Canada and Alaska Tour 2012 Part 2
Day 8 had the group boarding the Rocky Mountaineer for our journey from Banff with and over night in Kamloops and then back to Vancouver. 3 of the group upgraded to the Gold Leaf service which I would highly recommend to anyone thinking of doing this. The service in the Red Leaf was great however you certainly do not get to see as much as the Gold Leaf. We were lucky with the size of the coach that we had travelled on we had seen so much of the Canadian Rockies as well as the wildlife such as bears, moose and much more that we didn’t feel that we had missed too much. As the train arrived late into Kamloops unfortunately we did not get to explore Kamloops. My advice for those looking into doing this rail journey is to do some research on this as if you are limited with your time it does take 2 full days out of your itinerary and you do not get to get off the train at any point throughout the day.
Arriving back into Vancouver late we retired early as day 10 had us travelling out to Vancouver Island to visit the famous Butchart Gardens and Victoria. After 90 minutes on the ferry we arrived at our destination and the whole group were straight away disappointed that we only had the day here. Victoria is a beautiful city that definitely requires and overnight stay to really take your time to enjoy. The Butchart Gardens were equally amazing. We spent 3 hours at the gardens and were quite rushed (although stopping for English High Tea did take some time) so would recommend 4 hours minimum. They are truly breathtaking as well as the story behind the gardens.
Day 11 had us leaving Vancouver behind and boarding the Holland America Volendam ship for our 7 night cruise up to the Inside Passage of Alaska. Holland America is an amazing cruise line and there was not one thing I could fault during our 7 nights on board. I would highly recommend this product to anyone. We had 3 day stops in Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan where there were a wide variety of excursions to choose from. I was adventureous and tried Zip lining and snorkling which were great.
There is no way you can travel to Canada and not look at an Alaskan cruise. It was a great way to end our tour after such a busy 10 days travelling through Canada and travelling such vast distances.
Disembarking in Vancouver we had the day to enjoy before boarding our flight home that evening. We stopped at Granville Island which is a large market of every fresh produce imaginable as well as amazing arts and craft stalls. From there we headed up Grouse Mountain which after a gondola ride to the top we were treated to seeing brown bears along with a hilarious wood chopping show. I cannot remember laughing so much as what I did at that show. It is an absolute must if you are in Vancouver.
Looking back on our time in Canada and Alaska I am lost for words to explain the beauty of these countries. I would be back on a plane tomorrow if I could.
Luckily for you I am escorting this tour again in 2013 with the departure date of Friday 13 July.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 06-8684129 to get an itinerary as this is definitely a destination that should be on your bucket list.