Canadian Rockies Rail Journey & Alaska
North America is home to some of the most spectacular wilderness on earth. Here, we have combined two of the best bits, including a train trip across the Canadian Rockies and cruising around the best of Alaska's coastline.
Itinerary at a glance:
- Trek to mountains and glaciers in the Canadian Rockies
- Glide past rivers, waterfalls and glaciers on the great rail journeys
- Watch on as humpback whales devour tonnes of krill
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Day 1: International Flight
Your nine-hour flight to Calgary will leave London mid-afternoon and, thanks to the seven-hour time difference, will land later that same afternoon.
After you have cleared customs and collected your luggage, you will be met by one of our team on the ground for a private transfer to Lake Louise and your first hotel. We imagine that by this point you'll be fairly tired, so we've pre-booked dinner at the hotel.
Day 2: Mountains and Waterfalls
After breakfast today, you will be met at your hotel by an expert guide for a full day immersion into the natural history of the majestic Canadian Rockies.
Your tour will begin at Moraine Lake, one of the most picturesque in North America, before crossing the Great Divide into the majestic Yoho Valley. After a barbecue lunch at Emerald Lake Lodge, you will continue to Takakkaw Falls before trekking back down to Lake Louise. This evening you can relax at the hotel.
Day 3: Train to Kamloops
This morning you will be privately transferred to the train station to catch the Rocky Mountaineer train.
Sitting in one of the luxurious, glass domed carriages you will have front row seats as you pass glaciers and snow-capped mountains, gliding over mountain passes and through feat-of-engineering tunnels. Highlights of today's route include: The Continental Divide, the Spiral Tunnels, the Kicking Horse Canyon, Rogers Pass and Craigellachie. On arrival in Kamloops, you will be privately transferred to your hotel for the evening.
Day 4: Train to Vancouver
After checking out of your hotel this morning you will be privately transferred back to the train station for the second leg of your journey.
Today you will pass from the desert-like British Columbian Interior, passing meandering rivers and canyons and forging through almost untouched forests of pine trees. Having passed the steeply sloping banks of the Thompson River and the gushing waters of Hell's Gate, you will arrive into Vancouver in the early evening. From the station, you will be privately transferred to your hotel to spend the rest of the evening at leisure - we recommend dinner and dancing in Yaletown, and you can consult your handy Dossier for our favourite spots.
Day 5: International Flight
This morning you will be privately transferred from your hotel to the airport for your flight to Juneau, Alaska.
The first leg of your journey will be a one-hour flight to Seattle, where you'll have a handy four-hour layover, which gives you plenty of time to clear US Immigration, before a two-and-a-half-hour flight to Juneau. Once you have cleared customs and collected your bags, you will be privately transferred to your hotel for the night.
Day 6: Setting Sail
After breakfast this morning you will be privately transferred to the harbour to embark on your seven-night small ship cruise around Glacier Bay National Park.
After boarding the ship, you will be shown to your cabin before a welcome talk, after which you will set sail for the Icy Straight.
Day 7: Glacier Bay National Park
This morning when you open the curtains to your cabin port-hole you will be in Glacier Bay National Park - all 3.3 million acre UNESCO World Heritage Site biosphere reserve of it
After breakfast, you will head towards the Glacier Bay outback - a place most visitors never see - for a day of adventures. The southernmost areas of the park - Dundas and Taylor Bays - are sheltered coves, so less windswept and blustery than the rest of the park, but no less wild and beautiful. Here, you can kayak around sea stacks, search the coastline for wildlife, spot bears and eagles on the beaches, watch sea otters frolicking in the kelp and hike through the forest. At the end of the day you will return to the ship for dinner and bed.
Day 8: Glacier Bay National Park
It's an early start this morning as you are met by an expert National Park Ranger for a day's group tour of the park.
Keeping an eye out for puffins, guillemots and sea lions, you will cruise up to the very end of Tarr Inlet to see Margerie and Grand Pacific glaciers calving into the water. From here, you will pull into a narrow inlet and leave the Zodiac RIB dinghy behind to hike through the forest, on the lookout for bears and mountain goats. After your hike, you will head back to the ship for the night.
Day 9: Chatham Strait
This morning you will wake up as your captain is navigating you to the best inlet along Chatham Strait.
After breakfast, you will load you backpack up with snacks for the day ahead as the crew lowers every adventure toy a (big) kid could dream of into the water. Today is all about making the most of the wilderness - we highly recommend kayaking around the cove, keeping an eye out for inquisitive seals and hiking through the magnificent, moss covered trees. Tonight, make the most of the complete lack of light pollution by taking a post-dinner drink up onto the sun deck and watching the stars.
Day 10: Kuiu Island
Over breakfast this morning you will arrive at the remote Kuiu Island, laced with salmon streams - and as even the most amateur wildlife enthusiast will tell you, where there is salmon, there are bears.
The island is home to ones of the densest populations of black bears in the world, so today you will kayak around the Keku islands on the lookout - keeping half an eye open for bald eagles as well.
Day 11: Frederick Sound
This morning you will wake up in Frederick Sound, where humpback whales come to feast in the krill-rich water.
After breakfast watch the whales devour an astonishing two and a half tons of krill in one sitting, before cruising past Five Fingers Lighthouse - the oldest in Alaska - and sea lions napping on The Brothers Island. After lunch, you will head to the depths of a cove and kayak along the shore looking for bears, or head into the forest for a hike.
Day 12: Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier
This morning is your last on board the ship, so after breakfast you will be taken out in kayaks to paddle through Endicott Arm.
Here, you will see seal pups lazing on icebergs before turning into Fords Terror fijord, whose steep walls are dotted with waterfalls and ice. At the end of the arm lies Dawes Glacier, the perfect end to your Alaskan Adventure. With any luck, you will hear a sharp crack as a chunk of ice calves from the glacier and crashes into the water. After a farewell dinner tonight, you will begin the journey back to Jeneau.
Day 13: International Flight
This morning, you will disembark the ship and be privately transferred to the airport for the two-hour-20-minute flight back to Seattle.
From here, you will check in for your evening international flight home. The flight back to London takes roughly nine-and-a-half-hours.
Day 14: Land Back in London
Your flight will land around lunchtime.
Will, Abigail and Kate B are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.