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Highlights
  • Vancouver: Enjoy a full day in this cosmopolitan city and explore many of its treasures.
  • The Rocky Mountaineer: View coastal forests, roaring river canyons, and snowcapped mountain ranges from the comfort of the train’s observation car and lounge.
  • Jasper National Park (est. 1907): Explore the park for a full day and take a cruise on Maligne Lake, one of the largest glacier-fed lakes in the world. Travel along the Icefields Parkway, where wildlife such as grizzly bear, moose, elk, and mountain goat are easily spotted.
  • Banff National Park

Experience some of North America’s most stunning scenery on this popular epic journey.

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2
Smithsonian Journeys Travel Reviews & Ratings
50% Recommend

3.0 out of 5
Excellent 1 Great 0 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 1
Value
3.0 Guide
3.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
5.0 Transportation
3.0 Meals
4.0
A Canadian Rockies Adventure

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Smithsonian Journeys.

SoAaNZ

Does Not Recommend

The trip was awful due to flight cancellations and failure of the contractor to adequately compensate for missed activities and days. May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 4.0
My wife and I were on the Smithsonian Journeys Splendors of Australia and New Zealand between April 13 and May 2, 2018. Smithsonian is rated by this site as Luxury travel. However, Smithsonian "farms out" the logistics for their trip to Odysseys Unlimited. Odysseys booked within country air travel with the lowest cost air carriers. Flights were cancelled from Ayers Rock to Sydney and from Queenstown New Zealand to Rotorua. Another flight was significantly delayed so that we did not arrive at our Christchurch destination until 2:00 am, making for a really tired next day. Odysseys Unlimited compensated us $400 per person for missing a day in Sydney and paid for an excursion in Auckland for missing Rotorua. This was wholly inadequate, given that these were highlights of the trip. In addition, our tour guide was rude to several people on the trip. If Smithsonian Journeys is truly a luxury travel outfit, as we had believed, then they would not be farming out travel logistics to such a chinch company as Odysseys Unlimited. We will think twice about traveling with Smithsonian again, and so should others.
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Operator Smithsonian Journeys

C-Sdir

Recommends

Get to Cuba before it changes because it has to. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
Cuba has been open to limited group travel for four years and is being opened to individual travel (still with restrictions) now. With thousands of Americans descending on our nearest island neighbor, Cuba has to increase its tourist infrastructure - and lose some of its charm.

Smithsonian Journeys is a great way to see Cuba before it changes. Yes, Smithsonian tours are more expensive than some other tour companies but the phrase, "you get what you pay for", certainly holds true. Everything about the tour was top notch - the American tour coordinator, the local Cuban guide, the itinerary - the best. And everything is included - everything - tipping, all activities, tours. Cuba is a fascinating destination and deserves a quality tour company.
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Operator Smithsonian Journeys

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Vancouver

Meals: Dinner

Arrive in Vancouver by midafternoon. Check in to the hotel, then gather with fellow traveler and your Smithsonian Journeys Expert for a welcome reception and opening remarks on your adventure. A group dinner will follow.

Westin Grand Vancouver

Day 2: Vancouver

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

This morning, take time to enjoy downtown Vancouver at leisure, followed by a tour of the city. Stop at Stanley Park, a Pacific Northwest rain forest and oasis in the city. Take in scenic views of water, mountains, sky, and majestic trees along Stanley Park's famous Seawall. Stop at Gastown known for its British charm and unique steam clock. See the spectacular Lions Gate Bridge, Prospect Point and English Bay. The tour ends with dinner at a local restaurant.

Westin Grand Vancouver

Day 3: The Rocky Mountaineer

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Hotel in Kamloops

On today’s journey you will see dramatic changes in scenery, from the lush green fields of the Fraser River valley, through forests and winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Coast and Cascade mountains, to the desert-like environment of the interior. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Your day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer travels along the shores of Kamloops Lake and into Kamloops. *This evening disembark for your overnight stay in Kamloops, BC. Dinner tonight is on your own.

Hotel to be announced prior to departure. 

Rocky Mountaineer

Day 4: The Rocky Mountaineer

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Step back aboard the Rocky Mountaineer for breakfast, and prepare to enjoy the second half of your journey by rail into the Canadian wilderness, following the North Thompson River through the Monashee and Cariboo Mountains. Today’s adventure culminates with the train’s climbing ever nearer to the high peaks of the Continental Divide and the climb over the Yellowhead Pass into Jasper National Park. Late in the afternoon watch for the spectacular view of Mount Robson, highest point in the Canadian Rockies. Our train odyssey ends at Jasper. Tomorrow we begin our exploration of three of Canada’s most scenic national parks.

Rocky Mountaineer

Day 5: Jasper

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

After breakfast depart to explore Jasper National Park. Enjoy a scenic boat cruise on one of the largest glacier-fed lakes in the world, Maligne Lake. Marvel at the snowcapped peaks, which cast themselves brilliantly across the water surface and take in the pristine natural beauty Spirit Island. Lunch is on your own this afternoon. Late in the day return to the hotel. Gather for a reception and remarks by your Smithsonian Journeys Expert followed by dinner at the hotel.

Mount Robson Inn

Day 6: Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Board your private motor coach for the drive south through Jasper National Park with its spectacular scenery along the Icefields Parkway to Banff National Park. A naturalist joins us for narration while you look for wildlife such as deer, elk, mountain goat and grizzly bear. Arrive at the Columbia Icefield, one of the largest accumulations of ice and snow south of the Arctic Circle. At the Columbia Icefield Discovery Center meet your experienced guide and board your specially outfitted ice coach to venture on to the surface of the Athabasca Glacier, a tongue of ice over three miles long and at points over a half mile wide. Return to the center for lunch and a chance to browse the many exhibits. Continue to Lake Louise, often called the "Jewel of the Canadian Rockies" and your home for the next two nights.

Mountaineer Lodge

Day 7: Moraine Lake, Spiral Tunnels, Takakkaw Falls

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Today, drive along the Bow Valley Parkway for amazing views of Castle Mountain and the Sawback Range. Stop at Moraine Lake, located in the dramatic Valley of the Ten Peaks. This afternoon, cross Kicking Horse Pass, entering the province of British Columbia and Yoho National Park. The Canadian Pacific Railway was built through this pass across the Rockies in 1887, but steep grades made its operation inefficient. In 1909 the railway was rebuilt with gentler grades made possible by the now-famous Spiral Tunnels, which we will stop to view. Later we will visit Emerald Lake and  dramatic Takakkaw Falls. Tonight we gather for a festive farewell dinner.

Mountaineer Lodge

Day 8: Calgary / Depart

Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, depart by motor coach for Calgary International Airport for flights home. Participants should schedule their departing flights for after 1:00 this afternoon.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 7,395

Price Per Day:

$ 924 per person
 
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 900
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • Expertise of a Study Leader, Tour Manager, and local guides throughout the tour.
  • All accommodations (based on double occupancy).
  • Meals, including special welcome and farewell dinner as noted in the itinerary.
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in the itinerary.
  • Transfer from Banff to Calgary International Airport at the program conclusion.
  • Baggage handling for one bag plus one carry-on bag per person while on tour.
  • Gratuities to all train staff, local guides and motor coach drivers.
  • All on-tour transportation
Trip Excludes
  • Passport fees.
  • Transfer to Vancouver and the hotel on day of arrival.
  • Personal items such as wines, liquors, a-la-carte orders, meals other than specified.
  • Expenses incurred in making travel arrangements to arrival city and from departure city and in conjunction with the tour.
  • Airfare as well as air and international departure taxes.
Meals Included:

7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunch and 6 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Maximum Number of People in Group: 38
Accomodations

Westin Grand Vancouver

Vancouver, Canada

Located in the heart of one of British Columbia’s most exciting cities, the all-suite Westin Grand, Vancouver boasts easy access to all of the city's best shopping, restaurants and attractions. The hotel offers a tranquil oasis amid the thriving, coastal city of Vancouver, BC.

Explore one of British Columbia's most exciting cities and enjoy complete renewal in our Vancouver accommodation, where soothing amenities including the refreshing Westin Heavenly Bed® and Heavenly Bath®, deep-soaker tubs and picturesque windows highlighting cityscapes or mountain views that encourage you to relax and unwind.

Number of nights: 2


Mount Robson Inn

Jasper, Alberta, Canada

Set amidst spectacular mountain ranges in the charming town of Jasper, Alberta, the Mount Robson Inn is five blocks walk to downtown. Jasper is the known as the gentle giant of the Canadian Rockies, offering visitors a more laid-back mountain experience with equal options for adventure, discovery and relaxation. Jasper Alberta is a popular getaway from urban life, and a special place to connect with nature.

With nearly 1000km of trails, alpine slopes to shred, wildlife beyond measure and the largest Dark Sky Preserve on the planet, there are endless ways to enjoy the magic of Jasper National Park. The hotel's rooms are recently updated and well-appointed with pillow top mattresses, fridges, microwaves and high speed Internet.

Number of nights: 2


Mountaineer Lodge

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Lake Louise evokes images of majestic wilderness, rugged mountain skylines, pristine turquoise lakes and epic adventures. It is a special place in Banff National Park to connect with nature and the Canadian Rockies landscapes year round. One turn off the Trans Canada Highway into Lake Louise and you will find the Mountaineer Lodge nestled amongst towering pine trees.

One of the features that our guests enjoy most about the Mountaineer Lodge is its central location in the village of Lake Louise, Alberta. From the doorstep of our Lake Louise hotel it is only a five minute drive to the shoreline of Lake Louise or a five minute drive to the Lake Louise Ski Area.  Local restaurants and shops are just a short stroll away.

Number of nights: 2


Train:

Rocky Mountaineer

Experience the thrilling adventure of rail travel as you take in the awe-inspiring scenery of the Canadian Rockies during two incredible days on the Rocky Mountaineer. Recline in your dome car reserved seat for an adventure beyond compare. Step onto covered vestibules, breathe the fresh mountain air, and get that perfect picture of this inspiring landscape. Sit down at your reserved table and indulge in delectable gourmet meals from the à la carte menu. Enjoy narration on all the fantastic sites you’ll see as you make your way along this historic route.

 

Start City
Vancouver
End City
Calgary
Guides

Frank Ackerman

Frank Ackerman began his 32 years career with the National Park Service as a Park Ranger at Dinosaur National Park. He continued his ranger duties at Death Valley National Park before completing his career at Cape Cod National Seashore as Chief of Interpretation. Upon retirement he was invited to join the staff of Amtrak’s Adirondack and Vermonter trains as their on-board lecturer. But he missed the west and after a time returned to Nevada to become the Curator of Education at the Nevada State Railroad Museum. Located in Carson City, the museum preserves the railroad heritage of Nevada, including locomotives and cars of the famous Virginia and Truckee Railroad. Much of the museum equipment was obtained from Hollywood studios, where they were often featured in movies and television. Frank looks forward to joining you for this adventure through these dramatic and diverse landscapes of Colorado and sharing with you the incredible history of these historic railways.

Cancellation Policy:

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of notice to Smithsonian Journeys.

Cancellations within 7 days of booking (if not within final payment date): full refund.

Cancellations after 7 days of booking: $800 retained (entire deposit).

Final payment due: 95 days prior to departure.

Cancellations made less than 95 days prior to departure: no refund.

Cancellation by the Smithsonian: full refund.

No refund for unused portions of the tour, including but not limited to, missed meals, hotel nights, and sightseeing.

Trip ID#: CanRocSmi

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