Day 1: New Zealand – – Vancouver
Board your international flight and fly to Vancouver. You will be met upon arrival by a Webjet representative and transferred to the hotel.
Please note that some flights may depart one day earlier.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, your tour starts today. Please make your own way to the hotel.
Day 2: Vancouver (B)
You have today as free time. Choose to remain at the hotel and rest after the long-haul flight, or eager explorers can head out into the city and begin their discovery of this beloved west coast seaport.
Day 3: Rocky Mountaineer First Passage to the West – Vancouver – – Kamloops (B,L)
Step onboard the world-famous Rocky Mountaineer today. Your experience on this revered rail begins with a transfer to the train station. You are then welcomed onto your carriage – in either SilverLeaf or GoldLeaf Service – and will settle into your assigned seats. Breakfast is served on-board. As the train begins its departure from Vancouver, it soon becomes clear what kind of scenery you’ll be passing through on the day’s journey. Move from the verdant fields of Fraser River valley, to the river canyons surrounding the Coast and Cascade mountains. Take note of Hell’s Gate in Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rocky sheds lining the banks of the Thompson River. Rocky Mountaineer arrives in Kamloops in the late afternoon/evening and the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Day 4: Rocky Mountaineer First Passage to the West – Kamloops – – Banff Area (B,L)
The Rocky Mountaineer team fetch you from the Kamloops hotel and usher you back to the train for your second day onboard. Breakfast is again served on-board. Today’s journey takes you eastwards. Look out of your carriage’s vast windows for unobstructed views of Alberta ranchlands, soaring mountain passes, rocky lakeshores and hill-cut tunnels. Some highlights to anticipate include Craigellachie, the location of the last spike that makes up the Canadian Pacific Railway; the climb over Rogers Pass; Kicking Horse Canyon and the Spiral Tunnels. Your time on the Rocky Mountaineer comes to an end as the train pulls into Banff. A private Webjet coach takes you to the hotel.
Day 5: Banff Area (Canmore) (B)
Make the most of your time in the Banff area with a full day of free time. You have the option to discover the region on your own with independent sightseeing and exploration, or you can choose to join the optional excursion to Columbia Icefield. Travellers that choose to remain in town can take one of the shuttles into Banff (departing from Canmore about every 30 minutes) or strap on their sturdiest walking shoes to tackle one of the nearby hiking trails.
Optional: Athabasca Glacier by Ice Explorer
Experience the thrill of driving on the surface of an epic glacier with this unforgettable day trip. Ride in an Ice Explorer, a custom all-terrain vehicle designed for glacial travel, onto Athabasca Glacier. Learn about the glacier and the surrounding landscape from an insightful driver-guide. Please note this excursion must be booked prior to departure from New Zealand. Additional cost applies
Day 6: Banff Area – Lake Louise – Yoho National Park – Glacier National Park – Mount Revelstoke National Park – Vernon (B)
Bid goodbye to Banff and set out on today’s scene-filled journey. The group follows the Trans-Canada Highway to Lake Louise, the dazzling lake often referred to as the ‘Diamond in the Wilderness’. Visit three of Canada’s most prolific national parks – Yoho, Glacier and Mount Revelstoke – and also make stops at Emerald Lake, Natural Bridge, Spiral Train Tunnels and Rogers Pass. The tour arrives in Vernon and the evening is enjoyed as leisure time.
Day 7: Vernon – Okanagan Region – Penticton (B)
On the agenda for today is a full-day of sightseeing throughout the Okanagan Region. This area is one of Canada’s premier destinations for fruit and wine production, and there is a plethora of wineries, fruit stands, farmers’ markets and provedores scattered throughout the region. There is an optional stop at a local vineyard for a tasting of recent vintages. Continue to Penticton and arrive in the evening with free time for the remainder of the day.
Day 8: Penticton – Vancouver (Richmond) (B)
The final leg of your overland travel in Canada sees you move from Penticton to Vancouver. Enroute there is a stop in the town of Hope and at the Othello Tunnels. This tunnel network was built by cutting straight through solid granite walls. The evening in Vancouver is free time.
Day 9: Vancouver – Inside Passage Cruise (B,D)
Join a half-day sightseeing tour of Vancouver this morning. This guided excursion covers some of the top sights scattered throughout the city, including Stanley Park with its Totem Poles and Prospect Point; the whistling Steam Clock in Gastown; Chinatown’s Dr Sun Yat-Sen Park; and finally Granville Island for its shops and Public Market. Once the tour finishes, a private coach will take you to Vancouver cruise port. Begin boarding Celebrity Eclipse, the award-winning ship from Celebrity Cruises, that will be your home-base for the next 7 nights. Settle into your cabin and then sit down to your first dinner onboard (all meals are included while cruising).
Day 10: Inside Passage (B,L,D)
The day is spent at sea as Celebrity Eclipse begins its passage to the protected Alaska Inside Passage. This voyage may see you come across local wildlife – orca whales, bald eagles, bears, puffins and sea otters. You can also use today as an opportunity for exploring the ship. Celebrity Eclipse is fitted out with every mod-con and facility you could want. Think swimming pool, adults-only Solarium, restaurants, bars and lounges, and plenty more to keep you occupied.
Day 11: Icy Strait Point (B,L,D)
The first port of call on your Alaska Inside Passage cruise is Icy Strait Point. This destination, located just outside Hoonah, is steeped in cultural and historical importance. The area is one of the ancestral homes of the Tlingit Indians, and there is also a historic cannery on-site to offer visitors insight into local traditions. Passengers will also find good wildlife-watching opportunities and monuments commemorating surrounding fishing heritage.
Day 12: Hubbard Glacier (B,L,D)
Today is spent cruising and one of the highlights is seeing Hubbard Glacier. This sprawling frozen landmark is the largest calving glacier on the North American continent and visitors often see huge icebergs (some up to 10-storeys high!) break off and begin the buoyant journey out to sea.
Day 13: Juneau (B,L,D)
Time for a city stop! Juneau is the Alaskan capital and is certainly one-of-a-kind as there are no road leading in or out. The city is completely ensconced by untamed Alaskan wilderness, including Gastineau Channel, Mendenhall Glacier and the wider Juneau Icefield. Choose to take a float trip on the glacier or opt to scan the city’s surrounding waters for whales. Zip-lining and tours of the Capitol or Alaskan Brewing Co. buildings are also available.
Day 14: Ketchikan (B,L,D)
The final shore stop of the Inside Passage cruise is Ketchikan, the city with the reputation as being home to some of the best salmon in the world. Learn more about the city’s Tlingit people and see the carved totem poles, or meander along Creek Street to see its overwater wooden buildings. Pay a visit to the museum at Dolly’s House to take a step back into the ways of frontier life or take up one of the outdoor activities available in the area such as kayaking in Misty Fjords or hiking Deer Mountain. There are shops and boutiques for those that prefer retail therapy.
Day 15: Inside Passage (B,L,D)
The final day of the Inside Passage cruise is spent at sea as Celebrity Eclipse undertakes its return journey to Vancouver. Use the ship’s facilities one last time or soak in as much of these vistas as you can before the ship docks.
Day 16: Vancouver – – New Zealand (B)
Disembark Celebrity Eclipse. Depending on your flight time, you may have some free time. You must then make your own way to the airport to catch your return flight to New Zealand.
For those purchasing the Tour Only option, at the appropriate time please make your own way from the cruise terminal to your next travel arrangements.
Day 17: In flight
Day 18: New Zealand
Arrive in New Zealand today.