See Canada And Alaska By Road, Rail And Sea
Sarah Connor, Team Leader from Cruiseabout Rockingham, spent three glorious weeks travelling by road, rail and sea through Canada and Alaska. Read on to get the highlights and tips of this incredible journey.
3 night stay in Victoria.
My journey started in Victoria, capital of British Columbia, which sits on the craggy southern end of Vancouver Island. It truly is a beautiful fisherman's town, full of beautiful attractions like Parliament House and the Fairmont Empress. We were fortunate to stay at the conveniently located Worldmark Victoria that was close to Fisherman’s Wharf (great for a relaxed fish and chips) and an easy 10-minute walk into the town centre. Be sure to visit the Spinnakers Brewpub for local beer and leave some time for the BC Museum.
Brisitsh Columbia and the Candian Rockies, the scenery doesn't get much better than this. (Image courtesy of Getty)
7 night Vancouver return Alaska cruise with Princess Cruises.
Once on-board we had a great time, great food, great entertainment, and all of the staff were just incredible! The Princess Emerald did not disappoint on any part of the experience and they had great day tours as well. Other highlights included a jet boat around the volcanic island in Sitka but my absolute favourite part of the cruise has to be the Glacier Bay scenic cruising. The scenery is unbelievable all day, every day. I especially loved the local rangers who came onboard for the day to give us a full overview of the area and to also answer questions about the Glacier.
The two "Bs" of Alaskan cruising = balconies and binoculars. (Image courtesy of Getty)
For any Alaskan cruise a balcony is a must, so make sure you ask your consultant about this type of cabin, and the other must is to take binoculars to look out for otters, seals and whales.
7 night self drive road trip to the Rockies – a great option for this part of the world.
When we got off the cruise we picked up a car close to the port and set off on our road trip. Before we left for Whistler we went to Granville Island Markets, a real must do. We did a tour of the markets but you could easily walk through and explore yourself.
We took advantage of the long hours of Northern Hemisphere sunshine and didn’t leave Vancouver until 7pm and still reached Whistler by 9:30pm for sunset. Whistler is a great little place and provides very different things to do depending on the time of year. We were there in May so we opted to take the chairlifts to the snow for a frolic but then could return to the enjoyable 27 degrees in the town centre for a refreshing beer outside.
2 Nights in Kelowna.
We stopped and spent two nights in Kelowna to break up the journey from Whistler to Banff. Kelowna is fairly low-key but if you are there in the summer season there are lots of water sports, wineries and great food venues to enjoy.
Banff – A real highlight!
Any trip to the Rockies stops here and having a car was great because many attractions are a short drive away and there are some great stops that are literally just a stop on the side of the road, so having the car gave us a lot of flexibility.
A Banff National Park resident. (Image courtesy of Getty)
Banff has a well-deserved reputation for great walking trails and hiking. Johnston Canyon offers waterfalls and walks that cater for different levels of fitness. If you are not self-driving, the local company Brewster provides a lot of really good tour options.
Another absolute must is the Banff Gondola also a truly beautiful attraction while staying in Banff.
Rocky Mountaineer, its fantastic reputation is well deserved.
The Rocky Mountaineer was everything people talk about and the service was exceptional. Silver class offers large comfortable seats with dinner at your seats, two hosts and a chef, all with a commentary of what is happening outside and exciting cries whenever an animal is spotted!
Visit Canada and Alaska in May/June - Spring, and all the wildlife will be there to greet you. (Image corutesy of Getty)
I had fantastic time in Canada and Alaska and hopefully have given you some insights into ways you can visit this incredible part of the world. Below are just some little things to watch out for or perhaps raise with your consultant if you are thinking of travelling here:
- For your arrival in Vancouver ask your travel consultant about the BC Connector which makes transport from the airport onto the ferry across to Vancouver Island and into Victoria BC, much easier.
- Consider travelling in May/June as this is a great month if you want a bit of everything. We got snow, we had 30 degree days but mostly we had sunny beautiful days at about around 12 degrees. Wildlife was abundant because it was spring and we saw: bears, otters, seals, salmon, whales, deer, horny marmot, elk, horned sheep and mountain goats.
- If opting for the Rocky Mountaineer there are quite a number of differences between Silver Class and Gold Service so it is best to have a great conversation with your travel consultant when booking.
- If you are cruising in peak season there may be a number of cruise ships arriving or departing at the same time, so sometimes your dis/embarkation can take a little longer – with this prior knowledge get into the right mindset if there are delays.
Like to know more? Call 1300 954 661 and chat to one our friendly cruise consultants today. We can let you know all about the cruise itineraries that feature North American destinations.
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