department for rescue and have the hotel staff rouse Alan from his room? Never mind that Go Ahead forgot to inform me that there were different levels of service on the Rocky Mountaineer trip from Jasper to Vancouver! We still enjoyed the group in the Red Leaf service at the hands of our host Ewen. This is a must do trip for everybody!

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1 / 6

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/18/2015

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Awesome Tour

My wife and I had a great time. The snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, and the blue water lakes were spectacular. Lorne, our bus driver for the first part of our trip, gave us much information about the area that we visited. He did an excellent job of driving the bus as well, especially the tricky switchback up and down a steep mountain. Alan, our Tour Director, provided our group with the information needed to make it a great trip. We have to give him lots of credit for a job well done. We hope to get him as our Tour Director on a future GoAhead tour. One of our favorite excursions was the one hour horseback ride to a beautiful vista of the valley below. Calgary, Banff, Vancouver and Victoria had lots to do and many fine restaurants. The accommodations and meals provided on this tour were excellent. We highly recommend this tour.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/14/2015

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

This is a Must!

My wife and I traveled to the Canadian Rockies because we wanted to see scenery. This trip was unbelievable beautiful. From the beginning we were not disappointed. Patrick was at the airport waiting for us and accumulating the other guests. We had a beautiful brand new bus and felt safe at all times. The weather was not perfect for the first 2 days, but Patrick found things to do that might not have been on the itinerary. We had a stop at the ice skating arena in Calgary which hosted the Olympics. There were 33 of us on the group from all parts of the country, and I can honestly say, if something wasn't totally over the top, it didn't matter because the new found friends we were traveling with AND Patrick the tour guide, made our trip so perfect. The places we stopped, Banff, Lake Louise, Lake Maligne,Emerald Lake,Athabasca Glacier and Jasper, (to name a few!) all exceeded our expectations. I can't say enough about Patrick who kept us informed and laughing all the time. We were even fortunate to meet his family. The accommodations were reasonable, (remember we are not in big cities with huge skyscrapers), but in beautiful peaceful surroundings that shouted out nature and tranquility all the time. Our least favorite overnight was in Kamloops, but since this was our resting ground after a magnificent day on the Rocky Mountaineer (Gold Leaf), it did not dampen our experience. The train ride was a beautiful part of the trip, and we enjoyed the experience immensely. We were up early, had great breakfasts, some better than others, and then got to witness nature at its finest. We saw black bear, grizzly bear, elk, mouse, coyote, mountain goats, osprey and eagles. The best part was we always felt safe and well taken care of. We loved Vancouver, Stanley Park, the marketplace, and way too many things to mention. This is a trip that has moved to the top of our list in memories and hope that anyone that has the opportunity to go, will take it. Make sure you go with Patrick he made the trip, total perfection! Yay - Go Ahead, were already planning the next one!

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1 / 27

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/14/2015

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: MA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

"Wonderful mountain scenery"

The tour was all that I expected: great scenery, wonderful outdoor experiences exploring alpine forests, climbing high peaks, watching wildlife, riding gondolas. river rafting, walking beside beautiful mountain lakes, walking the glacier, spanning bridges over waterfalls and deep caverns, taking in the beauty of all that the Canadian Rockies has to offer. Our tour director was great, not only providing interesting facts about the Rockies and Canadian history and culture, but also entertaining us with interesting stories and funny jokes. He kept the pace of the tour very lively and he was very attentive to our personal comfort as well. Our two day trip on the Rocky Mountaineer train was fabulous, the staff providing wonderful food and facts along the way. Our stay in Vancouver was a perfect way to end the trip. The city is very modern and very multicultural. Stanley park is just beautiful. And our two day extension was worth it,giving us time to visit Butchart Gardens and Victoria, and also a glimpse of the Pacific Northwest coastline. Fantastic!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 8/14/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: AL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Excellent tour guide

Patrick was wonderful.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 8/14/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

"There are not enough words"

Our Canadian Rockies Tour was our first with GoAhead Tours. The experience was phenominal! Your company has obtained an invaluable asset by employing our tour guide, Patrick. Being a native Canadian, he imparted to all of us his knowledge and love of his homeland. The Canadian Rockies have to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, and our tour provided us with a thorough insight into their magnificence. The itinerary was well planned, the meals and hotels a step above the rest, and we were fortunate to have an opportunity to share all its wonders with an amiable and congenial group. Each day was truly an adventure, filled with laughter led by Patrick and his desire to enable us to capture it all. I would be remiss if I did not mention that we also had another tour asset- our excellent bus driver, Stuart. He too added so much to our days on the road through the provinces! The two days spent on the Rocky Mountaineer were superb. Our Hosts were a wonderful team, providing us with not only insight into the areas we traveled, but superb meal and drink service, as well as genuine enjoyment of our group! It is also important to note that even though I have a food allergy, never was it considered a problem...thank you to all. I recommend GoAhead Tours and the Canadin Rockies Tour with Patrick to all! Thank you for an experience never to be forgotten!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/19/2013

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: NY

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best tour thus far

I had the absolute best time on the Canadian Rockies tour. I am looking forward to the National Parks Tour. Not to say the European tours aren't great as well but this one takes the cake.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/3/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: TX

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

BEST TOUR DIRECTOR

The Trip was wonderful! everyone was so nice. David was awesome, smart, and had a great sense of humor. He took such great care of our group. He was the Best Tour Director we've ever had. Hope to have him again in our future trip. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone.

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