Day One – Fly to Calgary and continue to Banff
Fly west to the oil-and-cattle town of Calgary, meet your tour manager and board our coach for a scenic journey up into the towering Rocky Mountains. Spend two nights, here, in the exquisite mountain capital, Banff, surrounded by the breath-taking setting.
Day Two – At leisure in Banff
Explore the Rockies' spectacular capital, perhaps joining exciting optional excursions that include a cable-car ride to the summit of Sulphur Mountain, a trip to the scenic Surprise Corner viewpoint overlooking the famous Banff Springs Hotel, and an unforgettable helicopter ride.
However you choose to spend your day, you are assured of some wonderful scenery.
Day Three – Visit Lake Louise and travel along the Icefields Parkway to Jasper
Another breath-taking day awaits as you re-board the coach and journey to beautiful Lake Louise, its turquoise waters – frozen for much of the year – set against the awesome backdrop of imposing Victoria Glacier. This afternoon, continue your journey, along the renowned Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic roads, to the historic Rockies' railroad town of Jasper, at the gateway to picturesque Jasper National Park. Spend the night here, and soak up the atmosphere of one of Canada’s most "western" townships.
Day Four – Journey through the Rockies to Sun Peaks
Your scenic feast of a journey continues as you head past majestic, towering Mount Robson, the Canadian Rockies' highest point, and travel along the Yellowhead Highway to the delightful mountain resort of Sun Peaks where you'll spend the night.
Enjoy a last evening in the Rockies, before tomorrow’s journey through the Coastal Ranges begins.
Day Five – Travel to Vancouver and board your cruise ship
This morning we descend, through the Coastal Ranges, to the Pacific and the beautiful Pacific-rim city of Vancouver. Board your Holland America Line cruise ship ahead of the late-afternoon sailing. Settle in to your stateroom, or join fellow passengers on deck for the voyage out into the Strait of Georgia, as you leave the magnificent Vancouver skyline in your wake and head north towards the wilderness state of Alaska.
Later, enjoy dinner and your first evening on board.
Day Six – Cruise the Inside Passage
Awake to enjoy a day at sea, as your ship cruises the waters of Alaska’s scenic Inside Passage. This narrow waterway is surrounded on both sides by a thickly forested land of mountains and glaciers, and the very occasional settlement (while this region is nowhere near as inhospitable as the Alaskan north, it is still referred to as The Last Frontier). Take a turn on deck, keep watch for aquatic life, and enjoy the ship’s wide range of on-board amenities.
Day Seven – Call at Juneau
Today you'll call in the Alaskan capital, Juneau, in its awe-inspiring setting at the foot of the magnificent mountains from which the immense Mendenhall Glacier flows. Built with the proceeds of gold prospecting, Juneau, which is only accessible by air or sea, is a surprisingly chic and stylish city framed by dense forest.
Optional shore excursions on offer will include guided city tours, a fascinating trip to the nearby Mendenhall , and activities like kayaking or dog-sledding.
Day Eight – Visit Skagway
Skagway, the northernmost point of your cruise, was the historic gateway to the Yukon Territory. It was from here that tens of thousands of hopeful adventurers once set off into the wilderness, many never to return, and it remains a pioneering town of honky-tonk saloons and Klondike memorabilia. A fascinating shore excursion to Klondike Gold Rush National Park will reveal one of American history’s most colourful chapters, and some of the improbable characters that lived through it.
Day Nine – Sail through Glacier Bay
Today brings, arguably, the scenic highlight of your cruise, as your ship sails into breath-taking, UNESCO-listed Glacier Bay. Formed by the slow retreat of the Grand Pacific Glacier over the last two centuries, the Bay brings the opportunity not only to view the towering edge of the ice up close, but also to witness a teeming display of wildlife on land and sea, as black and brown bears, and native moose, vie with hump-back whales, porpoises, seals and a whole variety of sea birds for your attention.
Day 10 – Explore Ketchikan
The last of your Alaskan ports is the southernmost settlement of Ketchikan, with its historic wooden buildings, boardwalks and profusion of arts and crafts stores. From here, many will wish to join the optional shore excursion by floatplane to the remote Misty Fjords National Monument.
Day 11 – Sail back along the Inside Passage
Enjoy a last day at sea, cruising the Inside Passage, and making the most of life aboard your wonderfully appointed Holland America Line ship.
This evening, a farewell dinner completes your wonderful cruise experience.
Day 12 – Arrive in Vancouver
This morning your ship returns to the glittering waterfront city of Vancouver, and you disembark to begin a three-night stay. Step ashore to meet your tour manager, and transfer to your hotel. After checking in, you'll have the rest of the day free to take in the sights and sounds of a city that is often listed among the best places in the world to live.
Day 13 – See the sights of Vancouver
Join this morning’s optional guided tour, which will include restored Gastown, hectic, colourful Chinatown, and the glass and steel wonders of the Burrard Inlet waterfront. Cross Lion’s Gate Bridge into the leafy suburbs of North Van and the wilderness beyond to brave the famous Capilano Bridge.
Day 14 – Optional visit to Vancouver Island
Today you'll have the chance to enjoy an optional full-day tour to beautiful Vancouver Island and the unashamedly 'British' provincial capital, Victoria, with its vast Parliament Buildings and grand old Fairmont Empress Hotel. This hugely enjoyable trip also includes a visit to world-famous, 50-acre Butchart Gardens, after which you’ll return to beautiful Vancouver to spend a last evening in the city.
Day 15 – Final morning in Vancouver and flight home
After time for last-minute shopping and sightseeing, you'll transfer to the airport to check in for your overnight flight.
Day 16 – Arrive back in the UK
Today you'll return home, at the end of a wonderful Alaskan holiday.