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You could commence your adventure in Victoria, one of the most charming spots in all of British Columbia. Not to be confused with Vancouver, which is on the mainland, Vancouver Island is across the Strait of Georgia from that city. Golf is not our only reason for visiting. Victoria is a cosmopolitan place that retains a small-town charm and colonial feel. The downtown harbor is a wonderful walking grid of restaurants, museums, stores and boutiques, and even a small Chinatown. The island's natural bounty, an outdoor adventurer's paradise of sea, shorelines, and mountains, is always close at hand. Whale watching could be on our agenda as well!
Next, it is on to Whistler, where Mountain Resort hosted the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games. It is home to 10,000 permanent residents and a vacation wonderland for over two million annual visitors. There are few places in the world that can match the endless adventure and entertainment that Whistler Blackcomb squeezes into a summer. You could play a couple of rounds of golf but there would still be plenty of time to take a sightseeing gondola ride to a mountaintop restaurant or an alpine hike with 360 degree views or a bear viewing tour, even a glacier walk.
From here you could take a 2 day train trip on board the "Rocky Mountaineer" to the heart of the largest park in the Rocky Mountains. Jasper is the gateway to some of the most majestic, pristine and accessible wilderness Canada has to offer. Scenic splendour lies right at your doorstep waiting to be discovered in this UNESCO World Heritage site. Mountain sheep, bears, wolves, elk and mountain goats have a secure home here, and can often be seen when simply driving down the road. To improve the chance of spotting a Grizzly Bear, you can even opt for a hiking tour or explore the surrounding wilderness on horseback.
You could then drive along the emerald waters of Lake Louise set against the stark backdrop of Victoria Glacier. This is probably the most beloved and most photographed scene in the Canadian Rockies. The Park is a year round playground in the Canadian wilderness. international royalty, Hollywood stars and heads of state have been coming to Lake Louise to relax for years - now it's your chance to do so as you make your way along the Icefields Parkway to Banff.
The Banff National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, set in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. The town of Banff is a unique destination, with wonderfully eclectic shops and boutiques & cosmopolitan services but the charm of a small mountain community – it is the grand masterpiece of the West. From quiet meadows to thundering waterfalls, towering peaks to misty canyons, Banff offers a unique assortment of sightseeing and leisure activities.
Travelling onboard the Rocky Mountaineer train is the only way to see the Canadian Rockies. The two-day rail journey offers an unforgettable train experience considered by many to be a trip of a lifetime. Recapturing the romance of rail travel, the Rocky Mountaineer follows the historic route constructed over 100 years ago through Canada's West and the Canadian Rockies, uniting the country. The entire train ride takes place during daylight hours to ensure you enjoy every minute of the breathtaking scenery of glacier-fed lakes, majestic mountains ranges and ferocious rivers.
The story of the transcontinental railway is one marked with amazing architecture, and human determination. The Fraser Discovery Route, towards Jasper, weaves its way through the towns and villages that grew around and supported the construction of this crucial railway. Experience the exceptional service Rocky Mountaineer is known for while taking in the legendary landmarks, architectural feats, and natural wonders that echo with the spirit of Canada's West. With an overnight stay in Quesnel, this two-day, all daylight, rail experience, ensures that not a moment of this spectacular journey will be missed.
The following information on the OPTIONAL Alaska cruise extension is provided for background only. There are a number of cruise lines offering a wide range of Alaskan itineraries out of Vancouver. We have used a 7 day Holland America Line (www.hollandamerica.com ) Northbound Hubbard Glacier Discovery Itinerary as the basis for this description. If sufficient numbers from your group agree to take the same cruise we will coordinate a group submission to the line operator. Experience the beauty of the Inside Passage and the wonders of Southeast and South-central Alaska aboard a spectacular 7-day Alaska cruise vacations.