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Alaska small ship cruise and Rockies by rail

Essential Rockies by Rail with Alaska Small Ship Cruise

15

days

starting fromUS $11,230per person

Star Rating 5

5 of 5 stars (1 review)

  • Get this trip plan customized to cover everything you want to see.
  • Learn which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.

Alaska Small Ship Cruise and Rockies Train Vacation

Enjoy a perfect balance of adventure, luxury, wildlife and wilderness on this 15-day Rockies rail and Alaska small ship cruise vacation. Marvel at the beauty of iconic Lake Louise, before a luxurious Rocky Mountaineer train journey to Vancouver. Travel to charming Sitka, Alaska where your small ship crew will sail you into the heart of Alaska’s wilderness. Leave the large cruise ships behind onboard your agile vessel, as you navigate remote bays and fjords. Daily adventures include glacier exploration, kayaking, whale watching, bear viewing and rainforest hikes.

Trip at a glance

15 Days / 14 Nights

Arrive Calgary 2 nights Banff 1 night Lake Louise 1 night Kamloops 2 nights Vancouver 1 night Sitka 7 nights Alaska Cruise Depart Juneau

  • View Details Of Each Day

    Sample Itinerary

    Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.

    Note: Alaskan Cruise portion of this itinerary runs from either Sitka–Juneau or Juneau–Sitka depending on your departure date.

    Day 1 – Arrive Calgary and Transfer to Banff
    Welcome to Calgary International Airport, travel from here through the Canadian Rocky Mountains to the town of Banff. From the very beginning, we ensure your vacation is off to the best start! Your arrival transfer is taken care of with door to door service from the airport to your hotel. The town of Banff is a unique destination – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with the charm of a small mountain community. Breathe in the fresh Canadian Rockies air – you’ve arrived!

    Feature Dinner in Banff
    No need to worry about finding a place to eat this evening, we make sure you are taken care of with a delicious meal at one of our favourite restaurants in Banff.

    Overnight in Banff.

    Day 2 – Explore Banff
    Fill your lungs with cool, fresh Rockies air and head out for a day of exploration.

    You have
    3 options to choose from today in Banff:

    • Option 1: Private Sunrise Photography Tour
    Wake up early to experience the stunning scenery of Banff National Park at sunrise. Explore with a private guide and learn how to take great photos, ideal for the amateur photographer wanting to increase their skills with a manual camera.

    Activity rating: Moderate

    • Option 2: Banff Sightseeing Tour and Gondola Ride
    Enjoy a small-group tour to discover Banff’s unique folklore and natural history. You can take short walks along the way, and at the end, ride the Banff Gondola to the summit of Sulphur Mountain for spectacular views.

    Activity rating: Easy

    • Option 3: Banff E-Bike Tour
    Cycle the Banff and Bow Valley area with ease on an E-Bike tour. This adventure will journey through the best of Banff and the surrounding area adjusting to the interests of the group and the weather.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Overnight in Banff.

    Day 3 – Travel from Banff to Lake Louise
    Enjoy a scenic transfer from Banff to Lake Louise. Upon arrival at Lake Louise, check into the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and enjoy the amenities of your fabulous lakeshore hotel. Gaze at the turquoise blue lake, surrounded by glacier clad mountains. Walking trails lead right from the hotel’s front door, the picture-perfect overnight stop in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

    Feature Dinner in Lake Louise
    This evening you can relax, dinner has been arranged for you, so no need to make a reservation. Surrounded by spectacular lake views, savour a 3-course meal at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

    Insider tip: Ask us for our Lake Louise activity menu, from which you can choose activities such as a Lake Louise interpretive gondola ride or Afternoon Tea.

    Overnight in Lake Louise.

    Day 4 – Board Rocky Mountaineer – Lake Louise to Kamloops
    This morning you will have a short transfer from your hotel to the Lake Louise rail station to begin your first day onboard the Rocky Mountaineer train. As the train climbs over Kicking Horse Pass it travels through the Spiral Tunnels, an engineering wonder completed in 1909 which allows trains to negotiate the steep grade. View remarkable changes in the landscape as the Rocky Mountaineer travels into the interior along rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes from the mighty Canadian Rockies. Enjoy good food, great company and awe-inspiring scenery.

    This evening, your train arrives in the small town of Kamloops where you are free to enjoy a dinner on your own and a night in a standard hotel.

    Overnight in Kamloops.

    Day 5 – Train Journey Continues – Kamloops to Vancouver
    Re-board the Rocky Mountaineer this morning for the second part of your train journey. On today’s train trip, you’ll be treated to a wide range of scenery as you travel through the Fraser River Valley along winding river canyons to the arid interior region. Sit back and enjoy the excellent service aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, and keep your camera ready to snap a few shots of the Coast and Cascade Mountains. Upon arrival at the Rocky Mountaineer station in Vancouver, you will be transferred to your downtown hotel.

    Overnight in Vancouver.

    Day 6 – Enjoy Vancouver
    Welcome to Vancouver – one of the few cities in the world where a typical day might include a morning on the ski slopes and a relaxing afternoon sailing on the glistening waters. For a real taste of the Vancouver lifestyle, we suggest adding a guided cycling tour around the famous Stanley Park Seawall (ask your agent about adding on a tour). Later, catch the sunset from the beach at English Bay or board the gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain for a cocktail and a spectacular view.

    Overnight in Vancouver.

    Day 7 – Vancouver to Sitka, Alaska
    After a private transfer to the airport, fly to Sitka, Alaska to begin your cruise adventure. Sitka is Alaska’s most charming seaside town, surrounded by misty islands and soaring, snow-capped mountain peaks. Explore the influence of Tlingit, Russian, and American culture at the Cultural Centre, or simply relax in your hotel.

    Overnight in Sitka.

    Day 8 – Sitka, Alaska – Cruise Embarkation
    Feel the excitement build as you are led to your small ship vessel, your home base for the next seven nights. Stepping onboard, your friendly crew greets you with a champagne toast and warm smiles. And as you sail away in Sitka Sound, take in the unmistakable views of Mt. Edgecumbe – a dormant volcanic wonder which has inspired myths and legends.

    Your small ship expedition cruise ensures you'll get to go where the large cruise ship can't. Your passionate crew will ensure each day offers the most rewarding experiences, based on weather, wildlife sightings, and guest's interests.

    Overnight in your private cabin onboard the Safari Endeavour.

    Day 9 – Krestof Sound / Nakwasina Sound
    Discover the region's intertidal zones, teeming with life and attracting impressive predators such as sea lions, black bears, and eagles. Sail along with the dense Baranof Island forest to one side and small, wild islands on the other. Your first day offers options to drop anchor and find adventure. Slip into a kayak, nose along the shore in a skiff or head into the Tongass National Forest on foot with your expedition team. Spend the evening relaxing back on the boat.

    Overnight in your private cabin onboard the Safari Endeavour.

    Day 10 – Icy Strait
    Kick start the day with on-deck yoga stretches but remember to watch for the thrilling spray of a breaching humpback on the horizon as you sail into whale territory this morning. Then head out for a day of exploration with your choice of skiff, paddle or boots. Hop in a skiff and glide around Icy Strait, past giant bullwhip kelp to an outcropping where sea lions play. Pop on mud boots for a forest hike with top-notch guides pointing out animals, plants, and geology. At the end of this unforgettable day, you’ve earned a soak in the onboard hot tub.

    Overnight in your private cabin onboard the Safari Endeavour.

    Day 11 – Glacier Bay National Park
    Travel close to 100 km (62 miles) toward the tidewater glaciers of Margerie and Grand Pacific, in Glacier Bay National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. Once you round Point Gustavus, a park ranger joins you on board to share their vast knowledge. The specialness of this place starts to sink in, as one of its truly privileged visitors. Sea lions jockey for position among puffins, black oystercatchers, and other sea birds at South Marble Island. Mountain goats climb and bears scrounge for food along the park’s inland shores.

    Overnight in your private cabin onboard the Safari Endeavour.

    Day 12 – Chichagof Island
    Sail deeper into the wildlife-rich Alaskan wilderness today. Head to the bridge or bow, and watch for whales and other wildlife before tucking into Port Frederick or other wild inlets. Get a close up look at this vast wilderness. Muskeg under foot, head out on a bushwhacking hike in the Tongass National Forest or board a skiff, eyes wide for bears on shore.

    Overnight in your private cabin onboard the Safari Endeavour.

    Day 13 – Lynn Canal / Captain’s Choice
    Venture into Lynn Canal, which is actually a massive fjord – in fact, North America’s deepest at over 600 metres (2000 feet). This once major route of Klondike gold rushers is now a busy inlet for humpbacks, orcas, Dall’s porpoise, Steller sea lions, salmon, halibut and river otters. Look up from watching sea life and you see bald eagles soaring overhead, their white heads dotting the treetops. Your captain picks the prime spot for adventure today. Join a paddling excursion, search tide pools for microscopic life or stretch your legs on a hike through the forest.

    Overnight in your private cabin onboard the Safari Endeavour.

    Day 14 – Historic Haines, Alaska
    Considered an Alaska adventure hotspot, Haines offers a variety of choices for all activity levels. Hit the trailhead with your guides to the top of Chilkat Peninsula or the shores of the inlet. Some of the best trails with the amazing views.

    Learn about the local history – native culture, European explorers, US Army outposts and a gold rush past. See the sites on foot or by bike with free time in town. It’s a big day. Celebrate your voyage with a Farewell Dinner and photo recap from your expedition team in the evening.

    Overnight in your private cabin onboard the Safari Endeavour.

    Day 15 – Your Journey Comes to an End in Juneau – Disembark
    Savour your last breakfast onboard the ship before returning to Juneau and disembarking. You will be transferred to the airport in time to meet your flight (earliest flight possibility is 11:30am). Much too soon, you leave the clean air and colourful sights of the wilderness behind as your journey comes to an end.

    Note: Due to the nature of cruise explorations, itineraries are guidelines and may change to maximize wildlife and natural encounters. Variations in itinerary and the order of days may occur.
Essential Rockies by Rail with Alaska Small Ship Cruise – Map

Availability

MayJunJulAug

Places Visited

CalgaryBanffLake LouiseKamloopsVancouverAlaska

Accommodation Style

HotelCruise

Your Train Experience

Rocky Mountaineer

Activity Level

Easy

What you'll love about this trip

  • Stunning rail journey on the Rocky Mountaineer train

  • Great choice of adventures in the Canadian Rockies

  • Exploring beautiful Vancouver

  • Enjoying small ship advantages aboard the 84 guest Safari Endeavor

  • Whale watching, glacier viewing, kayaking, beach combing and wilderness hikes in Alaska

  • Expert guides, hosts, and activity coordinators on your cruise

Common Questions

  • Where am I staying on this trip?

    You'll be staying at various local three to five star hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

  • What is included in the price?

    Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive a complete travel package with detailed documentation and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal before and during your trip to answer your questions.

  • Can I customize this trip?

    Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can request your personalized trip plan to decide what you'd like to see and do.

    If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

  • What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

  • What is the train experience like?

    Because most Canadians typically do not use the train for commuting (as in the US or Europe), the two main rail providers here are driven by tourism. You'll experience the romance of true trans-continental rail travel, with a wide selection of services, accommodation types, and great food.

    Featured train experiences:

    • Rocky Mountaineer operates daylight touring trains, which travel along three of the most spectacular routes in Western Canada. You'll enjoy onboard commentary, award winning service, and incredible food.
  • When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

  • Is this an escorted tour?

    With the exception of our guided wildlife trips, our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

  • Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

    The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer. The interior of BC, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C).

  • How much does my trip cost?

    All our trips can be customized to fit your schedule and budget. The price depends on travel season, train service, hotel level, and the sightseeing tours you choose. Request your personalized trip plan and quote which will provide you with a detailed cost estimate.

  • What's Included

    What's Included in the Price

    These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

    Accommodations:
    • 7 nights hotel accommodation
    • 7 night small-ship Alaska Cruise, onboard the Safari Endeavour*

    Train Experiences:
    • 2 days onboard the Rocky Mountaineer Train, between Lake Louise and Vancouver*

    Banff Experiences
    Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Private Sunrise Photography Tour
    2. Banff Sightseeing Tour and Gondola Ride
    3. Banff E-Bike Tour

    Cruise Experiences:
    • Activities such as hiking, kayaking, sightseeing, and interpretive presentations
    • Cruise wellness program (hot tub, sauna and fitness equipment)

    Meal Inclusions:
    • Feature Dinner in Banff
    • Feature Dinner in Lake Louise
    • 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches onboard Rocky Mountaineer train
    • All meals, premium spirits, wine, beer and non-alcoholic beverages while onboard your Cruise

    Transfer Inclusions:
    • Transfer between Calgary airport and Banff*
    • Train station transfers in Lake Louise, Kamloops and Vancouver

    • Interpretive transfer between Banff and Lake Louise
    • Personalized and private transfer between Vancouver hotel and airport
    • Alaska airport to hotel transfer, plus airport transfer on disembarkation day

    Other Inclusions:
    • Baggage handling between cruise ship and hotel on embark/disembark days
    • Port fees and taxes for the cruise
    • Entry fees to national parks/preserves in Alaska
    • Gratuities for private transfers and tours (unless otherwise noted)
    • Digital Travel Documents
    • Fresh Tracks Canada customer service – from the time you book, you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests

    Inclusion Notes:*
     Comfort and Superior level includes SilverLeaf service on the Rocky Mountaineer. Deluxe level includes GoldLeaf service. 
    Comfort level includes a Master’s cabin onboard the Safari Endeavor vessels. Superior and Deluxe include a Captain’s cabin. 
    Deluxe level includes a private transfer between Banff and Calgary. Superior and Comfort levels include a scheduled bus transfer.

    Important Schedule and Trip Notes:
    • Train schedules are subject to change and delays may occur
    • Expedition cruising is unpredictable. Expedition staff may adjust the itinerary and inclusions to accommodate to weather to provide the best possible experience
    Not Included
    • Flights between Sitka, Juneau and Vancouver not included in price (but don’t hesitate to ask us to arrange this)
    • Meals, other than those mentioned
    • Airfare (but don’t hesitate to ask for help)
    • Gratuities for rail, hotel, scheduled tour and transfer staff and cruise
    • Trip Cancellation Insurance and Medical Insurance (highly recommended)
    • Canadian Sales Taxes

    Ideas to customize this trip

    Think of this trip as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

    • Ask us about upgrading hotels, cabin types or choosing unique mountain lodge accommodation and adding extra nights.
    • Ask us for first hand advice on upgrading to Goldleaf service on Rocky Mountaineer.
    • Add experiences such as golf, spa, wildlife excursions, or hiking to your trip.
    • Add a day trip to Victoria, British Columbia’s quaint capital city on Vancouver Island and visit the Butchart Gardens.
    • Visit the Olympic city of Whistler, exciting both in summer and winter.
  • Prices & Dates

    Trip Start Dates

    2020 Calgary Start Dates – Cruise departing Juneau onboard the Safari Endeavour
    The Safari Endeavor is an 84 passenger expedition style boat.
    May 31
    June 14, 28
    July 12, 26

    2020 Calgary Start Dates – Cruise departing Sitka on the Safari Endeavour
    The Safari Endeavor is an 84 passenger expedition style boat.
    May 24
    June 7, 21
    July 5, 19
    August 2

    Pricing For This Trip

    Prices listed may vary by departure date, hotel class and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our travel advisors to get a personalized quote.

    Comfort Level Hotels
    Master's Cabin, SilverLeaf Service
    from US $11,230 to US $12,129 per person

    Our Comfort Level vacations include our favorite 3 star hotels, in great locations. Combined with our unique sightseeing tours and personalized service, you’ll receive exceptional value, a step above what you might expect anywhere else.

    Superior Level Hotels
    Captain's Cabin, SilverLeaf Service
    from US $12,880 to US $13,911 per person

    Our Superior Level provides amazing value for clients wanting something more upscale but not at the price of a top-end 5 star resort. Superior level hotels are some of our favorites because of the character and unique charm that you won't find at the average chain hotel. Unique tours and seamless transfers complete your itinerary.

    Fresh Tracks Favorite
    Deluxe Level Hotels
    Captain's Cabin, GoldLeaf Service
    from US $14,270 to US $15,412 per person

    On our Deluxe Level vacation, it's likely you'll be staying at one of the iconic Canadian Fairmont Hotels in a room with a view. Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 20th century, these hotels are luxurious and full of history – ensuring an experience you'll never forget. Enjoy unique sightseeing experiences and the insider detail that only Fresh Tracks Canada can provide.

  • Accommodations

    Accommodation Options

    These are examples of this trip's accommodation choices. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

    Georgian Court Hotel - Georgian Court Hotel Exterior

    Georgian Court Hotel

    An example of our Comfort accommodations

    The Georgian Court Hotel features 180 guestrooms in a 12-story brick building, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Enjoy a comfortable sleep in your elegant room, surf the internet with the complimentary wifi, or enjoy a meal on the seasonal patio.

    Rimrock Resort - Exterior of resort

    Rimrock Resort

    An example of our Superior and Deluxe accommodations

    The 4.5 star Rimrock Resort is built into the side of a mountain, when you enter the main lobby, you are actually on the 7th floor, and the views from the pamorama of windows over the Bow Valley are simply stunning. The hotel has an upscale yet understated feel, and the service is impeccable.

    Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise - Exterior of Chateau

    Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

    An example of our Comfort, Superior, and Deluxe accommodations

    The 5 star Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is undoubtedly a beautiful and impressive hotel. Its amazing location overlooking beautiful Lake Louise and the distant mountains can not be compared. There are a variety of restaurant types, so you can do casual or fine dining as you choose. Strolling around the lake, renting a canoe, riding horses, or hiking up to the tea house are all great summer activities. In winter choose from snow shoeing, skating, skiing or taking a sleigh ride around the lake.

    Fairmont Banff Springs - Exterior of hotel

    Fairmont Banff Springs

    An example of our Deluxe accommodations

    Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, The Fairmont Banff Springs is located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy one of the many activities that the hotel has to offer from tennis, horseback riding, a round of golf, skiing, relaxing at the the Willow Stream Spa (charge), or enjoying a great meal at one of 12 restaurants, lounges or pubs.

    Safari Endeavour - Safari Endeavour, an 84 guest small ship

    Safari Endeavour

    An example of our Expedition Vessel accommodations

    The shallow draft of the Safari Endeavour makes this ship capable of nimble exploration and allows access to the areas larger ships cannot go. The ambiance aboard the refurbished 84-guest Safari Endeavour is casual elegance with upscale amenities Exquisitely appointed, the Safari Endeavour features an intimate Wine Bar and spa area with two hot tubs, sauna, fitness equipment, yoga mats, and massage suite. Three decks provide wonderful outdoor viewing opportunities.

  • Customer Reviews  (1)

    Everything went so smoothly for us

    Star Rating 5
    October 2, 2014

    Read full review...

    Both Rex and I want to tell you what a wonderful trip we had in Canada. We were very impressed with everything organised by Fresh Tracks Canada. Everything went so smoothly for us. There were no hiccups and it all ran like clockwork. I can assure you that we are very happy to recommend Fresh Tracks Canada. In fact I have already given your names and contact details to some friends of ours.Thanks you again for what was an amazing holiday for us.

This Trip in Pictures

Passengers on Un-Cruise' Safari Endeavour in Alaska
Passengers on Un-Cruise' Safari Endeavour in Alaska
Discover the beauty of Canadian Rockies, then stand in awe of the thundering glaciers of Alaska.
The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel surrounded by the mountains and forests of the Canadian Rockies
The Fairmont Banff Springs hotel surrounded by the mountains and forests of the Canadian Rockies
Begin your trip in the Canadian Rockies by soaking in the spectacular scenery of Banff.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is surrounded by the forests, mountains and lakes of the Canadian Rockies
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is surrounded by the forests, mountains and lakes of the Canadian Rockies
Explore Lake Louise and indulge in all the splendor and beauty around.
The Rocky Mountaineer passes through the Canadian Rockies
The Rocky Mountaineer passes through the Canadian Rockies
Then take the spectacular Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canadian Rockies.
The gold leaf hostess serves passengers complimentary drinks on the Rocky Mountaineer
The gold leaf hostess serves passengers complimentary drinks on the Rocky Mountaineer
Enjoy the breathtaking views along with gourmet food and outstanding service.
People biking the sea wall in Stanley Park with views of Coal Harbour and downtown Vancouver
People biking the sea wall in Stanley Park with views of Coal Harbour and downtown Vancouver
Finish the Canadian portion of your journey while relaxing in beautiful Vancouver.
From the top deck of the Safari Endeavour, passengers view the passing landscape on a Alaskan cruise
From the top deck of the Safari Endeavour, passengers view the passing landscape on a Alaskan cruise
Board the Safari Endeavour in Alaska and enjoy the stunning view from the top deck.
Passengers view whales on a small boat excursion
Passengers view whales on a small boat excursion
Get close to nature onboard skiff excursions exploring the coast.
The Safari Endeavour passes by a breaching whale on an Alaskan cruise
The Safari Endeavour passes by a breaching whale on an Alaskan cruise
Spend your days capturing amazing photos of whales in their natural habitat.
Exploring the Alaskan fjords in kayaks
Exploring the Alaskan fjords in kayaks
Get plenty of opportunities to discover the amazing fjords of Alaska by kayak.

Get your personalized trip plan organized and arranged for you

Get your personalized itinerary
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
or call us directly toll-free
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